Our goal is to provide information, ideas and support for working women who are also full-time mothers.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


When I first received notification of the “working moms surviving the holidays” topic, I thought I had it all under control. My shopping was more or less done early – with only one gift ordered online (I managed to GO SHOPPING in REAL STORES!). I actually had a good portion of my wrapping done a week before Christmas (which was nothing short of miraculous for me). I expected I would have no problem fitting a blog segment into my schedule.

And yet…here I am, two days after Christmas, trying to regain all the marbles that I lost somewhere amongst the piles of wrapping paper and cardboard boxes that have consumed the last several days. I am not convinced that I will really be able to find them all.

As my children unwrapped their gifts on Christmas morning, it was wonderful to see their excitement and their desire to play with each toy “right now.” This is also when I decided that toys requiring adult assembly should be banned. Granted, I should have realized that the “40 cardboard blocks” I bought would not have fit in the box had they already been assembled, but I had not counted on having to tap into my origami skills to fold each one.

I also had the opportunity to fine-tune those scouting skills from many years ago as I tried to assemble a dome tent- teepee-tunnel contraption in my kitchen. Once it was assembled, setting the table became a high-jump event and getting to the bathroom from the living room required some fancy footwork. Granted, my kids loved crawling through the tunnels and hiding in the tents…and having them occupied for a few minutes kept me from having to jump right into the train-track assembly project.

I suppose I should not complain about all the assembly since the larger portion of my time was spent trying to untwist the plastic ties that hold every single piece of a Little People playset to the cardboard box. Quite the challenge when an anxious child is trying to rip the plastic giraffe out of your hand to play with it.

Christmas Eve, before I went to bed, I looked around my house and admired the gifts neatly arranged under the tree, the clean floors, the table prepped for final setup to be done in the morning – the place was ready for my family to arrive and have a nice, relaxing holiday dinner.
When they got there, they could not get into the living room because I had not had time to bag all the wrapping paper and cardboard that blocked the entrance, and the campground-maze nearly caused my mother to fall into the kitchen table. It was pure chaos.

Somehow, in the midst of it all, we managed to get a dinner cooked and sit down to eat. My family was able to witness my children bouncing off the walls with excitement. There was certainly nothing formal about the celebration. Instead, I gave in to the disorder and was able to relax and enjoy just being together. For a working mom who tries to maintain a high level of organization, taking a holiday from the pressure to have everything under control was an unexpected gift. I may have lost a few marbles along the way, but I gained some valuable memories of a Christmas filled with childhood amazement.


Savoring the Moment

It's this time of year I need about 3 extra hours in each day. How on earth, having started shopping 3 months in advance, did I find myself at the mall on Christmas eve?
But once the celebrating begins, I try my hardest, and usually suceed, in enjoying the moment. Time spent with friends and family is too scarce these days to get wound up about your one year old tearing the wrapping paper off everyone's gifts, or your 3 year old lamenting the slippers Santa brought. No, it's time to take a mental snapshot of the smiles on their faces, the warm hugs from loved ones, and the joy of being together on a nice long weekend. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Gift wrapping

I tried something new this year with my wrapping paper. I usually pick a theme and have all the paper under my tree all the same. This year I bought several different coordinating patterns and wrapped each family gifts in a different pattern. I had silver penguin paper for my side of the family. I bought a snowman and candy cane pattern for my husband's side of the family. Then I had all the random gifts in another pattern. My son's gifts also had his own pattern so he could easily recognize his gifts from us under the tree.

I did have to merge some of the patterns toward the end of wrapping when I ran out of the paper for my in-laws (lots of gifts for that side!). But this idea helped in sorting out the gifts to take to the different parties. I plan to do it again next year and buy more of each pattern.