My daughter just commandeered my house and yard for a bridal shower for a good friend. I can remember a time (Now, doesn’t that make me sound old!) when a bridal shower was simply held in somebody’s apartment. Everybody sat around on mismatched folding chairs with plates balanced on their laps and had cake and punch. Nice and simple.
I’ve watched my daughter stress out the last few weeks putting together this big production. You couldn’t walk through the family room for all the art projects in progress for the decorations, favors and games. There was food to arrange, tables to rent, games to create. There was a theme and colors. There were 50 people invited. The other bridesmaids were not pulling their weight. People were not getting the invitations in the mail for some reason and would need to be called.
I’m proud to say that my daughter is a take-charge person. She’s a decision maker. She figures out what needs to be done and how to do it. The problem is that she’s also a take-over person. She sees what needs to be done and picks up the slack and takes over from the slackers. As a result, she was doing most of the work herself, as she often does.
I’ve seen this in myself and others. Being a take-charge person comes with the risk of becoming a take-over person and burning yourself out. Part of being an effective decision maker is assessing the costs in money, time, energy, and lost opportunities. How much is good enough? What is the benefit of what we are planning to do? Is it worth it? Will this make the party more enjoyable? Will it make the bride-to-be feel special? Will people enjoy this or am I just showing off?
Saturday was the shower. I woke up early and came into the family room and found three young women madly cooking and decorating. There was stuff all over the house, so I ate breakfast outside. Was this going to be ready by the 11:00 party? I couldn’t imagine.
Somehow everything was ready when the guests arrived. There was a festive champagne buffet brunch with a waffle bar and a chocolate fountain. Beautifully decorated tables sat on the grass under a white canopy. Everyone had a good time and the bride was thrilled.
Afterwards, I asked my daughter whether it was worth all the weeks of work and stress. She said, yes, it was all worth it because her friend deserved it.
What do you think? Have celebrations become overly elaborate and stressful or is it all worth it? How do you keep yourself from becoming a take-over person?