What I Do Is Enough: My Holiday Mantra

by farrah on November 2, 2014 · 5 comments

I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved to see a month end. Sure October had some wonderful things in store for us- but overall it was a grueling month which started off with a move. I learned a lot in the past few weeks, which I hope will help out in the weeks ahead with Christmas and all the chaos it brings. The most important lesson by far is that I need to remember that what I am and what I do IS enough. I’m making this my new holiday mantra.

A photo posted by Farrah (@momofthreeunder) on

Why (aka the excuses)

What let the month get away from us? Well, as I said there are a million reasons. The move, the twins’  birthday party, a week in Greece, a stomach bug and boom it was Halloween. I didn’t have costumes. I didn’t even have a plan. We didn’t even put up our decorations until the DAY BEFORE Halloween. I was too sick to even take them to a birthday party last week while my husband was out-of-town. In my heart I felt like a failure and a loser for not making this the ‘most exceptional fall ever’. We never made it to the pumpkin patch and did not carve a thing. I started feeling like a sham. This was my JOB. I was supposed to be going bananas for this stuff. WHAT ABOUT THEIR CHILDHOOD MEMORIES!!!????

Well screw that.

Along the way I realized that we just had to let things go. I was never going to be that mom who could craft a costume. The boys didn’t seem to be panicking over the fact that they didn’t have any (thankfully) so why did I lose sleep at night and precious brain cells worrying about it? What ended up happening was that I didn’t do a damn thing and the day before Halloween I found some play dress up costumes on clearance. They were perfect and everyone was happy.

Additionally, I didn’t have door to door trick or treating for the boys to do. In our smaller village it just wasn’t a thing. Sure I could have researched neighborhoods up by Den Hague or Amsterdam and drive 2 hours just so we could do it- but for what? To say that I did and yet in the end everyone would be miserable? No thanks. The day before Halloween we decided to participate in the expat club’s outing in a nearby city. We went last night and it was perfect. Not the same, not some giant over the top deal- but they had fun and the weather was beyond awesome.  Plus we saw this crazy thing:

A photo posted by Farrah (@momofthreeunder) on

It finally dawned on me last night that MY KIDS DON’T CARE how much of an effort I’m going to go through to do something/make something/be something for them, as long as I just ‘AM‘ for them. I don’t have to stress or guilt or lose sleep and have nightmares over failing them for being a parent in a foreign country who doesn’t have it all together. I mean, of course I will still do all of those things but at least I can see now that it only bothers me. Well, and probably my husband but he knew this going in to our relationship that I was crazy.

Ah, you crazy Pinteresters

By no means do I knock those parents that really do an awesome job with crafting, cooking, decorating, whatever. If that’s your gig- that’s totally awesome and your kids are super lucky that you do it for them. I wish I had your sense of organization and mad skills when it comes to making stuff, but that’s just not me. If I tried to MAKE it me then I know it would be forced and I’d be stressed and distracted around them. It doesn’t come naturally to me to be crafty- but loving the boys and doing things with them does. It’s a trade-off.

With a sigh I realized it was November 2nd today and I had already missed part of Dinovember. Meh. I don’t have it in me this year. I’m distracted trying to plan this trip back to the States and at the tail end of worrying if anyone is going to barf from that nasty bug we had last week. After that it’s Sinterklaas time here and Christmas. That in itself is enough to make my head explode.

I guess all that I want to say to you moms out there– those of you I see through the lens of Facebook and those I know are out there: give yourself a break this holiday season. Don’t stress if the cookies aren’t made, or you haven’t sewn the perfect Christmas morning tablecloth. You kids don’t care- they just want to see you be happy and silly and enjoy this time with them. I, for one and totally embracing this philosophy this year as I just think trying to overcommit would do me in. I have one goal: and that’s to make an awesome front window display because the boys love to come home and see it. Plus, I really like the idea of doing it too. Huh. Imagine that. Doing something for me as well as them. What a concept!

My holiday mantra

I won’t do it if it causes me more stress than enjoyment.

I won’t buy it if it’s not necessary or going to bring someone lasting joy.

I won’t waste time on it if it takes away from what is important.

I won’t abuse myself with cruel thoughts of failure or inadequacy. Ever.

I will be more simple, silly and just enjoy being with the kids. Even when they drive me nutty.

Give yourself a break this holiday people! Let’s go into the next two months relaxed and serene. Just for these two months. Let’s give it a shot, ok?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Julia November 2, 2014 at 12:00 pm

I need to adopt your mantras. This month has been hectic and it’s only going to get worst. I woke up this morning thinking it’s November 2 and I have no plans for Jacks birthday which is a few weeks away. This gave me a good dose of perspective.


2 farrah November 3, 2014 at 8:21 am

Good luck! Hang in there. Sometimes the best parties are those with the least amount of planning- I learned that lesson this year 🙂


3 Jaclyn November 2, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Amen, sister! We were the only family here that never made it to a pumpkin patch and we finally carved a pumpkin on Halloween. My girls costumes cost $8 total for both. Guess what? They still had a blast and didn’t know the difference. Pinterest is fun to look at, but I have to remind myself that just because someone pinned it, most likely they will never make it! haha
“Comparison is the death of joy.”-Mark Twain


4 farrah November 3, 2014 at 8:23 am

There are so many times I look at Pinterest and I’m like- when are these people making this stuff? Like- if I sat down to do a project I’d have three ‘helpers’ making whatever I was doing more clean up and recovery than not. Total props to those people that can make it work (and to be honest, I have more crafty than non-crafty friends in my life) I just don’t know how they do it!


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