It always surprises me how quickly Christmas seems to come and go. There is this massive build up and then suddenly it’s over and you’re in that weird week between Christmas and New Year where you have no idea what day it is!
This year was Evie’s first Christmas and even though I knew she didn’t understand what was going on, I really wanted to make it special for her. She had her Christmas Eve box with festive pyjamas and books (that I forgot to actually put inside, so around noon I said to my husband, “Oh can you fetch that Christmas book from the cupboard, she can have it now!”…well done, Mum!) and a Santa sack of presents for Christmas morning. We didn’t want to go overboard in buying her gifts, so instead we tried to focus on a few things that she needs. We went with an activity table for her main gift and so far it’s a hit!
Every Christmas Eve we go to church with my family. We sing carols and it really marks the beginning of Christmas for me. The service began right at Evie’s bedtime and I was dreading having an overtired baby to entertain. Much to my surprise (and sheer delight!) Evie was a superstar. She sat quietly on my lap reading books, smiling at family members and waving to her Grandad as he did a reading. She stayed awake through the whole thing, including the journey home and then just went to bed. I had been so worried about it all that prior to leaving I’d suggested to my hubby that maybe he and Evie should just stay home and I would go to church alone. We decided to just power through though and now, looking back, I’m so glad we did.
I find it amazing that every time I worry so much, Evie always surprises me. She was very colicky as a newborn and even now at 9 months old, I still have this fear of her having a complete meltdown while we’re out and I’ll be unable to do anything about it. What I’m trying to be much better about now is knowing that you can’t determine how your child is going to behave, especially when they’re so young, and sometimes you’ll be able to calm them down and other times you won’t. It’s ok.
The other thing I keep trying to tell myself is if Evie is upset, whether when we’re out or at home, it’s not because I’m a bad mother. Recently, Evie has been going to bed at night just fine, but then waking about an hour later really upset. We would be doing everything to try and settle her, but nothing would work. For me, it’s so hard in those moments to always stay calm. I get emotional and my mind starts going into overdrive, having thoughts of “What am I doing wrong?” or “It’s me, I’m the reason she’s upset.” Really the reality is always, I’m doing nothing wrong and I’m actually doing everything I can to help her. Evie will calm down when she’s ready and she’ll go back to sleep when she’s tired enough. It’s easy to write that and think about it after the fact, but what I’d love to learn is how to tell myself that in the moment. If anyone has any tips, send them my way!
She seems to be getting more and more teeth, which I’m sure is a big part of her night time dilemmas at the moment. However, because she’s so up and down at night, she is super tired in the day. She goes down for her afternoon nap with no fuss and is out like a light for a couple of hours. She was sleeping so well on Christmas, that we actually had to wake her up so we would get to my parent’s house on time! Evie has never really been what I would call a good napper, so part of me is doing a little happy dance that she seems to have gotten the hang of it, while the other part of me is worried she’s sleeping too much in the day. I guess part of being a Mum is that there will always be something to worry about!
On Christmas day we spent the morning at home, opening gifts and enjoying some time with just the three of us (and Margie of course!). Naturally, Evie was more interested in the wrapping paper than what was inside any presents, but she was happy and enjoying herself and that was the main thing.
We spent the afternoon with my side of the family, which includes two of Evie’s cousins. The eldest is 7 and the youngest 15 months. They are both wonderful with Evie and it was so lovely to have them altogether and opening presents. As the day went on and the little ones got tired, there was a LOT of Peppa Pig (Saint Peppa as I now call her!) but they all managed really well with a long day and little routine.
Despite my worries and anxieties about Evie being over-tired and not on schedule, Christmas has been extra special this year. I’ve said it before, but I really am very fortunate to have the family around me that I do. After living in Chicago for nearly 10 years, it’s a treat to be home and even though we’ve lived here a year now, the year has flown by so it still feels very special to be back. On Christmas, Evie and me were surrounded by family that love us and really that’s what made the day so great.
Hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas,
Little Evie & Me xx