Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Help Make the Family’s Holiday Visit Easier

Ask the Life Coach

Dear Coach,

My daughter, her husband, and their three teenagers are coming for Thanksgiving for the first time since we moved here from Ohio. As delighted as I am that they are joining us for the holiday plus three extra days, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed about food preparation and entertaining everyone for four days. They are staying in our home which means breakfast, lunch, and dinner most days plus the big Thanksgiving feast.

At one time, I entertained frequently but that day is gone. Although I know my daughter will lend me a hand, I’m worried about the energy it will require to plan, shop, cook meals and entertain this dear family.

I’d be very grateful for any suggestions.

Tired Just Thinking About It

Dear Tired,

With a blended family of six kids, nineteen grands, and eight great grands, I totally understand how you’re feeling (they don’t all come at once). As we age, it’s not unusual for us to feel the tension between wanting our family to visit with wondering how we will find the energy and endurance to do everything that needs to be done.

I don’t have a silver bullet for you, just a few tips I use that might relieve some of your concern.

  • Make meals ahead and freeze them. Consider recipes that freeze well like crock-pot pulled pork, chicken divan, taco meat, soup. Making one extra meal a day will give you several meals in your freezer.
  • Consider ordering your Thanksgiving dinner from Publix or another take out source. Perhaps the meal won’t be as good as homemade but it will definitely take the pressure off of you.
  • Ask your daughter to accompany you to the grocery store when she arrives so she can help with the planning and food selection. Involving her at the beginning will also encourage her to take more responsibility when it comes to meal preparation.
  • Enlist your husband, son-in-law, and teenagers to do the meal clean-up.
  • Ask all guests (family or friends) to swap out their sheets when they leave. Provide every bedroom with an extra set of sheets and ask guests to make up their beds. I’ve done this for years and it makes life so much easier after my guests depart.

When you need help, don’t hesitate to ask. With three teenagers on board, you should not be working yourself into a state of exhaustion. Remember, you’re not running a hotel or a restaurant. Be a good role model of a woman who knows how to take care of herself.

Happy Thanksgiving!

As a retired Certified Personal/Professional Coach, I’m delighted to bring my years of life coaching experience to Coastal Breeze News readers. I’m currently writing a self-help book, “Mom’s Gone, Now What?” and invite you to follow me at More than mother loss, the blog addresses how to live a healthy, joy-filled life.

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