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Please help - how can I become a better host?

(13 Posts)
flashharriet Sat 08-Aug-09 09:02:32

I love the idea of having people over to our house but worry so much about the reality that I normally end up not doing it.

I've realised that I really need to address this urgently after two things happened this week:

- both DS and DD1 want to have friends for sleepovers. We've had a couple of sleepovers here before - they went absolutely fine but I worry so much that the visitors are not going to enjoy themselves, I feel tense the whole time they're here and tbh am looking forward to them going home

- my friend has asked me to look after her children next week as she's stuck for childcare. They're not friends of my kids so I'm now worrying that they're going to hate being here

We don't have people over very often and if I'm honest, I've let the kids having friends for tea slide because I just want to come home with my own children and shut the door.

Please help me with this - I want our home to have an "open door" policy, especially with the teen years coming up but I seem to be the biggest barrier to this happening at the moment sad

flashharriet Sat 08-Aug-09 09:59:49


plantsitter Sat 08-Aug-09 10:03:09

Ooh you could be me - bumping and watching!

flashharriet Sat 08-Aug-09 10:11:36

Hi plantsitter smile

Rubbish isn't it? sad

Doodle2u Sat 08-Aug-09 10:19:31

The trick is - RELAX!

The kids don't want you mithering with them!

They want - stuff to eat. Stuff to drink. Free run of the house and garden! They want you to disappear and get on with your own thing whilst they get on with theirs!

As for children who haven't been before, when they come in, ask them if they like TV/films and which kind. Ask them if they like footie or what ever they can play in your garden. Introduce the children, show them where stuff is and then leave them to it. All the children will find common ground from with the questions you have asked as a starting point.

Doodle2u Sat 08-Aug-09 10:21:20

Oh, and if for any reason it isn't working - route march them all over to the park and let them kill a couple of hours there. Everything always works better when you're outside IME - dunno why!

flashharriet Sat 08-Aug-09 11:31:36

Thanks doodle2u, I know that really (and I am very hands off when kids are round here), I just can't help tying myself in knots at the thought of it, does that make sense?

flashharriet Sat 08-Aug-09 16:25:13

Anyone got any other tips, especially to help with the asking people and build up to an event bits? How can I stop myself thinking this way?

flashharriet Sat 08-Aug-09 20:34:21

Anyone? Please MN sad

onepieceoflollipop Sat 08-Aug-09 20:38:52

I would suggest asking people over for coffee etc initially, rather than the possible pressure of a meal for example.

It is dd's birthday soon, and I couldn't face doing 2 or 3 full birthday teas. (long story, family issues, not relevant to your thread)

So I have arranged 2 mini teaparties, one on Wed and one on Thurs. Theoretically I only have to clean the house/loo etc properly once, on Tues or Wed morning!

Also I have made it clear that the invite is for tea and cakes, and the timing (2.30pm ish for a couple of hours) makes people aware that it isn't a proper meal time as such.

If it helps I do wonder sometimes what dd's friends think of me - they are only 5 so I know it is a bit ridiculous.

JustKeepSwimming Sat 08-Aug-09 20:45:04

I haven't got DCs as old as yours yet so can't say for sure.

But...the thing already mentioned is the key, to relax

Kids don't care what state your house is in, as long as there are toys/tv/garden they will be happy, oh and food/drinks!

I would have thought the easiest way to (re-)start is to ask your kids if they would like to invite a friend back from school for tea, just to start.
If the same friend(s) come a few times, they will be used to you, and you them, then you can offer a sleepover idea - just for those few friends as a starter.

Ask your kids what they would like to do when their friends come round - if it's something arty-crafty get supplies in (then cover the table with newspaper, lol), if football, cut the grass, etc.
That might make you feel more 'hosty'

flashharriet Sun 09-Aug-09 10:37:24

Thanks very much - some food for thought here. I do wish I could stop worrying though - does anyone have any tips to help with that?

JustKeepSwimming Sun 09-Aug-09 11:18:32

Rescue Remedy works wonders for me!

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