Confessions of an Imperfect Mom: Christmas Edition

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Hey Mommas.

It’s easy to feel like a complete failure sometimes, isn’t it?

Hashtag “Momfail”, right?

I suspect it is even easier to feel like a failure during the holidays because the expectations of the season make the bar feel so high.

And scrolling through social media doesn’t help.  It usually pushes that hypothetical bar even higher. Everyone else appears to be doing life beautifully while you know the reality of your own situation.

Well, I am here to assure you that for every pretty picture of Christmas lights hanging in the kids’ bedrooms, there are realities that weren’t captured for the world to see.

So as this season of giving comes to a close, let my final gift to you be a few of my #momfail stories this December.

It isn't always picture perfect. I am an imperfect mother and I am learning to embrace who I am.

Let’s start with our wonderful Jesse Tree tradition.

We didn’t finish.  We didn’t even get past Day 10.  Oh, rest assured that those first 10 days were good ones, but then it just ended.

This #momfail probably had to do with my birthday. I turned 40 on December 20th and the month held a few birthday treats including a surprise visit, a weekend away and special dinners. It was a fantastic and memorable month, but our normal seasonal routines were completely thrown off.

And the Jesse Tree took a back seat to Mom’s 40th.  How very selfish of me.  (*wink)

But let’s continue this discussion with a look at my amazing Christmas decor?  Here it is in all its splendor and glory:

Do you see it?  The fantastic teal Christmas tree?

I grabbed it this year for my mantle because it matched the everyday color theme.  The addition of that little tree created the most Christmas-y mantle I have ever had. Normally, I don’t even bother with any seasonal decor, but that little teal tree was calling my name, so I made an exception.

For the most part, decorating is not one of the many adulting tasks that inspire me.  I would much rather go out for coffee with a friend or write on this blog or read a good book or about a million other things.

Which means that there is a very good chance that my little teal tree might still be there in February.

And it makes sense at this point to admit that I don’t have a Christmas manger scene anywhere in my house.  I sold my Precious Moments display earlier this year because it finally occurred to me that I should embrace my decorating #momfails and be the mom that doesn’t decorate for Christmas.

Then I am not failing.  I am actually succeeding at being the mom that doesn’t decorate!  Get it?

Thank goodness the kids have their dad who hangs those lights in the bedroom.  And I can thank my oldest daughter for hanging the stockings in a timely manner each year. I just sit and eat chocolates while they all work.  (ahem)

Now let’s talk about Christmas Eve. I enjoyed peeking at the beautiful dinners, matching outfits, and table settings while scrolling through Instagram. But there weren’t any pictures like that coming from my little corner of the world.

Our Christmas Eve dinner consisted of leftovers.  Everyone had a choice: a bowl of chili or Asian Chicken.  And just to make it a little more well rounded, I did put out a lovely bowl of grapes and some baby carrots.

To top off this special meal, we ate our dinner on trays in the living room while watching a Christmas movie on Amazon.  Nothing fancy was going on at the Wilson house.

All of those beautiful family photos of the kids on Christmas?

Yeah.  About that.

It occurred to me as I scrolled through Facebook on Christmas Day that I did not take a family picture at all this Christmas. And I certainly didn’t have a picture of my kids in front of the tree.  Whoops.  Major #momfail.

I finally remembered to gather everyone on December 27th as I was headed to bed early because I didn’t feel so hot.  So here we are in our finest casual wear for the official 2016 family Christmas photo.

Cause that is how we roll at the Wilson house.  In bright red socks with pants that are too short.  And tie-dye.  And sweats.

I didn’t notice how short Daniel’s pants were until I posted this picture.  Seriously.  The boy needs some longer pants.

Sometimes it seems easier to count the imperfections as failures instead of embracing them as part of who I am.  But I am learning to accept the imperfections.


I’m the mom that might serve you leftovers in our non-decorated family room before we rock out a fantastic card or board game.  Then I’ll take you for a drive to some cool light displays while we sing Christmas carols in the car.  When we get home, it is hot chocolate with whipped cream for everyone!

And I don’t care if your pants are too short.

Because that is the mom that I am.

You are the imperfect mom that your kids adore! Embrace who you are.

And I am grateful when my kids remind me that I am enough for them.

In fact, you might be interested to know that I was truly feeling a pang of guilt over the whole lack of a fancy Christmas Eve dinner until my daughter made a comment on her way to bed that night.  

“That was so much fun, Mom.  We should watch a movie every Christmas Eve.”


Embrace who you are, Momma!  You are the mom they adore.  


Learn to love the year you are with even if it isn't perfect.Mommy Guilt. It can hit at the most random times. Here are a few strategies for coping with it when it comes up.


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9 thoughts on “Confessions of an Imperfect Mom: Christmas Edition”

  1. Our Christmas Day plans changed at the last minute, and we found ourselves with no dinner plans at all. And no food in the house at all. Except panettone and chocolate. Which we had all eaten too much of already. So we, and all of the folks in our neighborhood who do not celebrate Christmas, went to our local Chinese restaurant for Christmas dinner. Yep. We had won ton soup, dumplings, and lo mein for Christmas dinner. And it was amazing. And there was no clean up. We just might have to do it every year.


      Oh my gosh. I love when a mess up becomes a new favorite family story to tell…and maybe even a new tradition!

  2. When I was a kid, my mom started making english muffin pizzas on Christmas Eve because we could do it ourselves and she was short on time. It turned into one of our favorite traditions. Now I make pizzas with my kids on Christmas Eve 🙂

  3. I relate to so much of this, Mary, (don’t tell, but you reminded this pastor’s wife that she’d forgotten to get out the nativity scenes), but you really got me with the pants. I am a master at failing to notice my boys’ too short pants. Until they’re walking ahead of me down the sidewalk (especially to church), that is. And then forgetting all about them again until we rinse and repeat the next week. The fact that they’re tall and skinny does not help.

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