I’ve been looking at all the Christmassy posts firing up on my social media and already I’m starting to feel like a total mum fail. I’m not going to lie, I’ve seriously toyed with the idea of doing the Elf on the shelf thing, but talked myself out of it at the 11th hour on the grounds that my 3-year-old is oblivious, and do I actually need any added pressure in my life right now? (the answer is no, no I do NOT need anything more to do right now.)
I have a good few years ahead of me where I will have to do these things, so if I can put it off for one more year then that’s a no-brainer, throw in the fact that he’s not here for a couple of weekends as he visits his dad, and my imagination couldn’t even begin to stretch to how I’d get around that obstacle.
So it got me thinking, am I right in trying to minimise stress at this time of year or is it part of the parcel? Am I total Rubbish Mum Scrooge?
I’m usually quite a level-headed person, don’t get me wrong, there are occasions where I lose the plot and things get the better of me. Like trying to get out the door in the morning, even 17 years on, I’ve not cracked the parenting code of the pressure to get out in an orderly manner. And ex-husbands, don’t even go there! But 90% of the time I’m total ‘what ev’s.’ But this morning, while chatting with my mum about how ace my sister and cousin are at doing the whole parenting thing, I found I had to justify my whole approach to the festive season.
Arguing with my husband over whose turn it is to move the Elf is what this season is really about.
— Mommy Owl (@Lhlodder) December 2, 2017
Not wanting to throw the whole single mum card around too much, but it’s hard sometimes not having a backup person to remind you to move the bloomin’ Elf. I also know, had I chose to go along with thinking up new and exciting ways for our Elf to tantalise the toddler each night, that pretty soon the novelty would wear off and I’d resent him. That by week 2 I would wake regularly in the early hours of the morning in total panic as I’d forgotten all about him, and anyway, I rarely get enough sleep as it is. So if my current health aim is getting a good nights sleep it is bonkers that I’m even considering introducing something into my life which will make it worse. Right?
It’s not that I think it’s a bad thing, kudos to all the parents who are doing it right now. And please do keep sharing on social media as I’m making a mental note of ideas for next year. But this parent, the one who’s already staring at a long list of to-do’s of present buying, wrapping, Christmas events, card writing, putting up decorations and wondering how the chuff she’s going to get everything done before the big day is here, while working and adulting. Then sheesh, I need to cut myself some slack and face facts, there simply is no room in my life for an elf this year.
But for those of you who are wondering, what has happened to the Elf, who is yet to be named. He is here, busy keeping guard of all the badly hidden presents on top of my wardrobe.