Mom Guilt. If you’re a mom, you know what I’m talking about. That near-constant state of self-doubt and questioning. Am I doing enough? Am I doing it right? Should I be doing this instead? Or maybe that? Or, or, or . . . it’s endless, right?
Then, when the holidays roll around, mom guilt not only shows up—uninvited—for the party, but she also brings along her just-as-unwelcome pals: comparison and perfectionism. Toss in an extra-long to-do list, some holiday stress, and more than a little exhaustion, and the overwhelm quickly becomes all too real.
What’s a mom to do?
My Christmas Cookie Nemesis
For me, mom guilt often swirls around the holiday baking. More specifically, those traditional rolled-out, cut-out, iced, and sprinkled Christmas cookies. I have friends whose cookies look like they snuck them out of Martha Stewart’s kitchen. Mine look more like rejects from an episode of I Love Lucy.
Christmas cookies are my nemesis, my downfall. Cakes? No problem! Pies? Whip them up them in my sleep. Y’all, I can bake a turkey that will make you weep with sheer joy, but those cookies?
It’s just not happening.
So I gradually learned to be content with slice-and-bakes and other semi-homemade goodies. My kids loved them. We had fun semi-making them.
All was Christmas joy, until . . .
My littles one and I went to story hour at the library one day. On that particular day, the librarian chose to inform us moms—the ones with babies in our laps and toddlers hanging around our necks—that slice-and-bake cookies don’t count. Real moms make cookies from scratch. Real moms roll them out and decorate them with their kids. Real moms does this all. the. time.
Hello, Mom Guilt
There it was. My nemesis. What kind of mom was I that I didn’t make rolled-out, cut-out cookies with my kids?!? The self-doubt and questioning swirled through my thoughts like a Tennessee tornado. (As I type this, years later, I realize this might sound a bit silly and blown all out of proportion. But that’s what mom guilt does, isn’t it? It makes mountains out of molehills and catastrophes out of cookies.)
Why does Mom Guilt have such power?
Why is its voice so loud in our lives? If you’re anything like me, it’s because I want so desperately to get this mom thing right. I know how important it is, and I don’t want to mess it up. But here’s the thing, I can’t do it all. I can’t be good at everything.
No one can.
And it took me far too long to learn to let go of those things I’m not-so-great at it and say—with any degree of confidence—“That’s okay!” But when we learn to let go of what doesn’t really matter anyway, we can say goodbye to Mom Guilt.
I’m hoping my words will give you a head start on claiming this truth for yourself: the important thing about baking Christmas cookies—or doing pretty much any of the other 1,397,331 things we moms do on the daily—isn’t whether or not the cookies are homemade. What really matters is spending time together and loving on the ones God has given us to love (1 Corinthians 13:13). That’s what real moms do.
Quick-and-Easy Christmas Cookies
And real moms also figure out shortcuts. Like these quick-and-easy, semi-homemade Snowman Cookies. Now, I’m not gonna lie to you, they’re a little messy. But sticky little fingers were made for licking, and messes are why God made paper towels, right?
Not only will you end up with yummy Christmas cookies, but it’s also a great Christmas activity to do with your kids. And because they’re snowmen, you can revisit this activity all winter long.
Enjoy the making, enjoy the giggles, and enjoy these Snowman Cookies as you melt that mom guilt away! And if you’d like to learn more about simplifying the holiday chaos, check out Simply Christmas: A Busy Mom’s Guide to Reclaiming the Peace of the Holidays.
Nutter Butter Snowman Cookies
- Nutter Butter cookies
- vanilla almond bark
- M&Ms plain (for earmuffs)
- M&Ms minis (for buttons and nose)
- mini chocolate chips
- parchment or wax paper
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
- Melt almond bark according to package directions. (This is a mommy job—it can get hot!)
- Dip cookies, one at a time, in the melted almond bark. Use a fork to flip and fully coat. (Coating should be a little thick so that the candies will stick.) Place on parchment paper.
- Before the almond bark sets, add M&Ms for earmuffs. Add mini M&Ms for buttons. Turn an orange mini M&M on its side for the nose. Add two mini chocolate chips for eyes. (Don’t worry, it takes a few minutes for the almond bark to set, but you might want to work in small batches.)
- Once decorated, chill in the refrigerator until set—about 30 minutes.
- Use a paring knife to trim away excess almond bark. (This is another mommy job!)
*Be creative with your decorations! Try pretzel sticks for arms or cut up a Fruit Roll-up for a scarf. Once cookies are set, you can use a food-safe markers or colored icing to make a mouth or add a hat—whatever you like!
*One 24-ounce package of almond bark should coat one family-size package of Nutter Butter cookies.
Tama Fortner is an ECPA award-winning author with more than fifty titles to her credit, including her latest Simply Christmas: A Busy Mom’s Guide to Reclaiming the Peace of the Holidays and soon-to-be-released picture book God, I Feel Sad. To learn more, visit www.TamaFortner.com.