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To say actually having children at Christmas does not make it a 'magical' time?

(79 Posts)
GlitteringJasper Mon 28-Dec-15 10:03:31

I'm not going to win Mother of the Year, ever, but definitely not for this post I know.

I've a 1 and 2.11 year old and while there have been some nice elements of Christmas actually there were none most of it was flipping horrendous and hard work.

Not helped by the fact that I've had 6 weeks of them being sick with one thing and another. Both of them have horrendous coughs, no treatment required according to GP, but I'm getting no sleep as I'm worrying about them coughing in their sleep and choking.

AIBU to say I miss my old Christmases? The ones where I could watch what I wanted on to, eat and drink what I wanted, lounge about?

Christmas Day was all about dragging my two to grandparents, they were raging as we were late and after it all my son wouldn't eat anything anyway as he wasn't feeling well.

Particularly my eldest child I find needs constant entertaining, never happy to sot and play by himself, he is extremely demanding. Both dh and I feel we never get a minutes peace.

So for us Christmas was just another day with all this pressure to make it magical and truth be told it was just another day.

I love my little children dearly but they are hard, hard work, harder than I ever anticipated. AIBU?

Does it get easier when they are older?!

alteredimages Mon 28-Dec-15 10:06:54

No idea if it gets better, but YANBU.

Nice, adult, Christmas meals out. Presents that don't involve glitter and choking on small parts. Going to the cinema on Christmas Eve to watch It's a Wonderful Life. I miss all of those.

MrsBalustradeLanyard Mon 28-Dec-15 10:07:41

Oh OP I have had Christmases like yours! When they are small they don't get what it's all about, and it's just same old same old really, with extra chores, it seems.

Mine are 6 and 4 this year and it's been quite nice really. They stayed up to midnight partying on Christmas night and slept until 9am the next day. There has been much drugging them wth Christmas films whilst I read or get stuff done. And they're getting to a good age for playing games that actually hold their attention for a while.

Just give it a year or two and it will get better. flowers

Aeroflotgirl Mon 28-Dec-15 10:07:58

I totally agree, I miss those adult Christmases, where your could get up at a silly time, watch what you want, and have Christmas dinner without getting indisgestion as you are trying to run about after dc and prevent accidents whilst eating. I think it gets easier as they get older, I have certainly found that, it is a lot better. My ds is almost 4 and can entertain himself for a bit ipad whilst I eat or get some things done, and dd is 8.

alteredimages Mon 28-Dec-15 10:08:09

I am consoling myself with an entire tin of quality street, because it turns out I am the only one who likes them. Small mercies, eh?

museumum Mon 28-Dec-15 10:09:53

Two under three? Give yourself a break!
We have one two year old and have had a lovely time but there's only one of him sand dh and I both of work. It's lovely.

However with two so close together I imagine you just need to survive.

In a few years I'll be posting about the struggles of entertaining my only while your two play together happily smile

derektheladyhamster Mon 28-Dec-15 10:11:48

Mine are 12 & 15. It was a much more magical Xmas this year. Extended family all have children of a similar age. We played trivial pursuit (properly with no tantrums) and charades was loads of fun! They ate well and were very happy just chilling. Hold in there OP grin

thefreshcleanstart Mon 28-Dec-15 10:12:12

Ah, they are only babies though really aren't they? I think Christmases become "magical" between four and six. fgrin

annandale Mon 28-Dec-15 10:14:16

Believe me, it gets a LOT easier than 2 toddlers!! DS is 11 but actually i remember the first Christmas when things looked up, he was something like 4 and we bought him a Duplo fire engine for Christmas, we spent the whole morning peacefully putting it together and it was lovely.

Next Christmas, hunker down and stay at yours.

ChristmasZombie Mon 28-Dec-15 10:14:56

Yes, I completely understand!
My girls are 3 and seven months. The 3yo only started to understand Christmas this year, and that was lovely. But the baby obviously had no clue what was going on. She got tired and overstimulated and wouldn't go to bed. I did think wistfully of a child-free Christmas, when we had enough disposable income to buy indulgent presents for one another, and we could drink all day, and watch Doctor Who when it was broadcast instead of on catch-up!

I'm looking forward to Christmas 2017 (--I already have a countdown on my phone--), when I'll have a five yo and a 2-and-a-half yo.

BlueJug Mon 28-Dec-15 10:17:17

OP it does get easier. I don't think Christmas is ever "magical" cynic that I am I think that is just marketing designed to make us buy more stuff.

Those toddler years are hard work though and the feeling that it has been wrenched away from you as you run yourself ragged trying to stop DC "ruining" Christmas is horrible.

I look back and realise that I was stupid though. I believed I had to have decorations, special dinner, see grandparents, drive miles because that's what you did at Christmas and it was "for the children". Actually it would have been better to have introduced all that when they were older as none of those things mix with having a young child and you end up getting angry as they rip the decorations off the tree, scream in the car, hate all the people etc etc.

Back to normality now. Relax a bit and enjoy your children. YANBU

Gliblet Mon 28-Dec-15 10:17:20

YANBU, or we're both BU because I was thinking something similar last night fwink

As much as this Christmas has been lovely, I miss being able to stick my nose into whatever book I've had for Christmas and not come out til I'm ready, or sleep in on boxing day, or unwrap a chocolate without immediately having a grubby little paw trying to relieve me of it grin

SummerNights1986 Mon 28-Dec-15 10:18:03

They don't really understand anything yet though.

Mine are 7 and 5 and it definitely gets more 'magical' and easier as they get older. Mine were so excited Xmas Eve they could hardly string a sentence together. Ds1 was up at 4am whispering that FC had been and could we get up. no you flipping can't at 4am

Watching the dc reminds Dh and me of how it felt at that age and it makes it all worth it.

Samantha28 Mon 28-Dec-15 10:18:08

It does get better I promise . When they are 4-9 or so , it's the best , because they believe in Santa and really get into everything . Yours are still a bit too small . Send them to boarding school and get them back in a couple of years.

This Christmas has been my first in 20 years without the Santa thing, as my youngest is 10 . But OTOH they were great over the last few days , as we had lots of visitors with kids and they all went off an amused themselves .

Yesterday our lunch guests ( 8 adults 8 kids ) came at 1 pm and left at 10 pm!!! And we hardly saw the kids . The adults just sat and talked . We may have had a small drink or two . Very civilised .

TimeToMuskUp Mon 28-Dec-15 10:19:30

It does get better, honestly. Mine are 10 and 4 and this was my favourite christmas ever because both are still at the stage where they believe, and understand, and can play together. We played board games, they did stuff like preparing treats for Santa on Christmas Eve together, and nobody had a tantrum or threw stuff or went batshit because they wanted to be covered in hair like the dog (DS2 last Christmas Eve). We even managed Christingle on Christmas Eve and nobody set fire to another person's coat or hair (DS2, also last Christmas). By next Christmas it'll be much more exciting.

When DS2 had his first Christmas he was 11 months old. He had tonsillitis and stayed up til 4am Christmas Eve/Morning. DS1 was 5 and woke up at 6am. I had two hours sleep. Two. It felt like Santa was punishing me for being idiot enough to have two of them. The following Christmas he had a chest infection and pulled a similar stunt, I spent the whole day entertaining family whilst also feeling like death. That's the really difficult part of christmas with young DCs; that you have to remain civil to in-laws and family and smile politely at everything. Without DH plying me with sherry and taking over with DS2 I think I'd have happily abandoned them all.

GlitteringJasper Mon 28-Dec-15 10:19:32

This is making me feel like there is hope!

I tend to beat myself up if things aren't perfect, like it's somehow my fault rather than just the ages of dc.

In my head I had a lovely family time but dh does shift work so wasn't there in run up to Christmas.

Christmas was chaotic, stressful and exhausting.

Adult Christmases, not they were fabulous...

HPsauciness Mon 28-Dec-15 10:19:41

Although Mn would have you believe that as children get older, they get more demanding, in general I have found the opposite. I think the key ages were about 5 and 7, or perhaps a little earlier, when they could suddenly go off and entertain themselves and each other for hours, and we would have to go looking for them! Since then, they are less demanding in terms of that overwhelming 'mumeeeeee' cry that makes your bones ache when you are tired, and now they are pre-teens (10 and 12), it's lovely, they wake around 9am on Christmas Day and it's just a heck of a lot easier.

There are other issues in terms of needing emotional support, demands of outside world, etc which don't diminish, but for Christmas Day, it really does get easier, promise!

Samantha28 Mon 28-Dec-15 10:22:31

When they are tiny, you need to keep chistmas as simple as possible. Too much travel , strange food and people, too many presents and sweets and too little sleep and routine is a recipes for disaster.

Toddlers always get ill at Christmas too .

You might need to scale back your plans and GP expectations next year .

YouMakeMyDreams Mon 28-Dec-15 10:22:43

It does get easier yours are only small and don't get or appreciate Christmas yet.
Mine are 12,9 and 5 and I feel this year was pretty magical and stress free but they haven't all been like that. I also took a lot of the pression of us a couple of years ago by not going anywhere on Christmas day. We stay at home and have no visitors we have meals with various family either side of the day itself. I don't cook a big meal on Christmas day either we all pick favourite things and I put put a buffet type thing in the afternoon we can graze on.
This year was the first year I've felt that it was a relaxed day that I could drink wine and watch crap telly as they dc are all three now old enough to amuse themstand each other.
Ds2 is the youngest and he is old ebtto love the excitement and build up as well. Think this was up there with one of the best but I promise it feels like years since they were this relaxed. It comes.

HalfStar Mon 28-Dec-15 10:24:23

Yanbu at all but I do sense it'll get easier as they get older. My older one is nearly 4 and for the first time seemed to 'get' Christmas this year and has been really sweet. Younger aged 1 not so much hmm but still better than last year when she was newborn , that was hideous.
I've been quite ill this Christmas and it's been so hard to drag myself through the days and nights, thankfully dh can share the load. I did spend yesterday evening feeling irrationally angry at childless DB who snoozed through the afternoon while reading and drinking tea. Maybe some day we can do that again. But the key is to lower standards and not become martyr I think brew

happystory Mon 28-Dec-15 10:25:45

I think the ages of your two make it difficult, it can be a real drudge plus pepped up with expectations, then disappointments. It does get easier. Not to wish your time away but my two are young adults. Ds said it was his best Christmas ever! Dh and I got up late and pottered in the kitchen with Buck's Fizz and carols. Kids emerged at midday and we did presents. We enjoyed the same films and played games. Don't beat yourself up, many others will feel like you do.

AttitcusFinchIsMyFather Mon 28-Dec-15 10:28:01

Yours are too small still. Age 3-9 is the magical age, and it gets much easier. Also - stay at home! People can come to you, I have never taken mine out on Christmas day, and I was never taken out as a child myself. Stay home, relax, enjoy your kids and the magic happens itself smile

MsVestibule Mon 28-Dec-15 10:29:04

I had two children 20 months apart and whilst I don't remember Christmas being particularly difficult (mainly because 1. there were extra adults around rather than just me, 2. we didn't travel anywhere and 3. they weren't ill) the rest of it is horribly familiar. Next year, stay put and invite others to come to you, unless that's even more hassle!

And YES, it definitely gets easier when they're older!! I was on and off Prozac for 2 years and yet I'm now relatively sane. They get up on a weekend morning by themselves and go downstairs to watch TV and eat the snack/drink I leave out for them, which is the best milestone ever grin.

MadFestiveGnome Mon 28-Dec-15 10:29:18

YANBU at all. We took our 7mo round three sets of grandparents on Christmas Day and dear God were we all exhausted by the end of it. I crawled into bed at 9pm having manoeuvred the sleeping baby clad in travel grobag into his carseat and praying all the way home he wouldn't wake and start crying.

I have lots of interesting things to read and do/make from Christmas and no time to do them as the baby is all consuming at the moment. First world problem I know but I miss aspects of old lazy Christmases.

Buttwing Mon 28-Dec-15 10:29:21

Yanbu my dc are 10,5,2, and 1 and the little ones are bloody hard work. They keep hitting each other and just generally arguing. It's probably not helped by them both having hand,foot and mouth but even without it they are hard work. It does get easier but I don't buy into the whole magical Christmas thing I love it but I do think there is a lot of pressure to make it " magical" and if it's not you feel like you've failed.

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