Entertaining for the holidays can be a lot of work, but when you have "real" work to do as well as entertain, it can also be a recipe for stress. How can you make your work life balance with entertaining?
When you work from home, it's easy to put your work last after everything else the family needs. Especially during the holidays when you are entertaining, it's vital to set work hours. Try posting them on the door to your office so that the entire family - and guests - can see that you are serious about your work hours. Then set a few rules: no interrupting mom during work hours, etc. With some firm hours in place, you will be more likely to be productive and get your work finished with time to spare for entertaining.
If your entertaining consists of keeping guests overnight, clear communication is a must. What time do they plan to arrive and to leave? What meals would they like to eat at your place? Knowing these things is important in helping you plan how much time is required of you in order to be a good host. Try to get these details confirmed as early as possible before the guests arrive so that you can lessen the stress that inevitably accompanies overnight guests.
Set a Limit
If you're entertaining others with holiday parties of various kinds, limit yourself. Have you have hosted the extended family get-together for the past 5 Christmases? Then perhaps it's time to suggest someone else host this year. Wonder Woman has retired, and you don't need to bring her back!
Know your limits and don't exceed them. If you enjoy hosting parties, by all means plan one or two - but don't bite off more than you can chew. The holidays have a way of becoming busier that you expect.
Even when you have insisted on clear communication with guests and set work hours, surprises always arise when you are entertaining. Try to be flexible and "go with the flow" - after all, you are celebrating the holidays with people you (hopefully) enjoy. Do your best to keep things in perspective and enjoy the time together.
Just remember, in a month or so the holiday season will be over and life will be back to normal. You will find time to work then with much less effort. As much as possible, enjoy the moment!
Entertaining for the holidays can be joyous if you are prepared. Happy holidays to you and your loved ones!
Susan Braun is a freelance writer living with her husband, three daughters, 2 rabbits, 2 gerbils and hedgehog in Indiana. She writes at girlsinwhitedresses.wordpress.com and Associated Content.