This holiday season, we were graced with a lack of busyness.
My partner’s parents were out of country, visiting family, and so we had fewer social engagements, fewer commitments.
We spent the winter solstice, with our friends, who have a darling 10 month old. We spent New Years Eve with our neighbours and their children. We spent several, random evenings with some pals from high school, who have yet to have children.
There is a special magic in spending time with your friends AND your children. Sure, the conversation (read: language) is altered...or monitored. We try to protect our children from adult worries and woes. But sharing belly laughs, as you reminisce about youthful silliness; support for each other as we navigate big steps in our pathways through life; rejoicing in each other’s company with our children present is worth it.
Welcoming in our children into a part of our social lives allows them to see us as whole beings. In our family, our children are a huge priority. We commit time and a lot of our precious energy towards their health, mental and physical. We absolutely need breaks, and are lucky to have extended family within minutes, who are able (and more than willing) to provide care, during movie nights or spa weekends away.
However, whenever we get the chance, we like to host, and include our children in social events. We involve our littles in meal plans, as well as set up and tidy up. Our version of ‘shabby entertaining’ requires such little prep, that we are always open to inviting friends over for some quality time. We remind ourselves that our friends are here to see US, and our family; that we don’t need to scrub the decks in order to open up our home to visitors. Never has a friend commented on the state of my floor, as I would never even notice theirs.
Looking to liven up your social life, without adding stress? Here’s a tip from our version of easy entertaining.
One Saturday or Sunday, gather the fixins for meatballs (and some vegan, gluten free versions). Spend a morning making a few batches and stick them in the freezer in small baggies, minding to label carefully, which are meatless, of course.
Keep some pasta (add a gluten free version if possible) and canned pasta sauce on hand, as well as some garlic bread in the freezer.
Add a salad and a bottle of wine, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a fabulous shared meal. Top with special friends and tiny humans, and you’ve got MAGIC.
Looking to find other simple ways to rejoice in your family time?
Reach out and we can connect with some parent coaching sessions to help your family thrive.