This year was my first time having the full two weeks off over the Christmas Holidays. I was not prepared for the time to fly by so fast! No matter how much time I get off, my to do list is bigger than my holiday break.
My girls are 8 and 11. That means prime “I’d rather watch tv than do anything useful” age. Two weeks off school seems to be right up their alley. No work, no dance classes, no real need to even get out of bed.
Enter “Let’s get stuff done Mom”. (That’s me.)
My idea of Christmas Break is doing the thousand things around the house that I haven’t made time for during the 50 other weeks of the year.
What’s on my “get it done” list? Literally everything: Make healthy meals, and prep meals for busy weeknights; sort and organize the craft and games area; donate books; dust surfaces and vacuum; and purge every shelf, drawer, and surface in the house. Kids rooms are no exception.
On top of these everyday jobs, there are the Christmas tasks: take down the tree; put all the new stuff away; find every piece of holiday decor before you stack the rubbermaids back downstairs; and put all the reusable wrap, bags, ribbons, and tags back in the containers you put away before Christmas happened.
I know, that’s a lot of stuff to fit into what’s really about 5 days of “free time” – and that doesn’t count friends or family coming by for a weekday visit.
What did we actually get done?
The girls and I purged some clothing. We all got clothes for Christmas, and in order to fit them into dressers, we had to do some sorting and organizing. Thankfully we all found some things to pass along.
I was also able to offload some “stuff” from a few cupboards. Old curtains, servingware I’ve never used, some sheets, fabric shopping bags (because we easily have twenty), and old towels and dishcloths. Most of these were to make room for new things, but not all.
Bedroom tidying did happen. My daughters have very different living styles. Rose, my youngest, tolerates a mildly messy room, but Emma can live in a complete whirlwind of stuff everywhere. Her room triggers my anxiety, and I try to stay out of it as much as possible. But the two weeks of Christmas break just scream “USE ME!”
I’m fairly happy with the amount of extra work we got done over the break, but at the same time I could have filled another full week without even trying. I didn’t get any meal prep done for freezer meals, and I have more shelves and cupboards that could stand a sorting, but overall my home feels tidier and that works for me.
Please don’t think that all I did over break was housework. Part of the reason I didn’t get everything done is because we had family time too! Friends and family visited, we went skating one afternoon, and we had down time watching movies and playing games. Life is about balance. I’m not ashamed to say I didn’t get all the “work” done. What I am saying that is that I always over-plan and then never quite get through my to-do list. And that’s okay.
What about you?
How was your holiday break? Do you feel like you actually had a break? I do. Heading back to work felt like a chore, but I felt okay going back, knowing we all had a restful and productive break.
Related: A fellow writer shares her guide to staying present as a working mom over the holidays.
Do you make over-zealous plans for your home or lifestyle over school breaks? I’d love to hear your optimistic plans (and then your reality of what actually got done.)