Momlogic's Michelle: You're exhausted from the gift shopping (and now returns), cooking those festive dinners that were only half-eaten and from turning your house into a hotel for extended family -- but rest easy because it won't be long before your kids mother you this time of year.
My mom always made sure my brother and I had a great holiday season while we were growing up. Some years were leaner than others. The good years included trips to sunny Florida for an escape from our brutal Chicago winters.
The not-so-good years were spent at home, but I always assumed they were good too, because we had so much fun together watching movies in the living room, exchanging small gifts and chatting away at the dinner table.
Now that I am a grown-up (at least in some respects) living in sunny California, my mom comes here for a break from her still brutal Chicago winters. She stays with me for one week each year, and I get to be the mom.
Before she arrives, I research new activities we can do together, I clean my apartment, including making up a bed for her with my "good" linens, and I stock the fridge with some real food (since I survive mainly on takeout). I then fill my car's gas tank, so I can pick her up at the airport and chauffeur her all week to the sights, stores and restaurants of her choice -- and yes, I do pick up the check sometimes. You may applaud now.
Okay, I'm just teasing about the standing ovation, and I swear I am not trying to brag. I just want give frazzled moms of young kids hope. I know you worked very hard making this the best holiday season possible for your children. It may even take them a good twenty years to properly thank you (for the record, it only took me 15), but they do actually appreciate your efforts.
I'm always really excited for my mom's visits. She's done so much for me that I don't think my attempts to pamper her will ever be an even trade. However, for as many years as she's willing to make the trip, I'll do my best to reciprocate by being the best mom for a week that I can be.