Blah, blah, my perfect life.

So how was your Christmas and New Year?

It’s safe to say it was absolutely nothing like mine, judging by my Facebook timeline this past week. Everyone else in the world apparently had a “magical” Christmas, and a “perfect” New Year.


There comes a moment somewhere around Boxing Day where I reach virtual saturation point, and can’t read any more about perfection and magic and wonderful and best ever. I’m glad you’re all such models of domestic happiness, but I get a bit – well – suspicious of all that perfection.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas as much as the next person. And our Christmas was really fun, and lovely, and all that sort of stuff. Why wouldn’t it be?  There’s presents, an abundance of cheese and I don’t have to get up and do work on a daily basis. Tis marvellous.

Not to mention the fact that nobody got sick, which seems to be nothing short of a Christmas miracle judging by my friends and their families.

So yes, we do get into the festive spirit. There were presents and carols and church and baking and family board games and stockings and all those lovely things. We saw relatives we don’t see nearly often enough, and there was certainly  lots of laughter. We had a ball.

But there’s also this:


  • The moment where I made my child cry for 20 minutes because I told her I was disappointed that she’d gone rummaging in a bag filled with her Christmas stocking presents, which I lied and told her were part of a special Christmas Eve surprise from Mummy, and so she was gutted because she loves surprises.
  • The moment where Flea and I sat outside the church on Christmas Eve in our car, looked at the rain pouring down and agreed we’d skip the crib service and go home to watch a movie in front of the fire instead. Sorry about that, God.
  • The moment I realised I’d passed on the Whittle competitive gene to Flea after she annihilated her Dad in a game of Frustration and gleefully shouted, “HA! SUCKS TO BE YOU” at him over my parents’ dining table.
  • The moment during Christmas dinner when I mentioned the HFR filming used in The Hobbit movie and my ex laughed and said, “It’s like watching my dog play the piano” at the mere idea of a woman having an opinion on The Hobbit so I made obscene gestures at him under the table. Sorry about that, once again, God. Dreadful etiquette.
  • The moment where I then got so good at hiding presents that I didn’t find a whole bag of them until a whole five days AFTER Christmas. Result.
  • The moment yesterday when Flea stole the treasure that obviously should have been mine in a 2-player game of Skylanders, resulting in the one of us who isn’t a child saying, “I don’t want to play any more,” and switching over to Come Dine With Me, in a Big Fat Strop.
  • The moment where I felt so guilty at making Flea almost cry with my Big Fat Strop that I drove all the way to Argos so she could buy a new Skylanders figure with her Christmas money, and then we came home and played for two hours straight. Awesome parenting, I know.
  • The two weeks we’ve been unable to use the downstairs wc because the GIGANTIC box for the Christmas Tree is in there and I’m basically too idle to go out in the rain and put it in the garage. Every so often I hear Flea try the door and then race frantically upstairs and I feel a teeny little moment of guilt. Then it passes.
  • The moment last night when I crept upstairs to wake Flea at midnight and whispered, “Guess what? It’s 2013…” and Flea turned over and muttered, “Yeah. So what?”

Like I said. Not magical.

But lots of fun. And very us.


Happy New Year – here’s to another year of glorious imperfection. 


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 1st January 2013 / 11:57 am

    I totally agree.

    While I’m grateful for my Husband and daughter and had a superb time with them, I could have really done without my Mum passive-aggressively trying to force money on me from the Grandparents I haven’t spoken to since they accused me of lying about being abused as a child. I could really have done without my psycho sister in law trying (and fortunately failing) to turn my mother in law against me and I could have done without the worry about 39 degree temperatures from the recurring ear infection the Sausage had in the week before Christmas. My Christmas WAS magical, but the magic was firmly occupied in making sure that no-one had a nervous breakdown or ended up in hospital.

    Oh, and your Ex? Sounds like a peach. The ex part seems totally justified.
    Jayne recently posted..Mum’s the Word – A Retrospective (Pt. One)My Profile

  2. 1st January 2013 / 12:05 pm

    That actually sounds like a fantastic Xmas and I have already nicked some of your parenting tips there! I always see those “magical” statuses on Facebook and imagine they actually have ratty little ones and frayed adult tempers all over the show….(unless it’s Tiny Tims house ofcourse!)
    Notmyyearoff recently posted..Project 52 – Week 52 / Silent SundayMy Profile

    • 1st January 2013 / 7:47 pm

      Yes, I know there are people that share the happy shiny bits on social media and I understand why, I just feel a bit inadequate sometimes and remind myself that I’m sure our family is more typical!

  3. Kelloggsville
    1st January 2013 / 12:20 pm

    Well my Christmas blog defo used the word teen, terrible, strop and survived, so I’m in your camp.

    Those people with the magical Facebook status’ also have incredibly proud parents evenings and wonderful sports day achievements. I work on the premise: the less I reveal about events the better : either that or the rest just lie.

    Happy New Year and I’ll drink to that first down stairs pee of the year 🙂

    • 1st January 2013 / 7:48 pm

      Ha! I think Kate’s right, it’s looking on the bright side, I’m just a bit too pragmatic for my own good!

      • 1st January 2013 / 7:48 pm

        Also am v excited about the downstairs pee, too 🙂

    • 1st January 2013 / 7:48 pm

      Quite right too x

  4. Mrs Teepot
    1st January 2013 / 1:39 pm

    Sounds pretty good to me, minus the crying of course!

    • 1st January 2013 / 7:48 pm

      It was lovely, thanks!

  5. johanna
    1st January 2013 / 5:12 pm

    made me laugh out loud and feel so much better about my parenting !!

    • 1st January 2013 / 7:49 pm

      Ah, good to hear *ticks that box for today*

  6. 1st January 2013 / 5:52 pm

    Ahh you know you had a ball Sally and I can not belive how grown up Flea is looking now.

    Happy new year, Mich x
    Michelle twin mum recently posted..#RealLifeRocks in 2013My Profile

    • 1st January 2013 / 7:49 pm

      I did have a ball and she’s scarily grown up! Hope you and yours had a wonderful break, too.

  7. 1st January 2013 / 6:12 pm

    Sounds pretty normal to Me and normal is good, i’m sure all these perfect Christmas statuses must be made up.
    Love the ‘so what’ comment, classic, I very nearly woke my little man to do the same but decided I liked my sleep more.
    Happy New Year to you both!
    beki recently posted..Hello SunshineMy Profile

    • 1st January 2013 / 7:49 pm

      Yes she was remarkably unimpressed by the whole affair!

    • 1st January 2013 / 7:50 pm

      Well, there is that, it just makes me laugh because we look so chaotic and un-magical in comparison!

  8. 1st January 2013 / 7:34 pm

    I have no doubt that a lot of folks will be reading that post with a huge sigh of relief! How normal you sound! I love Christmas too but the whole ‘happy, happy it’s all so lovely’ does wear a bit thin with me and I actually cried today faced with the job of finding a home for the large piles of presents that my MIL bought for the children that they will never play with!

    That is a really beautiful photo of Flea though! Happy 2013 x
    Nikki Thomas recently posted..New Year, Same MeMy Profile

    • 1st January 2013 / 7:51 pm

      Oh, Nikki, I have to say getting the cleaners in before Christmas was the best thing I’ve EVER done – house was immaculate and I was able to clear out so much in advance – the only way to store all the new stuff!

  9. Domestic Goddesque
    1st January 2013 / 7:34 pm

    *snort* I love your style of parenting. Mine is a lot more about trying to be perfect, which results in me falling short and then making everyone feel miserable.

    • 1st January 2013 / 7:51 pm

      Consider this blog to be your place to visit and learn how everything shouldn’t be done. I suspect the best path is somewhere in the middle 🙂

  10. 1st January 2013 / 7:36 pm

    Sounds like a pretty normal Christmas to me. Remember not to believe everything you read, lots like to hide behind the ‘magic’ and ‘wonderful ness’ of it all, perhaps to cheer themselves up. We had some ‘family news’ over Christmas that has knocked everyone for six, but for me personally am trying to put a happy spin on it all. Christmas may be in reality not so magical for many if we got to delve a little deeper into their lives.

    Yay to finding the ‘extra’ prezzies 😉

    • 1st January 2013 / 7:53 pm

      Mary, I’m sorry you’ve had a tough Christmas. I think for me, the key thing is that the chaos and the odd moments and the difficult moments with family are all a part and parcel of Christmas, and it needn’t be ‘perfect’ to be fun – I hope you found some fun in Christmas despite the sad news. And yes, giant YAY to extra prezzies 🙂

    • 1st January 2013 / 7:53 pm

      Yes, we had lots of fun, glad you guys did too.

  11. 1st January 2013 / 8:13 pm

    Woah Flea is growing ! And I am obviously now an old woman for saying that. And yes, I know she is a child and growing is kind of what they do. But she is growing!
    Glad to hear your Christmas was fun 😀 My timeline was awah with people complaining that they / their kids / spouse /mother-in-law had thrown up so I turned off Twitter as it was making me feel a bit ill just looking at all the lurgy…
    Mammasaurus recently posted..The happy rays of 2013 are shining through already…My Profile

  12. 1st January 2013 / 8:27 pm

    Happy New Year to you too! I don’t think i am one of the people who enjoyed this Xmas. I had the worst and saddest Xmas in my life, and didn’t celebrate the coming of the new year at all. At the end my nephew had mumps so we weren’t able to fly over and spend Xmas with my family in the CR. Then we all had the noro virus… and my dad is getting worse and worse ;(
    Mirka Moore @Kahanka recently posted..Happy New Year!My Profile

  13. 1st January 2013 / 9:38 pm

    Oh you are not alone here! I had a truly rubbish Christmas and actually went to the bathroom, sat on the toilet and cried! Admittedly I am 9 months pregnant so some of the emotion may have been hormone-related but frankly I was seriously annoyed that I couldn’t fly and be with my family like I usually am because I was too pregnant. Instead my boy and I were just together and I love my boy dearly and he adored the getting presents part but once that was over it was just another day and frankly I felt lonely. I hated this Christmas and promptly took the tree down two days later to pretend it never happened. Bah humbug!
    Workingberlinmum recently posted..Best of: The most read posts of 2012My Profile

  14. Mummypinkwellies
    1st January 2013 / 9:50 pm

    Does anyone actually believe those magical / perfect Christmas statuses though? If it’s that magical and perfect you wouldn’t have time to post about it on social media as you’d be too busy being captured in the magic.

    Ours was good, all in all, but there were also family feuds, awkward moments, husband leaving the house for hours on end on Christmas Day and Boxing Day to get away from certain family members, some home truths told and just quite a bit of general shitness.

    Didn’t stop me and my two (Littlebit and hubs) having a fab time though 🙂

    Happy new year Sally & Flea xxx

  15. 1st January 2013 / 11:02 pm

    Sounds like a pretty fun Christmas. And I’m sure everyone who has blogged about their wonderful Christmases has a few of these stories they could tell.
    PhotoPuddle recently posted..‘Rustic love’ by **mog**My Profile

    • Angela
      6th January 2013 / 7:46 am

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      Sound like a fun Christmas! I was forever reading on FB about my friends magical time and how and how they were all relaxing and drinking whilst I was running around cooking dinner, tidying up, bickering with the OH as we was tired from having a crying baby the night before and listening to boys arguing over what game to play next on the PS3! But to us that is just a normal day and even though it wasn’t relaxed as others wrote about we had fun and enjoyed being with each other. Love the pic of your little girl
      Happy New Year

  16. Angela
    6th January 2013 / 7:45 am

    Sound like a fun Christmas! I was forever reading on FB about my friends magical time and how and how they were all relaxing and drinking whilst I was running around cooking dinner, tidying up, bickering with the OH as we was tired from having a crying baby the night before and listening to boys arguing over what game to play next on the PS3! But to us that is just a normal day 🙂 and even though it wasn’t relaxed as others wrote about we had fun and enjoyed being with each other. Love the pic of your little girl 🙂
    Happy New Year

  17. 8th January 2013 / 11:43 pm

    I have to ask did you do that fancyplait…I am in awe of anyon ewho can plait hair like that!! I can t even do neat bunches!

    My Christmas was very real too… no homebaking, quorn sausages for Christmas lunch (cos I was sick and J couldnt be bothered) and frankie cried becuase he fgor the wrong magazine subscription match not match of the day cos I’d told great grandad wrong..but he loved his fake jelly fish. Jonny washed up!! and I had lots of cuddles with y little girl who waspoorly too and we sand sound of music songs under the covers.

    You just tell it like it is Sally and see what you start!!
    Becky recently posted..100 easy ways to be a thrifty familyMy Profile

    • 10th January 2013 / 12:18 am

      Oh, it definitely wasn’t me – it was my sister-in-law!