Before I embark on this post I feel the need to share that I’m so not ready for Christmas, I started to blitz the house this morning and got half way through before distracting myself with a run on the treadmill, an epic baking expedition of gingerbread and mince pies (we’ve enough to feed the street) and starting a cake decorating project. I’ve still presents to wrap, I’ve still got the bedrooms to deep clean (although why I need to deep clean them I’ll never know, Santa isn’t mates with Mrs Hinch and won’t be doing a full inspection) and I’ve still dinner preparations to do (yep, I’m hosting again this year I’m also pretty sure there’ll be something I’ve forgotten to buy or do. And yet I’m here, writing a post instead of getting to work…because we all know I’m a great procrastinator!!

Anyway, I digress (for a change) tonight after bedtime story, as we snuggled up, little P turned to me and excitedly whispered, “you don’t have to go to work for a week mummy” and after melting into a pool of mummy love, I gathered myself, kissed her little nose and said, “nope, I can stay with you!” I broke up from school yesterday lunchtime and told her when I arrived at Granny T’s that I would be home for a week and a half. She was so giddy! Because despite everything about Christmas she wants time with me.

It’s so easy for us all to forget this Abs worry about getting the prefect tree up, gifts, decorations and menu options. I mean we’re all a but guilty of it aren’t we, especially those of us that are lucky enough to be financially stable enough, of getting caught up in the materialism of Christmas. When in actual fact it’s the time that matters. It’s about what you do, not what you buy. If there’s anything that this last year has taught us, let it be about the gift of time.

It’s hard a Christmas and birthdays, I always try not to get swept away in buying her stuff then worry that I’m not giving her enough, it’s such a hard balancing act. When I asked this year what she wanted from Santa, I was so proud, “just one present under the tree to open, just one and that will be so good mummy” it was just the thought of getting a gift that she was bothered about (I’ll reminder of this when she’s fourteen and asking for the equivalent of the latest iPad). I know her though and in all honesty this didn’t surprise me because she loves the small things, like going for a walk, going to the park, driving in the car or walking around spotting the Christmas lights and trees in people’s gardens, she likes driving up to watch the planes take off and being allowed to eat tea as a picnic on the floor in the living room. In actual fact, she just likes time with me.

We baked this afternoon and very randomly she suddenly shouted out with glee (oops I’ve listened to far too many Christmas songs) “I love baking with you mummy” and despite her gingerbread men taking on questionable shapes and the mince pies that she was in charge off getting stuck to the tin, I loved it too (even if my freshly steam cleaned kitchen looked like a flour bomb had hit it). It’s one of our favourite pastimes and really, what Christmas and being a mum is all about. Being together. Me and her, her and me.

The fact is, I often don’t take enough time to enjoy her. I can easily get caught up in the rushing around of daily life and frustrations of juggling everything that it’s good at Christmas to take a breath out, relax and really focus on giving her what she needs, because I need it too.

A colleague was chatting to me the other day, I was feeling a little (ok a lot) stressed and overwhelmed with a variety of things and she just said, “ok so what do you need to do to distract yourself from these worries, what makes you feel good and forget about everything else” of course little P came out as one of the top things but in my discussion I mentioned how sometimes I don’t let myself be in the moment with her. Sometimes I’m doing the activity I’ve set up for us but my mind is still ticking over about the email I need to send, the scheme of work I need to write or the bloody assignment I need to crack on with (that deadline is getting closer). She’s not daft either, she knows when I’m not fully present and it doesn’t do either of us any good. We are a good partnership and I need to make sure we both use that to get what we need.

Now I’m also a realist. And as much as I love little P, as much as she’s my wing man and mini me, she also a pain in the arse and sometimes I could quite happily put her up on a selling site to see if I got any takers! Motherhood and our little duo isn’t always smile, love hearts and picture perfect Kodak moments, it’s not the insta story we all try to portray, it’s carrying her out of public places surf board style because she’s having a tantrum, it’s having cheese on toast for tea because I’ve not the time or energy to whip up a big meal whilst she’s hanging off my arm nagging to play school, it’s cutting corners sometimes, it’s actually needing my own space sometimes and it’s desperately missing her when I get it. It’s a fickle, bittersweet but bloody wonderful thing and this Christmas and time together will be just that, the rollercoaster of loving every minute to wishing it away the next.

So no, I don’t have to go to work for a week and we will spend it together little miss P. Just the two of us.

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