Hey! I see you there. How are you? Are you feeling good or maybe not so much? Mentally, physically, and spiritually, how are all those things in your life? Are you swimming, or are you drowning? How often do you check in with yourself? I don’t think it is often enough. How are you, really?
I’m the type of person to have high expectations during the holiday season. I want to do all the fun things and maximize family time. Then the season comes, and I’m overbooked and overwhelmed with mom anxiety.
My toughest challenge is my own brain and realizing we can’t win all the days.
How do I win a day? That could change daily based on the needs of my husband, my three kids, my two dogs, the weather, what volunteer work or writing I’m doing that day, and the big disrupter, an illness. The point is that too many variables out of my control can mess with my day. Flexibility, as a mom, is paramount.
Winning looks like an hour of getting some writing done. Winning looks like all the children making their busses in the morning. Winning looks like a half-hour exercise accomplished. Winning is the dishwasher emptied before lunchtime. Victory is found in my puppy not having any accidents in the house that day (not happening yet!). Triumph is found when I’m in my pjs around 7 p.m., curled up with a hot cup of tea.
The problem is I focus on the losses way too much. Two of my children are in therapy pretty regularly; is that a parenting failure? My hair is falling out uncontrollably, and nothing I do is making it stop; am I failing at dealing with stress? There are days when it feels like no one in my house is happy; can I be doing more to help that? Days my anxiety and self-esteem take nose dives have been too common.
Winning during the holiday season has to live at a lower standard. To keep my mom anxiety at bay, I made it a habit to write in my planner (yes, I still use a paper planner!) *no appointments* the week before Christmas. I need the reminder because I will add in whatever I can before Christmas and end up feeling like the s’mores marshmallow that got too close to the fire.
Maybe my idea of winning a day must take a step back and be looked at differently. My attitude needs to widen its frame, and I have to realize a day doesn’t need to be won at all. It can just be. It can be whatever form a given day takes and ends with.