Saying No And Saying Yes.

It's been an intense week. One kid came down with the tummy flu, two other kids had class parties, recitals, Secret Santas, carpools, and caroling. A rare, winter storm blew in dumping a ton of (much needed) but inconveniently timed rain.

By Wednesday night I was worn out, soaked through and well....not at my Christmas cheer best. By Thursday night I was a weepy mess.

I wanted to chuck the entire Christmas thing out the window and go bury myself in bed.

Then Matt walked in the door with a hot, eggnog latte and I very nearly burst into tears of gratitude.

"Just  go sit on the couch," he said. "Watch the Food Network."

I obeyed him. Happily.

As I sat there, sipping my latte, I realized that I had piled my plate too high. I said yes to unnecessary things. Those things were robbing me of enjoying the truly important things.

I felt guilty about saying no, especially to good things. But having a big family requires saying no more often. I have to accept that some people won't understand. They will be upset that I can't do everything they ask of me. I have to accept that many folks don't understand the amount of work required to get our family of seven out of the door.

Sometimes I feel obligated to pack everyone into the car and attend another program. But I'm letting that sense of obligation go. It's not my job to look good for other people, to keep up appearances or to do something just because that's what you're supposed to do at Christmas.

If I'm a burned out, crazy lady running around yelling at everyone to GET IN THE CAR NOW! what's the point?

All the presents in the world can't make up for a cranky Mommy.

It's Friday morning as I type this. The twins are down for a nap, the kids have bundled off to school in their pajamas for "Polar Express Day."

I'm going to take a hot shower, put on some music and bake cookies. Not because I have to. Because I want to. And when my children arrive home from school I'm going to hug them and kiss them and tell them how much I love them.

Then we'll cuddle up in the living room with some good books next to a cheery fire. I'm going to just BE with my kids.

Who cares if none of their presents are wrapped yet?