There is something about December 25th to December 31st that makes me feel like I am sitting on a emotional loop roller coaster without my seatbelt on!
Maybe it is the weeks of buildup of the Christmas Bliss that I look forward to all year - the lights, the tree, the endless Christmas carols, my beloved Hallmark Channel. Maybe it is the excitement of seeing the kids rip open their presents on Christmas morning or my eager anticipation of unwrapping their homemade macaroni necklaces and "MOM" artwork. I try my best to soak it all in before the screaming and "he's not sharing" tantrums blow up right on cue. But something happens right around lunch break - when the house is a calm, but crazy sea of wrapping paper and cursed-to-hell-toy packaging. I get the all-too subtle reminder that another year has passed. Another Christmas has come and gone and the kids will never be this age again. Next year they will be a little older, most likely a little bolder, and I am certain a little more curious about the Magic of Christmas.
Suddenly the stores are stripped of their Holiday glow. Valentine's Day Heart line the shelves. Talk of the New Year, New You takes over the airwaves, but if we are being honest here - I have no plans for stepping inside a gym when I flip my calendar page. Im not going to suddenly start drinking more water or alphabetizing my spices. And while I often discredit the Quintessential New Year, New You New Year's Resolution bit, I often find myself doing a bit of soul searching over the past 365 days of my life: Was I a good mom? (I do yell a lot...) Was I good wife? (I did make him dinner!) Did I make enough time for me? (Do showers count?) Am I being the person I would want my children to grow up to be? Hmmm...
The answers are more gray than black and white. I have come to the conclusion I find myself TRYING to BE and TRYING to DO a lot more than just BEING and DOING. Did I lose you there?
My point is - I often find myself TRYING TOO HARD. I spend so much time trying to capture the perfect snapshots of their childhood, that I am often missing out on things that are happening right in front of me. Right now.
I spend a lot of time trying to be the 'super mom'. I try to be the 'good wife' (ok, TRY may be a bit of a stretch here!). I try to give my kids the magical childhood. Looking back, however, some of our best days were the ones we never left the house! Undocumented Days we spent in our PJs and ate breakfast for dinner were the real Memory Makers - not the perfectly planned trips to the city or Pinterest craft disasters. A full trip around the sun and I am starting to realize the "Trying so hard," the online "mommy wars" drama, the "keeping up with the Jones's," the "my-life-in-IG-squares-effect" is what I need to work on in the New Year. As cliche as it sounds: Yes, Less is More.
So this year when Jason and I make our little 2016 Post-it to stick on the (waaay back of the) fridge, I know exactly what I am going to write down: Im done vying for Mother of the Year. This will be the year we slow down and scale back. Less TRYING, more BEING. Less Presents, More Presence. My hope is 2016 will be a year filled with giving them my undivided attention when they need it, making time to date my other half again, and reclaiming my ME time.
Truth be told, kids do not need us to make their childhood magical.
The secret to the magic lives within the hearts of children regardless of the shiny toys we give them. The magic is in the belief that any amount of glitter will turn them into fairies and princesses. The magic is hiding in the couch fort that protects them from their Swashbuckling Pirate brother. The magic is learning how to walk holding your big brother's hand. The magic is smacking both feet down in a puddle and feeling like you are jumping in the middle of an ocean. But most of all, the real magic is getting tucked in bed each night without a worry in the world that tomorrow will be another fun-filled day of one -eyed pirates and dragon-loving princesses.
As we bid farewell to 2015, I will take with it all the memories we made and the lessons we learned. I will remember it for the new friends we have made and those we have said good bye to. As we welcome in 2016 I will carry with me the reminder that the beauty of life lies in the little things, because one day I am sure to look back and miss them all - the good days, the average days, the ugly days - not just the great ones.
To all of my Friends and family near and far, I am wishing you a Warm and Peace-filled New Years! Thank you all for all the love and support you have shown my whole brood over the past year and reminding us to Be The Good we want to see in the world. May we all find what we are looking for on this wild ride - and meet again here next year! To another year of laughs, loves, and Cosmic Lucy Meltdowns we say Cheers to all of you!