Boy, does parenthood ever prepare you for this kind of work! Instead of my life ramping up to this event and then feeling a huge crash after, now it's just back to life as usual; being in "mom mode" means I'm always living at this level of high activity, so I'm used to it. I'm also used to doing things that are painstaking, boring, unpleasant, or awkward. I'm used to having to push through those feelings and get things done. This is a very useful skill in event planning.
How was it with the kids? Well, we got by, but my poor babysitter had them nearly all day every day, which was not what either of us had planned, and which was made especially unpleasant when the first morning at the hotel I found her crying in her room and she confided in me that she thought she was losing a very early pregnancy. She said she was two weeks late, had all the symptoms, but never tested, but now was cramping and bleeding heavily. I cried and hugged her and told her my story and encouraged her that this is very common for the first time trying and it shows she can be pregnant, etc etc. But the poor woman was devastated and having all those awful thoughts of "what if that was my one chance" - you know those thoughts! So she stuck around but I felt horribly guilty about it - especially when the weekend was full of babies and pregnancy announcements. I felt for her. Hell, I've been her (minus the loving husband)!
As expected the sleep was horrible. I got maybe three hours a night, and B tearing the hotel room apart drove me utterly bonkers. Still, I was running on such adrenaline that I can't say I felt dangerously tired - I was afraid I might pass out or get sick or something, but I really did ok. The night sitter worked out great and I even got to take home a lot of the milk. Huzzah!
There were a lot of little, and some big, glitches. But I did not internalize any of them and instead spent the weekend feverishly making notes on how to improve things next year - everything from what denomination to order staff food vouchers in to who to have judge the collegiate shag division.
Mainly I have accepted that I frigging need help and have decided to bring on people to handle all of the food for the weekend (I really don't need to spend the day before my event at Costco), arrange the djs, and run the vendor room. Every other event has a whole team of people doing these types of things; mine has always been a one woman show, but can no longer be. It's time to admit some other people may actually be better at this stuff than me.
It dawned on me halfway through the weekend that without the breast feeding issue next year, I can easily have both kids spend the day at the baby kennel on Saturday and Sunday, freeing up whoever the sitter is to actually enjoy the event. I would just need someone to drop them off and pick up at night. They would probably prefer it, and I would worry less. If only they could stay there overnight-!
So I sang, I wore ridiculous costumes, I ran contests, I made speeches, I greeted hundreds of people from around the world. I even actually danced. Not bad. Here are some shots from the event: