Getting ready for Christmas

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?

Christmas, wrapping paper, 365

Author: Sarah Mummy

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14 Comments

    • Thank you, you’re very right! I’ve just remembered the presents I left at my mum’s. The ones she said ‘don’t forget those presents’. x

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  1. It will get done, even if it’s on Christmas Eve. I always find I never have to do anything in December then end up just purging everything on one day!

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    • That’s probably not a bad idea! I could do it if everyone would just go out and leave me alone for the day! And husbands don’t really need their presents WRAPPING, do they?!

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  2. I remember this well when the girls were younger… there was never any time to do anything! I always ended up snapping at the pair of them in the week before Christmas and then felt awful afterwards. One year the girls wrapped up all the presents (apart from their own, obviously) and the results were interesting, but at least it was one less thing for me to do!

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    • That sounds like a good idea! Wonder how many more years until I can get my daughter to do it? She loves wrapping presents!

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  3. I’m in the same stew… though add to that looking after baby all day and not only living without a kitchen (so nowhere to store stuff) plus project managing it! Im getting increasingly irritated as hubby goes to work comes home and does nothing to contribute to the upkeep of the house. So after a tiring day with baby and builders after school clubs and finding tea I have about an hour to sort washing, wash up, clean and answer client emails. It bugs me that I’m the sole carer for our house when I’m in fact running a bloody busy business but because I’m at home it should all be done! I spent my one free day yesterday wrapping bloody presents while clients are screaming at me. I’m looking forward to boxing day just so I can catch up on work! Something’s got to give before I crack up!

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    • Aaagh! Poor you, I am feeling your pain! It’s so hard to prioritise and sometimes it feels like circumstances make you prioritise the wrong things. I don’t envy you the kitchen stuff – because I know I’ll be going through the same thing in spring! Eek!
      Hang on in there, it’ll soon be Boxing Day!

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  4. Good tips and it’s so hard to get it all done. I wrapped mine on my day off work one day when the kids were at school and baby girl is too young to realise what they are.

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    • That sounds perfect!

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  5. Oh lovely, the joys of the WAHM juggle! I really am not relishing the days when the evenings are no longer my own because my kids stay up late – can Hubs take them out for a cinema/pizza/other to free you up for a couple of hours maybe? Good luck xx

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    • Thanks very much! I think that’s what it may come to – or I might have to go to my mum’s, which is what I ended up doing last year! x

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  6. I hate wrapping presents, and am rubbish at it so usually outsource it to hubby. I can’t believe how much stamina your kids have got, I’m on my way to bed now and it’s only 9pm!! Hope you work it all out and have a lovely Xmas Sarah xxx

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    • Thanks very much, you too! Am impressed that your hubby gets involved. Mine is better at wrapping than me, but rarely does any! My kids and their sleep times are a nightmare! x

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