a really good cathartic no.
Claire, your aunt is right—that took a lot of guts. You did the right thing. I’m so glad they all took it well!
I am saving this to remind me to let go of some of the holiday crap. There is so much.
I want to remind everyone that my grandmother actually died while ironing (she had a heart attack, and I kid you not), so perfection can be deadly.
I assume many of us watched the Christmas episode of The Bear and maybe didn't relate to the extent of the family trauma, but watched the mom angrily stirring pots in the kitchen for hours and refusing help and thought OH GOD I'VE BEEN THERE. And how liberating it is to realize you can opt out of being that mom yourself! (I mean, at least once in a while)
This is why NO-vember exists. Or it should. I practice saying no all month so I’m able to practice gratitude the rest of the time.
I HOSTED THANKSGIVING LESS THAN 48 HOURS AFTER HAVING MY THIRD BABY. This year we're going to Puerto Rico.
Hallelujah! I read the whole first half with my butt cheeks clenched, thinking, “I hope she cancels! There’s still time to cancel...” and you did! You reclaimed some sanity. Not easy to do, particularly at holiday time.
OH MY GOD ALL OF THISSSSS. Thank you for saying that no and telling us about it. I am thinking HARD about how to handle Christmas this year -- our first since the separation, and there is so much pressure to keep it the same as always for the kids, but also that makes so much work for me ("same as always" = hosting 23 people for Christmas dinner) and... idk. I'm not sure I can bear to disappoint my kids by not doing it, but I am going to THINK about what else it could be.
My mom noped out of going to big family holidays, but still put on a “nice” dinner for the four of us that took more work than it should have. But what holiday dinners do my sister and I still talk about as adults? The one where the power went off and we prepared literally everything on the grill and the one where we all had the flu and had canned chicken soup and ice cream. Partially because they were different but most because those were the ones where it was a full family production not the “mom show.”
I bet your boys remember frozen pizza Thanksgiving.
True american hero Claire!!!!
My household has also invented a dinner called “i give up” dinner. It is for when everyone in the house is sick and you are the least sick and therefore responsible for food excusing or when one spouse is on a business trip and also for migraine days and it is just path of last resistance food. That could mean cereal. That could mean just getting a pizza from Fat Chris’ or just some amalgamation picky child will agree to eat in the house and also you can eat. Or whatever! But sometimes we all need an i give up dinner.
I actually teared up at your Aunt's message! I love her! Definitely keep that post-it handy!
Oh my goodness I almost cheered out loud in this Starbucks when I got to the part where you canceled, and THEN the people in your life supported you in that! I am sitting here waiting for the aquarium to open with a huge goofy grin on my face!!! I love everything about this post!
I love this SO much. Thank GOD you cancelled. And I agree w your therapist, be proud of yourself for seeing the lunacy (lol but seriously) and changing your mind. That’s huge and not easy. Also the best piece of advice that I’ve received and actually listen to is this: “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” Repeat repeat repeat. Making your life easier and cutting corners when possible makes for a better life for you, and your family. But mostly I’m thinking about you.
Inspired and inspiring. Excited for you and your pjs and movies day!
I feel everything could be made easier if the central, compassionate question for family gatherings could be: How can we make this easier on ourselves? Ease is an under appreciated value/priority!
Wheeeeeewwww Claire this was exactly what I needed to read after a week dealing with sick kid and prepping the house for me to go on a work trip and buying an “art cart” (wtf?) to arrange our insane number of markers like some fucked up insta mom and anyway I love you. Your aunt is right.
Watching my mom martyr herself for stupid reasons over and over again and swearing "I will never do that!" Flash forward to me angrily ironing linen (?!) napkins at 11pm and huffily refusing my husband's help. The call is coming from inside the house.
I am planning to sit down with my husband this weekend to go over the Holiday Labor Spreadsheet and ty Claire for the inspo to unload more stuff on him and/or delete some of those rows forever!!!