No sitter? No problem. Throwing parties can be pricey, and sometimes the sitter just isn't in the budget. And there are definitely times when the last thing I want to do after the guests leave is drive across town to get my kids at my parents' house. This is when the benefits of a strict bedtime come into play. My kids are scheduled like clockwork, with my oldest being in bed by 8 p.m., lights out by 8:30. With careful coordination, I can do my entertaining once they're asleep. I have a two-story house, with the kids' rooms upstairs, so I can have small dinner parties or friends over to play board games (which is always way more fun than it sounds) without disrupting their routines. Sometimes, I have a party and the kids never have a clue it happened… sure, we can't get too raucous but... let's face it… I'm 30. Even if I didn't have the world's cutest alarm clocks to make me think twice about drinking myself into a hangover, the kind of parties that have the cops called just aren't my idea of fun.
Entertaining for kids can be awesome. I love hosting parties for the whole family… the kids all have a blast and we get to hang out with the parents while creating special family memories. Win, win, win. Plus, there's nothing that compares with kids having a great time. Get a bunch of kids you adore belly laughing, and I guarantee that you can't help but have fun, no matter how old you are. Sure, family-friendly parties are easiest during warmer months when the guests can spill into the backyard, but even a smaller guest list and specific holiday-centered events like cookie decorating can be fun during the holidays. I used to be able to gauge how successful a party was by the mess I had to clean up. The more empty wine bottles to recycle, the more fun was usually had by all. This past Halloween, we had about 10 families over for chili and mass trick-or-treating and, later that night, as I collected discarded Capri Sun containers, I just grinned at how times had changed. How To Be A Mother, A Wife—And Yourself