16 Stages of Every Mom's Descent into Holiday Madness

Liz Alterman | Nov 22, 2016 Being a Mom


Alan Poulson Photography

As any mom knows, prepping for the holiday season is often a roller coaster. Initially, you're thrilled and can't wait for it to begin. But, once it gets under way, buckle up, because you're suddenly hurdling through time and space (at the mall, grocery store, post office, etc.) wondering what made you look forward to it all in the first place. 

Yes, it's the most wonderful time of the year, but does it have to be so labor-intensive? From Santa's helper to maniacal fire starter, you wear plenty of hats and no matter how much you plan, December can take a toll on a mom. Have a laugh at the 16 stages moms go through during the holiday season -- because we're all in this together!

  • Anticipation: You Rule the Black Friday Deals

    1

    You are so ready for this! Bring on those Black Friday Doorbusters. You'll get it all done in one day -- you hope!

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  • Extreme Optimism: You Will Have the Best Gingerbread Decorating Party Ever

    2

    You've invited some neighborhood moms over to get creative with the kids. Gingerbread houses are the perfect way to usher in the holiday spirit!

  • Frustration Part 1: This Is Harder Than It Looks

    3

    What seemed like a great idea has driven you completely crazy. Even Frank Lloyd Wright would struggle with this! Seriously, what were you thinking? You already have tons of baking to do for the kids' class parties. Who has time for this?

  • Raw Enthusiasm: You Can't Wait to Get Baking

    4

    You're eager to get baking. The kids want to help. As Ina Garten would say, "How bad can that be?"

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  • Frustration Part 2: Oops, You Forgot to Set the Timer!

    5

    You've got a lot on your mind. It's no wonder you forgot to set the timer, got distracted, and nearly burned the house to the ground. It may be time to ask Santa for a fire extinguisher. 

  • Bah Humbug: You Still Have to Decorate

    6

    Don't you wish you could just flip a switch and get that tree decorated? Untangling those lights will take half the day just on its own. It's not too early to whip up that batch of spiked eggnog, is it?

  • Fear & Lack of Self-Control: You're Hemorrhaging Money

    7

    When did everything get so expensive? Every day it feels like you spend $250 without even trying! You set a New Year's Resolution: Declare bankruptcy. 

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  • Overindulging: The Rhythm Is Gonna Get You

    8

    That holiday party at the neighbors' house was awesome. But, man, you're gonna be feeling it tomorrow. And, wait, aren't you supposed to take the kids ice skating after Breakfast With Santa?

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  • Oblivion: Your Visits to Santa Never Go Well

    9

    You seem to have amnesia when it comes to remembering just how much that mall Santa terrifies your kids. But, hey, they'll get a kick out of these photos in their teen years, right?

  • Frustration Part 3: Setting the Stage for the Perfect Holiday Card

    10

    Creating the perfect holiday card gets more challenging each year! But you've got a theme in mind, and if the kids will work with you, you can knock this off your to-do in less than an hour. Who are you kidding? This never goes smoothly.

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  • Exhaustion: Grocery Shopping -- the Final Frontier

    11

    There's no way you'll ever remember every ingredient for each pie and side dish you promised to make. You're overwhelmed just thinking about. Oh, and don't forget new oven mitts. You incinerated the last pair during your holiday cookie-baking debacle.

  • Frustration Part 4: Your Gifts Are All the Wrong Sizes

    12

    Your brother calls to tell you he gave you all the wrong sizes for the pajamas he asked you to get your nieces and nephews. 

    "What's one more trip to the mall?" he asks while you imagine strangling him with legs of the sleeper you just bought (and wrapped!!) for his toddler. 

  • Overwhelmed: You Thought You Remembered Everyone...

    13

    You kiss your kids good-bye as they walk to the bus stop. Oh no! You remember you never picked up a gift for the driver. Or the mailman. D'oh! Can you run out and hand them chocolate coins you were going to put in the stockings? Probably not. 

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  • Delirium: You're Operating at Lightning Speed but Don't Know What You're Doing

    14

    You swore you would get the wrapping done before Christmas Eve but who has the time? You're so tired, you'll wrap anything! (Sorry, kitty!) 

  • Frustration Part 5: You Overcooked the Turkey

    15

    It's so hard to present the perfect Christmas dinner. The meat thermometer! That's what you forgot to pick up at the store. Oh well, you'll do better next year.

  • Relief: Phew! You're Done!

    16

    It's Christmas night. The guests have all gone home and you made it! Despite an entire month of running around like a mad woman, you can't wait to do it all again next year! 

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