Santa & me circa 1978.

Today a friend sent me an email and wished me happy holidays. She remarked how this must be a magical time of year for me and my children.

I looked at that word magical in disbelief.

Shock, even.

I’m spinning around in a tornado of sick kids, school events, too-much-snow, bad traffic, birthday party to pull off and end-of-year deadlines at work.

(I’m tempted to add some single-parent woes, but suffice it to say that everything is tougher to pull off when your kids outnumber you and you need to be in three places at once.)

Yeah, some magic would be nice right about now. Magic to clean my house and make me a cup of coffee!

… I suppose she might have said magical because my kids are young enough to believe in Santa. And get excited each morning to find where the Elf on the Shelf is hiding (even though I forget to move him about half of the time). My littlest one is still in love with Rudolph and wants to make reindeer food for him for Christmas Eve. And they love looking at Christmas lights each night when we drive home.

Okay, I guess there is a bit of magic, even in the tornado.

But feeling the magic during such a hectic time of year is hard. For me anyways, and I know I’m not alone on that one.

The truth is that it’s a hard time of year for a reason. Not only are there more obligations and tasks to accomplish, there are also more reminders. Reminders that our family is different now than the way it began.

This will be our third Christmas as a family of three instead of four. It’s true, what they say, about things getting easier in time. Although what they don’t tell you is that the cliche doesn’t apply to holidays.

That even when I work so hard to make Christmas special (which is also my little one’s 5th birthday), we still only spend a few hours of it together. The kids leave Christmas day to spend the day and night with their father.

Out of nowhere, Avery asked me yesterday, “Mom, you just really want to get married again, don’t you?” It stopped me in my tracks. He’s too little to remember what went wrong the first time or what it felt like to be in a house with married (and sadly, very unhappy) parents. But I think he gets the fact that there’s something missing or different.

“Yes,” I answered. “I do want to get married again someday. But that will be a long time from now.”

I’ll take some magic now, please.

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6 Responses to “a magical time of year (?)”

  1. Jenny says:

    Missy, hang in there. This will be the 7th Christmas for me as a single mom. I don’t know if I can truthfully say it gets any easier, but the feelings do change over time. You start your own new traditions, and remember the old ones.

    I was starting to feel the Christmas blues creep up on me, despite vowing that this year would be different…then I found out that a friend-of-a-friend’s son is at Children’s in Minneapolis, and most likely will not be around for Christmas. I’ve been thinking, and praying, a lot for this sweet boy and his family, and it’s made me question and doubt so much..especially the “magic” that is supposed to be running around rampant during this season. But then I realized, this is the reason we do try to make things magical at this time of year, not only for our kids but for us, too. Because life is short, life is unpredictable and life is precious. I am going to face the remaining days of Christmas with a new perspective now, and try to stop thinking about “what was”. Harder than it sounds, but I’m trying!

    I think we (meaning people like you and I, people who are handling a busy life without a second pair of grown up hands to help) can only do the best that we can during the holidays. Our kids are flexible and way more understanding than we know. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling sad, or for thinking about the past and how things were. You are only human.

    That said, please try to remember the good of the season, hug your babies tight, do something kind for someone who could use a little love, and don’t forget that you are not alone in this!

    Merry Christmas to you and your darling kids!

    Jenny (the happy hausfrau)

    • Missy says:

      Jenny, thanks so much for this note. You are right, helping others and getting out of my own head really has helped in past years. Appreciate hearing your perspective, always like hearing from people who have been there and really get it. thank you and many blessings and merry christmas to you and your children. xo

  2. I know what you mean about needing some of that magic. With parenting, I think we’ll always see it in our children, but sometimes it’s tough to look around and see it elsewhere, especially in ourselves.

    Big hugs and a standing invite to grab coffee soon!

    • Missy says:

      yes – we definitely need to have coffee soon. wonder how we can make our schedules match up? maybe after the holidays? 🙂 <3 thanks jen

  3. Barb says:

    For what it’s worth… I chose to have a family of three but that doesn’t make it any easier at the holidays. I don’t necessarily think it’s any easier or harder for single parent families. It’s just different. And I think there are challenges for all of us. I’m trying to balance all the same things you are (including the birthday that will be, thankfully, behind us as of tomorrow) and I feel the pressure and the constant “behindness” and the rush and the incessant reminders to be grateful and joyful and blah, blah, blah. And I’m feeling quite scroogy myself. So I get it. But just think of how all this work you do is making wonderful childhood memories for your kids. And think of how in just a few short weeks it will all be behind us. And we can go back to struggling to balance normal every day life. 🙂 Hang in there. I read your post and that “EXactly” but everyone I know with older kids reminds me that these little kid years go fast and you’ll miss them. So take some deep breaths and try to take it all in before it’s all gone. Thanks for a great post.

    • Missy says:

      Thanks Barb – thanks for saying that you get it. 🙂 and you are right, it will be over soon enough and I’ll still feel just as stressed out as usual. Ha!



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