This is a sponsored blog; while the views expressed here were genuinely mine, consideration was paid to me to produce this post.
It’s no secret I’m not the warm-fuzzy type of mom who was so excited to have children and who lives to keep them happy. There’s a lot of pressure these days to make people believe you’re that type of mom, and the ones who aren’t that type of mom are more than a little outcast.
I don’t think either type of mom is bad, or wrong, or that one type is better than the other. Let’s just be honest – we’re all doing something to mess our kids up. Some will turn out better or more successful than others, even right in our own families. It’s not always a direct reflection of your parenting skills or the type of parent you are.
I expect my children to do things for themselves, to challenge themselves. I expect them to figure out how to hang their own clothes in the closet rather than asking me to do it for them. I want them to develop independence and strong problem solving skills which can’t be done if I’m always hovering over them.
The secret is finding a balance between allowing them to figure things out for themselves and providing just the right amount of fun and love and warm memories. I refuse to feel bad for the type of parent I am – I’m a good mom and I want great things for my kids. I love them deeply, but they are not the center of my universe.
I try to do things with them that we will all enjoy because I think childhood is magical and obviously a great time for building memories, but one thing I’ve learned as an adult who reflects often on her past, is that we all take different threads of memory from each situation. There were times growing up we were forced to do things we didn’t want to do at the time that wound up being some of my favorite, deepest, most profound memories. Things I remember strongly, my sister doesn’t remember at all. Things I recall vividly, my friends recall completely differently. Times my parents remember as the best in my childhood are not the ones that are most colorful and memorable to me. It’s when you sit around as a family and reflect on those times together than the whole picture can be repainted with the different threads of recall contained in each of us.
It is with that realization I make decisions for my family and create new traditions. It is one of the reasons I love Christmas so and try to make it as magical as possible for my kids. No matter how much I was struggling financially when I was a single mom, Styles and I always had a great tree. My favorite trees were purchased from a local vendor. They were short, full, and difficult to get through the door. I found one tree in 2005 that was $80. I might have had $100 in the bank that day, but I had to have that very tree. Styles was jumping all over the lot excited about this tree, and his excitement was my own. I’ll never forget that day – or that tree – though he has probably long forgotten about it. It was a sacrifice I don’t regret making.
This holiday season I’ve cut back on my workload to almost nothing and while the financial prospect is terrifying for January, it has been a welcome time of reprieve. It has been fun spending more quality time with the kids and being able to check things off of my Christmas to-do list. It has left more time for reconnecting as a family doing simple, family things that we all love doing like watching new movies together.
I’m a sucker for a good feel-good movie, especially around Christmas time. It’s one of the few ways I allow myself to let go and be emotional. Last year we watched the movie, Northpole on the Hallmark channel. We also got the book and the Northpole communicator which has been great fun. This year, I noticed there’s a new Northpole movie in town – Northpole – Open for Christmas is now available at Walmart and the magic continues with this second installment of the first feel-good Hallmark movie.
Clementine the elf is back with her team of elves to help a woman named Mackenzie restore Christmas cheer to her life. It stars Dermot Mulroney and Laurie Loughlin, and without giving too much away, it will warm your heart faster than a cup of hot cocoa.
Speaking of hot cocoa and traditions – Each Christmas I buy the kids a new Christmas movie, some new pajamas, and we overindulge on hot cocoa. I popped into Walmart to pick up Northpole – Open for Christmas and while I was there I treated the kids to new pajamas AND new blankets. I also loaded up on whipped cream and mini chocolate chips to make their hot cocoa extra special.
If you’re looking for a new Christmas tradition, I highly recommend making Northpole – Open for Christmas one of the movies on your Christmas movie rotation. It just FEELS good, and I’m pretty sure you will walk away feeling all up in the Christmas spirit, and full of happy memories and new family traditions.