Episode 073: Your Holiday Probably Won't Be Perfect
We are quickly approaching Christmas, and it probably feels like the pressure is on. And we all want it to be magical and wonderful for our kids and ourselves, but that can add more stress.
In this episode, Diana offers some advice on handling holiday stress and letting go of perfection.
We’ll also discuss:
- Diana shares her own holiday experiences
- Learning to embrace the unexpected during chaotic holidays
- Cherishing time with family
What can you expect from this podcast and future episodes?
- 15-20 minute episodes to help you tackle your to-do list
- How to declutter in an effective and efficient way
- Guest interviews
- Deep dives on specific topics
This transcript is auto-generated. Please excuse grammatical errors.
You're listening to the Decluttered Mom podcast, a podcast built specifically for busy moms by a busy mom. I'm your host, Diana Rene, and in 2017, I had my second daughter and it felt like I was literally drowning in my home Okay, not literally, but I felt like I couldn't breathe with all of the stuff surrounding me. Over the next 10 months, I got rid of approximately 70% of our household belongings and I have never looked back. I kind of feel like I hacked the mom system and I'm here to share all the tips, tricks and encouragement. Let's listen to today's show.
Welcome to this episode of the decluttered mom podcast. It is Tuesday, December 19th, and so we are quickly approaching Christmas. If you celebrate Christmas, and there are a couple of things I wanted to talk about just as we get really close to the holidays, and the number one thing I want to talk about is that your Christmas is probably not going to go as planned, especially if you have kids, and that's okay. It's okay. I think that we really put so much pressure on ourselves as moms to make sure that everything is magical and perfect and nobody's stressed and nobody gets in arguments and there's no tension and nobody spills anything, and we just we set these unrealistic expectations, I think partially because we just want it to be wonderful, we want it to be magical, we want to have an experience that you will always remember and you want your kids to have these experiences that they will always remember. And so I think that we put so much undue pressure on ourselves that we end up just stressing ourselves out.
And so, a few years ago, I remember specifically a Thanksgiving where it was when I was still feeling like I had to make everything go perfectly and things didn't go perfect. We had an issue with the ham that we had ordered from Honey Baked Ham, and we ended up not getting the ham, and so we had to figure out last minute what to do for the main dish of our Christmas meal. I could not tell you. If you like could hand me $2 million. I could not tell you what it was about, but my husband and I got into an argument. Like the day of Thanksgiving my youngest fell down and hurt herself, and then my oldest started saying that her stomach hurt and she wasn't feeling good. And I you guys, I just remember sitting down to the table at Thanksgiving and being like this sucks, like this is not what I expected of today and I'm really frustrated and I'm in a grumpy mood and nothing went as planned and like I just remember feeling like it was ruined and I was so upset and I would never be able to go back and fix this and it just was not enjoyable. It definitely wasn't magical, but it wasn't even enjoyable, I don't think, for anyone. I think because I was then so stressed out that I was in a crappy mood and it just wasn't good for anyone. And so I remember then, you know, with Thanksgiving and Christmas so close that year, going into Christmas and just being like you know what Things are gonna happen and it's gonna be okay and maybe if I just expect not everything to go right, maybe I'll be able to handle it better, right, and so, like we went into Christmas and of course things went wrong, because we're human and we're juggling a lot of things and we can't control everything in all of our human lives, right, and so things did go wrong. But I do remember just feeling so much more at peace and just feeling like, like I just was in a better mood overall throughout the Christmas season and through, like during actual Christmas Eve and Christmas day. I just had a different attitude about it and it showed. It showed for myself, it showed for my kids, it showed for my spouse. It just felt better. And so now that's something that, going into any holiday, I try to remind myself.
Last Christmas, you guys, I was so sick. I had strep throat which I had not had for like 20 years. I got strep throat a lot as a kid, but since I was like maybe 12 or 13, I like haven't had strep throat. And my kid's school I don't know what happened, but strep was like so bad at my kid's school that, like everyone was getting it multiple times throughout last winter, like my, one of my girls got it three times and one of my girls got it twice, and I got it twice. And so the first time I got it last winter was two days before Christmas. And then by Christmas Eve I was so sick that I had to go to the doctor and they had to give me antibiotic injections because they were like you're so sick that oral antibiotics are not going to work fast enough, so it's either like, take these injections or you're probably going to have to go to the hospital. And I was like I will take the injections, but that's how sick I was. Like I could barely I could barely function or even sit up. So that was Christmas Eve, so that was fun, and we were supposed to have family over and host and that did not happen. We did not have anyone over. Obviously, I was really sick. One of my daughters also had strep, but she was like on the mend at that point and so we basically like nothing went as planned. I did learn my lesson last year.
I always it's been like a tradition Okay, I'm going on tangents, but if you've listened to me for any period of time, you know that's just who I am so it's become like a tradition for my husband and I to wrap all the gifts on Christmas Eve. And it's been like a fun thing because we, what we put on, it's a wonderful life and I have specific like holiday appetizers that I make just for that evening and we have all the beautiful Christmas lights on and like it's just like this this time that we both look forward to every year. But here's, here's the problem. It's the night before Christmas and if anything goes wrong, then suddenly we have all of these gifts that still need to be wrapped, which we discovered last year, like we've never had an issue before and so we've just carried on that tradition. But last year it was like an oh crap moment because I was so sick I couldn't even get like, I couldn't even sit up, much less wrap anything. So he had to do it and he had to do all of it by himself and he isn't he does not love wrapping like. He's usually the one like handing me the tape while I'm wrapping, because I enjoy wrapping gifts and he hates wrapping gifts. I feel like there's always one or the other in any marriage. So he had to do all of that himself and it took him forever and it clearly did not. You know, I don't believe it, but it did not put him in the holiday mood and it's just. It was rough.
The next day we just like stayed home and we tried as much as possible to do things as normally as we could, without extended family, just like at home. But it was not like it was not a perfect Christmas. And that's okay. You know why? Because I am at the point in my life where I think if you just if you have kids, I just don't think there is a thing as a perfect Christmas. I think, like if we can redefine what perfect looks like, and maybe that just means to us that we're together and we're able to give to each other, whether that be gifts or our time.
And you guys, we this year, one of my girls and I were so sick with the flu for Thanksgiving so we, like we 100% miss Thanksgiving. We did not even attempt to try and like make it feel normal, because number one like Thanksgiving is not it's not anybody's like favorite holiday in our house, but number two, I was just I was so sick, and so was my daughter, that my husband went and got leftovers from his parents house and like him and my other daughter ate those the table together. But that was it. Like my miss nine and I were so sick that we just did. We didn't even have an appetite, so we didn't even eat anything. So like I think it's just these times where think like nothing has gone right has reminded me that like that's not the point of the holidays. The point of the holidays is just to be together and if things don't go as planned, it's okay. If we don't make it to zoo lights one year, even though that's a tradition of ours, it's okay, everything's going to be okay and our kids are not going to be upset with us when they're adults that we missed to do lights one year because of something that happened, you know.
And anytime I start to feel like like like I'm really messing up this mom thing, I like to think about my own childhood as far as, like I don't really like there are, so I just when it comes to like the holidays, for example, there's so few things I actually remember, like I remember the feeling of it, and there are like a couple of like visual, like photographic memories I have of it. Like I specifically remember one Christmas when my aunt and uncle and my cousins walked into our house because they only came every four or five years because they lived in New York they lived far away from the rest of us in Michigan and for whatever reason, like I can like picture my uncle walking through the door with his hat on and his coat and like hearing him say Merry Christmas and like. So I remember that I don't remember every single gift I've gotten and whether or not it was exactly what I wanted each year, and I don't remember if my mom ever messed up Christmas dinner. Like I just I don't remember those things and so I think that helps me also to give myself grace. Going into any big holiday like this, it's it just doesn't matter. So I hope, I hope to give you some comfort and hope in that too, like as you're. Like, I'm not saying like throw your hands in the air and give up, but I just think that when we are stressing ourselves out over the season, and especially like the actual holidays, it can actually backfire and put us into a worse mood and make it harder for us to feel like we're in the magical spirit, versus just going into it, knowing things are probably not going to go as planned 100% of the time and that's okay.
Okay, I was going to go into another topic. I think I'm going to save that for next week because I think this topic deserves its own episode that I just think we need to leave it here and leave it on this note going into this week. I just want to say that you're doing a great job and if nobody else is saying that to you right now, I'm saying it to you. I know that if you are someone who is listening to a podcast to better your life and better the life for your family, that you are the type of person that is doing a great job, and so I just want to say that to you going into this week. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season, no matter what you celebrate, and we will see you next week.
Thanks for hanging out and listening to the decluttered mom podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, it would mean the world if you could write a review or share this episode with a friend or your Instagram stories, and if you're on Instagram, be sure to follow me at thedeclutteredmom and send me a DM to say hi. I'd love to hear what you thought about today's episode. I hope you'll come back next week and hang out with us again.