“New year’s!!!! What what! Let’s raise the roof, well until 8:30 or so. Thankfully Netflix thought of this and put up lie countdowns. Side note: that was brilliant. Ok. It’s done, hurry and sweep up the confetti *joking you’ll still be finding in on Arbor Day* and trash those noise makers, (no really those things make me want to hide in the bathroom like a professional husband). It is time to roll out Valentine’s day!
Let’s break down Valentine’s day. It’s a must, the banks are still open because they hate love or whatever, but it is a REAL holiday. I promise. Therefore, it is mandatory that you participate. Decorations can be low key. Start by gathering 45 little Valentine’s for each kid to give out. So, if you have 4 kids that’s only 180 Pinterest level impressive craft dreams. They’ll need a box for their classmates to deliver their Valentines to as well, but they won’t tell you until the morning of. Thank goodness you already have a fully stocked craft room and a passionate love of loose glitter, oh, you don’t? I literally have no idea what you’re going to do then. Sucks to be you.
St Patrick’s day! This used to be all about green beer and Luck of the Irish but now you’re a parent so it’s about googling what this one is for and buying green glitter hats. How should I know why they need green glitter hats? I just know they do. Try the dollar store.
You know what your kids need? No, like NEED. Pictures with a bunny. Easter is all about the Bunnies. Also, be sure they know it actually has nothing to do with bunnies or sugar-coated marshmallows that taste like gritty, purple disappointment. Yes, it’s true PETA will report the pictures on social media as a hate crime and there is an excellent chance the bunny bites your kid during the session but that doesn’t change the fact that it is completely necessary. It’s just a few stitches and a 6-month course of rabies shots. Honestly, you’re acting like this is a big deal. It’s important. They’ll need matching blue seersucker outfits and white shoes. It’s fine. If you don’t let them actually wear the shoes, they stay white. Those are more like prop shoes.
Calm down. Why are you crying? It’s only spring.
Happy Independence Day! Throw a BBQ, grab some water guns, enjoy family and friends and then the big fireworks finale. All of that is easy enough nothing but that, low key, play outside fun kids thrive on and parents adore. They will go to bed sleeping like champs and happy as can be. Sure, they may burn their hands a little on those magnesium sticks we light on fire but it’s not bad. 10:30 pm July 4th? This is where it gets real. Those fireworks you enjoyed as a family? Well 12 random neighbors from all over your area are going to keep setting them off until 5am or whenever they run out of beer. Your beloved dog of 14 years will finally lose its patience or the mild sedation the vet gave you will run out and the dog will run away. Your baby will wake up with every single boom crying. Sunrise on July freaking 5th will mean you’ve not actually been to sleep and now you’re driving around the neighborhood calling for the dog and begging the baby to stop crying and go back to sleep. Hurry though, you’ve got to be at work in an hour and you smell like sparklers and sadness.
This is how we must celebrate our country’s Independence.
^This one needs a shirt too.^
Really though, all these practice holidays are just qualifying laps for the real marathon that is October through December. That’s when it gets real. There are 4-8 holidays crammed in there depending on your religion and country of origin and your kids will need a different outfit for every single one. Now I’m not talking about a Christmas sweater here. I’m talking about Colombus-Earth-TurkeyTrot-SadieHawkinsDance-PaperCutAwareness-Haunak-Mas day shirts. Now, when I say shirts that’s just shorthand. I really mean the entire ruffled pants ensemble. Those shirts have matching pants and the pants have matching shoes. The shoes? They have matching hair bows. And if you give a mouse a hairbow, he’s going to need a shirt to go with it. But, not just any shirt. A monogrammed shirt. Not just their names either, the age they will be all two weeks of pumpkin’s-giving. Honestly if by October 12th your kid doesn’t have on a monogrammed pumpkin shirt and an Instagram worthy pumpkin patch picture do you even love them?
I don’t know everything, but I am 100% positive this fall-worship-pumpkin-cider-sipping extraness was cooked up by white people. I got whiter just looking at the monogrammed pumpkin shirts in my favorite kid’s consignment store. Honestly, a PSL appeared in my hand twinkling like magic, out of *literally* nowhere a Journey song came on, and spontaneously I wanted to shout from the rooftops about how fall is here to remind us how beautiful it is to let things go. Then like some kind of psycho stalking voodoo three different blanket scarves appeared in my news feed from Amazon Prime.
Not to mention the big one. The mac-freaking-daddy of them all. Christmas. Outfits, holiday food, nine family/office/company/neighborhood parties a week for five solid weeks. They’ll need a different coordinating outfit for each, a gift for every teacher, you need to clean the house from top to bottom then decorate in a way that would put a smile on Martha’s face, a cookie swap, ornament decorating party, a thoughtful hostess gift, real gifts for friends and family, caroling, Buble music, your mother-in-law’s eggnog recipe and a tasteful dress for yourself. Not to mention the avalanche of toys that’s about to descend on your house, try and look grateful.
Is it really a coincidence that postpartum depression is at an all-time high? Is it happenstance that alcoholism is nearly synonymous with motherhood? Or is all this social media enhanced keeping up with the Joneses robbing women and families of simple joys? Is it keeping women so covered up and so busy that they can’t enjoy the smiles and the smell of toddler hair and an afternoon reading books? Why not slow down? Why not intentionally select what you want to participate in and decide if it is right for your family? Why not learn to say no with kindness?
You get to choose. You are the gatekeeper of your home and curating the memories you want is your prerogative. Learn that a kind-hearted no is a full sentence.
Take back those holidays you want to celebrate! Pick your favorite traditions and dump the rest. The Joneses won’t notice anyway, they’re busy folding 437 monogrammed shirts.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Katie Bryant, 31, of North Carolina. Follow Katie on Instagram here and Facebook here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more from Katie here:
‘I got the call at 6 p.m., left my kids with my husband and drove to her house with my socks crammed into my Birkenstocks.’: Mom urges others to ‘just show up’ when friends need you, ‘She didn’t need Pinterest, she needed me’
‘I told him to stop! He pushed him again. So, I punched him, hard,’ my son said. I took him for ice cream.’: Mom proud of son for sticking up for bullied classmate, ‘My child has full permission to rock your kid’s world if they’re bullying them’
‘We nearly lost him today. I pulled off wrappers, started dishing them out. I gave it to him.’: Mom feels guilt for giving son Popsicle that ignited peanut allergy, ‘We’re just trying to keep our kid alive’
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