In the past three weeks, we have celebrated Seth’s dedication, an early birthday celebration for Levi, Easter and Levi’s actual birthday. This has amounted to a large amount of planning, preparation and executing for successful events that have involved family and friends. Not to mention keeping my husband and two little rock star babies fed, clothed and happy. Let’s just say I learned much.
Keeping my sanity throughout was also a huge goal and one that wasn’t easy to achieve, unfortunately. I don’t like to give up control of things, and asking for help isn’t my best quality. That being said, here are the biggest lessons I have learned in our whirly-gig of “fun” events.
Simplicity is key. Planning lunch for both your and your husband’s families after a baby dedication? Depending on the weather, BBQ it up! Despite chilly temps and a drizzle falling, my wonderful husband grilled burgers and hot dogs in the garage (well ventilated) with my father and his brother. Everything left for me to do was easy-peasy. Chips, potato salad I made the day before and toppings took about 5 minutes to lay out. Dishes? Paper plates and plastic cups made clean up a breeze. Dessert for 15+ people? Again, keep it simple: cupcakes I made were lovingly frosted by my mom and sister while I was doing other things. Get some ice cream and self-serve. Providing dinner for out-of-town guests the night before? Order pizza and slice up some veggies and call it a day. Voila! Baby dedication/family birthday celebration complete.
Have your guests contribute to the meal. Every Easter, we host our friends who, like us, don’t have family nearby, and it is a wonderful time. To keep things stress-free for me, I ask my girlfriends to contribute side dishes, desserts or drinks to our Easter meal. Then I’m not slaving in the kitchen all day, and I get to enjoy someone else’s cooking. It’s definitely a win-win.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. So maybe you haven’t given your house a complete and thorough scrub down for a week or two (or a month, let’s be honest). You’re a busy lady…kids, husband, life… Instead of running around your house with a broom and dust pan behind every one, give yourself a break. No one will notice the dirt you see, and if you are a little more relaxed, it will go a long way for your family and friends. I was able to enjoy our crazy few weeks so much more because I allowed myself to be content with spot cleaning as needed.
Tell your husband when you need a break. You do not have to be Superwoman. He is there to help, and if he’s like my husband, he wants to help so that you don’t lose your mind. And, let’s face it; he is the co-host of these events, right? Let him help you.
So, relax, take a deep breath and remember to soak in these fun moments and times with those you love. I promise you, (and I speak from experience) it is worth it.
Erin has two sons Levi (age 2) and Seth (7 months).