It is Saturday evening and we have one dinner down and one to go. This year we hosted Thanksgiving dinner for my husbands family today and my family tomorrow and sadly Monday my husband has to work (he gets both days of US Thanksgiving off so it all works out for us). Today before our family arrived I had some time to reflect on previous dinners we had hosted.
I use to go crazy making sure the house was spotless, putting out beautiful decorations and planning the perfect meal.
I made my best attempt to provide a “Martha Stewart” atmosphere. I was a dedicated “List Maker” and everything had to go according to plan. Then after Ella I kind of let things go a little but still held myself to the same “perfection” standards in my head.
I did let people help more, but also stressed a lot more because I felt like things could be cleaner, dinner could taste better and that I should have had more/better decorations.
Now with two children I have found I have been able to let go of my “stresses” a little more. I was still totally prepared as far as serving dishes being out and ready, all the veggies were peeled, cut and in the pots ready to go….but…..the house wasn’t exactly perfect.
There were toys every where (even though we have a toy room in the basement, some toys have seemed to take up a permanent residence in my living room), the kids have a play kitchen in my kitchen and toys were all over the floor, the living room was littered with various kids chairs and kids strollers among other toys, my counters, which before kids, would have been spotless, were filled with somewhat neat piles of work and other various papers.
And every time I looked at one of these piles of toys or paperwork I reminded myself that today was not about how clean and organized my house was but about enjoying the people coming over, the easier it was for me to let that stress go.
Even when the kids were playing outside and I went out to check on them and all I could smell was smooshed dog poop, I didn’t stress. Just removed and sprayed down their shoes and let them carry on. But when I think about it now, me 4 years ago would be putting their clothes in the washer (FYI, none was on their clothes, I am just pointing out how semi nuts I use to be) while frantically finding clean clothes for the kids and scrubbing the poop off the deck. Now not so much.
I think as much as my kids have made my life crazy they have also grounded me and made me realize what is important.
It isn’t about the decor, how clean the house is or even how tasty – or not – the meal is. It is about my 16 month old “helping” me peel potatoes. The hour he sat on the couch with is nanny and aunt playing. It is about my daughter playing with her cousins. And hearing about how my niece is doing in her first year of university. It is about my husband having the chance to spend time with his brother and sister.
Those are the things we will remember 10 years from now and therefore that is what is important.
I am thankful for my husband, my kids, my dog, my family, my in-laws and my friends.
Enjoy your dinner and take some time to really enjoy your time with the people that matter.