It happens every year. Every year it catches me out. Every year I say next time it will be better.
Why, oh why is it so damn difficult to get ready for Christmas?
It’s no wonder I’m a grumpy cow about Christmas. Magic, where is the magic? Because when you’re a mum, I don’t see an awful lot of magic. I just see a lot of hard work. Getting ready for Christmas is pretty much a full-time job. As is parenting three kids. Plus the part-time job of keeping a house running. And the small matter of trying to work to earn a living. So that’s adding up to about three full-time jobs. For one person. In a day which consists of a mere 24 hours and a week that consists of a mere seven days. Where are those other hours supposed to come from?
Yes, I could start shopping earlier, but, actually this year I was pretty good – I had a decent shopping trip way back at the end of October. But what I can’t do is find time to wrap the damn presents, whenever I bought them.
I love my new way of life – working at home on my own and being able to take the kids to school and pick them up every day. I wouldn’t change it for the world. But there is a small downside. In the old days, life was simple. I worked for three days, then I was off work for two. On the three days I was at work, my parents took the kids to school and picked them up, they took them to their after-school activities and they gave them their tea. They even did some cleaning for me. On the other two days, I did everything for the kids and had time to do whatever housework and chores needed doing.
But it’s all different now. I take the kids to school every day, I pick them up every day, I make their meals every day and take them to their after school activities every day. While the kids are at school I work to earn money. I am also supposed to find time to do the cleaning. There are no days for kids, days for work and days for housework now. I have to fit it all into the time the kids are in school. And that time is really flipping short. If I want to make a go of my business and earn money (which I do, and it’s going pretty well), I don’t have time for shopping and wrapping (or cleaning).
Back in the day, I would take two full days of leave to buy all the presents and wrap them up. That worked well, but I don’t have that opportunity any more. Work is unpredictable and, when it comes, I need to do it.
I guess normal people might wrap their presents after their kids go to bed. My kids are notoriously bad at going to bed. There is no ‘after the kids go to bed’. My daughter often doesn’t go to sleep until nearly 10, my younger son usually goes to sleep just after 10 and my eldest is a lost cause – it’s not unusual for him to be awake at 11.30. And his bedroom is right above ours. He will hear any rustling of presents and wrapping paper.
So, in short, I’m pretty confused as to how I can fit Christmas into my life. I’m looking for the magic, really I am, but right now I’m not actually finding it. Is it just me? Am I a grumpy cow?