My name is Claire, and I am a control freak.
I have to confess, I take on way too much, actively stop other people from helping me because I feel I should be doing it, and then get majorly stressed out by having to do it all, and wanting it all to be perfect. Pretty stupid really, hey? What kind of idiot refuses help from willing volunteers when there already aren’t enough hours in the day? And then has the cheek to be stress-y about it!
I’ve made a revelation, which started out as a pledge to make Christmas less stressful by recruiting helpers in the form of my husband and boys, who would be only too happy to chip in and do their bit, and we’d all have more fun along the way. Then I realised that, like a dog, a pledge shouldn’t just be for Christmas (and not the old one about a bit being left over for Boxing Day). This stress-reducing tactic applies to life, not just the fortnight around the festive period.
I also figured that if i didn’t tell anyone, I’d have no pressure to keep to my end of the deal, so here it is.
Let others help – they want to!
Make a list of things that need done (presents wrapped, decorations put up, hoovering, sprouts prepping) and let people pick their own – that way everyone should be keen to tackle their jobs and enjoy them more = everyone happier.
Give helpers a chance to show off – Youngest will enjoy making table decorations, Eldest might like to help make the pudding, and the end result might not be perfect, but they will have every reason to be proud of their achievements.
Don’t try to do it all. No-one cares if I hand-make wrapping paper, or have a perfectly co-ordinating table (or house!). They won’t even notice if I haven’t scrubbed the floor. It’s not vital to work myself to the bone, as long as things are vaguely presentable, that’s good enough.
Things won’t go perfectly. They never do. The tree might be wonky, the lunch might be late, wrapping paper may well be strewn across the floor, and the emergency chairs might have to come into play. But it’ll be fun. We’ll be happy, and we’ll have fond memories to laugh over in years to come.
I intend to actively publicise the mishaps, faux pas and general mishaps for you to laugh at, along with me. Facebook, especially, is full of edited highlights of people’s lives and it’s time to embrace real life in all its glory. I am thinking we should create a hashtag… how about #WonkyChristmas #WonkyLife?
I really hope you join in with me on this one… it could be fun.