The Good Hostess Guide
Intro: Staying Calm
Surviving a Baby Shower
I know that we have gone over the eight steps it takes to plan a baby shower but planning a baby shower and having it go off without a hitch are two totally separate things, which is why we have created this helpful little guide for all the great hostesses out there.
By the time you get to the finish line, much of your prep work should be done since you have followed our 8-step Baby Shower Guide, right? - sure whatever you say. If you are anything like me, there are a few things that you put off and have only realized when you only have a few hours to finish before the guests walk through the door and shout, “Baby!”
Even if you are completely prepared, you will still find a million and one little details to finalize and will also need to calm those raging nerves. Everyone wants to be a perfect hostess and the stress is always there, no matter how coordinated you (or your party plan) are. So go ahead and bookmark this page and then read this again a few days before the main event so you are positive you have all your bases covered.
Survival of the Fittest ... or is that calmest?
If I were to stress (hmm, that word) the one ideal quality of a hostess, it would be that she is calm and relaxed. There is no evidence of stress on her brow, which has been perfectly moisturized for this event. There are no beads of sweat running down her armpits, and she moves around the room with an aire of confidence, never rushing nor panicking; simply smiling and chatting with the guests at her leisure. She is the ideal that all hostesses aspire to, and I am sure that you have known your share of hostesses that exude this quality out of their pores.
Maybe you don’t feel that you are capable of such a feat, but it is actually quite simple. The key to being a calm hostess is to relax and never rush. Ok, I probably lost you there. Never rush when I have to get decorations hung, food put out, deliveries organized and the mother-to-be to the shower? How can you talk about not rushing at a time like this? Before you think that I’m crazy, just think back to a party hosted by one of those calm hostesses (or hosts). Do you remember them rushing? Probably not, because they have pre-planned everything, and they even know that there will be problems at every party, so why get stressed about it.
The way to achieve this unrushed appearance is to simply start early (Editor: and a little Zen meditation wouldn't hurt either ;-). We will be getting into the prep work in the next section, but for now, let’s take it from the morning of the party. Get up a little earlier than you normally would on the day of the event, but don’t start doing anything for the party until you have done some things for yourself. Sit back and read a book while you have a nice cup or tea (or coffee). After your tea is finished, get dressed into something comfortable so you can get the meal ready or hang the remaining decorations.
Before you get into all the prep work of the day, make the few phone calls that you need to make. Check with the expectant mother first to make sure that she hasn’t gone into labour overnight (or with her husband if the shower is a surprise), confirm her ride to the shower and phone anyone who is running last minute errands for you.
This is a must for surviving the day of the baby shower, delegating work to others. You should not have to leave the house for any reason on the day of the party. This is where your stress level will rise if you have to rush out and pick up the last items for the party. I’m not sure about you, but when I have 6 hours to finish food and get the house together before a party, my stress level doubles if I have to stop what I am doing and go to the grocery store or bakery to pick up a cake. It takes a good half hour to an hour out of my schedule and having to rush to the store sets the tone for the entire shower.
If you don’t have people to delegate tasks to, plan all the pickups for the night before or have the items delivered. Trust me, those few extra dollars needed for delivery is money well spent when it comes to avoiding frayed nerves. If you have delegated, make quick 5-minute calls to ensure that no one has forgotten their task.
Create A Good Working Mood:
After all your calling is done, click on some good music and start prepping the food and decorations if you haven’t done so already. Make sure you leave yourself about 2 hours before the party to grab a shower, get changed and glam yourself up. This way you will have about an hour to a half hour before the shower starts where you can sit back and read a few more pages of your book.
Editor: Many of our toughest battles happen in our own minds. It's amazing what you can achieve with a good, positive attitude and a calm well organized approach.
Go to Step #2 of The Good Hostess Guide to Surviving a Baby Shower >>