Unplugged and Curled-Up in Cocoon of Family Drama, Dog Poop

I love the holidays. It is the one time of year I unplug from the outside world and enjoy my time off from work, routines, my blog, social media, current events, etc. Basically, I create an almost two-week-long cocoon filled with visiting family, food, holiday traditions, food, family drama, food, and end with a really long laundry list of New Years resolutions I will almost certainly not complete.

It’s always eventful. Almost never restful. Sometimes stressful. But, I’m already missing it and I still have about 15 hours until my alarm rings and brings me back to the real world.

THE REAL WORLD: A world with bedtimes, nap schedules, regular meals without dessert at the end, laundry (which I also happily unplugged from this week), homework, bills, morning routines with battles over which clothes to wear, packing lunch boxes, explaining that Christmas is another full-year away for the millionth time, telling each kid how long there is until each of their birthdays, wishing I still had our elf on the shelf to keep the kids in line, checking my blog/Facebook stats, and hoping to get back to the gym to work off the cocoon-induced holiday weight gain.

So, if I didn’t respond to your e-mails in a timely fashion, participate in Facebook discussions, post humorous pictures, retweet your funny blog post, or even make the trip to my snail mail box at the end of my driveway to retrieve your card (yes, pathethic) I apologize sincerely. I do not mean to be anti-social, but sometimes we all need to unplug and discover why we choose to escape to the virtual world in the first place.

Here is what I learned this holiday season.

1.) Make sure you and your partner are on the same page when purchasing gifts for the kids, or you may discover when wrapping at 2 am on December 23rd (because you love to procrastinate) that the youngest child was sorely neglected and this will force a dreaded last second shopping trip to “even” things out.

2.) Do not get a puppy you need to house-train in the middle of winter, especially when you are entertaining a non-stop revolving door of out-of-town guests (not our brightest idea in the world).

Meet the newest member of our family – Beau the Beabull (half english bulldog/half beagle). Not the best idea in the middle of winter, but we love him anyway!

3.) Do not accidentally order and then drink the largest Diet Coke offered when you are watching a three-hour plus long movie you love and refuse to leave for a bathroom break. I was crying at the end of Les Miserables for more than the beautiful plot.

4.) Even though you are happily in a cocoon, do not forget to put your trash cans out after Christmas Day or your overflowing post-Christmas trash will be an ugly elongated and embarrassing reminder of why you hate gift wrapping in the first place.

5.) Make sure all champagne bottles are popped open safely away from noses or other extremities, especially when there is only two minutes to the big ball drop. We learned this the hard way and our countdown was definitely memorable this year (luckily there was no long-term damage, just a little extra drama to spice-up 2012’s send-off).

So, how did you spend the holidays? Do you completely unplug? Do you experience the non-stop comedy of errors called family bonding? Please share by leaving a comment or join the discussion on the Tiny Steps Mommy Facebook page.



Nicole Dash is a writer, blogger and business owner who lives in the suburbs outside Washington, DC with her husband and four children. She started her career as a journalist and copy editor. She also managed public relations and corporate communications for a national franchise company, but in 2006 started a child care business. In 2012, she launched Tiny Steps Mommy, a lifestyle and parenting blog that quickly gained a following and connected her to an expansive group of women-owned businesses. In 2013, she started a digital marketing consulting business that focused on growing community in an authentic way. Through those connections she was inspired to open Play, Work or Dash, a coworking space that also offers onsite childcare up to three hours per day. It is where like-minded professionals pursue their business goals with the extra level of support parents desire; a place where you "bring your kids to work." She is an active member of the Washington, DC blogger community. She has been published on The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode and Pop Sugar.