Coping with the Christmas Stress

It’s been a crazy few weeks. I vowed to myself  that I wouldn’t get caught up in the Christmas craziness this year and I’m doing my best not to. But it’s hard.

Honeybun finally started back in her dance classes and Sugarplum is on a new gymnastics schedule. She now has 3-hour practices until 8:30 three nights a week. I can no longer justify staying at the gym and so drive 3o minutes there, 30 minutes back, make dinner then repeat the drive (if I’m lucky and can get out of doing bedtime.)

The toddler has forgotten how to sleep. Completely. He’s been waking up at 6 am, 5 am, 1 am, ready to play! He won’t nap more than 2 hours (his big brother and sisters aren’t very helpful in that department) and is a raging, tired mess most of the time in addition to his usual ornery, stubborn, busyness.

Hubby has been gone all week, after being gone all Thanksgiving weekend as well (four whole days with no activities, school or other adults around other than a lovely Thanksgiving day with my aunt and uncle). I’m used to being on my own with the kids most of the time, but having help during that dinner and bedtime hour when I’m so wiped out from the day is magic. Not having it torture.

My parents are finally back in town and extremely helpful. They’ve been doing bedtime on gymnastic nights so that I don’t have to drag all the kids out of the house at 8 pm. But then the guilt creeps in over asking them to stay so late, so often.

And there’s the Christmas shopping to do. And even though we’re trying to keep it light, there’s so many wonderful things out there! My girls have too much. My boys not enough (what does one buy 2 and 4 year old little boys?!) And the people who deserve the most are the hardest to shop for. They’re the ones that say “you don’t need to get me anything, I don’t really need anything,” and mean it.

And the Christmas decorations, one of my favorite parts of the season, keep falling down. I finally gave up and just put them away (along with boxes of stuff I never even got out.) I decided that it was less stressful to convince myself it didn’t matter than to constantly be rehanging them and cleaning up broken lights. But it kind of stings to be the only one who really cares.

And then there’s writing and the blog. Motivation is at a premium right now and the holiday slump is upon me. At a time when I should be seeing great traffic on my wonderful holiday posts, I always see a dip in visitors as everyone gets busy with the season. And I get it, I spend far less time online than usual (I actually didn’t even turn on my computer at all last Sunday!) but not seeing results from my efforts certainly doesn’t help motivate me to hustle.

But the real problem is life is moving faster than I can handle right now. Things are changing rapidly. My children are growing. Our lives keep getting ever more complicated. But it’s Christmastime and I want to enjoy it. So I’m going to.

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