\\\\nWe're in to that time of year when the posts on social media are all about Christmas gift guides for this that, shopping discounts, Christmas specials... Or perhaps it's posts filling your feed about how we should "cut down" at Christmas, have an eco Christmas a sustainable Christmas... busy things are. And then don't forget the "how many activities all of our kids are doing. What a drag it is to have to see all the family and friends to go to ALL the things..."
\\\\nI was going to add to that.
\\\\nI was going to do a post of
\\\\nHOW BABYWEARING CAN HELP YOU AT THE BUSIEST TIME OF YEAR.*
\\\\nBABYWEARING GIFT GUIDES*
\\\\n(*Both of which I have done in the past and I may well still do, disclaimer.)
\\\\nBut as I was reading an article this morning about going from mountains of presents to just four (want, wear, need, read - an idea I think is great in of itself) I couldn't help but think "my kids have never had mountains of presents" and "we aren't super busy at Christmas with millions of family descending and going overboard with presents". And I felt triggered.
\\\\nWhy? Because we don't have the kind of money needed to have mountains of presents. And because we don't have close family living near us and we don't have loads of close friends inviting us to a gazillion parties. And I felt inadequate.
\\\\nAnd then I felt a bit angry at the implied privilege in an article like that..to be able to CHOOSE to turn down presents. (And I realise and acknowledge my own privilege to be able to have a house, food and my family and presents at Christmas, I absolutely do. And I am humbly grateful for them.)
\\\\nThen I think to Christmas day itself. I thought back to my first Christmas as a mum. It was *just* a day. We had a few presents and a nice dinner..but the baby at the time was only 3 months old. She still didn't sleep and she still needed her nappy changing. And she was still *just* a tiny baby who had no appreciation of "the magic of Christmas". But if I'm honest, I remember feeling a bit deflated on that first Christmas day as a mama.
\\\\nI just feel that Christmas in particular is dripping with expectation.
\\\\nExpectation of mountains of presents
\\\\nHuge over indulgence
\\\\nA massively busy 2 months of parties and days out
\\\\nAnd magic. Magic that we as parents must conjure.
\\\\nAnd this can be incredibly hard if not almost impossible to achieve, especially as a parent. And if you're striving for it, are you sacrificing something else? Your money (debt)? Your sanity? Your mental health? Your need to avoid certain family members?
\\\\nMaybe you're reading this and thinking "wow Chiara is a mega Scrooge, and hates the magic of Christmas". Oh contraire. I'm the person who has been listening to Christmas carols since the beginning of October. And one of my most favourite days of the year is 1st December when our (handmade, reclaimed wood) tree goes up.
\\\\nI love Christmas in the Evans house. It's simple. It actively how we've chosen to do things that suit our circumstances and it works for us with little to no expectation to go along with it.
\\\\nBut our Christmas as the Evans family has been deliberately chosen. And I have to work hard to try and avoid triggers that make me feel inadequate. Because our Christmas is right for us. And I love it.
\\\\nSo I just wanted to share my thoughts. Because perhaps you're feeling the same. Or perhaps you're feeling the weight of the Christmas expectation and that weight is heavier yet when we have small kids.
\\\\nIf you're someone who really does have a manic Christmas and you love it, there is no judgement here. When I can ditch my own triggers and anxiety, I secretly love seeing other people's photos because it genuinely makes me happy people are celebrating. I say every new years eve, I love knowing that people are partying still even though I'm not.
\\\\nAnd I'm going finish by bringing it back to babywearing and simple parenting. If you're finding yourself during the Christmas season *just* getting through and in the parenting trenches. Carrying a teething baby/settling a sick toddler/dealing with a newborn who won't be put down...and you're wondering where the magic of Christmas is. It's right there, in you, in your love for your little one. Xx