The Giovanna Fletcher Column: “I am a much better mum when work pressures don’t exist!”

by Emily Fedorowycz |

In this month's column, Giovanna talks Christmas Traditions, work-life balance and what she *really* wants this year...

At the start of November, Tom wanted to put a Christmas tree up in his office. He claimed it was for ‘work purposes’ as he’s currently writing something festive (top secret and I’m not allowed to reveal whatitisyet) So off we went on a family trip to buy Tom’s tree. I’d love to say it was a beautiful moment but, in actuality, Buddy was in full-swing toddler mode, so it was more of a grab, pay and run job.

He wanted to touch everything and couldn’t quite grasp that the fancy glass baubles weren’t for throwing.

So it wasn’t the most serene start to the Christmas fun that you might see in the movies! But when we got the tree home, Tom and I watched Buzz and Buddy hang baubles and bells from its branches in the most haphazard of ways. There was a touch of magic in the air as they both calmly focused on the task in hand, and we marveled at the joy beaming from their faces (helped by the knowledge that the Christmas fairies would fly down and rearrange their efforts overnight into something more pleasing to the eye).

It made me realise that creating the magic is all part of the fun, and that Christmas goes much further than that one singular day. It’s about the whole season. It’s the elf coming to stay, it’s the fact Father Christmas is still wondering whether or not to pop them on the naughty or nice list, it’s deciding whether we should leave out a mince pie or a chocolate chip cookie on Christmas Eve. It’s writing letters to Father Christmas and meeting Father Christmas.

It’s making cards for family members and thinking of ways we can help others by spreading a bit of festive cheer. The urry of activity that surrounds the big day is what makes Christmas so, so special.

But also, it’s the guilt-free mum-time – time away from our desks when offices shut up shop for the holidays. I don’t spend that time with the children anxious that I should be getting on with writing a book, putting together a column or editing a video. Christmas time is theirs. And as I write this, with a while to go still until the main event,
I feel so good knowing that work pressures will be lifted for that period of time. Because – although I hate to admit it – I am a much better mum when they don’t exist. And I don’t think I’m the only one who feels that way.

Christmas isn’t about how much you give in terms of presents, but rather being present. The thought of giving the people I love my undivided attention, and getting their smiles back in return (alongside a whole heap of nonsensical meltdowns) makes my heart sing with joy.

So there’s no need to buy wrapping paper, kids. Mariah Carey was right: all I want for Christmas, is you.

Make sure you grab this month's issue of Mother & Baby magazine, which is crammed with expert advice, midwife knowhow and gorgeous shopping inspo**.**

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