Note: This was written on Christmas Eve, but because my site was down, it wasn't actually published until now. Still, I think it's relevant.
Today was a hard one. I have been so busy lately. With what, I’m not quite sure. There’s just the hustle and bustle around the holidays. I tried to get things done early this year, and I did for the most part. I had most of my gifts wrapped before Christmas Eve, which isn’t normal for me. But maybe that made my life just a little more hectic leading up to today. I’ve been busy with performances and things. I usually play a lot this time of year and although I’ve been busy this year, I don’t feel like I’ve been nearly as busy as I was in past years. Still, this year is overwhelming. A couple of weeks ago when I was helping London get ready for a Gypsy performance, I got pretty upset with her. She was whining about something having to do with getting ready and I just laid into her and yelled at her about how everything we were doing was for her, which was true, but none of the things we were doing were actually helping her.
Everything came to a head today. I was preparing for my parents to come stay for Christmas. We also invited Taylor's dad and brother over for Christmas Eve dinner. A lot of things still needed to be done around the house, like cleaning toilets (which didn’t happen), vacuuming, moving beds around, washing sheets, cleaning mirrors, (which also didn’t happen) mopping downstairs, etc. I was also preparing a big meal for everyone. I thought I was pretty organized and I would be able to handle it. Things were going smoothly. Then things started piling up. Ashton needed someone to play with. The kids were fighting and Taylor went surfing so I was home alone dealing with them. When Taylor got home, he got to work on my list of things that needed to get done. He helped corral the kids. Then at some point, London came asking me if I could get her some thread to hand sew a purse together that she has been begging me to help her with for a long time. I keep putting her off because I’m always doing other things and, frankly, I really don’t want to deal with the purse. She constantly wants me to do projects with her. She has been begging me to make a sleep mask with her for a while now, but I’ve just been too busy. I felt bad and so I stopped what I was doing and pulled out the thread for her. I helped her get started and she assured me she knew what she was doing. A few minutes later, she was stuck. Her thread was all over the place and she couldn’t figure out what she had done wrong. I didn’t want to help her fix it. There was so much on my to-do list. But I stopped to help her. Suddenly I got really frustrated. The task of backtracking and fixing her mistake seemed too daunting and I just didn’t have time to do it. I felt like just throwing the whole thing in the trash. She could feel my frustration, even though I tried to stay calm. She was very sweet and told me I could just throw it away. Then she left to give me some space. I sat on my un-made bed with that makeshift little purse and just cried. I failed my daughter today. I failed her this month. All she wanted was a mom who would help her with a small sewing project and I failed miserably at that. I cried about how I’m too busy for my daughter. I cried about how I’m too busy doing things for her that I don’t have time to be the mother that she needs me to be and do things with her. I cried about how I’m too busy thinking of the next thing on my list of tasks that I don’t take the time to sit with her and read a book or color a picture or listen to her talk about life. I have moments where I am that mother, but that’s the mother she needs me to be all the time, not just in small moments. She’s growing up and I’m missing it because I’m too busy, too busy doing things for her.
This year for Christmas, I’m going to give my family me. I’m going to stop doing so much and just be. I’m going to be a mother who they can talk to because I listen. I’m going to be the mother they can count on because I will drop whatever unnecessary thing it is that I’m doing and be there when they need me. And tomorrow after the gifts are all opened and the house is a mess and the kids are fighting, I’m going to close my eyes for a minute and wish I wasn’t there. But then I’m going to remember that I am their mother and that’s all I ever really wanted to be.