Quit Being a One Woman Show!
I think my main problem with entertaining is that I like to over do everything. Instead of enjoying a simple meal among friends or family, I need to prove my prowess in the kitchen and lay the smack down on my kitchen appliances. I don't know if this is because I like to cook so much because many times I question my sanity when attempting such a project. As I am elbow-deep in dough and trying to make everything from scratch and beautiful, I begin to lose sight of why I would ever want to entertain in the first place. It is my own self-expectations that are so high.
I am trying to exercise my right to be simple and invited my parents over for cinnamon rolls and coffee this weekend. I picked a time that was between the breakfast hour and the lunch hour, a time that I thought would be perfect for a midday snack. I put together the cinnamon rolls the night before and concentrated on putting together fun activities for the children instead of adding more food to our menu. As I was cleaning and getting ready for our company, all I kept thinking was, "What if this isn't enough food? Should I put together an entire brunch instead? Maybe I should make a lunch for them since they might stay late?" I exercised my self control though and stuck to my guns.
My husband and I hid the eggs for the kids, I hardboiled the eggs for egg decorating the next day and we filled the Easter baskets. I headed to bed tired, but was looking forward to the time with my family the next day.
My parents arrived and I pulled the piping hot rolls from the oven. I boiled water for tea and I put a pot of coffee on to share with my dad. We all enjoyed the rolls and shared each other's company while the kids kept busy with the Easter festivities.
And you know what? The rolls were great! No one asked for more food or complained that they thought they were coming for breakfast. The guilt that I felt the night before was all of my own guilt and had nothing to do with my guests.
Think of this when entertaining:
How can I keep things simpler on me? Can your birthday bash be just sharing cake with your family instead of an entire dinner together?
How can I make this less expensive for me? Could you pick a dish that will s-t-r-e-t-c-h instead of a cut of meat as a main dish?
Could I pick a better time? Could you entertain with an inexpensive brunch instead of a fancy supper?
Are my entertaining expectations created by myself or by someone else? Is entertaining a challenge because of the expectations you have put on yourself? Are you your own worse enemy?