As I made my way to a party last weekend I found myself thinking that since having kids my personal life hasn't really changed all that much. I still see friends, watch TV and go to parties. Now the dates with friends might leave me wanting more (it's kinda hard to focus on telling or hearing a great story when you're making sure one kid doesn't plummet head first down the stairs and another doesn't jam a stick in another kid's eye). And what was once binge watching a full Netflix series in a weekend now looks more like 18 minutes of one show before one of us passes out and wakes up in a pool of drool staining the already stained throw cushion on the couch. But the parties. Those are still good. Although these days they look and sound a little more like this:
Party food pre-kids: "Let's make sure not to eat too much so we can get a better buzz going."
Party food post-kids: "Holy shit someone else is going to feed my family! Let's not eat for two days in advance so we can take full advantage of not cooking. Today I am not the snack bitch!"
Guest list pre-kids: "Who else will be there? Is _______ going? They're always a blast at a party."
Guest list post-kids: "Who else will be there? Is _______ going? Are they bringing their kids? Because their kids play well with my kids which will get them out of my hair."
What to bring pre-kids: "Can I bring wine and/or a date?"
What to bring post-kids: "I'm bringing both kids. Do you think there's a good place for the pack and play? What about the monitor? I wonder if the stroller can stay on their porch? Babe did you pack the sippy cup? Diapers? Wipes? Does the baby have extra clothes? Where's the kid-friendly sunscreen and bug spray? Do you have kleenex? Was this a birthday party? Do we have a gift? Well do we have time to wrap something we already own? Can you grab the near-empty bottle of wine from the fridge?"
Party timing pre-kids: "I hope the party is still going strong at midnight so I can have a serious disco nap followed by a 30-minute shower and still have time to blowdry my hair and do my nails beforehand."
Party timing post-kids: "If I plan this just right I can get both kids napped and dressed in time for the party, otherwise it's gonna be a total shit show."
Party pics pre-kids: "Oh man, why did I do that? I hope no one took a pic of that."
Party pics post-kids: "Oh man, those kids were so cute holding hands. I hope someone took a pic of that."
So while the party scene might not be *that* different, it's the next day where we see the greatest contrast.
Party aftermath pre-kids: "Don't talk to me I'm spending all day on the couch and ordering takeout. I might call in sick until Wednesday."
Party aftermath post-kids: "Mama wake up! Wake up! The moon is up! I see the moon! Can I have oatmeal? Can we go swimming? Wake up!"
Mama's recommended wine pairing:
Occasion: When you find yourself out at a party and there's a whole gaggle of kids just kind of doing their own party thing and you catch a glimpse of both (your) past and (your kid's) future and it feels super cool yet melancholic.
Wine pairing: A nice cool riesling is a solid match for any family-friendly party situation. The relatively lower alcohol content won't weigh you down when you're trying to drag your screaming, "but I want to stay at the parrrrrrrrrtttttty," kid out the door as you maintain a plastered 'polite because we're in company' smile, and the tropical fruit aromas will have other party guests drawn to your sweet presence. Just like bees to honey.