For the first time in I don't know how many years, I am not going to my parents home in Georgia for Thanksgiving. I was planning to host it at my house with my family, my brother and his girlfriend, and my husband's good mate from Australia and his family, who have never experienced a real American Thanksgiving.
I was going to cook. Everything. And I won't say I was excited about it, but I wasn't not excited about all that cooking.
Then things changed. My husband had to fly back to Australia for a family emergency and he took our eldest daughter (she's four), so she could see her cousins, but our youngest daughter stayed behind with me. She's only eighteen months and if you think being on plane for a few hours with a baby is hard, try two or three planes totaling approximately 23 hours in the air, plus layovers.
Yeah, that wasn't going to happen. I basically told my in-laws I would not be taking their youngest grandchild across the Pacific again until she could sit contentedly with an iPad in her lap for hours. They understood.
So, now my hubby and our eldest are gone (omg, it is SO quite in this house) and I am a single mom with only one child for the next week.
But I'm still hosting Thanksgiving.
The Aussie family pulled out when they realized half my immediate family would be MIA and my sister and her husband and their one-year-old decided to come last minute from Texas. So I've switched out one family for another.
But the great thing about family is...you don't have to impress them. And you don't have to cook for them. At least, not my siblings and their family. They get it. We've all lived in New York City, and we all understand choosing convenience over killing yourself. Time management is everything.
So I have put my spatula and oven mitts away and made a call to the local gourmet market and ordered an entire Thanksgiving meal (including a fully cooked turkey). And I couldn't be happier.
I am not someone who believes that a home cooked meal or tradition matters more than actually enjoying Thanksgiving (or whatever holiday or event) with family or friends. I am NOT a Pinterest mom. I am not a PTA mom. I didn't bake one thing for the bake sale the first year my kid was in preschool (though I bought a whole hell of a lot of those baked goods...yum). My children are in preschool because I need more time. For work. And for me. Self-care matters. A lot.
My motto is...do less, live more. So how about a high five for no cooking and oh my god, no cleaning! I may even get out the paper plates! Yes, that's the best idea I've had yet! (Cover your ears mother).