Do you have a girlfriend who always seems to have it together? Clean house decorated to look like page 6 of the Pottery Barn catalogue, Christmas presents bought and wrapped by December 1, and hair and makeup done perfectly every single day? Do you ever wonder how on Earth she does it? Or, if you are that friend, inquiring minds want to know: HOW DO ACTUALLY YOU DO IT?! For many moms (myself included), that’s just not how we roll. I am nowhere near ready for Christmas and almost always hit Target unshowered. Hair and makeup? LOL.
That’s why Adrian Wood, Babble contributor and author of Tales of an Educated Debutante, is my spirit sister. In a recent Facebook post, she admits that she’s “drowning in the Christmas spiral epidemic,” and man do I feel her.
The mom of four from Edenton, North Carolina admits in her post that she feels like “a full on collapse of the Tower of Pisa” as Christmas looms closer and closer. “While you mo fos are pretending to be naughty elves, I’m pondering writing your names on voodoo dolls,” she writes. “Y’all are wrapping presents and listening to Christmas carols and I’m blaring Violent Femmes and digging boxes out of the dumpster behind the liquor store.”
And then there’s this line: “Everyone looks so fresh and nice and I’m trapped in the car at Hardee’s because I have on no bra, hand me down maternity pajamas, and am barefooted.” — UM, that is so me. In fact, I literally just ran into Walmart for one last ditch effort to find the Little Live Pet my daughter so desperately wants this year. In flowered pajama pants. (I did at least brush my teeth first, so at least there’s that.)
How did our moms do it? Is life harder for us than it was for them? My mother has never even gotten the mail without hair and makeup done—never mind run errands. Wood wonders the same thing, asking in her post, “How did my mother do it? I don’t remember her being frazzled, though she did lock us out of the house for long periods of time.” So maybe that was their secret?
Whatever it is, it seems like the holiday season gets more and more hectic every year. Between school holiday programs and obligatory ugly Christmas sweater parties and secret Santas and that darn elf… we wonder why we are drowning.
“Every year, it feels like there is less and less time and more and more pressure. I’m drowning in children and other folks are baking cookies. I think we see perfection all around us and it can make one go bonkers. I am bonkers, but acknowledging I am terrible at juggling perfection,” Wood tells Babble.
Same, girlfriend. SAME.
In her post, Wood also admits to not knowing where to hide the gifts: “Where in the devil should I hide stuff?” she writes. “The sneaky mo fos that live with me are super sneaky, like CIA training program.” And (gasp!) not being super excited to have all the kids home over Christmas break: “I don’t enjoy my children enough to want them out of school so for everyone that is ‘so ready’ I call bullsh*t,” she writes.
And to that I say, thank you for saying what so many of us feel, Adrian. It doesn’t mean we don’t love our kids to bits. But two straight weeks indoors with them might be a hot mess, is all we’re saying here. And that’s okay to admit.
When asked if she thinks the pressure to be perfect is self-imposed or put upon us by society, Wood tells Babble she thinks it’s “a little of both.”
“My children don’t help things as they report on what their friend’s elves are doing,” she continues, “and I’m failing at the flipping Advent calendar.”
We know we shouldn’t compare ourselves to other moms, but we do. Suzie down the street seems to have it all together. Why can’t I be more like Suzie? Because I’m not Suzie. I’m me. And that’s precisely why Adrian Wood says she wrote this post.
“Who makes the rules?” she asks. “There is no standard for perfection when it comes to motherhood. Be you. Be the most amazing you that you know how to be and if it’s pajamas and sausage biscuits or Christmas cards and exercise clothes, just stand firm in your role as the mother who your children would pick out in a sea of millions. That’s pretty awesome.”
And that advice is the best Christmas gift I can ask for. Because when I picked up my 4-year-old from preschool just now, he came running to me, finding me in a sea of moms. I am the mom he wants to wrap his arms around. Even if I’m unshowered and wearing 10-year-old snow boots. I’m his mama.
So Adrian Wood, you may “look like Cruella de Vil”, but I’ll bet your kids don’t care. I’ll pull up right along side you with my haggard messy bun (and not cute messy, like actually messy) and we’ll rock the heck out of this Christmas.