Why is it so Hard to Split the Holiday To-Do List?

MP and Connor Birthday Party When I was faced with planning my son’s fifth birthday party a few months ago—in the middle of a work crisis—I finally asked my husband to take over.

Then I closed my eyes and tried to smack down the voices telling me a) I was a Terrible Mother and b) there was no way my husband could plan a kid’s party.

In fact, the lame treasure hunt I’d had in mind turned into a swashbuckling pirate’s adventure in my husband’s more-than-capable hands.

Now, with the holidays here—Thanksgiving dinner to cook, presents to buy, cards to send—I’m trying to remember the gift of my son’s birthday. I don’t have to do it all.

Yet even as I write, my husband (who has time off this week) is shopping for Thanksgiving, and I’m worried he’ll forget which ones are the Russet potatoes.

This is a self-perpetuating cycle that serves no one. If I’m afraid to let my husband pick out wrapping paper, even though, guess who winds up wrapping the gifts?

I know that part of the solution is to have a mature discussion about holiday chores, and divide them the same way we do child care, laundry and cooking. And then let go of the fantasy that my version is superior.

I guess I haven’t resolved what matters more: the illusion of perfection or peace of mind.

Let go. Could you do less, and let your mate do more?

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