Image Map
Image Map

Monday, March 28, 2011

House guests

Warning: This post is going to sound really bitchy, hypocritical, and ungrateful. But I truly don't mean it to be. I just need to vent my frustrations. And if you can't do so on your own tiny little space in the great big "web", where can you? So here goes...

I have decided that one part of living so far from family and friends that I really don't enjoy is having house guests. At home, I always enjoyed having people over for dinner or drinks or whatever. But at the end of the day, I loved when they left and I could breathe a sigh of relief and be comfortable in my own space again. Of course, if someone had too much to drink I would always rather then stay the night than put any lives at risk, but having someone other than just the 3 of us in the house at night was always just uncomfortable for me. It's not like we have any funny-business going on in our house, although I'll admit I like to sleep in minimal clothing and therefore walk around that way in the mornings and at night. But that's not the issue. It's just a general feeling of being "invaded".

Brian, on the other hand, LOVES to have people around. He'd invite everyone he knows to come live with us for a month if he could. Here's the problem: he doesn't do the meal planning, cooking, shopping, before and after cleaning, or the weekday entertaining. He says to people, "Sure! Come stay a week!" He spends time with visitors on weekends by packing in as many activities as possible so that there isn't any time left for normal household upkeep, then goes to work on Monday morning and I'm stuck here with the entertaining to do. The little things that bug me don't bother him a bit. And if they do, he blows them off quite easily.

Here's where I'm going to sound bitchy and ungrateful -- I don't like it when people take liberties in my life, especially in my home. And people tend to want to "help" with things but usually end up overstepping their bounds in my opinion. I know how to care for my son. I do it every day. And while I have moments when it's tiring, I don't get sick of it. I know how to interpret his babble. I know when he's tired or happy or hungry or sick. I know when he's really awake in his bed or when he's just stirring and will fall back to sleep on his own. We have rules and routines in which he thrives. He has food sensitivities that no one but me (no, not even Brian) has a full handle on. So it bugs me to no end when someone steps on my "mommy toes".

I don't want anyone to get Brennan out of his bed but Brian or I because we know when he is ready to get up. I don't like anyone telling me that he's hungry or tired or the opposite, because guess what? I already know. I'm around him every minute of every day. And you've been around him for 24 hours. I don't care how many children you've been around or raised, you aren't raising mine. And therefore you don't know him as well as I do. So don't try to tell me what to do. I don't like it when people try to feed him because of his food sensitivities. It's just dangerous. We are his parents and we are right here and will feed him if necessary. It even bugs me when people let the dogs in without asking us if it's OK. I mean, I'm right here and not deaf. I hear them barking and have already told them no. I will let them in when Brennan is done eating so they do not eat from his tray. Why would you think it's OK to just go ahead an let them in then?

These are all just experiences I've had in the past of people getting "too comfortable" in my home and with my child. I know people just want to help, but I was raised to ask people what I can do to help, not just do something. Even when I'm at my parents' house, where I was raised and feel almost as "at home" as I do in my own house, I ask if it's OK to let the dog in or out. I ask if it's OK that I eat certain things or change the TV channel. It's not being over-polite in my opinion. It's basic human respect. Yes, I sound like an ungrateful little brat, but I truly don't mean to. I really do appreciate help. I just want to be asked first.

So you can imagine the difficulty this brings when you move 1000 miles away from home and the visitors begin to come. Now, we have had discussions about this and have both acknowledged that we need to meet each other halfway. I need to have a more open mind about having people come to visit and he needs to realize that it's a lot of work for me, especially when he isn't around during the week to share in the responsibilities. We agreed that one visitor or group of visitors per month would be acceptable for now, of course until the twins are born and we require more help. As it is, I have been flying back to Michigan one a month for class, so with me gone one weekend and visitors here one weekend, that leaves two weekends per month for us to live as a normal family. It's a good compromise and has worked well so far.

Here's where the hypocritical part comes in -- My parents were our first visitors. God bless them, they are wonderful house guests. They don't want to be in our way, but enjoy spending time with us. They don't step on my "mommy-toes", they ask what they can do to help and they let us be the parents. They are perfect of course, everyone has their flaws, but they are very easy people to host. And they came for the perfect amount of time. They flew in on a Friday and left on a Tuesday morning. Actually, I could have had them here another day or two. But work called and they flew home after a wonderful visit. Brian and I agreed that they are probably the easiest guests we'll ever have. Next, my little sister came to spend her spring break with us. She stayed for a week, which I was a little unsure about since it seemed long, but it was a nice visit. I felt bad because I wasn't feeling well and we didn't do much, but she seemed to enjoy the relaxation. So that was our February schedule. Two visits didn't seem like too much because I didn't go home for class that month. Then the rest of the months started to fill up. And I started to get anxious and told Brian that we need to limit these visits to five days or so. He didn't understand, especially because my sister had been here for a week and my other sister just booked a week long trip. I explained that it seems crazy, but I don't feel the need to entertain these people. They are my family. The people I lived with for longer than I've lived with him this far. I don't feel the need to entertain them when he goes off to work. I can put them to work or just hang out and feel comfortable. But those are the only four people in the world I can feel that way with.

If Brian was the one home all week and I was out at work, I'd never dream of inviting people here for him to entertain for five days by himself. He doesn't necessarily understand it, but he can accept it. That's how I know I've found a good guy. He deals with my neuroses. So the rest of the months have been filled with less than five day visits from family and friends. After that, I know I'll need a lot of help and I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'll just have to accept the fact that people will be in my house a lot. They are big time control issues that I am trying to learn how to deal with. I'm just hoping that maybe the people in our lives that come to visit can meet me halfway and just ASK first before doing. We shall see....

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

No comments:

Post a Comment

I write for me. 100%. BUT it definitely makes my day when someone tells me that they enjoy reading my blog. Or that they hate it. Whatev.

So don't spare me your words of wisdom, encouragement, or mindless babble. I enjoy it all :)