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Moms Conquer Festive Stress

By CARA HUNT

Tribune Features Writer

cbrennen@tribunemedia.net

There is a lot of joy in the air during the holiday season, but also a lot pressure – the pressure to make Christmas memorable for the entire family can bring out the Grinch in even the most cheerful mom.

After all, you want the house to look like a holiday Pinterest board and you want to ensure that you find the perfect balance between remaining true to the spirit of the season while at the same time giving your children the perfect gifts to make their little hearts sing.

It can all lead to extreme holiday pressure. Bahamian mothers tell Tribune Woman about some of the mommy guilt they experience around Christmastime.

“There is pressure to create this perfect holiday experience,” said Nicole, a mother-of-three.

“You always have those perfect moms. You know, the ones who have a tree for every child, the matching family pyjamas and the perfect holiday picture with Santa all done well in advance of Christmas. And then there is me who is still trying to decorate on Christmas Eve and sometimes my kids’ gifts just never get wrapped cause it’s 5am and they’re about to wake up anyway so why waste the paper.”

Lydia, who has two daughters, aged six and nine, admits she is not domestically inclined so she often feels like she doesn’t measure up to other moms when it comes to decorating.

“I am not that crafty Martha Stewart type. I see my friends and their trees are just fabulous and they are baking and cooking these elaborate Christmas items and their gifts are just tied with homemade paper and the perfect bow,” she said.

“I just don’t have the desire or energy to do it. My tree is average, I use gift boxes with stick-on bows and I am the one who volunteers to bring the soda on Christmas Day.”

While she is usually fine with this arrangement, Lydia sometimes wonders if she is perhaps shortchanging her kids.

“I wonder how they feel when they go to their friends’ homes and see these perfect Christmases, or what people think when they come by me. It makes me wonder whether all that stuff matters or if I should try harder. I mean, I know we say all that ‘Jesus is the reason for the season’, but I also don’t want to be the mom who sucks at Christmas,” she said.

Meanwhile, Theresa, who has a thee-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son, has the decorating and baking down pat, but says her challenge is a lack of funds.

“Trust me, if I had unlimited funds my kids would have an epic Christmas. We’d go to Disney World; they would have a mountain of gifts, several trees. I know you can have a great Christmas without all that stuff, but I also wish I could do a bit more on my budget. My kids won’t be getting some of their big ticket items simply because we just can’t afford it. And I feel bad because their friends will be getting some of those bigger items. But I just have to focus on what I can do to make the holidays special as best as I can within my abilities and my budget,” she said.

This is one piece of advice Tribune Woman encourages all mothers to follow this holiday season.

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