Life is stressful; we’re all under pressure of some sort.
Sometimes I lie awake at night thinking about all of the things that need my attention: my kids, my husband, my job, my home, my family, my friends (when’s the last time I’ve seen my friends?!) and it all piles up. And, then, there’s me! I need to take care of myself, too!
As my kids are getting older, I’m finding that life gets a little easier to manage. I’m also able to prioritize who and what gets my attention first. As my kids get older, I’m also finding that time really does pass by quickly. I know that’s cliché, but I feel like I’m in the sweet spot of their lives right now. 6, 4, and 2. Still young, but old enough to be really fun!
I’m going to admit something here. For most of my life, I’ve been a bit cynical when it comes to holidays. I don’t dress up for Halloween, I don’t turn on the Christmas carols on November 1, we’re not baking cookies or going caroling, and I’m really a bit of a Grinch. I tell everyone that my favorite day of the year is December 26, and I’m serious about it even though I might laugh when I say it.
When I think about it, my cynicism comes from feeling out of control and overwhelmed, and I’m NOT going to be THAT person anymore. We only have a few years in the sweet spot. These sweet spot years are the years that my kids want to go trick or treating as a family instead of with friends when they pick out cute costumes, think it’s funny that Mommy wore a witch hat to school and like carving pumpkins. It’s the years that all of them believe in Santa and get excited about matching family pajamas! (Sorry, husband, but we ARE doing this!). It’s the years where we can hear them whispering about where the elves might be hidden and love spreading reindeer food throughout the yard on Christmas Eve.
What will I do from now on? We’ll see Santa and Mrs. Claus a bunch of times. We’ll make Christmas lists, we’ll bake and decorate cookies, we’ll have three elves, and we’ll watch Christmas movies as often as we can. We’ll spread kindness by delivering holiday treats to our friends. We’ll donate food and toys. We’ll blast Christmas carols in the car, drive around looking at Christmas lights, and we’ll rock our matching family pajamas!
What won’t I do? I won’t let other people stress me out, and I won’t roll my eyes if your Christmas tree is up before Thanksgiving. I won’t get annoyed by the Christmas music in the stores, and I won’t complain about how expensive Christmas is because I am fortunate enough to have an awesome family to celebrate with. I won’t compare my holiday magic with anyone else’s because I know I’m doing my best. I won’t be bothered by the traffic or grouchy shoppers, either!
Truth be told, I don’t want these sweet spot years to ever end, but I’m a realist, and I know they will. I can make memories, though. I can carry on traditions while making new ones, and I will take pictures lots of pictures, and years from now, we’ll all look back and smile.
Leanne is an inner-city high school English teacher with a Master’s degree in Special Education who was born, raised, and still lives in Stratford, CT. She married her husband, Chris, in 2012, and they have 3 children; Myles – born in 2013, Nora – 2015, and Bryce – 2017. Leanne and her family love to keep a busy schedule, and weekends are spent at the kids’ sporting events, dance classes, or with friends. When time allows, she loves to catch up with friends, watch anything on Bravo and write about her hectic life as a mom of 3!