I’m a perfectionist. A HUGE perfectionist. To my detriment sometimes!
One of the biggest lessons I learned in my first year or so of being a mum is that perfectionism and motherhood do not go hand in hand. And if you expect to have the perfect child, an immaculate home and everything going along as you or someone else thinks it ‘should’, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and a whole world of stress.
When it comes to Christmas, us mums can get caught up in ‘keeping up with The Joneses’ (whoever the heck they are!). In the last week, I’ve seen mums on social media posting photos of their handmade gingerbread castles and personalised Christmas tree decorations that their perfect children helped them make. Meanwhile, I’m all “well today I fed my kids, kept them alive and we bought a $20 advent calendar from David Jones while my son threw a huge tantrum…” Cue the Mum guilt!
Last year was our first with our son Harry. Yep, ‘baby’s first Christmas’. A big song and dance. And I succumbed to the pressure to make it perfect. We bought WAY more gifts than a seven-month-old needs, spent days cooking (even though we only had two people coming over), and made homemade EVERYTHING to start some traditions (and burst into tears if they didn’t work out very well!).
Yes, it was all very lovely. But it was stressful. The best part of our day was actually first thing Christmas morning when we took our son out for a walk then had an early dip in the pool. It was some quiet, simple family time, just the three of us, and so special. Then the madness began. The rest of the day I ran around trying to make sure everything went to plan. I was hot, bothered, over it and wishing we’d kept it simple.