Next year I must find a way to simplify the holidays. This year, Christmas lasted from Wednesday through Saturday. We celebrated Christmas (with the food and gifts and the whole sha-bang) four times. I love hanging out with my family, but toting along an 8-month-old and all the gear necessary for meals, baths, diapering, sleeping and entertainment, all while trying to maintain some type of nap schedule over a four day period is not conducive to stress-free celebration. I’m not a control freak when it comes to my baby’s schedule, but by Saturday everything was making him weep because he was so tired. I actually felt guilty because he was short on sleep for that whole extended weekend and he was just falling apart. Tack on driving through terrible conditions and arriving home to a driveway piled up with a foot of snow and you have the true definition of “burned out.”
There really was no way to do things differently, though. When all of the kids are grown up and you’re trying your best to see everyone and work with so many different schedules, sometimes you just end up having to go to twice as many celebrations. We always celebrate the holidays with both sides of the family – usually we split it up between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but this year both sides of the family split up their celebrations to accommodate everyone’s plans. His immediate family on Wednesday, my immediate family on Thursday, his extended family on Friday, my extended family on Saturday. I guess I feel a little conflicted because we had so much fun, but I was stressed as well, and now I’m exhausted, but I’m glad we got to see everyone. I can’t really say that I would have skipped any of the celebrations (why would I?), but at the same time I wish they were condensed to the two days as usual because it’s hard to be away from home for so long with a baby that only likes to take naps and sleep at home. I’m also a little apprehensive about how this will all work out years from now when we have more than one child. I think we would really have to pick and choose which celebrations to attend and try to alternate it each year. I know that some people will be disappointed, but I just can’t see us trying to pull this off again with more than one kid. These things are easy when you are just a couple. It’s pretty hard to pull off with a baby. I am wondering how families with multiple children do it? Is it something that parents just get better at with experience? Did we overdo it or does every young family do it this way? Or am I just over-reacting and this is the reality that every single family faces this time of year?