Invite Your Neighbors Over | When Your House is Chaos
I currently have no less than 10 books on my dining room table. My house plants are trying to catch some rays there along with the laundry sitting in a chair waiting to be folded. I have loose pieces of clothing laying about the living room from boys who think it’s fun to wear sweatshirts inside during the summer. Purses are strewn throughout the hallway from a 3 yr old girl who needs one in every room with a pencil and notepad just in case she starts teaching a boy a lesson. There is shredded paper by my entryway from the 2 year old who wants to cut paper all day long. Towels by the back door, gifted diapers in the laundry room, crumbs under the stools…the list goes on.
With 6 kids ages 7 and under, my house is rarely spotless. I am a homeschooling mom with a lot of boys and we live on 5 acres. It’s a recipe for a big, fun, mess. However, I thrive and LOVE a clean home and we host a lot. Most days, I keep a lot of methods in place in order to execute some sense of order, but the reality of my life is that crumbs will be crumbs, kids will be kids, dishes will instantly reappear and books don’t have legs. I will either embrace all of it or it will drive me crazy.
I have learned a lot over the years about hospitality and having a clean home. The best hostess values the person over the place. They do a good job making the home welcoming (but not too sterile) and aim to send an authentic and welcoming message. “You are loved.” At once I probably sent the message of “I love my home” more than “I love you.” Each child has grown me in this area.
A simple “Hey, I’m having a slow day, do your kids want to come over and play?” can do magic for a mom’s soul. Most moms with babies stay inside their own homes for much of the day. We know how hard it is to get babies and kids out the door, yet alone looking decent. So when the opportunity to get out, still come in sweats and spend time with an adult human presents itself — most Moms seize it. We want friendship, we want our kids outdoors, and we enjoy talking over a meal (even quesadillas or PB&J). But we don’t want to work our butts off trying to make it happen.
Sure, the museum, the park, and the zoo are all great places to build relationships. But your house is as well. Instagram homes aren’t real life, so if you’re worried that someone will find out your home doesn’t look like Joanna Gaines walked through it — take ease my friends. I am sure there are more moms in that club than you think and they would simply be happy to share their morning coffee with someone over 4 ft.
Take the leap — invite your neighbor or another friend over. Hosting can be hard work, but start small. Maybe have another family over for pizza. You don’t have to cook and don’t feel bad using paper plates. Start simple and start somewhere.
Your house doesn’t need to be perfectly clean. Put the toilet seat down, light a candle, put a bra on, throw the dishes in the sink and call them up. You will be thankful you invested in real life, I promise.