This weekend, this guy came to visit.
He brought his mom (my daughter) too.
Now you may not think that having your daughter and grandson come to visit would cause anxiety. But for me, it does. It’s even worse when my son-in-law comes along.
I never feel like my house is good enough or clean enough.
I’m OK with it on a daily basis when it’s just us. I’m even OK if my neighbor stops by. But when people drive a long way and have to spend the night, I just get so anxious. Sometimes I can’t even enjoy having them visit because I’m so worried that they will think my house is dirty.
A few days before we knew that Sarah and Robbie were going to arrive, we vacuumed and mopped our floors. (We have hardwood throughout.)
But we also have a large dog, still in her puppy stage. There will be dog hair, and a little dirt from her paws and maybe a stick or two she snuck in. People who don’t have pets just don’t get houses who do.
So here’s what I tried to do this weekend so that everyone could enjoy themselves.
I stocked the house with food. Grilling food, because that’s what she wanted. I made sure there were clean sheets and plenty of quilts. I bought baby food and diapers. I tried really hard to relax and enjoy.
And to my daughter’s credit (with a little help from a good friend), she tried to relax a little bit too. She got over the fact that the baby had dog hair on his clothes. She noticed how much fun her son was having with my big old horse of a pup.
And it was all better that way.
If you’ve got people coming over, whether it’s for a BBQ or a weekend stay, take a few tips from me.
Try to prepare as much as possible beforehand. (It occurred to me today that I could strip the bed, wash the sheets, and then re-make the bed, making it ready for it’s next use instead of waiting until I know someone is coming.)
Concentrate on what you know and are good at. I love to cook and to feed people, so I tried to make that a highlight of the visit. Maybe you’re more of a fun person who can plan outings and entertainment. Do what you like and are good at.
Realize that no one lives in the houses you see on TV and in the magazines. You probably don’t know how your guests really live in their home. They may think your house is just fine.
Remember they are coming to visit you, not your house. Make it presentable and clean it and then move on. It’s people time, not house tour time. (Oh, and if the people visiting you are more about using your house as free rooming while they visit elsewhere, lower your standards and your anxiety a bit. Who needs people camping out at your house if they aren’t really there to see you?)