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 out the door – right along with the suggestion of elastic-waisted mom jeans – and reaffirmed my commitment to throwing memory-making soirees. Sure, the parties and my style have had to evolve, but now that the bottles of white I serve are as likely to hold white grape juice as Chardonnay, here’s what I’ve learned about entertaining post-Mommyhood.
Six years before having a child, my husband and I bought a four-bedroom colonial. With two incomes and a heady feeling that life would always keep expanding, we tended to do things big. Like holidays. Thanksgiving weekend was D-Day, when the attic yielded dozens of bins crammed with decorations—holiday towels for the bathrooms, pine boughs to wrap the banister, and holiday motif glassware, china and more. Our first son was born into this giddy, much-too-much way of decorating. hen, the September when he was 3, I had a miscarriage.
My husband is in sales. He is wonderful at his job and has grown in his career. Unfortunately, moving up the sales ladder generally means that you’re going to be traveling – a lot. Earlier this year, I said “Adios” to corporate America and turned to freelance writing to keep me sane while staying at home with my children full-time. It’s a good thing I did – a few months later, my husband’s schedule shifted and he was suddenly required to be out of town Monday morning through late Wednesday night every. single. week.
I love the holidays, but they make me so tired. I am sure there are husbands out there who do all the baking, decorating, shopping, wrapping, card writing, schedule arranging, cooking, cleaning, and advance thinking and planning that goes into the holidays. That's a fantasy I cling to, at least. But in my case, I’m the one who does all of this. To keep myself going and hold it together, I’ve created some strategies to help me survive the Claus season.
I'm glad I have sons... and only sons. My friends who are mothers of daughters only say that if I had given birth to two females instead, I'd be just as glad to have daughters. I'm not so sure.
In a couple weeks, my wife and I will take our seventh transatlantic trip with children, and our second with two children. The dread started months ago when we bought our tickets.
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My husband cannot shop. He’s awful at buying gifts. He tries really hard, but it’s just not his thing. One year, I got socks. Then there were the years where I got electronic gifts – fun for him, but not for me (and no woman really wants a clothes steamer as her big Christmas gift, no matter how useful it is). Once I got a fishing pole. He’s tried to buy jewelry, but I never like it.
I want my husband to help feed our baby. What I didn't expect was the incredulity people expressed when I told them I wanted my husband to be involved with the feeding of our child and, if that means we supplement with formula, then so be it. This decision has nothing to do with me shirking my duties as a parent, and it's not a way to somehow coerce my husband into more late nights than are his due. I just really want him to share in the fun of feeding time.
The Pew Research Foundation has released a new study showing that Americans are rethinking what, exactly, defines a family. And the big news is that marriage is no longer a defining factor.