Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 6 - Decorating the Tree and Candid Mom Confessions


Last night, on Day 6 of our Christmas Countdown, we decorated our Christmas tree.

Can I be candid with you today? When envisioning this blog post, I thought I would dress the children in matching or at least coordinating clothes, and the tree would be perfectly decorated and I would write eloquently about the magic of Christmas as seen through a child's eyes.

Instead, Hannah wore her Halloween costume and the ornaments were placed fairly haphazardly (but all above the top third of the tree so Ray can't reach them). The kids were sweet and enjoyed it, but it was all a bit chaotic and to be perfectly honest, after the tree was decorated and the kids put to bed, I came back downstairs and cried my eyes out.

Why did I cry? A million silly reasons, really.

I cried because no matter how hard I try, our house is always a mess and I can never seem to stay on top of the cleaning, the clutter, the laundry (ohhh, the laundry).

I cried because when I had FaceTimed with my family earlier that night (wishing my mom a happy birthday and visiting with my sister whom I haven't seen in person in almost a year), the kids would not stop running around and screaming long enough for me to have even the shortest conversation. And I miss my family. The realization that they will all be together at Christmas except for me is starting to sink in.

I cried because Nathan told me I was the best mom ever last night. And I know I'm not the best mom ever. I make so many many mistakes every day that all come screaming back to me when he tells me this.

I cried because Ray still isn't sleeping through the night, and the only thing that seems to be working is letting him cry on his first waking of the night. Which goes against everything I believe in as a parent.

I cried because when I'm cooking dinner in the evenings, I have to send my kids upstairs because I just can't stand the noise and the chasing each other around the circle and the screaming one more minute. And I don't want to be like that. I want to love the noise. I want to love the chaos. And most of the time I do. Dinnertime is my nemesis right now.

And I cried because sometimes, just sometimes, Mom needs to have a good cry. And when she does, Dad needs to rub her back and tell her it's okay. He needs to tell her that she's wonderful, that the kids are happy, that she holds the family together. That he will help in any way she needs. And that tomorrow is a new day.

I'm thankful for this new day, for the beautiful life I lead, and for my amazing husband, who has made all my dreams come true and always knows just what to say.


  1. Oh Heather!! This post speaks to me! I could literally just copy and paste this entire post (except change names) and it could be my own thoughts and feelings.

    I also envision these wonderful family moments that rarely ever happen. I have all these ideals of the perfect mother and family and they're probably not realistic. Motherhood just brings me to the greatest heights of happiness and the lowest depths of depression (that sounds so dramatic and cliche, but it's true)- and both make me cry sometimes.

    I also miss my family. Like yours, mine are also going to all be together for Christmas. I'm glad that we have a ward family (even though it's not quite the same) - but the longer we're here the more I think it will fill part of that gap.

    Thanks, for posting this - you said it all so perfectly! And I think you are an amazing person!

  2. I think we all cry just to cry sometimes...and for many other reasons. I think you are a great person and a great mom! This is random, but my little sister pretty much lived in that exact costume your daughter is wearing for about 2 years. Gotta love the princess dresses!

  3. Oh boy, do I ever understand this!! Pretty much all of it!!! The chaos, the not sleeping babies until your so desperate you have to do things you never envisioned doing, which is totally ok!!! I had to do it with Milton andxi cried for weeks. I'm sorry Heather and I totally get it!!! I get overwhelmed and snap at the kids and then feel so guilty!!!! We're all human!!!

  4. I am so glad you can cry. Contrary to the way I treated you growing up, crying is extremely healing. You have had so much pain this past year. You amaze me how you have weathered it. But it hurts and insecurities are real. I thank the Lord that you have a husband that rubs your back and doesn't tell you to quit crying. Let it rip and thanks for being so vulnerable about it. I love you so very much and I for one think you are an incredible mother. I am so proud and honored to have you as a daughter. We will miss you at Christmas but were so blessed to have your whole family at Thanksgiving. We love the chaos of Skyping with you and the kiddos.

  5. I don't think there is a mother alive who could not relate to this post and the feelings you expressed. And dinner time is the absolute hardest hour ever. There's a reason it's called the witching hour.

    I've often wondered why the best of times are often the hardest times.

    And you know what? Looking back years later, the picture of little Hannah in her Halloween costume in front of the Christmas tree will be your favorite one of all!

  6. Heather, so what I'm hearing right here is that you are a mom and you are totally normal! Anyone that has children can relate to this. We all have this 'mom guilt' that we need to check at the curb, but can't. Then I feel guilty that I can't check the guilt at the curb. Does it ever end? I don't think so. But a good cry is so helpful. So are husbands that rub our back. You are amazing, I have always thought that. I'm so proud of you for all that you have done. You are awesome! Of course I am the master flicker. I flick when they scream. It's not bad that you can't stand it, it's normal. We all deal with it in our own ways. I'm a flicker. Merry Christmas, you're awesome!

  7. Heather,

    I'm so glad you wrote this post. So many bloggers leave posts like this out, so that there is a rather un-real perfectness to them. So, you really are a delightful real woman with irritation at dinner-time as only a very small part of your whole. When you think of all you do (driving to NYC-the most amazing thing with 3 children in the car!!!! being the most recent)you surprisingly manage to get so much done.

    I'm amazed at you actually. You are such a special person in every way.
    Love, Aunt Judy

  8. Heather, I love this post! I am always trying to do the same things...especially at Christmas time. I want to have the perfect pictures to remember how much "fun" we had decorating the tree, making cookies, etc. But, it never turns out the way I imagine and I usually end up getting frustrated! I love a tell-it-how-it-really-is post...nothing makes me smile more than knowing someone else is going through it too ;-)

  9. This was a great post. Loved it.