Honestly I try. Honestly I have good intentions. But I just can't help myself. Everything that I do in my home life I strive to make as stress free, as simple, as pleasant as possible.
But I have a weakness - I love having friends and family to stay or for a meal. And I never make my life stress free and simple in this instance. I tried this weekend, I really did but my plans were intervened by my husband who, it transpires, is equally probe to hostess with the mostess tendencies. It's my second son's Christening this Sunday and we decided to hire the village hall and keep it really simple with a zouped up stew and lots of good wine. Are we doing this? Yes. Did we think the easiest thing to do for this stew was to acquire a stag from a friend and become in-house butchers one evening this week? Obviously (my husband's call to arms is always 'It won't take long' - it always does). Are we now also having one godparent and his family to stay and having a diner party at home the night before. Yes. Have I planned a simple meal that can be had round the kitchen table? Obviously not.
The books have been out, the lads have been consulted, the giant list has been written, Tesco has delivered, cleaning agency has mucked out the house and mum is on her way round this afternoon, pinny in hand, to tackle the 9kg of venison.importantly my dear Mother-in-law has been summoned (those table clothes aren't going to get ironed on my watch) with the 'super super chocolate cake' ordered by eldest son.
Oh wait a minute. There's a bit of a running theme here. I have indeed made my life as simple and stress free as possible - delegation!
Well, I'll take one for the team and go to the village hall this morning to check what crockery there is and how the oven works. What's that you say? The toddler group is on? I could have a cuppa and biccy with the lovely local ladies who tell it like it is -from hoovers to lidl and in-laws to cranky toddlers, these guys don't miss a beat and always make me smile.
So how can you make your home life as stress free and simple as possible? Looks like it's down to some simple good old fashioned tricks. Delegate, write a list (deadlines, actions and responsilities are not just for the workplace!) and have a great support network around you, be it bringing in paid help to having an outlet at the local village hall (I suspect there's a blog in the post about my lovely local ladies!) you can't do everything yourself, no matter what your superwoman aspirations are.
In the interests of transparency I thought I should tell the truth about the origins of the above blog...
That post actually started in my head two weeks previously as an anti husband rant! I was seething that he had piled on extra work into my plate - doesn't he get that it's the hours of thought and preparation that we (we being whoever the 'planner is in your household, as I am well aware it is not always the fairer sex!) have to put in before the final push on the day? It is not that he isn't amazing at helping on the day and will take 'direction' from me with no thanks or even a smile - he really is a saint - but it really did take me two weeks to calm down!
Whether intentionally or not my husband did a very clever thing on the day of our son's christening. He swapped the table plan round so I was tucked up the other end away from the kitchen. The moment I sat down to lunch (sitting between two of the booziest godfathers a boy could wish for) with my goblet of vino, I switched off and was able to enjoy this really special (and most fun!) day. It's not the flowers, the ironed table clothes or the rather good lunch (if I do say so myself) that matters its family, friends and vast amounts of vino.