Every November, as the stress of the holiday season (now including one extra holiday for our family, that being our little one’s birthday) begins to set in, schedules fill up, “free time” is spent drafting holiday cards, baking cookies, decorating the house, and shopping for infinitely more presents each year, and sleep deprivation firmly sets in, I need to remind myself to take a minute (only one, no time for more!) to sit back and remember that the season is about love and thankfulness and generosity, and not candy, stuffed turkeys, gingerbread houses, and being the perfect mom who manages to do it all. (No, really.)
But, here’s the thing. I just don’t have a free minute this year. Maybe it’s the addition of soccer coaching, toddler gymnastics (yeah, that’s what I said, toddler gymnastics…), kindergarten homework and volunteering, or baking a dozen loaves of zucchini bread from scratch, but sleep deprivation isn’t a holiday bonus this year, it’s a way of life.
Great news for you, I’ve decided to multitask! And maybe my ramblings will strike a chord with you, and you can multitask too! See how helpful I am? So, here is my list of reasons (not at all exhaustive) to put down the baking sheets and smile, even if the cookies never do get baked.
Obviously, I’m grateful for my fantastic children. They are both in great health (despite the snot constantly seen on both my jeans and shoulders), wonderfully intelligent (even if my 5-year-old’s career plan is to operate…but not own, because that would be expensive…a bowling alley), incredibly sweet (in spite of the multiple skin-breaking bite marks my 23-month-old leaves on her “friends”), and of course, adorable (even if neither will smile NORMALLY in pictures any more.)
They are my world.
But our world wouldn’t be complete without their loving father. He is very involved in all our lives (unless he’s just gotten a new computer game), is an amazing cook (when he puts his mind to it…at LEAST twice a year), very supportive (when he’s listening) and a fantastic partner (even when he’s not listening…which is kind of…well, always). Without him, I would be lost.
This year though, I have some special thanks. I’m thankful that the Giants won the World Series so my husband wasn’t ridiculously cranky for a week, and grateful that our 5-year-old was happy enough with his second favorite team winning (the Giants), that he didn’t break down when his first favorite team (the Tigers) lost.
I’m grateful that the second day care we found to put our little one in hasn’t kicked her out yet (after the first one did), despite her best efforts (and she’s trying her hardest!). And I’m grateful that we found a fantastic nanny to watch the tiny devil and her perfectly innocent big brother over the summer so we didn’t have to pay the super expensive second day care’s rates until fall.
I’m thankful for the many vacations we were able to take in this last year pre-“school schedule” and “really expensive day care” and the friends and family we were able to take them with, and that after all the traveling, neither my husband nor I had killed each other…or the kids! And I’m a little (just a little) thankful that we will now have a school schedule to keep us from taking so many five-day weekend car trips filled with excessive driving…so we won’t come quite as close to murdering our loved ones in their sleep this coming year. (I hope.)
I’m thankful that we have friends who are willing to take us in, even in murderous states, both in Ann Arbor and in far, far distant places (even if I’d really, deeply, truly prefer them all to be closer.)
I’m grateful for Groupon for all the money it has saved me…and for all the money that I shouldn’t have spent but did anyway, likely evening out the score in the end, but as long as it’s just even, I’m really the one winning here. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. And my husband. And my bank account.
I am oh so thankful for caffeinated beverages, bucketloads of them, without which I would be drooling on my desk at work on a daily basis.
And I am thankful that the d*^# political ads have finally come to an end. If only temporarily.
There is more, there is oh-so-much more. But I’m too tired to think of any more now…and there are cookies to be baked!
Happy sleep deprivation!
This post was written by Penney Blakely. Contact Penney at firstname.lastname@example.org
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