Sunday, December 15, 2013

When Holidays Attack

This weekend -  well, really, it started on Thursday - exploded.  I'm supposed to be making lesson plans right now so I can get in the car in a few hours and head to my sister's 30th birthday party/holiday party at her house (it was originally a birthday party she was planning for herself, but her husband planned a surprise party a couple of weeks ago, so now the birthday party is a holiday party).  And I'm going to feel like a horrible, awful person if I don't go.

BUT.

I am exhausted.

The kids are exhausted.

My husband has work to do, is technically supposed to attend a work event this afternoon, and is exhausted.

All hell broke loose on Wednesday.  We were actually in the car headed to a rescheduled violin lesson when we got call #1.  The therapist had a cancellation opening on Thursday morning and would we like the appointment?  I'm not about to pass up the opportunity to get my son help sooner rather than later, so yes, we took it.  Five minutes later I made call #2 to get the dog a long overdue vet appointment to get his vaccinations (rabies was current, but everything else was overdue).  That got scheduled on Friday morning.  Wednesday itself was already busy.  After the violin lesson, we went to the store for milk, the dry cleaners to pick up linens I'd taken in, the library to pick up our weekly requested books as well as anything else the kids wanted to read, and then to yoga for Boo's final class.

When we got to the violin lesson, I sat down to add those two appointments to the calendar and realized I had made a grave error.  I had forgotten that on Thursday afternoon Doodlebug was going to go to a social skills group for the first time; this in addition to his normal swim team practice.  This meant three separate appointments that day.  And I knew I had to clean the house on Friday because I was hosting a holiday party Friday night.  I had originally hoped to attend our Friday homeschool meeting, but I suddenly realized that wasn't going to happen.  Not at all.

I have a wonderful husband who helped me get through those two stressful days (Wednesday and Thursday), and the vet appointment got moved to the afternoon, which gave me time to knock out the house cleaning in the morning.

The party went smoothly.  It was smaller than I'd expected, but I think (hope?) everyone who attended still had a good time.  The kids, however, were thoroughly worn out by the time the last guests left.  It was about 10:45 when they walked out the door.  The kids took quick showers and collapsed into bed.  I had to get Boo up at 8:45 the next morning, and I felt bad about doing it because her first reaction to waking up and realizing she had to get moving to go to a violin rehearsal was to make what I call Ultimate Sad Face - you know that involuntary sad face you make when you wake up and want to instantly cry?  Ultimate Sad Face.  We managed to get to rehearsal, though, and then came back home.

Boo and one of my good friends then went to a craft fair downtown, and Boo did have fun there.  She came home with several small purchases, including a coffee cup koozie for me.  Then I made the biggest mistake of all - I suggested we drive down to Muskogee and see their Garden of Lights and then go over to the Castle to see their drive-through inflatables display.  We went down, got dinner, and then… then we got in the car line.

I had not taken two things into account.  #1:  Muskogee police do not believe in traffic control.  They didn't direct traffic at all.  There was nothing to keep the local douchebags from cutting in line.  It was torture.  #2 (and this was the kicker): Last weekend was icy, and I suspect the park was closed, since the roads are winding and hilly.  So all the people who didn't go last weekend were trying to go this weekend.

It took more than two hours to get into and through the park.  Oz and I had expected to be home and have the kids close to bed by the time we made it out, which meant that by the time we hit the door of the house, it was 10:30 again.  My kids are normally in bed and asleep by 8:30, 9 at the latest.  Two late nights in a row had taken their toll, and they were nearly in tears with fatigue.  This morning we've dragged.  My sister's party is from 4-10 today.  Even if we did go, we would have to leave by 6 to get home by 8:30, because it's a 2-ish-hour drive to get there.  I'm just not convinced it's worth it.  We need a home day, where we all lounge around in sweatpants and don't really move much.  We need to recuperate before we tackle another school/work week.

I'm already feeling plenty of guilt about various problems that have arisen around Christmas lists and not being able to get people the gifts they're wanting/expecting; now I'll just add sibling birthday guilt to the list.  I know I shouldn't feel guilty about taking care of my family's needs.  I'm just good at guilt like that.

Hope the holidays haven't attacked anyone else!

1 comment:

Common Household Mom said...

I hear you, sister! The secular holiday of Christmas has come to be all about expectations, and often about unreasonable expectations. Whether they come from inside us (projecting what others want from us) or from another person, the sense that there are Expectations is enormous. I hope you will find it possible to release yourself from all guilt. Drive two hours with small children to go to a party? I think you should not feel guilty.