That title sounds rather formidable. Maybe it should read more like “how do I survive hosting guests for multiple nights while keeping my children, myself, and my household alive”.
My husband’s parents arrived the middle of last week to stay for five days. On the one hand, I was ecstatic that they could come see Baby M while she’s so young and hear Little N tell stories over and over again about random things like how the power went out at her daycare four months ago. Skype just doesn’t quite cut it after a while.
On the other hand, I hate playing host. Some people are amazing at hosting. I will be the first to admit, that is just not me.
Here is what I don’t like about hosting:
- Planning, preparing, and making meals. To be fair, I don’t even like planning meals for my own family of four let alone adding two more adults. And yet every single day, they all turn to me like “so what should we have for dinner?”. My preferred response: “Errm beats me! Can’t you just rummage in the cupboard for something? I’ll just be over here making food for the baby, then for the toddler, then making sure I’m fed so I can breastfeed the baby and not faint from hunger. Of course, I’d love to plan and make another huge meal for everyone else as well. Then after, I’ll be so exhausted despite needing to be cheery and drink wine and communicate instead of retiring to the bath straight after the kids are off to bed like I really really would like to…..”. Instead, I’ll politely respond: “well, let me just check what we have in the fridge….”
- After everyone leaves and the fun is over, massive, massive amounts of crap (ie. errands, cleaning, laundry) is sitting there waiting to be done.
- Spending a massive amount on groceries that somehow disappear overnight. I think I tripled the grocery bill this month.
- No alone time. Ever.
- The kids schedule gets epically thrown off track. That sometimes results in epically grumpy children.
So now that I’ve dished out all the things I could possibly complain about (heavy emphasis on point #1). Here are the things I loved about having them visit:
- Having adults to communicate and drink wine with once the kids were in bed (once I pushed past exhaustion, this was quite nice). My husband and I really miss the socializing that used to happen pre-baby as it virtually never happens anymore.
- Having them entertain and really play with the kids. You can throw discipline right out the window with grandparents, but they sure do make the kids smile and also keep them out of my way when I’m cooking!
- They put the kids to bed and lay with them as they fall asleep. It’s heartwarming to know your kids are having that bonding time with their grandparents.
- We do more elaborate things outside the home. Like go to the zoo. And even if we don’t plan anything outrageous, simply going to the park seems like the best thing in the world to the kids (and to the grandparents).
Despite the ‘hate’ list looking slightly longer than the ‘love’ list – I did really love their visit. I also just love to get real with you all 🙂
Let me know your experiences with having guests + kids? Love it or hate it?