This is a guest post from Monica at The Homespun Heart. Monica is the sister of Carrie of with all that i've been given who has guest posted here a time or two. I would encourage you to check out The Homespun Heart if you've never done so, as Monica blogs about faith, family and creativity in a way that I find totally inspiring and uplifting!
Awhile back, Monica blogged about how to practice hospitality with little ones and she gave us permission to share her thoughts here. She has some GREAT tips and ideas which I'm delighted to be able to share with our readers.
from Monica @ The Homespun Heart
How do you get past the fear of having a not quite perfect home (not picked up) with three littles and still welcoming drop in friends?
This comment was left on my recent post about hospitality. And, it is a great question! In a lot of ways, I think we have to get over wanting our house to be perfect when people come over. Our children are simply not going to keep every little thing put away!
I have come a long way in this area - maybe even too far to the other extreme now, where when a guest stops by I don't usually think about all the clutter on my counters or how many dust bunnies are on my kitchen floor.
If the guests drop in - there should be less expectations on our home. We did not know they were coming and our lives are lived in our homes. Do you have any suggestions to share on drop in company?
If I know we are having guests, obviously I will take some extra measures to present our home than when someone stops by unannounced. What comes to my mind is productively occupying our children so that once we've tidied the home for coming guests, they are not undoing it all!
Here are some ideas:
* Involve children in the welcoming of company: let them help in choosing who comes, color a welcoming picture or decorate a sign or chalkboard you've written on. If you have a sign welcoming them - this will draw their attention up rather than to dirt on the floor! And, will give them a big welcome and let them know you are glad they are there. You could also provide a sheet of paper and just ask your child to color on it. It could be cut into place cards which you add the names to!
* Set out the dishes and then have children help set the table while you are preparing the meal. How I often do this is to hand Emily one plate and say, "This one is for Daddy's place." When she comes back we repeat this for each plate, napkin, fork, knife, spoon, etc... it takes longer and she really can't handle multiple plates right now anyway!
To read the rest of Monica's suggestions CLICK HERE. It will take you to her blog post entitled Hospitality with Littles which is worth spending some time thinking about!
Thanks, Monica, for encouraging me to involve my children in the fine art of extending hospitality to others!