Thanksgiving is an amazing holiday with amazing food and a chance to make amazing memories with our amazing families … in theory. While a lot of fantastic things DO happen, and we are reminded of the blessings in our lives, there are things that moms do NOT look forward to dealing with when Turkey Day rolls around each year. Things like these …
1. Battling the Rush At the Grocery Store. It never fails that no matter how well a grocery list for “Thanksgiving Dinner Necessities” is planned, SOMETHING will be forgotten … which will inevitably lead to fighting it out with every other person who has forgotten items for their Thanksgiving Feast at the grocery store, Costco, or (God help you) Walmart, the night before Thanksgiving. It’s basically a warm-up exercise for Black Friday, with gallons of milk and Butterball turkeys being snatched up instead of televisions and Hello Kitty sleeping bags (at 75% off!).
2. Kids Who Don’t Care About Watching The Macy’s Parade. I absolutely LOVE the Macy’s Parade every Thanksgiving Morning … I think a lot of women do. No matter how hard I try, I can never get my kids to watch more than one dance number and a few floats IF I’m lucky. I used to just watch it alone, and they would go play/wreck another part of the house, but now they complain about watching something else. NO, ANGRY LITTLE PEOPLE … it’s YOUR fault that you can’t appreciate the majesty of a ginormous Snoopy and the Rockettes. I pity you, and you will not play XBox on this TV until I have had my fill.
3. Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen. While cooking with the ones you love can be lots of fun at times, when you pack more than two hustling, bustling women in ONE KITCHEN, all attempting to accomplish different tasks, needing to use the same appliances, criticizing each other’s spice choices and so on, things can get pretty stressful in a hurry. Moms are used to being able to kick their kids out of the kitchen, but you can’t very well tell your cousins and great-aunt to JUST LEAVE … especially if it’s not even your kitchen.
4. Making Plates For All of the Kids. After attempting to cook in the sweltering kitchen, amid the chaos, and smelling the amazing food for hours as it cooked, moms are faced with another holiday-feasting blunder: the preparing of plates of food for their kids. If you have multiple kids, as I do, you can forget making your own plate at the same time as you prepare theirs, which means you will likely miss out on some of the most delicious dishes that always run out early. After trying to fill their plates with items you KNOW they will eat (turkey, macaroni and cheese, rolls) and adding a few things that you WISH they would eat (lima beans, cranberry sauce, broccoli salad) and delivering them to the table, you, the mom, will get back in line to prepare YOUR plate from the scraped casserole dishes and rolls that have gone lukewarm.
5. Guests Who Leave Before Dessert To Do Pre-Black Friday Shopping. After busting your butt in the kitchen for hours, finally getting to eat the food on your plate (amid handling kid requests for drinks) the time to share the pumpkin pie that you baked with love has arrived. As you walk into the dining room to serve it to the rest of the family, it becomes obvious half of the table’s occupants have jumped ship, and the slamming front door says all that you needed to know… Those jerks have left before dessert to hit up the Thanksgiving DAY sales. (Please know that chasing them down the block, pie in hand, is perfectly acceptable, and if you catch them, feel free to slam that pie in their faces…. dessert to-go.)
6. Handwashing Fine China. After the rest of the family has retreated to watch TV, leaving a wake of napkins, forks and crumbs behind them, it’s now evident that the dishes must be done… but these are the dishes that can’t be put in the good ole dishwasher. You only use these plates a couple of times each year, but these treasured gifts from your wedding day have now become an albatross that you must bear. Even though you don’t want to wash the china, you do it to prevent someone else from doing it carelessly or incompletely (i.e. WRONG).
7. Stuffing the Leftovers Into the Fridge. After carefully hand-washing the china, and consolidating the remaining food into storage containers, it’s time for the mom-in-charge to play Refrigerator Tetris. Somehow most of the ingredients used to cook the Thanksgiving meal all managed to fit in the same refrigerator 12 hours before, but now it’s like stuffing your body back into your pants after pigging out on the bounty at hand.
8. Guests Who Won’t Leave… Five Hours After the Meal. Having friends and family over to reminisce and make new memories over a delicious meal is a treasured occasion each Thanksgiving, but there always comes a time when it’s time for all guests to leave … and at times, it’s more difficult than extracting a toddler from the Frozen display in Target to get them the heck out of your house. You don’t want to be rude, because, obviously, they’re your friends and family and you’ll probably want to see them again at Christmas … But Mama needs wine (or Scotch) and silence NOW!
9. Post-Thanksgiving Dinner Diapers. This can be the antidote to the guests who refuse to leave issue. Anyone who has ever had a toddler that ate table foods knows that when small children eat things they aren’t used to eating that powerful gastric upsets can and WILL occur. Some of the worst diapers I’ve ever changed have been after holiday meals. Moms get the “pleasure” of seeing the complete cycle of the Thanksgiving meal … from the grocery store where they fought for its ingredients to the foul Pampers that contains the remnants of processed turkey and dressing.
Even though family gatherings like Thanksgiving can be a lot of work and stressful for the moms of our nation, all in all, we know it’s worth it! Find the humor in the less-than-pleasant parts of the preparation and cleanup if you can … and if you can’t, pour yourself a glass of wine (or Scotch) and just relax. You’ve got a whole month before they’ll all be back for the madness of Christmas.