Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Pressure: I'm Broke, So It's Off!

I was heading to physical therapy today and noted the crush of stressed out drivers at one of our local shopping hell holes.
That's right- Christmas is Friday, I thought, quite detached from the scene.
Part of that detachment is that I'm home with a baby all day. I'm not around energetic, accomplished adults who are raring to buy gifts and go all out for the holiday season. I'm sure I'd be way more swept up in the excitement if I were around people all day who felt that way, but my nine month old baby is CLUELESS!
Another reason I am putting very little pressure on myself to buy perfect gifts this year is that because of my ten month maternity leave, we do NOT have extra money. I'm pretty much buying one simple present for each person in my life, and that's it.

Sure, one reason I'm not stressed is that I'm not yet trying to balance working with caring for my baby and paying attention to the husband, but I do think I have consciously "opted out" of Christmas this year. Not really by choice, but it's just not an option for me to head out to Lord and Taylor to buy more gifts. I have acknowledged it and accepted it, and I don't feel bad about it.

I will head tomorrow to buy something little for the babe's daycare teachers and my physical therapist though.

Another way I'm letting myself off the hook this year is not feeling like I have to search for the "perfect" gift, because those are usually pricy. I am OK this year with "good enough" gifts that I can afford. (Part of me does wish I'd worked harder to find perfect gifts, but I'd rather focus on getting my family and me ready for the transition coming up in four weeks when I go back to work. Pumping breastmilk, cleaning house, taking care of details, etc.)

I worry that I sound like a self-centered person in this post, but I fear what will happen if I overextend myself right before I jump into the stress of going back to work.

I do admit, it feels kind of good to see other people freaking out, but not be freaking out myself. It's not that I feel superior to those people or anything. It just highlights how thankful I am not to be in a frenzy this week like some of the shoppers I'm seeing.

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