I've always been a bit of an entertainer. I love telling stories that earn a laugh, and seeing people have fun just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Hostessing parties comes naturally to me and, from the time I've had my own address, I've been inviting people over to celebrate something or other. My first big dinner party was for Christmas the year I was 19. It had a gourmet spread that cost me a college kid fortune and a guest list of 20, and it concluded with a game of baseball played with the leg from my laboriously brined turkey as the bat and my homemade yeast rolls as the ball.
It was a blast.
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Another favorite? A Sex in the City finale party… the night the show wrapped up its run on HBO, I hosted a ladies-only party that had a strictly stiletto dress code and featured a New York City skyline gracing the walls of my apartment. The drink? Cosmopolitans, natch. My parties are fun, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that people talk about them years later.
When I had children, there was the fleeting fear that my days of throwing fabulous parties had come to a finale of their own. I ushered this thought right out the door the second it turned up uninvited, and reaffirmed my commitment to throwing memory-making soirees. Sure, the bottles of white I serve are as likely to hold white grape juice as Chardonnay, but that doesn't make my parties any less fabulous. Here's what I've learned about entertaining post-Mommyhood.
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Babysitters are the best thing since flavored vodka. A lot of my non-parent friends shudder at the idea of having kids. I think that they picture them as more of a ball and chain than the proverbial ball and chain, but y'all, that’s what babysitters are for! The realization that you can still have a social life once you're a parent has been one of the biggest reliefs to me as a mom. I don't get a sitter every week, but sometimes it's nice knowing that someone else you trust is on the job so you can enjoy a quiet dinner out. There's a high school girl who lives up the street from us who may be a better parent than I am, and my kids and I all love having her come over. Babysitters aren't just for going out, either. I love hiring someone to help with the kids so I can prep for a party. And for the going rate of $8-$10 an hour, having an extra set of hands and eyes on my kids is worth the investment.
Grandparents are even better. Babysitters are awesome, but I'm lucky enough to live close to my parents, and they jump at the chance to watch the kids. Every once in awhile, they even ask if they can keep them overnight. Um, yeah you can! Party on! Plus? Grandparents are free.