Friday, December 16, 2011

Don't I Deserve a Medal For This?

Earlier I wrote about my slightly bah humbug attitude this year. I was feeling down for a lot of reasons, and just generally bland about Christmas. Tonight there was a Christmas event at church that I've been taking the kids to for the past few years called Journey to Bethlehem. It's a neat way of teaching the kids the story of Jesus' birth. They decorate the halls and classrooms (there used to be a school at our church) to look like biblical scenes. A guide walks guests from room to room. In each room there are actors dressed in costume playing out the various scenes. The first one portrays Mary and Joseph as they find out about Jesus' impending birth. In the second room, a scary "Roman" dude tells everyone that under Caesar's rule they are required to register in the town of their grandfathers' birth, no matter how far away - and even with a pregnant wife. A woman in the third room tries to help guests find an inn to spend the night in during their journey. And in the fourth room is the stable with Mary and Joseph and the newborn Jesus. The props are pretty elaborate, and everyone does a great job with it. It's obvious that a lot of work goes into the whole thing. When the journey is over, there are cookies and punch and little craft projects in the gym. And of course bleachers for two-year olds to climb on and give their mothers heart attacks.

The kids look forward to it, which makes me happy because it's a nice (and free) non-commercialized Christmasy thing to do. A couple extra kids went with us, which made it more fun for the kids. And I was starting to feel a little more festive, a little more in the holiday spirit.

And then we went home, and the friends went home, and it was bedtime. I went upstairs to tuck my kids in. Let me just mention that my bedroom is not upstairs, it's the only bedroom on the first floor. So I don't spend a whole lot of time upstairs. As I approached the top of the steps, I was instantaneously annoyed by the mess I encountered. I'll spare you the details but UGH. I forgot my "sad, not mad" mantra and lost my temper. My kids got to hear their mother yelling right before bed. And I hate that. Lucy is sensitive, she was crying. I apologized for losing my temper, and got Lucy calmed down. But I feel *this* big right now (which is equal to about three quarters of an inch). That little bit of Christmas cheer I was starting to feel has fizzled and died.

Then I came downstairs and looked at my disaster area of a house which I have spent an absurd amount of time cleaning in the past week. How do I find the joy in this? The never ending battle against laundry, toys, vacuuming, dishes and everything else is bringing me down. Because no matter how much time I spend cleaning and straightening, it just keeps getting messed up. Over and over and over and over again. I know that's life, but it sort of makes me feel like I'm going to start hyperventilating because it's a claustrophobic feeling.

Somebody just give me my medal now and get it over with, please. You know, the one that says "Worst Mother in the Universe."


ThurberGang said...

You don't deserve the worst mother award - not even close... besides, those extra kids that came with you should have helped clean up the mess. It's really rude that they didn't. Maybe it's *their* mother that deserves that award for not ensuring her kids clean up after themselves. That's something that drives me nuts!!!

So sorry, I hope that your Christmas spirit will arrive soon, and with gusto!

(And, the rest of the house - - I wonder the same thing every day. *HOW* do I spend so much time cleaning when it still looks the way it does... maybe if the kids never came home from school....)

Tracy Balderach said...

You know what the moral of the story is? Next year, two years, 5 years from now when your kids think back to the night you went to the Christmas show at that church, they will only remember what a fun and exciting time it was to attend it with their friends. The yelling before bedtime (and we've ALL done it) won't even register in their memory. You are starting a tradition that your kids will remember and that is a pretty cool one (I wish there was something like that in NYC)- as far as the mess- and I term it, "the bomb that went off in my house"- when you come up with the solution on how to keep it all clean and organized, after countless hours of cleaning, pass it on! I get down over the same routine of chores over and over again....and I think every other Momma out there does too- My girlfriend just hosted a "Christmas work party" for her Momtourage because being a Momma is WORK! :) Thought and prayers that you can feel the spirit of Christmas soon- xoxo