One of the downsides of the holiday season is that it often brings a healthy dose of stress along with the joy. There are presents to buy, a tree to put up, a house to decorate (and clean before guests arrive), special meals to prepare and make, and on and on it goes. I often find that the extra stress makes me worry about things I normally would have no problem with.
For example, last night our daughter got extremely tired about two hours before bedtime. We decided it would be a good idea for her to get a quick nap so she could make it until bedtime without becoming really grumpy. My husband took her and rocked her to sleep, then held her while she slept.
Now, usually my husband takes our daughter at bedtime, while I go to sleep so I can get a chunk of sleep before she has her first waking during the night. This time, though, she woke up about 15 minutes before he normally would take her. He thought I should take her for an extra half hour so he could get a break before he put her to bed, while I thought I needed to get to sleep as soon as possible so I could make it through the night feedings.
Before we realized what was happening, we were in a fairly intense discussion of this issue. What was really fair here? Who should take care of her for the next 45 minutes? I’m sad to say that we argued about it for almost half of the 45 minutes before I finally realized something: it didn’t really matter. We were wasting our time and energy on something we would both forget within a week, if not earlier.
As we continue deeper into this holiday season, I am trying to remember not to stress about the things that don’t matter long term. After all, I’m lucky to be able to have friends and family to buy presents for, enough money to buy a tree, a safe and pleasant home to decorate. I don’t want to waste my holiday season worrying about things that don’t matter when I have so much to be grateful for.