We have guests come and stay quite often. Barely a month goes by without friends or family coming down for a weekend in the country. We love hosting our friends, and over the last two and a half years, we have worked out few things that make visits easier to prepare for, and enjoyable for everyone.
After having guests earlier this week, Country Boy and I were talking about all the things we have done that make it easy, so I thought I would share what we have learnt:
Beds, Bedding and Logistics
It is important to have a loose plan of what you might do each day. Often our plan is as simple as a list of different activities we can do. On the farm we have the usual list of activities such as bike riding, going for a tour around the farm on the truck, feeding the animals, canoeing on the dam, and bonfires (in winter). We also try to mix up the type of activities so that there are times when we are active outdoors, and others where we are relaxing indoors. Usually, a movie or audio book for the kids after lunch (and a snooze for the adults) is on the agenda.
Where ever possible make sure that you have enough of each activity so that all the kids can join in. We have spare bikes in the shed (which we picked up for free during council clean ups) so that there are enough for extra kids. If we don’t have one of the right size, we suggest our friends bring one with them if they have room. If you don’t have enough scooters, bikes, pool noodles etc ask your guests to bring them, or borrow some from friends close by.
Have backup activities. I always have a few craft or baking activities up my sleeve in case it is freezing or raining (or both). I also check out any events in nearby towns such as markets, cafes, or even something at the big town further away.
Even when the kids get along fabulously, there will still be differences of opinions (aka arguments) at times. Expecting the kids to get along all the time with no assistance is asking for problems. We often get our kids to put away any of their very precious items before guests arrive so that they don’t become an issue. We also try to make sure that there are times where the adults play with the kids. Sometimes half an hour of hide and go seek in our garden (which is fabulous fun for adults too), is all the kids need to reset.
Don’t be afraid to call a break. Particularly when the visit is longer, going for a drive gives everyone a break from each other, and helps everyone to feel happier again later. Just because your guests have come to see you doesn’t mean you need to spend every moment together!
Do you have house guests often? I’d love to know your tips!