There's only one thing I like about playing hostess, and that is how I am somehow capable of getting my house clean in triple speed. A task that normally takes me hours to finish, somehow can be done in one hour. Granted, I'm likely doing a sub par cleaning job, throwing things into a bedroom that won't be visited, but I'm still always amazed at how motivating the arrival of a few guests can be. Suddenly, I have superhuman cleaning powers.
And that's about all I like about playing hostess.
The rest stresses me out to the max. After hosting my daughter's third birthday party on Saturday, I'm sure I need to go back to school and get a BA in hosting because I'm convinced there are rules about not inviting fourteen families to your party, or a rule about not leaving all the shopping to the morning of the party, and there's got to be a rule somewhere about not changing the location of the party a few hours before it begins. Oh, and note to self: do not, I repeat, do not plan party without air conditioning on a day where a heat advisory has been issued. If you do, you're giving yourself a death wish.
On top of the self-inflicted stress, I am so clueless. How much time should pass before you offer cake and ice cream? Is it rude for the hostess to be in the kitchen serving treats and fussing over different technicalities, or should the hostess be mingling with the guests? And is there a way to gauge if the party was a success or not?
Is there such thing as inviting too many people? I just didn't want anyone to feel left out, but maybe people would be grateful to not be invited, but I figure these people can always just not come. I've always thought it just better to invite. Am I wrong? Does anyone know of a mathematical equation where you input hour home's square footage and your allotted birthday budget and equate the maximum number of people you should invite? I could really use an equation like that.
What about having a mixed group? We just recently moved about thirty minutes from our old home and we invited old friends as well as new friends. Only one of the "old" friends showed, so they didn't know anyone.
How old should your child be before you don't have parents/families stay for their birthday party?
Finally, why, oh, why am I always inviting people over and planning little parties if I'm so clueless and enjoy it so little? Does anyone else feel a coming-of-age responsiblity as a good mom/wife/woman to host things??
Answers to these questions would really put my hostess heart at ease.
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