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My four-year old doesn’t like my Christmas list. It’s filled with things that don’t fit neatly under a tree and that, quite frankly, are probably unattainable most days. But, if you have a mom in your life, and you want to know what she really wants, you might find this helpful.

Peace and quiet. That’s my go-to request, but it’s true. I want a few minutes of real peace, not just a few minutes alone while the kids are yelling on another floor, or an hour alone in the house that I need to clean. But I want a moment of actual peace and quiet outside of hiding in the bathroom.

A day without worry. It’s hard to turn on the tv without worrying about something. If you think too much about the bad in the world, you miss the good stuff. But some days, I do wish that, instead of pushing the bad stuff to the back, I could just leave it at the door.

One day where everything is accomplished. I’m pretty sure the only way to do this is to make a to-do list that ends with get out of bed. But, most moms I know have a long list of things we should be doing that runs parallel to our regular to-do list. A day without lists sounds like heaven.

But I know those three are probably pipe dreams because the things I’d give up to get them are the spontaneous giggles that follow all that yelling, the little hugs that come when I fix the hair bows that were on that “should” list for weeks.

So instead here’s my (more realistic) list:

Good headphones. With some good good headphones I can blast some tunes and the yelling might not distract my half an hour break while folding the laundry upstairs.

An afternoon without devices. If we don’t let the bad stuff in 24-7, maybe we can dial back the worry.

A pretty to do list. For some reason, checking it off the to-do list, if the list isn’t on the back of envelope, makes me feel better

The secret to giving myself a break. That need to get everything done, the constant feeling that we could do more or  better comes from lots of places but we do a lot of it to ourselves. Giving ourselves a break would make us happier and healthier. So, if someone has found the secret, please let me know.

A moment to breathe. A quick walk around the neighborhood, 30 minutes to Zumba, an hour for some yoga, taking a minute can refocus the whole day.

A day that ends with some great snuggles. …Because let’s face it, they won’t snuggle forever so, we should soak it up while we can.

I’m not sure if any of these will make it under my tree, but I hope all my readers have a happy, joyful holiday!

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Cathleen Lewis
Cathleen, the Mayor of Lawrence Township & a full-time Public Affairs professional, counts her best job as being Mommy to Abigail (3 years) and Bridget (6 months ). A New Yorker originally, but Boston raised, Cathleen enjoys the challenge of raising the girls in a mixed household with her Yankee-fan husband Paul. She hopes to make up for the confusion by encouraging the family’s love of Rutgers football. She dreams of sharing her love of beaches, margaritas, music and adventure but is happy to squeeze in a family walk with the dog and a back yard BBQ these days. Formerly an avid reader and writer before work, life and children; Cathleen hopes she hasn’t lost her ability to capture thoughts through the written word but often can’t remember where the grocery list is.

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