How was your Christmas, if you celebrate?
I got my only real wish this year, which was to have no sick kids on Christmas Day. Last year all of the kids were sick and they were too miserable for us to enjoy ourselves and it pretty much ruined Christmas. This year I just wanted to make some healthy Christmas memories. Luckily the kids were on Winter Break from the 16th of December so we were able to sort of isolate at home the week before Christmas to ensure that no one got ill. Our Christmas this year was therefore a huge improvement on last year, no matter how many holiday meltdowns there were! Haha.
Over the course of the 5 days we spent on the mainland staying at my mom’s house, Tom and I started to notice little milestones here and there. These things kind of define where we are in our journey through parenthood and life, so I started writing them down.
- this is a huge one (for us!) but it was the first Christmas since we became parents SIX years ago that we got to sit down and have a conversation while our kids ran off and played. Since none of our kids were ever babies who we could really put down or pass around, we have spent every single holiday before this one with a baby in a carrier, walking around the block to help him/her fall asleep or stay calm. Our kids are finalllllllly of the age and disposition to run off and play with their cousins, though they only do this at my mom’s where they’re most comfortable, not at the extended family’s homes. Maybe next year.
- we had our first family Christmas dinner since before covid (and before Rumi!). There’s just nothing like family cooking and an endless amount of lingering hugs to heal the wounds of trauma that the last few years have wrought.
- our five day stay at my mom’s is the longest and furthest we’ve ever traveled with all three kids! I know, laaaaame for all of you keen travellers, but our pandemic babies have only ever slept in their own beds, so it felt like a substantial milestone for us. Can’t wait til we have more money so the five of us can travel together a little further! aka never! Lol
- and for the last, and most insubstantial milestone, I went out in sweatpants for the first time (ha!). I have never felt comfortable wearing sweatpants in public, I didn’t even do it in high school when it was all the rage. I just don’t think it’s the right choice for me, I guess? But I did a quick grocery shop with Tom on Boxing Day and I didn’t change into my jeans for it. Nothing bad happened. I did not explode. None of the Boomers in the grocery store in my mom’s neighbourhood even looked at me. I made Tom take a photo to commemorate the occasion (see below, lol). I know, this is so silly and not worth writing down or reading, but here we are.
Now it’s January and the kids were back in school for three days before all three kids got the barfing flu, so I guess it’s back to reality for us!
Regarding my Instagram break so far, it was actually really nice to be off Instagram in December. I popped on here and there without thinking but every time I was quickly reminded why I’m enjoying the break. I absolutely do not miss seeing everyone post their gd elf on the shelf every single night (eek, sorry). It also feels pretty needless to scroll through endless stories about what everyone got or what their kids got. The space away from seeing everyone else’s Christmas left me with more energy and focus for my own family, which is probably just as it should be. It also made the texts and calls with close friends feel more special; it’s fun to catch up, just not always with everyone on the internet maybe?
I also enjoyed the space away from everyone’s end-of-the-year recaps. I’m happy for everyone and love to see people thriving, but an annual recap is a highlight reel on an app that’s already built to be a highlight reel. As humans, it’s in our nature to have a propensity to remember the good moments and let the bad stuff fade (whaddup Faded Affect Bias!) but I’m sure seeing all of those highlight reels makes some people feel as though their year / achievements are lacking. I love to get introspective about my year, but it’s more effective for me to look back at my own journey without the visions of everyone else’s dancing in my head.
THAT SAID, I miss everyone! I miss many of the faces and spaces I’ve come to love on the app and I really miss the spaces that help me learn and grow and sharing the books I read. I try to be mindful about my follows, so I’m missing the exposure to new recipes, budget DIY inspiration, social justice reminders, and familiar faces that add to my life and genuinely propel me to try to be a better person.
But the break from absolute and constant overwhelm is really nice, too. Clearly I am still figuring it out.