When something stops you mid-sentence, it’s usually a good idea to pay attention. “Write yourself a letter today, before things get crazy. Remind yourself of what you really want more of.”
You know what she’s saying. You’re already wondering about the next few weeks, all the things you have to do/buy/get/make/go to. I know you want to make this year perfect for him. And in doing so, you think you can reclaim some of that childhood magic for yourself. *Feeling good is the primary intention.* You want them to feel good, not disappointed; filled with joy and magic, not questions and cynicism; happy, not sad; satisfied, not wanting; secure, enough, proud, not … not. And those are good things! That’s what makes you a good mom, wanting those feelings for them (and yourself too.) But remember – those don’t come from the store. Those don’t come from more sugar and candy and dessert. Those come from time, and connection, and space to explore and wander. You can’t buy those. You can’t force those. They happen organically, and they won’t happen at all with you stressed and yelling and trying to force perfection to happen. Those will drive you straight down the path to “not.”
So take a deep breath. Relax your shoulders and stretch straight up to the sky overhead. Now look at your calendar again. It’s going to change. Someone will not feel good, or it will be too cold, or someone will need a nap, or the two of you will be so fucking exhausted it won’t be worth the struggle. Or all of these. That’s okay. When that happens (notice I didn’t say “if”), let it go. Let go of the expectations and accept what life has handed you instead. And THEN go back to the feelings – goodness, joy, magic, satisfaction, security, enough, proud, LOVE. What can you do with what you have been handed to make those feelings happen? Do that. Don’t be a big ball of stress over what you are not doing instead. Always, always, always choose love. In that pause between what happens to you and how you respond, in that moment, choose love. It won’t steer you wrong.
Now that that’s settled – what are you going to do now?
PS – you got this. And if you forget, it’s never to late to try to do better the next time. You are never locked into these behavior patterns – you can change if that’s what you want to do. You are good enough. You do not have to be “good.” You do not have to crawl on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You have a place, always, in the family of things. You are loved, you are accepted – just the way you are.
Write yourself a letter today, before things get crazy. Remind yourself what you really want more of. How can you shift from overdo to under-do? How can less equal more comfort and joy? How do you really want to spend your time not just over the holidays, but all year long?