Dear Family and Friends,
We regret to inform you that while, you have all sent us lovely photos and cards with witty poems and limericks about the year that was 2016, we have waited until the last minute (like we normally do) to even attempt to get a holiday card printed much less in the mailbox. There was much debate about whether or not it was worth the hassle; and by debate I mean, much debate in my head between me, myself, and I.
I decided in early December that while I do love receiving your holiday greetings and cheer I just couldn’t Pinterest-Mom-It-Like-A-Boss. So I said no to a holiday card from my family. And you know what?
I have never felt so relieved.
That small act of taking one thing off of my extremely busy juggling act which many call motherhood was apparently giving me all sorts of crazy feelings inside. Christmas cards felt like a term paper that was looming over my head and suddenly I found myself back in high school going on my merry way only to be plummeted by that sinking thought: “Oh yeah, that paper’s due tomorrow.” This year I said no and I want you to say “no” to “all the expected mom things” too.
It’s not about being defiant or taking a stand. It’s about taking care of yourself first. Why do we feel like we have to send out this adorable holiday greeting card every single year? I honestly felt this little twinge of fear that if I didn’t play by the Mom Rules my own Christmas card collection would be slightly smaller in 2017. You know what, though? That’s okay. It is okay if you don’t get adorably crafted Valentine’s Day cards to my child this year. And that special birthday treat that you’re stressing about sending to school? I completely forgot to do one for my son this year.
If skipping a tradition or expectation will make life easier for you then please just say “no”. Don’t send me a Christmas card in 2017. I’m not offended. I get you. Don’t really feel like having a huge birthday party that will be the envy of every Pinterest board out there? Skip it. Your one-year-old won’t care and trust me when she’s an adult she really won’t care about the beautiful tea party themed birthday you threw for her. (Totally did that one for my middle child for her first birthday. She started crying the second all eyes were on her singing “Happy Birthday”.) No hard feelings, I get it. Here’s to the next year, the year of simplifying life, the 2017 year of taking care of you, Mom. Remember, you have to put the oxygen mask on your face first and then you can help the passenger next to you. Take care of you.
If you’re feeling, dear loved one, left out that you do not have a Christmas card from us this year and you’re thinking that you’ll skip us next year because, well, how could we, here’s your permission: Do it. I would not give back the hours I gained by skipping my usual routine of sitting in front of my computer crafting a perfect Christmas card, stuffing envelopes, licking envelopes, stamping the return addresses, and then making sure to get my list and check it twice so that I haven’t left anyone out.
We’ll see maybe I’ll get back to doing a Christmas card in 2017, only time will tell.
Bert Anderson is a blogger and social media manager mom of three living outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. She’s the author behind the blog First Time Mom, where she honestly chronicles the peaks and valleys of parenting. Even though she has more than one child, Bert maintains that whether you have one child or 19, there’s a first time for everything. She’s a lover of coffee, conversations, pop culture, healthy living and fitness.