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Hosting a Party Pre-Parenthood vs. Post-Parenthood

It was the day after our annual Dia de los Muertos party when we found out about Emily. The night before, our home had been filled with people stuffing their faces with spinach balls and guzzling down mimosa punch and a variety of Mexican beers. Strands of skeleton lights lined the bay windows and skulls with glowing eyes were clustered together on the windowsills and the server. It was the first time in a long time I didn't think about the fact that we had been trying to get pregnant for the past three and a half years. That it still hadn't happened.

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The next day, I took a pregnancy test because I was a week late. I had been waiting for that time of month so we could start another round of IUI. When the test said I was pregnant, I cried and leaked snot all over my husband's shoulder. I couldn't believe it was finally happening.

This year, when we had our party, Emily was 4 months old. Once again, there were people stuffing their faces with spinach balls and guzzling down mimosa punch. Strands of skeleton lights lined the bay windows and skulls with glowing eyes were clustered together on the windowsills and the server.

For me, however, everything was different.

1. The Invite

Pre-Parenthood: On my Facebook invitation, when I list the reasons we are having our party, I write: "We didn't want to compete with all your damn Halloween parties."

GIF via Tumblr

Post-Parenthood: On my Facebook invitation, the snark remains, but I can't help adding a small, mushy bit about "celebrating the moment we knew Emily was finally coming into our lives."

GIF via Cheezburger

2. The Preparation.

Pre-Parenthood: I spend weeks searching for the best possible decorations at Target, Party City and the Dollar Store. I even print out pictures of sugar skulls for my husband and I to color in together. I also put thought into an occasion-appropriate menu and an upbeat playlist.

GIF via Tumblr

Post-Parenthood: Menu? What menu? Why do you think we're having a potluck? Clean? Clean the bathroom? How about I sweep the kitchen floor and call it a day? Playlist? What playlist? Who would even hear it over the noise? I am also exhausted hours before the first guests are even due to arrive, and daydream about canceling everything and instead napping.

GIF via Tumblr

3. The Costume.

Pre-Parenthood: Technically, our annual party is not actually a Halloween party. But I still like to wear a seasonally-appropriate outfit.

GIF via Tumblr

Post-Parenthood: Who the hell cares about my outfit when there is an adorable baby to dress up in an adorable baby costume?

GIF via Kotaku,com

4. The Guest List

Pre-Parenthood: We pride ourselves on drawing a diverse crowd of people who somehow all get along famously.

GIF via Tumblr

Post-Parenthood: We have somehow become a daycare center. A 2-year-old girl tries out the rocking horse in our living room. A 3-year-old boy shrieks at the top of his lungs and then bites my father's arm. My own daughter sobs uncontrollably because we have skipped her bath time.

Image via Tumblr

5. The Conversation

Pre-Parenthood: Loud. Booze-fueled. Ridiculous.

Post-Parenthood: The baby is cranky and overtired because we have dared to schedule a party smack dab in the middle of her usual bedtime. It takes me the better part of three hours to get her to sleep. Unsolicited advice in relation to my parenting abilities occurs throughout those three hours.

GIF via Tumblr

6. The Drama

Pre-Parenthood: Where's my wine at?

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Post-Parenthood: Where's my kid at?

GIF via Imgflip

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7. The End

Pre-Parenthood: Let's be honest. Even pre-parenthood, I tire easily. But I let the stamina of my guests determine the end point of the party.

Post-Parenthood: I start cleaning things up while guests are still there in the hopes that they'll take the hint. When that fails, I straight-up say, "OK! We're going to bed now! Everybody leave!"

Image via Tumblr

Yup. Just call me the queen of all party animals.

GIF via Reactiongifs

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