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Saturday, December 24, 2011

First Family Christmas - The Reality

Everyone paints a baby's first Christmas as an amazing, wonderful time, but I lament that such an illusion isn't entirely true when you're a first time mom with a tiny infant.  Perhaps with older children, born earlier in the year, but Christmas with a three and a half month old, actually a sick three and a half month old, is downright difficult.  So here is how I feel about our first Christmas as a family of three...

First and foremost Emily is sick.  This time she is congested to the gills.  For the past five days she's sounded like an old man breathing underwater.  While her snot bubbles are kinda adorable they just illustrate how congested she is.  Even with her newly prescribed inhaler nothing seems to help except a lot of snuggling and pacing the house.  Fussiness has been the rule lately. 

Then there the general chaos of my life.  Five days a week I am not home and when I do come home after work most of my time is spent putting Emily to bed.  She's been fighting sleep, sometimes until as late as 9pm.  I have very little time left for any Christmas related activities like I'd like.  Baking, Christmas movies, and shopping have been almost unobtainable. 

Also, this year Shawn is working both Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day.  I also am doing a four hour stint Christmas night at the nursing home since no one else would work Christmas.  The three of us won't be together for more than an hour or so the entire day so we are celebrating our Christmas on the 26th.  I don't mind waiting a day, but its still not quite the same when the rest of the world isn't celebrating with you. 

When it comes to traditions and little Christmas moments there isn't a lot of that this year either.  The fact that Emily is too small, sick, and fussy combined with Shawn and my own work schedule has put a damper on creating our own fun, little traditions.  I am sad we haven't been able to do more and that Emily doesn't understand things yet.  I'd love to take tons of photos, dress Emily up in cute outfits, and have her watch me bake awesome tasting cookies if I could. 

And am I the only one who thinks its silly to wrap presents for my three month old only to turn around and unwrap them myself?  She doesn't have the motor skills or attention span to be remotely interested in the idea of presents.  I did get her a few gifts, but they aren't yet wrapped.  Part of me feels guilty for not wanting to wrap the gifts, but I can't be the only one who feels this way, can I? 

So, part of me is exhausted and Ba-humbug about Christmas this year while the other part is trying to squeeze in a little Christmas cheer here and there.  First Christmases aren't just smiles and twinkling lights, at least in our household.  I'm holding out that next year, when she'll be fifteen months old, we will have a much better and more enjoyable Christmastime!  ...no sickness...more time..and lots of fun with Emily unwrapping gifts!

Until then, I will make the best of the little moments I have this year, however small they are. 


Merry Christmas to all of you!  And thank you for taking the time to read.

- Jen

14 comments:

AmyBean said...

Aww, it's crazy, but you'll remember this Christmas fondly. You know what I would do with her presents? Put them in bags. Then it's not so much work for you, and she might be able to participate in taking things out (and if she can't or won't, you can play peek-a-boo with her presents popping out of the bags).

Merry Christmas Jen! I hope it's wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to you as well! Hope you have a wonderful day, and all the best in 2012

~hydrantgirl

Nolie said...

Enjoy those little moments. Christmas is always crazy with kids. Merry Christmas

thesedaysofmine.com said...

I haven't visited in awhile, Jen. Sorry that things aren't going so well for you right now. It will get better. I agree with you that there's no need to wrap gifts for Emily - don't feel guilty about not doing it. Whatever works best and makes life easier for you right now...that's what you need to be doing!
Merry Christmas - hope you can get some rest soon!

kittyhere said...

The picture above is going to be a treasure. I loved the one of the two of you when you selected the tree.

I think people put too much into the first Christmas, or first years in general. Many things will be much more meaningful when Emily is 4-7. Don't burn yourself out before then.

Just concentrate with getting & staying well for now.

laraine said...

What an awesome family photo!. The first Christmas is not all its made out to be. My boys were only 5 months old on their first Christmas. I didn't wrap stuff for them. I don't think I even got them anything. I mean, they were only 5 months old - and because they were preemies they really at the level of 3-1/2 month olds. Don't sweat it and don't feel guilty. Whats most important is the time we spend with our kids and family. Everything else is extra, the time is the most important.

Next year will be more fun. I found that Christmas became really fun for the kids at around age 3. Before that they were too little to understand.

Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family

Laraine

Jan in Florida said...

Expectations can be a plus or a minus! Every Christmas from now on will be great! Now is the time to create traditions...picture in front of the tree with her own yearly ornament....my daughter has all 21 of hers on her own tree every year!Also, Skipe with your parents. Your Mom is a wonderful remedy during difficult baby times like these! Saline nosedrops seemed to help when my kids had a really congested nose.Good Luck!!

Stella said...

These are the good old days. Have fun. Love Stella

Anonymous said...

Whatever goes on with your Baby don't worry about it-make great memories and cherish every thing-even her snot and sickness!

Glyndalyn said...

Merry Christmas, Jen.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your belated Christmas day today! Remember the reason for the season and cherish the togetherness that you are able to enjoy on this day. There will be many other Christmas mornings where little Miss Emily can open her gifts, you catch those moments with your trusty camera and millions of other holiday moments to come. Being with one another and cherishing those moments is more important than anything else in the world!

I hope Emily gets better soon, that you get some rest and have a wonderful, joyous New Year!!!

Regan Zick

SharleneT said...

We never wrapped Santa's presents and when the babies were small, like Emily, we didn't wrap her presents, either. Do what works for you -- it's your family and your traditions. If you can't be together on the actual holiday, celebrate another day... here's my prayers that Emily gets better soon.

Smile Steady said...

If it makes you feel any better, we didn't even get Abbott any presents... not a single one. We figured he'd get plenty from family and he doesn't really need anything/can't play with toys or anything right now anyway! In fact, there weren't any presents under our tree this year at all!

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