Our house is just us. The nuclear AWOL Family is alone after a solid month of in-home company. Granted, the first three weeks were my mom and some dad time, but the most recent week we hosted my husband’s aunt and uncle. After these bouts of quasi-hospitality I find myself sitting in my quiet kitchen flabbergasted and wondering… “why would anyone come to visit us?” Most days were so loud, both 60+ men that stayed with us repeatedly stepped on toys and were awoken by a bossy shrieking 20-month old. The showers ran out of hot water and I kept getting caught off guard with lunch serving and had to make several ill-timed trips to the grocery store.
I understand that people would like to keep in touch with our burgeoning family, and I have made it fairly obvious that long road-trips to other cities to see family are difficult and expensive for us at this point. I guess I have left them no choice? But HOW? In all honesty, I am b-a-r-e-l-y thriving in this lifestyle. I feel that I feed everyone well, we are teaching the faith, we get outside a ton, we spend more time together as a family than most and I am cobbling together a decent home education for the eldest two. But, when it gets beyond that, I feel like I am standing on shaky scaffolding. How can I become more comfortable with people in my home? I felt like I was always whisking the shrieking baby away to some corner. I was shushing my children too much, I wasn’t able to read e-mail for a week, and figuring out meals for everyone was a disaster. The homeschooling was haphazard and we are now quite behind, the guests wanted to do unrealistic things (picture a Kohl’s shopping trip in which each kid was given a budget for a gift, and these are children who have never set foot in a department store in their lives).
I don’t mean to complain, seriously, I want to be constructive here. I love my mom, I love my Aunt Linda and Uncle Mark. These are probably the three people in the world who love our children nearly as much as us, so why do I feel so inhospitable. Why do these people want to stay in this madhouse, and how responsible am I for taming the insanity when we have visitors come?