This is my entry way at the moment (except there are way fewer M & M's now).
It is decorated for almost every holidy and season through the year. I love to decorate it, and my mantels, and match my kitchen towels...It's a lot of work and since having Levi it takes more effort than I am sometimes willing to give it. I have had to simplify this area of my life to make it work with my new reality.
This is just one area of life that has had to adjust to fit into our new reality but he biggest area of life that has been impacted by being a mother is entertaining. I love to cook, and I love to entertain. I love to plan menus and make a simple dinner into a fabulous event. It's how I show love and I enjoy it when I have the time. Since having Levi we have not done much entertaining. At first it was because evenings with a newborn are just a challenge but after a while, especially since Levi has been going down so well between 6 and 7pm, it's much more about the fact that I feel overwhelmed by trying to put together perfect gourmet dinner while i am taking care of Levi during the day. I don't want to feel like I am giving less than my best, but I am seeing that I need to swallow my (store bought) pride and recognise that my best looks different today than it did a year ago.
Jeremy's birthday was at the end of January and his birthday was the first event I have thrown while having Levi around. I simplified. I set out a cheese board and salami and crackers - not multiple from scratch pizzas. I made spinach artichoke dip that I set out with tortilla chips - not homemade crustinis - and for dessert...well, now this is where I went a tiny bit crazy. I made this Inside out German Chocolate cake at his request. It was an all day event but it was very worth it. - but this was the only dessert option except for the candy I put out - no 5 dessert choices for this birthday boy this year.
I realised that entertaining like this was not so scary. We had a fab time, we ate, drank, laughed and celebrated another year of my wonderful hubby. And no one minded that I didn't put on a five course meal, or that I hadn't created a signature cocktail for the event. I just had to scale back. It is more important to be with friends than to have the "perfect" party. I thoroughly enjoyed throwing this party Feeling like I had time to have good conversations with our friends.
I love to make things from scratch. I love to create new recipes and have time to trial and error them to perfection to be served for company and in time or for special occasions I can still do that in some way, but for now I am fining peace with a different way of doing things. A new way of thinking that I am starting to be ok with. I don't have to make the hummus, I can just buy it :) I am not failing, I am simply adjusting to my new reality. It is pride that would prevent me from inviting friends over just because I opened a can or cooked something from the frozen section to serve. So instead of breaking into a cold sweat when I think about people coming over, I hope I can just be excitedly anticipating sharing an evening together rather than obsessing about the details of the food on the menu.
It feels so good to enjoy some adult company again and reconnect with our community of dear friends. It's a new reality but its filled with beauty. It feels like a new identity, a changed one at least but in this new season, the new me is seeing the new lessons to learn. I am not always an eager student but I am trying!