HERE WE GO AGAIN
Today is the first day of December. You know what that means, don’t you? The beginning of the festive season, the silly season, or whatever it is you like to call it. I call it the ‘Don’t worry, Molly will do it season.’
I tossed and turned all night. I woke up this morning to a feeling of pure and utter dread. Glancing at the calendar on my kitchen wall, while making myself breakfast, I realised why. Christmas is upon us once again and approaching faster than a destructive meteor hurtling towards the earth. As I buttered my crumpets, the weight of the world bore down. Hard.
I work full time as a Social Media Manager for a marketing firm here in Sydney, have a husband (insert man baby here), have two young children, provide care to my elderly father, have a monstrous pile of never ending to do lists swirling around in my head, and now we add Christmas into the mix.
Why does all the responsibility for planning Christmas fall on us women? Are we born with magical Christmas planning powers? I think not. Are our partners and children completely oblivious to all the work we do to ensure everyone has a great Christmas, probably believing Santa’s elves do it all? Absolutely.
I already have four to do lists on the go. A grocery shopping list, a school activity list, a ‘what to pack for day-care’ list, and a ‘other errands for today’ list, yet there I was, sitting at the breakfast bar, compiling a fifth. The same god forsaken one I put together every single year, to remind me what needs to get done. Psst, just between you and me, there are no bloody elves, and Santa is not real. Don’t tell my six-year-old that.
It’s a long list. Buy Christmas cards, write out cards, send cards, plan Christmas dinner, book flights for the mother in-law, arrange to pick up my dad, volunteer at mum’s nursing home, buy presents for everybody in the family, wrap and hide presents, take kids to get photo with Santa, organise work Christmas party, decorate house and put up the tree, help with the school concert, cook Christmas dinner, clean up the mess, be a gracious host on Christmas day, and fall in an exhausted heap Christmas night. Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? Well, let me tell you, it’s not. I didn’t sign up for this job, yet the powers that be think I must be qualified, so here I am. Doing it all once again.
I finished writing out the list and must have fallen asleep with the sheer thought of it all. I woke up with my head resting on my crumpet, strawberry jam smeared all over my face. Classy. I then ate said crumpet, as I figured I was going to need all the energy I can muster.
‘Mummy. Why do you have red stuff all over your face?’ Bella came skipping in with her school bag, followed by a grumbly Laura, who had decided that chewing on the dog’s ball was much more appetising than the vegemite toast I had made for her. ‘Darling, please take that out of your mouth and eat your toast for mummy.’ She promptly threw the toast on the floor. Cookie wasted no time claiming it as her own. There is no five second rule when you have a new puppy in the house.
My husband works from home most days as a copy editor and starts an hour after me. I am often left wondering why I drop the girls off every day. First, it’s dropping Laura at day care, and then Bella to school. By the time I get to the school, I probably look like I have been through the wringer. Laura is two. Need I say more?
Julian was enjoying a leisurely coffee in front of the morning news. ‘Honey, do you think you could drop the girls off this morning? I am running a bit late.’ He looked up, still dressed in his boxer shorts he wears to bed. ‘C’mon Molly it’s on your way to work honey. Love you, babe.’ And with that, he turned away and channel surfed.
I gathered up my things, fed the dog, found Laura’s beloved stuffed elephant, got both the girls in the car, started the ignition, and took one almighty deep breath. Christmas was coming, and the shit show I call my busy life was about to get a hell of a lot worse.
Unpublished Work (c) Hayley Walsh 2022