I love to entertain, I love having friends round and cooking for them or baking for the kids morning tea. There is truth in the saying “you don’t know what you have till its gone” because it wasn’t until January this year that I realised just how much I need to have that social interaction on my terms with my family and friends. The moment we decided to put our old house on the market we knew that we were going to have to declutter and clean and keep the house as tidy as possible to be available for the open days and any inspections at short notice.
No more playdates or afternoon tea parties and no more big birthday celebrations or dinner parties. Its been over six months now since we could entertain our friends and their children in our home and I miss it desperately. I pour over my recipe books and fantasize about what I am going to cook and bake when the new kitchen is up and running. I dream of long leisurely lunches, lots of wine and conversation, happy children playing inside and outside the house. Thanks to the dangerous deck, swampy garden and unfenced access to the creek its just not been safe inviting friend’s children over.
Soon. I keep reminding myself, soon. So when it came time to plan Amy’s sixth birthday party I knew I was going to have to accept my fate and plan something outside of the house. No baking, no list making, no snack planning. We outsourced Amy’s party to a well known chain of restaurants named after my husband.
And it was the best decision we could have ever made. For this anxious, slightly manic, stressed out Mum this party was the most relaxed ever. No staying up late the night before downing wine and icing cakes! No early starts and sweating brows over the hot oven, no panics over how many bread rolls or whether there would be enough sausages to go round (note to self, there are ALWAYS enough sausages to go round!)
Instead we turned up ten minutes before the party began, sat down with a coffee and waited for our guests to arrive. Amy was in party heaven when her friends started arriving, piling up a gigantic pile of gifts in one corner before disappearing into the play centre with all her friends.
The Mums (and a few Dads!) sat down in a comfortable corner of the big party room and caught up on the news after a week of school holidays. At some point the party host called the children in to play a rousing game of pass-the-parcel that I didn’t have to arrange! Then there were musical statues and pin the tail on something, all the while I sat down with my friends, chatting, relaxing.
Later the food came out and there was a roomful of quiet, content children eating. Another frantic play before the cake came out. A cake that I didn’t design, bake or decorate but the children loved it all the same. A rousing chorus of happy birthday and then it was time to say goodbye.
All I had to do was pay the bill and hop in the car. It was brilliant fun, Amy had the best time and I left the party more relaxed and happy than when I had arrived! All that said I do miss my big party events and we cannot wait until our kitchen/dining room/deck is done and we can start entertaining again!