Confessions of a Scrooge Mom Before the Holidays
I am a Scrooge. I am the black sheep of the family that dreads the holidays. What makes it worse is that I have kids now, but my views are still the same. Don’t get me wrong, I love making the holidays special for my kids. I never let them see how I really feel about the magical days that only happen a few times a year. They don’t see my anxiety or tears the nights before. Even typing this out makes me feel guilty.
I didn’t always carry this amount of disdain towards the holidays, and there are aspects that I like. I decorate and get festive. I like decorating, and there’s other parts of the holidays I enjoy, like the food. The biggest reason I don’t cancel the holidays is because of my kids. I love the look on their faces. I love how excited they are to play with their cousins and be apart of the family togetherness. I do the holidays for my kids.
The holidays were never just a family event when I was growing up. Every one of my parents’ friends would come for their buffet style food and hang out. There would be card games and sports. I sort of hated it. I always felt like I was in competition with my parents’ friends. I just wanted my family, but their friends became family. I’m okay with that now. It just made some holidays difficult.
When my parents weren’t having “friendsgiving,” we would go to my grandma’s for a big formal meal. We would all have to dress up and get pictures taken. We had a kids table, and the nice dishes were used. There was always some type of family drama, but those weren’t the things that I disliked. I didn’t mind my father and uncle arguing. I didn’t mind the annoying velvet dresses my mother made me wear. I disliked Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter family events before kids, and I still dislike them after kids. Hear me out, I am a scrooge, but this is why.
What I Hated About the Holidays Before Kids..
Growing up Bitchy. Every single person in my family will tell you I’m a bitch. They will say I am sarcastic and cold. They assume that because I don’t cry in front of them, and that makes them believe I don’t have feelings. They have always labeled me without knowing me. To be honest, I don’t like hugs or touching much. I don’t like fake banter. I want to genuinely hear how everyone is doing. I hate superficial conversation where everyone talks themselves up. I care. I want to hear about the real shit. That makes me difficult to talk to in my family.
The women in my family are all about competition in looks and homemaking- it’s a little barbaric. They can tear you down on your appearance without you knowing it. They give you an insult compliment sandwich. Then, they make comments about how their immaculate house is dirty, when they know it’s much cleaner than yours. They try too hard to be the best, and I’m not like that. I call them out. I make jokes. I bring humor as a weapon just so I can endure them on those days, because they only do it on the holidays.
The Golden One. I have a cousin. He is a few years younger, and he is the messiah of my family. His hand has been held his entire life. He was always put ahead of every one of us. My grandparents once told me that I didn’t go to a real college because I studied English, and it didn’t count because I wasn’t becoming a teacher. When he went to college, and expressed an interest in English as well as the sciences, they told me he went to a real college. Mind you, both schools were accredited and very real.
This guy left college and went into a naval academy. It took him multiple attempts, but he is still treated like he is the next savior. No matter what bumbles he faces, he will forever be put above me and all of my cousins. We all know it. We are all secretly jealous and resent him. To be fair, it’s not a secret anymore since I call him “the golden one” to everyone’s faces. Him and I laugh about it, but he knows he won the lottery of love when it comes to our family. It’s obnoxious, but he’s okay with it.
Too Many People. People make me nervous. I hide behind humor and eye rolls, but people completely freaking terrify me. I love my family, but I’m not super affectionate except with my kids and husband. I’m not sure why. My family is very overbearing and loud. They are all about being in your business. I care about them. I want them to do well, but they don’t know when to leave you alone. It’s hard because I want to hear how they are doing, but when they stand inches from my face and tell me the same story 47 times in a night, I get worn out. It doesn’t help that a few of them bring strangers.
I love helping people in need. If someone needs somewhere to go for the holidays, then bring them. Just don’t expect me to tell them my life story. I don’t open up very easily. It’s not that I’m not welcoming, it’s just that people make me nervous. So, I come across very cold.
What I Hate About the Holidays as a Mom..
Becoming a mom has been the most amazing part of my life. I thought having babies would make me love the holidays, and there are parts that make me so elated. However, there are parts that make me want to stay in my cozy home with just my husband and kids. I know everyone already thinks I’m a scrooge, but we venture to multiple dinners and parties every year. My kids are exhausted and sometimes sick of the chaos by the end of the night, but I love that they get to have those big family memories. All of that is why I don’t let them see what I hate about the holidays.
Other Kids. I love my family. I love their offspring. I love watching all the kids in the family grow and become amazing people. I hate how my kids get treated sometimes though. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of how I was treated. I was always this little sidekick, and if someone didn’t want to play or hang out with me, I was really hurt. I see that being done to my kids. They are the youngest out of all of their cousins, and big kids don’t always want to play with toddlers. It’s difficult to see my kids get so excited to play and see their cousins only to be shot down. I hate hearing a kid say to my son, “I don’t want to play with you.” I hate watching all of the light drain from his face. He looks up to his big cousins so much, and it’s so disheartening.
The kids have the occasional play dates and get together for the holidays, but other than a few times a year, they don’t interact often. I dread every interaction, because I have to hold my breath and hope my son doesn’t get disappointed. He is little and doesn’t understand why they don’t want to go and play. It breaks my heart. I know that life isn’t fair and blah blah, but watching your kids get their feelings hurt is never easy.
No restful moments. I get told to relax at every holiday function. I get told to stop following around my toddlers and eat. I have toddlers… I don’t expect people to baby proof, but that means I need to make sure my kids aren’t getting into breakables. I need to keep an eye on them. I’m not the mom that just tells her kids to go have fun and then talk with adults in the kitchen. I don’t care if caring about what my kids are up to makes me a “hover parent.” One year, I tried to relax. I let me dad be in charge of the toddlers. He let me son play with a glass orb that was battery powered and changed colors like a lava lamp. It shattered in my son’s face. He didn’t squeeze it to cause it to happen. It was a freak accident, but that doesn’t change the fact that we were pulling glass out of his face at 2 years old.
I know it seems like I don’t trust people with my kids, but that’s because I don’t trust people with my kids. I’ve never been able to. Something always tends to happen. If it’s longer than an hour, chaos ensues. I just want my kids to have fun and be safe. My parents’ house has one kid friendly room. Their play room is at the top of the stairs. Those stairs are super sketchy too. I try not to be antisocial, but I have to keep an eye on what my littles are doing. That doesn’t mean I follow kids the whole time, but I also don’t spend the entire time hanging out with the other adults. I play mom to all the kids while the other moms rest. It’s exhausting, and no one ever asks me how I’m doing. They just think I’m too protective and should ease up.
No time to eat. I get very little time to eat. I have to get the kids plates, help the youngest eat, and try to feed myself. It’s usually easier to share a plate with my daughter and just pick at what she doesn’t want. Every time I try to sit and eat, I’m needed. There’s a fight, someone has to go potty, or they want more food. I have two toddlers who are close in age, so they are either best friends or enemies. The holidays don’t change that, so I’m always on my toes. I would love to sit down and eat and tune the toddlers out, but that’s not who I am. I’m the jumper. My husband needs a refill, got it. My son wants more pie since he won’t eat real food around other people, got it. I’m always a mom, and I can’t turn it off.
I am a Scrooge, and I am okay with it.
I hate the yelling of my loud family. I hate that my mom feeds my son junk instead of offering real food. I hate that kids can be mean, snot-nosed brats. I hate that I always eat cold food. Every single one of those hates is crossed out and negated by the smile my kids have on the holidays. Getting ready for pictures is when they are beaming with excitement, and that is when I can pocket my grouchiness towards holidays. I secretly dread it every year, but they will never know that. I will dress up, decorate, and be as festive as I can for those little ones. I will do my best to not have resting bitch face. I will do everything I can to not be exactly what my family thinks I am, even though they may be right just a little bit. I am a scrooge mom, but I will never ruin the holidays.