As if we do not have enough going on with now officially being under contract on a new house and trying to sell our current house, I stupidly volunteered to host mom’s night for our neighborhood mom’s group last week. Just a few things to keep in mind here… First, I have never hosted a mom’s night. Second, I have never been to a mom’s night. And last but not least, while it may not appear this way on the surface, I am a socially awkward train wreck when it comes to meeting new people, particularly in large groups. So basically my signing up to host mom’s night was a recipe for disaster from the start. If you are also a nervously sweating ball of anxiety in new social situations, then please allow me to impart some lessons learned in hosting my first mom’s night last week.
HOW TO HOST MOM’S NIGHT
1) Choose your start time wisely. The phrase “mom’s group” gives you a clue as to what time you should schedule your party to start. These ladies are MOMS. Dinner time, bath time, homework, and diaper explosion clean up will come first. Two key takeaways from this… first, do not be horrified when it is fifteen minutes past the time that your party was supposed to start, everything is perfectly set, candles lit, food is hot and on the table, drinks are on ice, you are nervously pacing the house… and no one is there. They are coming. Second, it is probably a better idea to set the “start” time between 7 and 8 p.m., as opposed to 6:30 p.m. like I did. By that time, dinner is done, PJs are probably on, and Mommas are ready to pass the monitor to the hubs and dip out, frosty bottle of wine in hand. Which brings me to my next point…
2) Plan your menu based on the fact that all food consumed will merely be a supplement to wine. On the Facebook invite that I sent out for this event, I asked that last names starting with A-M bring something to eat, N-Z bring something to drink. I got this idea from a previous mom’s night invite, as I do not know those clever hostess tricks. I’m not sure how it worked at the last party, but at my party, last names A-M brought wine, and last names N-Z brought more wine. Thankfully I’d prepared a handful of munchies that seemed to suffice, but if I had it to do over again, I would have just said “BYOB” and tossed a bunch of bagel bites in the oven and called it a day.
3) Have your baby’s stuff ready for nite nite. Unfortunately my daughter’s room is right next to the kitchen, and we all know that is where the party ends up happening. My spidey-senses were on high alert when the party continued on until 11:15 p.m. and the volume of the conversation increased exponentially with the wine consumption. She ended up and slept through it all, but I am really glad that I had all of her stuff ready to go – PJs, nite nite blanket, sound machine, night light, Benadryl (KIDDING) – before the party started so that it was easy for Daddy to slip in her room with minimal party guest interruption to follow her normal bedtime routine.
4) Use paper and plastic plates, utensils and cups. Because this party was on a “school night” and I have to be at work by 8 a.m., I wanted the clean up to be as easy and quick as possible. I made sure to clean up everything that I could before the guests arrived, and strategically placed trash cans and bags around there areas where I knew we’d be hanging out. At the end of the night (11:30 p.m., #momsohard) it only took me about 20-30 minutes to clean everything up, and that included all of the candle-making craft stuff that I had out as well. And now for my next point…
5) Don’t bite off more than you can chew. The last mom’s group party had a craft theme, which I thought was so clever. I already own all of the stuff to make candles, so I thought that would be something fun to do and everyone would have a little souvenir to take home. Sigh. I think that everyone liked it and was happy to take home a candle, but because I saw a personal injury case looming in the back of my mind, I didn’t want to let anyone pour the hot wax themselves. This meant that in 90 degree weather and 1 million percent humidity, I was pouring hot wax for 20 candles whilst also pouring sweat, and trying to maintain the easy, breezy, fun hostess vibe. Easy and breezy is pretty much the exact opposite of how you feel when you’re basically positive that a line of buttcrack sweat can be seen through your jeans. Point being, keep it simple. The candles were a nice touch, but I think that everyone would have been just as happy to
6) Have a variety of beverages. As I mentioned, my mom’s group preferred wine. I also had a fun, seasonal drink, Apple Cider Sangria, as well as water and ginger ale available. I don’t think that anyone opted for the water or ginger ale, but I had them out because I know from experience that nothing makes you feel like a raging alcoholic faster than when someone asks if you have something without alcohol for them to drink and the answer is no.
6) Enjoy yourself! I was a nervous wreck before this party, but I am so glad that I did it. Advice if you’re considering hosting a mom’s night or girl’s night out… just do it and don’t worry about what people think of your house, snacks, crafts, clothes, etc. Chances are that if they judge those things, you don’t want to be friends with them in the first place, so who cares! Just do it, have fun, and be your perspiring, awkward self. The friends worth making and having won’t care how much you sweat through your pants anyway.
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