Living in Southern California means that our family doesn't normally get hit with the travel bug the same way a lot of fams do. Since we have great weather and we're so close to beaches, amusement parks, and have access to outdoor entertainment pretty much all year long, we have plenty of fun here at home. BUT that means that we are a pretty popular hangout whenever we have family that wants to get some sun and fun, so here's the question:
How do you deal when family comes to stay with you?
Since we live in a place that a lot of people plan to visit, we get A LOT of visitors throughout the year, and I have a lot of opinions and a few tips to help you deal when family comes to town and is staying with you!
This is quite possibly the thing that will either bring you the most amount of frustration when you have family staying with you, or it will make it so fun and enjoyable. Whether you have a huge pad and you're able to host your entire extended fam, or you're like us and can barely squeeze in 3-4 adults in your available space, you need to be clear with everyone about what your plans are while they're going to be in town, and what they are planning to do while they're here. It also really helps to keep everyone in the loop when it comes to what they plan to do for dinner, if they plan on eating any meals at the house, and whether your family will be joining in. It also helps a ton when you keep in touch with when they're arriving, letting them know where they're sleeping, which bathroom to use, how the shower works, where you keep the glasses and utensils. Easy, simple things, but will keep a lot of problems from starting!
Keep Your own Schedule
This will vary depending on the type of trip your fam is having, and whether your home is more of a home base for the entire crew (including your fam) for a family vacation, or if visitors are trying to save a little money and see you while they're in town. We've found that whenever we have friends or family staying with us and we haven't planned to actually "vacation" together, we need to keep to our normal schedule as much as possible. This can be hard when you're trying to accommodate house guests, but it will help you to feel in control of your home when it's being sort of overrun. So if your normal day is hitting the gym, getting the kids to school, heading to the office early, or being at the library for story time by 11, then don't let having people stay with you stop you from keeping your own schedule. I recommend letting the fam who's staying with you know ahead of time what your plans are for the day, so that there's no real confusion when they wake up and find the house empty. Let them know to lock the door behind them when they head out, and then live your best life, mama!
Don't let the FOMO get to You
Turns out that a lot of people want to come to California, and if you're not careful, you can get roped into going on 6 trips to San Diego every year and spending all kinds of money on joining in on their vacation. I find that there's a definite difference between being included in a family's plan to visit, and being a home where you're willing to host family while they vacation. When they are making their own plans to head here, there, and get to this park and that beach, do your best and don't let the FOMO (fear of missing out) get to you! Just because they extend the invite and it would be way more fun if your fam joined, you need to make sure that you're making decisions that work for your family. If you don't have the vacation days, money, or energy to go all the fun amusement parks when your sis and her fam come to CA, then don't feel like you have to go. You're already being a peach and letting them stay with you, but don't feel that you need to continue to go out of your way to make their vacation more fun for them or their kids or whoever simply because they're staying at your home!
Hostess with the Appropriate Amounts
Okay, so I know we all dream about being the 'hostess with the mostest', but in my world, whenever we have people in town, I like to make sure I'm the 'hostess with the appropriate amounts'. That means that I am not going to make sure that you have your preferred brand of almond milk in the fridge for your daily smoothies (ahem, Dad), but I will have the milk we drink in our fam, and you are more than welcome to use our blender. Just make sure and wash up when you're all done! That means I am not going to make sure that you have a beautifully put together guest bedroom with an empty closet for your week's worth of clothes and necessities, but I will have an air mattress that you can blow up when you get to the house and it will have clean sheets, pillows, and blankets, and by the way, here's the wifi password and the remote to the TV. That means that I will do my best to make sure that my toddlers don't annoy you when they wake up at 3 a.m., but I'm not going to go out of my mind making sure that they're silent simply because you're going to be one room over. Be realistic with your life, recognize that they are coming to stay with you and that your life is still happening. Being as kind and generous as possible without going over the top to kill yourself will make having them stay much easier for your fam!