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Mommy Musings
Holidays And Happiness
Teresa Mug

So here we are – the holidays. Who’s ready? You ready? Me – no, I’m absolutely not ready, not even close.

The most exciting thing on my calendar as I type this, is a date with a girlfriend to finally see “Bad Moms 2,” the day this goes to press. Okay, so perhaps that’s a bit of a slight over exaggeration, but not completely.

I came into this new year committing to live more in the present moment. This was a big, yet life changing practice of being. Type A has been my calling card of choice for about as long as I can remember. What I’ve come to learn most about this badge which so many wave proudly is this … I was a control freak.

Yeah, did that hit you hard? It sure did me, it’s a tough pill to choke back and the countless times it was pointed out to me (mostly by the men in my life – might I add), if was followed with a “yeah but.”

Here’s the beauty of what I’ve learned in this year of “presence” and release of the need to control – it’s fun. Read those last three letters as all caps with oodles of exclamation points. I mean like mind-blowing fun, to release the stress, trust in others and know it will all be fine.

Even when it’s not ‘fun’ it is. The reflection, the growth from knowing it may not have panned out as expected yet a lesson came from it all the same. Moms, we don’t need to control everything. Read that again. Say it out loud. Free yourself.

But I digress – kind of.

Returning to the initial thought of the holidays and being ready versus – not. Undeniably and unquestionably that past me versus current me is failing in the preparation department. For heaven’s sake I still have Halloween décor sprinkled around our home. I quite literally missed the transition to autumn décor.

Oh man, just typing that makes me chuckle. Know why? Simple – who cares. Whether you see a few ghosts or pumpkins and pilgrims when you enter my home, I no longer care. What I hope you see most is a person who is present. I hope you see a person free of a smart phone, looking you in the face and listening intently to your words and your laughter. What I hope you see is a person genuinely sharing space with you in a way which brings a full heart and memory.

Perhaps this is the reason what I’m looking most forward to the week before Thanksgiving is a movie with a girlfriend or a comedy show with my boyfriend and his family.

Giving up control truly has been the best way to live in the moment and just let the stress go.

Please don’t misunderstand, I can’t wait for Thanksgiving. It’s my personal favorite and I have no doubt it will be memorable. One thing I know for sure, you won’t find me that day with my head in a newspaper scouting out Black Friday deals. You likely also won’t find me in a line come Friday morning attempting to save some money on yet more ‘stuff.’

This year, our (my kids and I) year of presence has brought us a bigger and most glorious unexpected gift and it can’t be found in an early morning special. It’s the present or as my son used to say when he was little, “The reason it’s called the present, is because it’s a gift.”

So that’s what I wish for each and every one of our readers as you head into the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season. Whether the season kicks off with traditional Black Friday shopping, you spend the weekend parked by the television, gathered with those you love or a menagerie of all of the above – relish in the presence.

These days they are indeed our biggest gift, don’t squander away the moments to something, someone or an occasion of insignificance. Rejoice, relax and breathe. God bless and Happy Thanksgiving.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.