I always feel so awkward when I start these posts; do I start with a greeting or just go straight in? Or do I talk about how awkward I find starting posts to avoid it all together? In my head these days, I seem to always be turning my life into a blog. Its real Carrie Bradshaw kind of stuff, my internal monologue is on fire and it stops at nothing! Everything, from how I shower to fluffing my Christmas tree, which both have absolutely no connection to my overall purpose of my blog. For instance, I didn’t even need to include this paragraph; I’ve just added it because it was what I was thinking about before I sat down.
I feel as though it is important to talk about the holiday season in regards to the triggering nature it has on people in terms of weight/food and financial stress. I have ALWAYS struggled around this time of year and not just when I was sick, but just in general. The prospect of eating and potentially gaining weight has always been a fear of mine since I can remember. Last year for Christmas, I was pregnant and for the first time in my life I felt a huge sense of relief, because I wasn’t allowed to starve myself and I was almost encouraged to eat as much as I wanted and whatever I wanted! I then didn’t need to worry about losing weight in the New Year. This year, I feel the same sense of being able to eat, enjoy and not worry about the aftermath. Why? Because I just cannot be bothered. I think my focus has just shifted and I just want to have the best first Christmas as a little family, even though my baby will have absolutely no recollection of it what so ever. I look back at Christmas time over the years and rather than beautiful memories coming to mind, I think of the fear surrounding the food, setting new years resolutions to lose weight and then starting some fad diet or “health kick” (which is just a diet with a different name). I would make sure on Christmas morning that I didn’t eat breakfast, so that I could save my calories for lunch or dinner or make sure I exercised and burned off the calories I ate the day before. I would eat the lean meats and salads and avoid the sweets and heavier sides. If you are feeling nervous for the same reasons this holiday season, I won’t sit and say to just “get over it” because that would be very boomer of me, but just know, if you do feel this way, that you are not alone. During this time, my advice would to be to unfollow anyone in social media that endorses weight loss, fad diets and shredding the holiday weight and follow people that that emphasise that it is okay to be human! If you don’t know where to start, I recommend following @iweigh on instagram as a starting point and see where you end up, you could end up stalking your ex. I also have a highlights reel on my instagram @mummyneutral with some other great accounts to follow!
Another daunting part of the holiday season is finances and if you haven’t been living under a rock for the last year, you would know there is some kind of global pandemic thing going on at the moment and a lot of people across the globe have lost their jobs, meaning this time of year could mean extra hardship for those effected. Although I haven’t experienced a huge amount of financial hardship for this time of year, I still have had a bit of a rough time, and I am so grateful for my anxiety for making me save some money in case of emergency and my parents. I had my daughter in May, which was just past the peak of COVID over here in Perth (a story I will save for another time) and when she was a month old, my husband was made redundant from his job. I was only receiving money from the government for 4 months for maternity leave as I had only just started my job when I fell pregnant and didn’t qualify for work paying me. I decided to halve my pay each time it came in, so I could extend my maternity leave for 8 months, however when my husband lost his job, we had to use that money I had saved to pay for rent. My husband eventually got a job, but unfortunately it covers rent and bills and there really isn’t much room for spending money, which is honestly so much more than most people have it right now and I am so grateful. Seeing as I have a baby, I thought this year I would just pay one fee and get professional Christmas photos taken and then I could just send them out as a gift for everyone, but if your baby is like mine and refuses to smile for strangers, it can be a waste of money, so my advice if you’re in a similar situation, is to get some cheap Christmas ornaments and create your own Christmas photos and print them! Use your baby to your advantage, heck put their photo on a mug, gifts are now sorted forever! (see photos below)
I feel I am not at that stage of motherhood where I can give advice for children’s gifts; my daughter will only be 7 months old and I haven’t really bought many gifts for kids in the past. This year I have wrapped up the back pack and lunch box I got her for starting day care in mid January; she gets her first Santa gift and then I can finally get over my anxiety of not having her bag already packed a month early.
Ever since I was 10 and I found out Santa isn’t real (spoiler alert), I haven’t really enjoyed Christmas. My presents and enthusiasm depleted and what was left were my drunken relatives and over cooked turkey. This year however, I AM SANTA! (Spoiler alert) Although my daughter has absolutely no idea what any of it means; Christmas is finally something I can look forward to again. I decided to buy a Christmas tree this year and when it arrived, I immediately put it up, not knowing the level of work was needed in doing so. I have since found out that there is a thing called “fluffing the Christmas tree” and there are YouTube videos to show you how! (I didn’t watch any) There are YouTube videos for absolutely everything these days. I digress, this year Christmas has a new meaning because I now have a child and I feel like she has helped me sieve out some of the negative thoughts I have towards this season regarding my weight and the fact Santa isn’t real. I will admit I do have my worries that one of my family members may comment on my weight, or if I should wear a shirt over my bathing suit, or wonder if someone will judge me for having a second helping of potato salad, but my main worry is staying sane while trying to tackle the many people wanting to play pass the parcel with my over tired child or having someone comment on the size of my areola (HUGE).
Have a lovely holiday season with whomever you celebrate or don’t celebrate with and I will be back next week.