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The Christmas Comedown

The Christmas Comedown, otherwise known as post holiday dysfunction at my home. I wrote about something similar last year and called that post The After Christmas Crash. I must not be alone in this aftermath effect of the hustle and bustle that leaves us feeling a bit like a deflated balloon after a party. Obviously, it is a reoccurring event that now I must find my way through each year.

Post Holiday Dysfunction

This is not a diagnosis in the DSM or even an actual medical term in any way. Its just my description of the feeling that comes after being hyped on Christmas cheer, chaos, and anxiety for weeks and then suddenly the crash happens. We are no longer amped up with this adrenaline, increased serotonin, or oxytocin that our bodies have produced to get us to Christmas day. The side effects of our bodies not producing the same amount of chemicals that our crazy Christmas countdown did leave us feeling in a slump.

The hustle bustle of the holiday season is what keeps us going. The days right before we are overstimulated and overwhelmed with all of our to-do lists. However, the days after, it’s almost like we are missing something. In my opinion, we are. We are lacking those stress responses that keep us energized enough to wrap 27 gifts in the early morning hours. We know longer have the alarm bells of moving elves, finding that last minute deal, or scheduling the seven Christmas visits we need to make.

Substitution or Satisfaction

As a mom, I know, there is always the next thing to start doing. Eventually, a new problem to solve will arise or a child will have something else for us to figure out. The slump of emptiness and unmotivated restlessness will fade away probably sooner than we realize. In the meantime, we are forced to find a way to either substitute the lack of endorphins or find a way to be satisfied with the slower pace.

Substitution

I will be the first to admit that relaxing and just allowing things to settle isn’t my strong suit. I wish it was. I’d love to be more like my husband who can find peace in a TV remote and a comfortable bed. For me, I’m looking for the next thing I need to do.

I don’t just relax very often. I feel restless, stagnant and pretty irritated when there is nothing to do. I can also admit that although I don’t want to get out, I want to not sit still. I don’t want to clean my house, but I want some tasks to do. I’m not sure that makes sense. However, I think that is me thinking that doing nothing is equal to laziness. I know there are many things I could do, but I am just looking to procrastinate those as I wait for the motivational push to actually get them done. That usually only comes with those stress chemicals our brains release when our back is against the wall.

Instead of relaxing into the moment, I overthink myself into this ball of stress and irritation. I find the fight instead of just allowing the battles won to be celebrated. I look for the substitution in order to get the fix of adrenaline and endorphins that my body became accustom to receiving during the stressful holiday season.

Satisfaction

Contentment is one of those things I long for, but to be honest, it also sounds boring. I want a lot, I expect a lot, and I do a lot to try to get what I want. However, I do want to learn to be present and just enjoy the now. I don’t want to plan out the next 5 years daily nor make lists of all the things I need to accomplish. I don’t want to plan for unlikely hypothetical situations or assume the worst. Hello anxiety. I want to be able to just be. No strings attached. Unfortunately, this is a skill that has been elusive to me for years.

I should be counting my blessings, celebrating my wins for this year, and enjoying some time where the kids all are happy and content playing with their new gifts and gadgets. How do I curtail this Christmas Comedown and post holiday dysfunction?

Combatting Christmas Comedown

You guessed it. My own concoction of how to combat this Christmas Comedown.

  • Take some time to do something for yourself.
    • Meditate
    • Buy yourself a gift
    • Read, write, or take a nap.
  • Enjoy time with family
  • Accomplish a to-do you’ve been putting off.
  • Get out of the house for fun instead of out of necessity.
  • Celebrate your wins.
  • Go on a date.
  • Exercise.
  • Meet up with a friend.
  • Have a dance party or scaryeoke.

The short and long of it is to do something fun both for yourself and with others. Enjoy your holiday successes or just celebrate that you survived another Christmas! Either way, it’s done and we have nearly a whole year before we have to be all Christmas Carol, the elf moving, Christmas magic making, PTO participating, merry and bright decking the halls Santa’s helpers again. Count your blessings. As always, we’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Shaking Off the Scrooge

It’s Christmas! For some it’s all falalala and a partridge in a pear tree. However, for others it’s anxiety, insecurity, and mood swings that are on full display. You guessed it, I fall on the latter side of the spectrum. Even so, I’m shaking off my scrooge and trying to be all merry and bright.

100% THAT Grinch

Let’s be clear, I don’t have the answers. Its honestly a bit hypocritical for me to even write this post considering my own inner scrooge has been showing up more so here lately than I had anticipated. It’s Christmas eve and I slept until noon and still haven’t taken my non Christmas pajamas off or finished my last minute errands. Yes I’m a 100% that grinch today. However, I have a plan to shake off the scrooge so I’m going to share it and hope it may help someone else do the same.

Yes, I know, the Christmas lists aren’t getting shorter or cheaper. Nor will your house clean itself. The elf on the damn shelf is still a priority. The money isn’t growing on the Christmas tree. Additionally, auntie is still going to be continuing her diatribe on how you eat, parent, and/or your spouse. So we have every right to be the bah humbug b!tches we become. The question stands, how do we make Christmas magic without the mayhem?

Shaking Off the Scrooge

Shake it off. It’s easier said than done! That’s the damn truth! There are Christmas lists that are miles long and the shopping that is endless. Add schedule changes, traveling, anxiety, and the debts you’ll be paying off until next Christmas. Obviously, we can’t forget dear auntie Gertrude picking that moment to tell you exactly how many calories are in the chocolate cupcake just as you’re stuffing your face. It’s no wonder we are 100% that grinch come Christmas morning.

The Anti-Scrooge Assignment

  • Take time for yourself. Pause. Take a breath. Meditate. It will ALL get done and they will ALL be just as happy and excited as they are every other year.
  • Look at the good stuff you’ve done! The tree is probably up, right? You’ve bought gifts. You’re going to get them wrapped or just say Santa got caught in an icestorm so he doesn’t wrap when that happens! You’ve accomplished so much more than you’ve given yourself credit for.
  • Take your time and delegate out the projects you are working on. Older kids can help out. Your significant other is able to do some running. If your single mommin this Christmas then let door dash be the baby daddy and help with delivering last minute items!
  • Be flexible. You know your plan, but no one else really does. It’s most likely not going to work out according to what you thought. Its OK! Roll with it!
  • Have a drink! It’s Christmas! I am not saying get sloshed and say screw the rest of it, but you can relax!
  • Let those kids have your presence. They don’t expect Mrs. Claus as a mom! They expect their mom to be exactly the person you always are.
  • Make lists. Chunk it up. And get it DONE. Put a stop time on your preparation and whatever is left over is just that.
  • Eat. The. Damn. Cookies. I’m awful about getting so busy with stuff that I forget I need food. Hangry is grinchy. Diets are for new years NOT Christmas.
  • Debt is not how you want to start 2023. Don’t make magic out of money you don’t have. I have $22 to my name and a truck on its final leg. Guess what? I am not about to open a credit card for stocking stuffers and crap my kids won’t even like next year. I’ll be a bargain shopping baddie and coupon my way to payday. It’s not worth stressing out my future self for today’s wants.
  • Finally, have a Merry freaking Christmas! This the freaking season!!! Remember it’s your Christmas too! Don’t make about everyone else so much you forget you matter too.

Christmas Magic

I LOVE Christmas! I really do. I have fond memories growing up of beautiful decorations, presents galore, and family gatherings. I took for granted those days. I wish I had known then how much work it took to make Christmas magic. I probably would’ve been a hell of a lot nicer to my mom!

One day, you’ll be appreciated for making Christmas magic even amongst the struggles. They’ll remember these days fondly. All of the Christmas headaches will be worth their smiles and eyes lighting up. Don’t forget to breathe. Be present and don’t just give presents! Mommin’ ain’t easy, but you’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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What I Wish My Kids Knew Now

What I wish my kids knew? Phew. A LOADED question for most moms, I think. Mommin’ ain’t easy and my crazy train is on the bipolar express, which makes our lives extra complicated. I’ve got a list, so I figured I share it with my tribe. Ready or not. Here are all the things I wish my kids knew about me, their momma.

My Wishlist

  1. I’m only human. I make mistakes. I mess up. I forget important stuff. I lose track of time. I am just a regular person who is imperfect like they are.
  2. I am inspired, motivated, and intrigued by them. I am in awe of the masterpieces of these little creations.
  3. They hurt my feelings. The mean words, the hurtful actions, or disrespectful behavior genuinely hurts me. They cut me the deepest.
  4. I want to protect them. Sometimes from others, but sometimes from themselves. I hurt when they hurt.
  5. I cry for them, I worry for them, and I obsess over every single decision that will affect them.
  6. All of them are my favorite. Some days it’s my oldest, other days my middle or my youngest. Some days it’s all three. They all hung the moon in my eyes, so there are no trophies for “favorite”.
  7. They make me better. I wouldn’t be who I am without them, individually or collectively. They have changed me in ways they will never recognize.
  8. They’ve saved my life more times than I can count. I struggle with mental illness and I admit I have had many times where I wanted to give up. I’ve always fought through because of them.
  9. I have trauma, too. I have a messy and complicated history. I’m damaged, broken, and haunted by my past. My struggle is just as difficult for me, however, I’m healing.
  10. My life doesn’t revolve around being a mom. I am more than just that title. It’s not always about them. It can’t be.
  11. My frustration is not their burden to carry.
  12. Being the primary parent who is responsible for every aspect of three human lives is extremely difficult. I may not be “single”, but I am the main source of support emotionally, financially and physically.
  13. I pray everyday for them.
  14. I believe in them more than they will ever know. I don’t want to see them struggle. I try to ease that struggle each day.
  15. I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be right there for every moment until the day I die. Beyond that…it will be in the music.
  16. I always love them, but sometimes I really don’t like them.
  17. I’m sorry for every minute of pain, hurt, trauma, and horror they ever lived. My mom guilt is heavy, and I swear to never allow them to experience any more of that pain.

In My Feelings

I’m not crying! You’re crying! Shut up. <sniffle> Don’t look at me! My experience, their lives, and our family gets me in my feelings sometimes. Not to mention, this momma is exhausted in every way imaginable. Between hospital admissions for 2 and now 3. To the new baby on the way. My vehicle deciding that she has had enough of us, and working all the damn time, it gets very hard.

One day, when these babies have babies they’ll get that we weren’t joking when we said mommin’ ain’t easy! I’m sure you have a few to add to the list! Feel free to share your thoughts on what I missed or missed the mark on! In the meantime, we’ve got this, all of us! Because, that’s what we do! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Summer Break? Part 1

I’m only a week overdue for posting the update I promised! Summer has come and nearly gone, but the moms out there trying to mom mental illness, mom it solo or even semi-solo, mom through it all, no matter what. We’ll ALL moms know breaks are for everyone else, but you rarely catch one. For me breaks are few and far between. Sometimes, you would consider a psychotic break comforting. After all, it means disassociation, detachment from reality, some sleep, and three meals per day where YOU didn’t have to think about it. Then there is that whole meds, people wondering when the next episode is, and everything that would be left undone. Nope, not worth it!

Summer Breakdown?

I am proud to say that, no, my threefold and I, nor ‘E’ or my bonus kid have suffered from any major breakdown nor has there been setbacks. That’s right! It’s been a rough summer for my threefold. More difficult than I had hoped for, however they have progressed in ways I never thought I would see. I couldn’t be more proud and relieved to know that we hit a very bad time, but we were able to see it through to a path that didn’t involve inpatient or injury to self, property or some major crisis. However, that hard time was the closure of a chapter for all.

Summer Bucketlist

I wanted a Disney movie wonderful summer of family fun and kids enjoying marking items off of bucket lists. I wanted us to enjoy our lives after I had watched my aunt bury 2 of her sons at 33 and 29, my cousins, 2/3 brothers, the kids I grew up with and people who hadn’t even had the chance to have their own family yet. We needed to remember that while we still have life. We needed to live it.

I wanted my threefold and I to spend some quality time together without the stress of the previous school year. I needed to have those memories and I thought that’s what they needed too. I had hoped for vacation time and for all of my family to reconnect on a level that said “this is the good life.” As a response, life said my plans were not the same as life’s. Apparently we needed something else to overcome. {eye roll}

Summer Broke

This summer was hell and I don’t mean just the heat, these demon bugs we call mosquitoes, or the fires that were sparked by my anger, anxiety or my agitated mood. I had too much going on and my focus was not in the home. It was definitely not on me. It was not on ‘E’. BOTH of our vehicles broke down. Financially we were still trying to recover from February and March’s medical bills of the over 10 weeks of inpatient and partial hospitalization we have already had between #2 and #3 of my threefold this year. Not to mention the 17 weeks we were still working on from the previous. As it always seemed to be we were struggling.

I was stressed to the point I wanted to snap. I was impatient with my threefold, sitting and scheduling my life away from them while home, and so out of my depths. My focus was frazzled, fried, and finally furious at the circumstances I was in. I felt I was being oblivious to an obvious problem, overworked, overwhelmed, overlooked and finally I was OVER IT!

Summer Burn

I was ready to say “I’m done!” As my workload increased to that of a person expected to wear every hat of each position like a seasoned executive who wrote the rule book. I was trying to do the job of my superior, my support staff, be my own assistant, trainer, lead designer, sales superstar, the best, and I suddenly hit a wall. I decided to resign.

I had a staff who was overworked and overwhelmed. I had great people. In addition, they were trying to help . I asked myself why was this becoming such a nightmare. and it hit me. I was trying to save a boat that was sinking and everyone was about to jump ship. Why?

We have had high turnover for a minute now. My people didn’t quit. They grinder it out. They liked me…right? Well, I am likable, funny, driven, and have the memory of a person that will never forget about things that are really important. I’m just trying to hard or doing something wrong. I was trying to make people happy. It wasn’t the job. It wasn’t even me. It was the chaos that had come over the castle. I was merely coordinating chaos, and not correcting the issues causing it. Maybe, if I resigned it would be the white flag of surender saying I can’t manage the mess.

Summer School

My fairytale summer was shattered with my DIY crash course that I called “combat training”. I was battling the war at work and not only just promoted to a role as assistant manager in March, but I hadn’t been trained on how the processes to correctly handle the job. I had no idea that I was making things worse by constantly covering for my missing commander and chief. My loyalty and love for him and my livelihood depended on me finding the fix to any problem and showing my people I was the company woman who could handle anything. Even if I was I second guessing my every move. I knew my confidence would see us to calmer coexistence we all needed. I lied.

Summer Cold

My stress was making me sick. I had lost another ten pounds. I was not eating, not sleeping well as my mind raced at night wondering what did you forget. In addition, my usual routines all halted. Self care was non existent and my tolerance for other people’s problems went to the bottom of the list. However, I kept pushing. Something was going to have to give.

I decided to part ways. I was ready to resign. It was obvious that I was allowing yet another person take advantage of me. I wanted to give back what I was given, but I was becoming someone I didn’t like. I was becoming an angry person who hated coming to work because I was going to have another day of covering for someone else I cared for, covering for the man lying to everyone, and someone refusing to admit there was a problem. I was watching my past repeat in a work environment. I couldn’t allow myself to be broken and to become cold living in a hell I could escape from. I needed to stop the insanity. I was at peace with that.

Summer Escape

I had come to terms with my decision and turned in my resignation letter with a final lie. My lie said I had found employment that would allow me to be home more and present for my threefold. It is the only lie I felt believable enough that they wouldn’t put up the fight for me to stay. My tears had poured out of me writing that letter. I was devastated that it was a chapter that I never thought would end. At least until I funded my life as a freelance writer, designer, marketing guru, Facebook money mogul in the blogosphere of moms or whatever other dream that will one day create independence from a standard 8-5 job.

I loved this job. It was my break from my personal issues outside of there. I am awesome at this job. I am too good, actually. I am overqualified and I’m beyond grateful for that. I loved everything about my job. That was until I took the place of the man who walked out of this position before me. Red flag, maybe, but I saw my opportunity to step up. In that opportunity I sacrificed the thing I said I would not overlook again with a promise of more and a hope for the future we deserve. My threefold.

Summer Stolen

I had worked my butt off, literally, for this company. I felt I owed them after they moved mountains for me last summer to make it where I could be a mom and also have the place I could put that part away just for a bit and do something I loved. I was ashamed of my behavior. I was saying we needed more money than my own family needed me. A struggle any single mom knows.

Instead of staying with #2 at the hospital and going to the inpatient facility where I was needing to admit her again, I left her room in tears as she said “mom, it’s ok, you can go. You have to.” Did I? Well I needed to be in two places actually three, but I needed to not lose a promotion due to my personal life, because money had to become a larger factor.

We all need this to happen. I convinced myself I was doing the right thing. I know now she will always tell me what she thinks I need to hear in moments she thinks could be a burden. I was just blinded by a loyalty to a person who would use me and then replace me to save themself but I had no idea. As I was leaving I thought if I don’t get this promotion this will be enough to make me leave. I’m sacrificing more than I ever would, but hoped it would be better if I could have more control of the chaos. I could calm it as I could change the climate and bring the commander of my crew back.

Summer Storms

I got the promotion. The promises of change once our mid year inventory was over and the crisis at work calming down were as empty as any promise before. After deciding not to get blindsided by the brother who was thriving at this company, the man I fell in love with at this company and a few coworkers who had weathered this long hard season with me I was ready to make the move. My boss put up no fight or said any words of why I should stay. Instead, I was left thinking maybe he wanted me to leave. It was easy and unemotional. I was a mess about this, but me maybe I was just “replaceable”. I promised to help the next person as much as I could before the end of my notice in two weeks and was relieved. July would be the month that made our family reconnect and we could have some real quality time as a family. Again another storm brewed and I wouldn’t allow us to chase it anymore.

Summer Breakthrough

Little did I realize it was only the end of June and the chaos was fixing to get uncovered and everything was about blow up. I couldn’t have a summer break, I couldn’t afford a summer breakdown, we weren’t going to get a summer vacation that involved connecting and making the good memories of a life we were building and we had sacrificed for. This wouldn’t be the summer we deserved. It would be the summer that I found a way to breakthrough our barriers. It was the beginning of the new life. First we just needed to commit to weathering this summer storm and that was hitting us right at home.

TO BE CONTINUED….

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Motherless on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day. Mother’s day is bittersweet for me. I dread it every year, along with a few other choice dates that have very little significance to others. My mom passed away fourteen years ago. Every year, I am just as sad as I was that first Mother’s Day. Although, I have my threefold to celebrate with me on Mother’s Day, it’s just not the same anymore. I’m motherless on Mother’s Day, but I shouldn’t be.

I have so many regrets and at the same time, I feel cheated out of so much time. We should still have plenty of years left to spend with my mom. I was just at the beginning of this journey when I lost my mom. I never knew that losing a parent would leave me so lost too.

Wherever you go mom goes

Gone Too Soon

My mother passed away at 48 years old, suddenly and completely unexpectedly. She left behind a family who would cling tight to one another in the months after her passing. However, that tight family would drift apart years later.

When my mom passed away, I was 23. I was 23, married, I had a four year old, and was 7 months pregnant with #2 of my threefold. I thought I was an adult, but honestly, I was still such a naive girl. My brother was 27, married and the dad of a two year old daughter. Then there was my dad, he was distraught, and unsure of how to be alone after losing the woman he had married over 25 years previously. We were all so incredibly lost in the aftermath of my mom’s death. In many ways, we still are.

It was too soon. It is unreal. As a result, I still to this day feel cheated due to how much my mom has missed. I still feel that sadness and pain I felt over a decade ago. Along the way, I’ve learned there is one saying that is so true: “no one on earth can ever replace your mother.”Make the memories because one day that’s all you’ll have left

The Truth About My Mother

My mother was not a saint. Although, it’s easier to glorify her now that she is gone. Furthermore, my mother and I did not have the relationship of a tv sitcome mother-daughter duo. We fought like crazy. At times, I wondered if she even liked me. In addition, I am sure that I said the words I hate you on more than one occasion. My mother and I had a love-hate relationship.That tulmultuous up and down relationship left me with many regrets and a tremendous amount of guilt after she died.

The Not So Pretty Side

My mom was never much on affection, she was overly concerned with her appearance, what others thought of her and was very much that mom. She loved shopping and other materialistic things that brought her very little joy. In addition, she was chronically depressed and anxious. She slept more than any person should ever need to and was only social if she had a few drinks. In addition, she was highly critical, petty, dramatic, and had the RBF that made you think she was pissy.

The Good Mom

On the other hand, my mother was generous. My mom opened her home to my friends in need. She often dontated to charities. She was a fierce protector of her children. She stood up to injustices and treated people with kindness. I watched her give money to the same homeless man on the corner everyday she saw him. I witnessed her pay for people’s groceries and the car behind us in the drive thru. She had so much good. She loved animals.

My mom wasn’t perfect, but I know she tried. However, I know my mother suffered from mental illness. I understand it much more now, than I ever could back then. As a result, that mental illness is one of the things that killed my mother and stole all of my time with her. If we would’ve known, we would’ve helped her before it was too late.Mother’s Day without your mom

Life Goes On

I vividly remember those days after my mother’s death. Everything felt surreal. It seemed as if I was moving in slow motion. However, everyone around me was still moving at normal speed. It was like a nightmare that I was just waiting to wake up from, but never did. I wanted her back. I needed her. The truth is, I didn’t even know how much I would need her.

After her death, I couldn’t help but selfishly think about all the many moments I would need my mom and not have her by my side. I didn’t know at the time just how many of those days there would be ahead of me. Furthermore, I didn’t think about the many, many milestones she would miss in my life and the lives of her now five beautiful grandchildren. Although, each time we come across one of those milestones, I still find myself aching for her to be there with us.Mom is doing her best

Memories

Memories and old pictures are all we have left now of my mother. I hold tight to those. It’s not fair. Although, it’s not easy finding the way forward, somehow we keep going. It’s not easy being motherless on Mother’s Day. There is a piece of me that died when my mother did. However, I’m still not sure what piece I lost when we lost her.

I took the time I had with my mom before she died for granted. If I can offer one piece of advice it would be if your mother is still in your life make the call, go visit, send the flowers, and show her all the love and appreciation you have for her. After all, she won’t always be here and one day you’ll wonder if she knew how special she was to you. In the end, all you’ll have are the memories you made.

Happy Mother’s Day. ☮️❤️😊~M

Motherless Mother’s Day

Make me a happy mother and follow along on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest! It’s fine you can push all my button just like my kids do! I’m totally used to it! Support a mother and buy some merch from the stuff~n-~things shop 😂❤️~M