This Is Not a Thanksgiving Post

I am not good at sharing emotions on demand. Or under expectation. I woke up in a bad mood this morning knowing I’d have the three kids alone most of the day. And I had to prepare for guests. And we were up all night with a croupy coughing little boy.

Often, I am thinking of how lucky we are. How lucky I am. This has been a good year. They all have been good years so far, for us. We have more than we deserve.

And yet this just happened. I was sitting in my bedroom on the floor, blow drying my hair in the mirror hanging on the back of the door. Ellie slammed open the door and the edge of the door slammed my shin. I screamed at her. I saw her face go from giggly mischief to embarrassment and shame. She ran to her bedroom, threw herself face down on her bed and sobbed.

Molly got onto her bed and rubbed her back. I stood at their door and heard Ellie say, through her tears, “Mommy was so mean to me!”

And of course I tried to make it right. It’s been a long morning of cleaning and dishwashing and picking up toys and double checking and picking up toys and working and picking up toys. My heart is not filled with spontaneous joy and gratitude at this very moment.

I am worried today won’t go well and my guests won’t have a good time. Or enjoy the food. Or think I keep a clean house.

And I am writing this post because perhaps someone else is struggling to get into the holiday mood today. Perhaps someone with worries bigger than my own.

I know we will have a great time regardless of how imperfectly planned and executed this meal may be. It will be about the company and laughing and enjoying our abundance of food and friendship.

Although I am thankful for many things, right now, as I prepare the kitchen for today’s craziness and celebration, I wish you peace and health; and I am so happy for the freedom to share my own ambivalence about the holidays.

This entry was posted in Family Life, It's All About Me, Mental health, New York City Living and Coping, Parenting Moments and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to This Is Not a Thanksgiving Post

  1. taminginsanity says:

    We all get this. Happy thanksgiving – hope your little guy feels better

  2. Monica says:

    Oh Wendy, I imagine that every mama can relate this post. I too struggle with trying to be present in the Holidays when my stress levels are through the roof. The expectations to cook, look presentable, watch my kiddos and make my house not resemble a home break in – usually drive me to a serious post Holiday migraine. I always try to enter it all with gratitude, but it’s hard to stay present in that. Yesterday we volunteered for Occupy Sandy and I wore sweats and donned crazy hair – it was perfect – but we missed seeing extended family and are feeling the pressure today. Thanks for sharing!

  3. mommyunmuted says:

    It’s so tough when our little ones look at us like we’ve wronged them, in one of our moments of high stress or weakness. Sounds like something that would happen to me on Thanksgiving. I can totally relate. Luckily, this year was exhausting, but minus any drama 🙂

  4. Shannon says:

    I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am a firm believer that the holidays bring out the best and worst in us. Hopefully, you got more of the “better” and muddled through the worst of it with grace and charm (that seems to be your style…). I will likely be up in your neck of the woods in January if you want to grab a drink and obsess about the details of holidays gone by…let me know!

  5. I get this. I do this. 😦 Love to you. I hope your Thanksgiving was lovely. xoxo

  6. Oh, Wendy! We were your guests! We were the people you were worried about not having fun or overanalyzing the state of your home!!
    Dear, dear friend … I hope you know how much you having us over last Thanksgiving meant to me. It was such a bright light in what turned out to be a horrible, horrible period in my life. You, the kids, your mom, Scott, Gerard … you were all a Godsend. Plus, I couldn’t NOT have fun with you!
    I know you know this, but you never EVER have to worry about anything with me. Ever.
    I always appreciate you just as is.

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