Well, it had to happen sooner or later this month right?
Yesterday all of the stress of The Season came to a head, and I had to have a temper tantrum. A little one. A short one. But a fit, none-the-less. As per usual, I directed my frustrations at my favorite target, known on The Internets as D-a-v-i-d. In the midst of it all, he took the girls to their rehearsal for their Sunday School Christmas program and left me to my pouting.
I solved my problems by writing him an email (I knew he’d get it on his phone) which was supposed to be ranty but ended up be a very inclusive list of all the things that
I we need to do this week, all of the things that had been swirling around in my head and stressing me the fuck out. Turns out, if you write them down, it’s not so stressful, and if you write them down AND SHARE THEM with your spouse, things start to seem very manageable indeed.
I think I must have learned this lesson before.
(How many more times will I need to RELEARN it before it sticks in ye ole noggin?)
Anyway, we managed to get a chunk of that list accomplished yesterday, and a (semi-quasi-loosey-goosey) plan has been made for accomplishing the rest.
But here’s the thing about holidays like this one– and I don’t mean to make sweeping generalizations here– but it seems like most of the men _I_ know (very involved fathers and all-around family-type guys) do not have nearly the load as their female counterparts do. In my to do list this month is: all of the planning, organizing, shopping for, keeping track of, and wrapping of nearly ALL of the gifts we buy; the planning, shopping for, and making of all of the baked goods; the planning, shopping for, and organizing of the holiday meals we will make; the planning, shopping for and making of all the dishes we are bringing to various family gatherings, as well as communicating with the family members to coordinate food; the organizing and planning of our trip to South Dakota the week after Christmas; the planning of everyone’s outfits, tights, shoes, hair, etc; keeping track of the kids’ programs, teacher gifts, and school parties; etc etc etc. Plus, you know, all of the other stuff I do year round.
UGG. And I forgot to add to the list the CHRISTMAS CARDS. Taking, uploading, choosing, editing, and cropping of the photo(s), designing/ordering the cards, getting all the addresses together. SHOOOOOT MEEEEEE NOOOOOOOWWWWW. (My cards should be here tomorrow, fyi, if you’re waiting on one from me…) (And I find the Christmas cards one of the more enjoyable tasks of the month.)
David will help me with anything– no, really, anything– that I ask, but being the one that has to keep all of it in her brain, I get fairly stressed out. And there are other things I want to do too: fun things with the kids that will make this Christmas special, like watch a holiday movie, or drive around and look at the lights. There’s just not enough head-space to deal with it all, ya know? And it’s true that he worries about other things, takes care of other tasks, in our life together. But Christmas (or any other holiday) doesn’t add much to his load. Sometimes, I am envious and resentful of that luxury, that ability to carry one Business As Usual while I’m floundering under all of the extra stuff. I put so much energy into “making it special” while he just… shows up. Or waits for me to tell him what I need help with.
And again, he’s really helpful and supportive, once I get around to letting him in on what I need. But… well, that’s the whole problem.
Is this true for you too? Who does most of the planning and organizing for holidays in your house? If it’s you, do you get overwhelmed, too? Feel free to get grinchy in the comments; it’ll help you feel better. (Or maybe… just me?)