The Christmas Mental load

There’s something magical about Christmas is the movies. The picture perfect decorations, tables laden with food, Pintrest wrapped presents and everyone smiling. However, we rarely speak of how who carries the pressure of Christmas upon their shoulders. The true Christmas heroes who work tirelessly year long to ensure that magical experience of Christmas is felt by the entire family. The Mum’s.

Photo by Elina Fairytale on Pexels.com

Us Mum’s know all too well where that load falls. I for one have had Christmas at the back of my mind most of the year. Starting in January I buy Christmas decorations on clearance and stuff them in my spare cupboards. During the year I hoard away stocking stuffers, and as of September I’m in full blown Christmas shopping mode. Somehow I’ve convinced myself that my constant preparation for Christmas will somehow reduce the stress I feel as the day draws closer. There is just so many jobs that need to be done ahead of Christmas Day itself; soaking the Christmas Fruit, ordering the food, buying the wrapping/ribbon/tape, wrapping the presents, decorating the house, baking….Not to mention all the other Christmas associated events that you need to be ready for. You need the advent calendars ready to go Dec 1. If you’re crazy enough to commit to Elf on the Shelf they’ve also go to be ready Dec 1 with new shenanigans everyday of the month. You need to have booked you Christmas photos and organised everyones outfits, and now there’s the new trend of matching Christmas PJ’s (make sure you’ve bought those too). The school and workplace functions. These often need food prepared, Secret Santa presents, thank-you gifts for teachers/bosses, concerts that need costumes, dinners that need outfits.There’s also all those gifts that have to ready ahead of time for family that you see before Christmas, Friends, colleges, neighbours.

Photo by Elina Fairytale on Pexels.com

If you make through all of this there’s Christmas Eve- Attend Christmas Eve event, feed everyone, dress everyone in their Christmas PJ”s and make sure you leave out the carrots, milk and cookies. Once the kids are in bed eat said cookie, nibble carrots and drink milk. Next quietly dig out all the presents you’ve been hoarding all year. Build the toys that need assembly and silently wrap them and place under the tree. Start prepping food for the next day. Remember to go to bed before midnight so that you can have at least 5 hours sleep before the kids are up.

Christmas morning itself is magical. It’s the real pay off for all the stresses to see everyone filled with joy sharing presents, playing Christmas music and having fun together. As per usual the dad’s are sitting there pretending they know what’s in the box. If mum’s lucky they’ve picked up on you’re not so subtle hints about what you’d like for Christmas, and if not you’ve got another candle. But mum’s just don’t stop. You hand out the presents, you’re racing behind cleaning up all the paper, you’re taking photos and organising breakfast as well as starting on the Christmas lunch/dinner. Then you’re posting the pics you took to socials whilst stirring a pot of sauce and putting the roast on. Before you know it you welcoming guests, or rounding up everyone into the car for the next event.

The whole day can feel like a race for mum’s who like me probably swear they’re never going to do it again. We’re exhausted from the mental load of pulling off yet another Christmas. Surviving barely on the oxytocin from seeing the pure joy on our children’s faces on Christmas morning.

To all the Mumma’s out there you are the Christmas champions, the ninja’s, the greatest elves of all. We are all so lucky to have you spreading magic and your hard work is not unnoticed. I appreciate how hard it is, we just couldn’t do it without all of you.

Mumma Z xxx