Recently, my family moved back to my hometown. Friends and family surround us and have visitors almost every day. This has been a huge change as I felt very isolated when we lived further away. When we moved here, we let it be known that we have an open door policy for visitors. I love this policy, the great conversations, and making memories. However, being a work-from-home mom and a hostess can be stressful! The house is never as clean as I’d like it to be and I rarely have anything to offer my guests on hand. So to keep myself from getting stressed when I hear a knock on the door, I decided to be proactive and prepare my home for last-minute hosting experiences.
Here’s my advice:
1. Keep a fully-stocked coffee and tea bar.
I know that when I visit someone’s home, there’s something about a hot beverage that makes the accompanying conversation that much warmer. As someone who isn’t a coffee drinker, I try to have tea options as well! All you need is a kettle or coffee maker, a few cute mugs, tea bags/coffee, honey, creamer and some sugar. These are pretty inexpensive, and you’ll be glad you have this prepared and ready to offer a guest!
2. Have an essential oil diffuser or soy candle ready to go.
Pleasant smells don’t typically accompany a typical mom-life. Sometimes the house smells like spit-up or dirty diapers. There are sippy cups that go missing and end up smelling like spoiled milk once located. Heck, at times we are the ones who smell! So, it’s almost essential to have an area with an essential oil diffuser or a candle (out of reach of children) that can give your home a much better smell! Trust me; your guests will thank you.
3. Gather essentials to put together a cheese plate quickly.
A cutting board, a few “fancy” cheeses, and a box of crackers are all you need to offer your guest an enjoyable afternoon snack. I’ll never forget when I had a guest who was nursing her sweet baby girl and was hungry 24/7 as a result. We were hanging out when all of a sudden she was feeling dizzy and quickly needed something to eat. I literally had nothing to give her and felt terrible!!! I believe she ate a few stale crackers as I sunk into my chair wanting to disappear. I never wanted this to happen again, so since then, I have been proactive about having a snack selection for visitors.
4. Have easy lunch options available.
When friends visit, we want them to feel welcomed and give them proper attention. But as I sit listening to the stories they share, it’s very distracting for my kids to demand lunch right at the climax of the story. I say, “Just give mommy a few more minutes,” but they remember and are back a few more minutes later ready for their food. By the time I make my way into the kitchen to throw something together for their lunch, my friend and I are way off track and have had to restart the same story multiple times. Well, thankfully I found a video that gave great lunch options to make and keep on hand for the kids! I recently have made these and they have been great! Now, I just tell my kids to grab a box out of the fridge and sit at the table. Their needs are taken care of and the guest is able to get through a story! Win-win!
5. Designate a toss-all room.
One of the biggest issues with unexpected visitors is the toys that fill every room of the house making it look and feel messy. Solution?Designate a “toss-all” room or closet so you can throw everything behind a closed door and not give it a second thought. You don’t want to feel like hiding when a friend arrives because you are worried about being judged for a messy home.
6. Have a serving platter and dessert option available.
I’m convinced 90% of women have a sweet tooth. I’m just saying, I very rarely have seen a woman turn down chocolate offered to her. I have decided to always have some cookie dough or brownie mix on hand to whip up something sweet if the visitor has stayed awhile or has come over for a pick-me-up! Make sure to have a beautiful serving platter as well! Although let’s be honest, paper plates are fine too; we’re moms after all, and we can only do so much.
So, instead of canceling your playdates last minute or running and hiding when the doorbell rings (because the car in the driveway didn’t give away that you were home or anything), open the door with a smile and follow the six tips above to ensure a positive experience for all your guests. Just because you’re a mom, doesn’t mean you have to wait this season out and feel isolated!
Now, open that door!