SELF-CARE SUNDAY: I’m Not Martha Stewart, and That’s Okay.

July 29, 2018
Self-Care Stories: I'm Not Martha Stewart, and That's Okay.

today’s lesson: i’m not martha stewart, and that’s okay.

you know what? i’m not martha stewart. and that’s okay.

it’s even okay when my turn to host sunday night dinner and father’s day coincide. it’s okay even then.

don’t get me wrong. sometimes i totally am martha stewart!

i martha stewarted the crap out of christmas brunch last year, for instance. i’m talking tea towels with little christmas dogs on them, chocolate dipped coffee stirrers, and a gorgeous tablescape complete with an extravagant box of godiva chocolates and a tabletop christmas tree.

in fact, my friend daniel’s favorite compliment to give me over the holidays is “right out of sunset magazine!” why always sunset magazine i have no idea. but he means it as a compliment, and i love him for it.

but i LIKE being martha stewart!

i LIKE being martha stewart, which makes this a tough lesson for me. even though i’ve been living on my own since college, my family still acts like i’m playing house when i offer to host. i’ve been cooking and cleaning after myself and others for longer than my sister has, but she and her doctor husband live in a condo and can’t wait to have kids, while my husband and i are freelancing creative types who live in a tiny hipster apartment. plus they know how anxious and subsequently overwhelmed i can get. on top of all that, i’m the baby. so it always feels a bit like everyone’s humoring me when they come over. thus, the martha stewart act.

where were we? ah yes, father’s day.

the night before father’s day, my husband’s family friends were in town. to no fellow introvert’s surprise, i felt my social anxiety brewing as i stood in front of my closet in my towel trying to get dressed for the evening. god, couldn’t i just be a normal wife for once? attempting to ignore my anxiety was making me even more panicky though, and i had forty minutes til show time.

a weird tantrum (argument?) with my husband, a floral blouse, and a swipe of red lipstick later, nobody was the wiser. our guests came over, we laughed over tacos and margaritas, and called it a night.

tomorrow was father’s day, and it was my turn to host sunday night dinner (any blue bloods fans out there?). since my dad never eats my cooking (i’m telling you, playing house), it would be particularly cruel to make him spend father’s day starving at my place. we planned to eat out instead.

except that my mom texted me to say, “we’ll just come over. cheaper. make something simple–nothing fancy.”

i fired back a text saying that i hadn’t planned on entertaining and you can’t just spring that on a person and we’re not even going to be home tomorrow since we were planning on spending the first part of the day with my husband’s family so when did she expect me to plan a menu and shop for groceries and prepare the meal?

the thought of TWO MORE family outings–the last of which came with impromptu hosting duties–in 24 hours was too much.

i felt like a fraud.

so, i let my mom “take over” father’s day and just order pizza. my sister handled dessert and i picked up beverages on the way.

Self-Care Stories: I'm Not Martha Stewart, and That's Okay.

although i felt relieved, part of me still felt like a fraud. hadn’t i proven that i wasn’t a real homemaker after all? they were right all along. i was a thirty-year-old child who couldn’t pull her weight.

in reality, they probably thought no such thing. and even if they did, i had to put my mental health first.

and you know what? that’s allowed.

just say no.

if your family or friends catch you on a bad week, you are allowed to say no to being martha stewart.

ask someone else to host. put your mental health first.

i was VERY tempted to bail on father’s day altogether. but i know how important it is to be around loved ones, even when you’re feeling as anxious as i was that week! so, another swipe of my trusty red lipstsick and we were on our way.

and it felt nice to kick off my shoes and veg out on the couch with jagger and the rest of my family. my only responsibility for the night was to leave room for dessert.

Self-Care Stories: I'm Not Martha Stewart, and That's Okay.

what recent obligations do you wish you had said no to? let me know in the comments below!

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