The smell of turkey drifts through the air, lights are strung on houses and decorations grace the aisles of every department store. It’s official: the holiday season has arrived. With it comes a mile-long “to do” list, an uncomfortable stretch in the budget and of course, hosting friends and family. The holidays can be stressful enough, but if you’re an expectant mother who hosts a party, things can quickly become overwhelming.
Even if you enjoy hosting, pregnancy can add an extra layer of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion, which makes holiday party planning a complete headache. However, fear not! We have you covered. If you’re a soon-to-be mom who wants to host a party this season, here’s how to survive holiday hosting while pregnant.
First and foremost, if you’re expecting a little one—no matter who far along you are—don’t feel compelled to host the holiday party, no matter how many times you’ve done so in the past. Some women might feel pressure, either overt or covert, to host the annual party. Maybe it’s your usual responsibility. Maybe no one else in the family wants to do it. No matter what the reason, perhaps you’re experiencing some coercion to host the party this year. Don’t let this get to you.
If you’re not comfortable hosting this year, feel free to share that with your significant other, friends or family members. Let them know how you feel, and how hosting could be overwhelming for you. Ask if anyone else is able to host. This might seem like a daunting task, but you could be surprised to hear people’s reactions. Perhaps they’ve already been concerned about you hosting while pregnant, so they want to help you relax by taking responsibility off of your plate. Don’t be afraid to share how you feel, and stand firm in the healthiest option for yourself. For friends and family who truly love you and care about your wellbeing, they will understand.
On the flip side, maybe you do feel comfortable hosting the holiday party. Perhaps you even enjoy it. That’s great! But it doesn’t mean you can’t still make changes to accommodate your pregnancy needs. The most important step for holiday hosting while pregnant is planning. Plan, plan, plan. Avoid the stress of the day by having all of your meals planned out, activities scheduled, bedrooms designated and any gifts bought beforehand. By having a plan strategically in place, you won’t have to worry about making on-the-spot decisions the day of; you will already know the next step.
Once you have a plan in place, be ready and willing to ask for help. When hosting, some women try—or even enjoy—handling everything on their own. While this might be simple enough on a regular year, it becomes a whole different game when you’re expecting a new little baby. What used to be simple as pie for you could suddenly be extremely exhausting. Even if you used to clean the house all day and not break a sweat, you might now need a nap in the middle of the afternoon. Delegate duties this holiday season and you’ll be shocked at how much stress is taken off of your (sore) back. Don’t be ashamed to ask for and expect help when you need it when hosting the holidays this year.
Finally, make yourself your first priority. You are carrying a new little one inside you, which means your health needs to come first, despite all of the holiday hubbub. Be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day, have healthy snacks ready when you’re hungry and sneak away for a little nap when necessary during the busy season. Set aside some “me” time which allows you to relax a bit while friends or family are over. Not only will you feel more refreshed, but you’ll end up having more energy in the long run to celebrate with your loved ones.
The holiday season is stressful. Between shopping, budgeting and hosting, you have a lot on your plate. Add in a baby on the way and you have a recipe for anxiety. If you plan on hosting friends or family for the holiday party this year, keep these tips in mind. Don’t be afraid to say no, but if you do end up hosting, be sure to have a plan in place, ask for help and take care of yourself throughout the process. If you follow these steps, you and your little one will have a wonderful holiday party, whether you host or not.