Stressing Myself Out

Francesca Silva

I’m feeling kind of stressed these days. Our “bed & breakfast” is up and running early this year; we’ve already had four different sets of friends staying with us – and it’s not even May!

Our last set of visitors brought their children along, which was fine. We had a great time with them, but sometimes it was a lot of work trying to keep them entertained. Funny thing about kids – they never stop! They all seem to have Ever-ready batteries built into their systems that enable them to just go on and on and on. (I can just hear all your parents out there going “Well, duh…welcome to our world!”)

I guess my real problem is that Mumsie gets tired quite easily these days so having visitors – especially active, noisy little bundles of energy – is very exhausting for her. Unfortunately, instead of resting and just enjoying their company, she insists on playing the “hostess with the mostest.” She’s very much of the “old school” when it comes to guests – she believes that they should be catered to. That means leaping up to serve them whenever they want anything to eat or drink, cooking at least four dishes for dinner, laying the table, putting everything out for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and generally ensuring that they don’t want for anything.

Now, that’s all very well and good – except that, at 92, she can’t do it anymore. So this is where the stress comes in – because she expects me to do it. Despite the fact that I keep telling her things are different now and people of our generation are generally more relaxed and feel more comfortable helping themselves, she insists that I leap up and serve at every opportunity. I could argue the point but then she gets agitated and cranky, so it’s really not worth it. Mumsie is really a gentle soul with a sweet disposition…but she has that core of an iron will that you just don’t mess with.

But if she gets cranky with me sometimes, I figure she’s entitled to do so. And I keep reminding myself that I’ll probably be exactly the same when or if I’m fortunate enough to reach her age (my poor husband).

Speaking of my husband, after an exhausting and hectic day of feeling like I’d catered to everyone, I fell into bed last night, turned to him and huffed “I can’t wait until it’s my turn to be old and cranky,” to which he – with a total disregard for his own health and safety – succinctly replied, “I didn’t know you were waiting!

I hope he had a comfortable night on the sofa…
[tags]stress out, hosting, gentle spirit, family issues[/tags]

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