Between buying the decorations, hauling out the raggedy artificial tree, decorating the tChristmas for Supermoms is when we really get to either strut our stuff, or work ourselves to a mental breakdown.ree, the halls, the windows, cooking the turkey, baking the cookies, making sure the Christmas CD’s are working, buying the gifts, wrapping the gifts, stuffing the stocking, and writing and mailing all the cards to friends and family, it’s surprising there aren’t more husbands found dead with a Christmas angel stuffed down their throats.
Every year, Supermoms address all of the Christmas envelopes, decide who is “lucky” enough to receive a photo of the children, put a stamp and return address label on each envelope, and then hand less than half the pile to their husband to complete. His half will represent people that are “his” friends and family. His cards always go out late, and he always gets heaps of praise from his mother about how he sent out the cards “himself.” Congratulations.
When your children are young, they still believe in Santa Claus. This is a great leverage tool for Supermom. Use it well, and use it often. When you’re ready to purchase the gift “from Santa”, have your children write him a letter (or write it for them depending on their age), listing their choices. Then tell them they can’t alter the list. Convince older children than an intervening email will not do anything. Supermoms barely have time to purchase the first gift their children choose, let alone the twenty-seven items which come along once the catalogues and television ads start pouring in with a vengeance. There is nothing wrong with Supermom telling her children certain toys or items are too expensive for Santa to bring, or that his workshop doesn’t create rocket launchers.
Supermoms should try not to expect good behaviour from their children at Christmas. They’re so excited on Christmas morning that they’re about to explode into a million pieces. Toddlers and preschoolers tend to open every present they lay their eyes on. There is nothing quite so vicious as the wrath of a wronged sibling whose present has been erroneously opened by another. Instead of printing their name on the nametags, replace it with their picture, so they know which gifts are theirs.
Candy is a very important part of Christmas, especially to a child. Let them eat the candy from their stockings (it’s one day, come on), and then give them a tiny plate of Christmas dinner. They’ll be too excited and stuffed with chocolate to eat much, so don’t turn Christmas dinner into a fight over finishing their plate to get to dessert. Let them eat quickly and then get down from the table to play with their new toys. Even Supermom is allowed to take a break from ensuring the kids are getting all the right nutrients, just for one day. Think of it as a Christmas present to yourself.
After all, the one thing a Supermom would ask for is time, and any time that your children are happy, you’ve just bought yourself some happy time.
Excerpted from “The Secret Life of Supermom: How the Woman Who Does it All…Does It!” Kathy Buckworth, Sourcebooks, Inc., 2005