16/12/2016 07:37 GMT | Updated 17/12/2017 05:12 GMT

Have Yourself A Good-Enough Christmas

Once upon a time, about 4 years ago give or take, the pressure to be Christmas-perfect hung around my new mum neck like a sack of jacket potatoes. The gigantic ones, with mud. Apparently 3 months post-birth was adequate enough and now was the time to pull one's self together and crack on and be blooming merry.

My former self probably would have agreed at the time. Except that former self hadn't been carrying a watermelon for 9 months, then been sawn in half to get said watermelon out, and finally, so sleep deprived that blooming and merry didn't quite make any sense at all.

Of course I was thrilled to be a new mum. But nowhere in any manual did I read that it would involve being a vision of perfect Christmas cheer during the festive season. I was quite sure that it should have been more like: put your feet up, take a load off and let me give cuddles to the gorgeous new baby whilst you enjoy a hot cup of tea. Did it happen? No. And quite frankly there was more chance of Santa delivering super nanny down my chimney.

"What's wrong with you?" I remember being quizzed, when I couldn't quite work out how I was going to pull off a big Christmas bash. And that was that. The thing that catapulted me from balancing on the edge of Christmas spirit to being thrown head first into a big vat of mummy guilt.

"Is there something wrong with me?" I remember asking myself at least a dozen times a day from then on. "Am I not good enough?" Dazed, and unfortunately still in post birth agony (another story) I set about putting myself last and did everything possible to make everyone else's Christmas rock.


(Illustration credit: Annette Demetriou, 3 Little Buttons)

This went splendidly (for everyone else) until the Christmas bash, when a very poorly Button delivered wave after wave of poonarmi and only I would do for her. So, pram in one hand, Christmas dinner preparations in the other, I glued myself to the kitchen and just this once everyone else would have to get on with it and blooming well entertain themselves.

Well, that went down as well as a sh1tstorm I can tell you. Apparently only I had the power to ensure that everyone had a dong dong merrily time. I will spare you the details, but once everyone had gone home I swore, in both senses of the word, that actually I wasn't here to make sure everyone else had a cracking good time. That, if anything, as long as my Little Button as happy, then Christmas was jolly well good-enough.

And these days? Well, I stuck to my word. On Christmas day you will find the whole Button family still in their pj's, ripping open presents in a wrapping paper frenzy, and most definitely running late for Christmas dinner.

And if you happen to drop by? Well... you know where the kettle is.


(Illustration credit: Annette Demetriou, 3 Little Buttons)