Christmas. It’s a magical time full of wonderous family memories, where everyone behaves beautifully and loves the presents you have spent months carefully hand picking.
OK, so that might be the intention of parents up and down the land. It’s certainly the image that is drummed into us by the media in every orifice since September.
It’s what you want to desperately tell your friends and work colleagues happened. How it was the best Christmas ever and your kids were amazing.
Maybe there were fleeting glimpses of wonder, when your kids discovered their stockings or played with their extended family.
But what about all the difficult moments. When they have a meltdown when you take the chocolates away, or they’re overtired from staying up late too many nights in a row. When you’ve trying to keep the right behaviour going but there a whole load of distractions ready to derail it.
Maybe you can look past those times and focus on the positives. But maybe, in typical mum guilt fashion, when the kids are finally asleep at ridiculous o’clock, the bad moments take over your brain.
What do you say when someone asks ‘how was your Christmas ‘? Do you give them the whole ugly truth, about hiding in the kitchen with the gin or staying awake re-running everything you wishe you’d handled differently.
Or do you say, yes, it was brilliant. Because you know that you should be super grateful for having children, and family, and gin. Because you don’t want to admit that you find it hard work. That the build up is stressful, and even less sleep than usual takes it’s toll. That you can’t wait to get back to work for a hot coffee and no-one climbing on you.
Because you want to be strong super mum, juggling family, work, fitness and a side hustle.
But do you know what? There’s probably someone else out there, thinking exactly the same. Someone who’s kid spilled their drink over the whole dining table, or left their new slime out of the pot on the antque table. They probably want to offload, after putting a brave face on it for days in front of their relatives.