Have you reached a point where you feel totally, completely, suffering from hospitality exhaustion?
Well, my husband and I are different worlds at this point. He is a guy who can organize a social in a few seconds, while I would prefer to have a quiet evening at home.
One day I just decided to pack the bull by the horns, picking my words carefully and saying, “Darling, we need to talk. I am tired and this social-thing is still going to let me collapse!” I had to play it playfully to get his understanding and cooperation and his amused smile was the sign that I had succeeded.
After a meaningful conversation, we agreed to help each other to get the hang of it and to receive our friends & family warmly:
1. Everyone helps. I distribute the tasks among my husband and children as far as possible. Hubby doesn’t like to lay the table, but he is ready to drive to the store for those last minute shopping that I didn’t have time for.
2. Plan ahead. This point took a lot of stress off the table. Now I can sit down and plan the menu properly and know when what’s going to happen!
3. Spontaneous visits can also be great fun. We’ve had some of our best times when we invited people at the spur of the moment. (This section is actually my husband’s) In these cases we would just make a quick pasta or sausage sandwich and salad. Keep the menu simple.
4. Allow your guests to contribute. Maybe now I would not ask guests who come to visit us for the first time to bring something, but feel that it is perfectly okay when someone wants to bring a salad, or a pot of pap to contribute. I am forever grateful when my task is lighter and there is more time to spend with the guests.
5. Do not try to impress others. Maybe it was still part of my problem all the time. I so much want to feel that everything is perfect and that the guests will not think badly of us! (Oh dear) But the truth is that afterwards they remember the delicious togetherness more than the beautiful plates from which they ate or how clean the house was!
I’ve not been suffering from hospitality exhaustion for quite some time 🙂