I’ve begun an influx of family visitors for the summer. First my husband’s brother, wife and toddler son for a weekend and now my sister and her three children for six weeks, two of which I will be out of town.
We are co-habitating in my our childhood home after several incarnations, where my mom lived. I remind my siblings that even though I live closest to the house, it is just as much theirs as it is mine. This fact made me more uptight than I would have preferred to be when my husband’s side was visiting. My sister was coming the next day and has strict ideals of how the house should be maintained.
Some stresses I’ve eliminated, like the special silverware that could not touch other utensils in the dishwasher. These, I packed up, replaced and encouraged my sister to take them home where she could properly enforce the guidelines. I’ve left a note on the PAM spray reminding my husband not to use it on non-stick pans.
Since I am not going to install coasters everywhere in the house or happily wipe up everyone’s crumbs, I intervene when damage could be done and roll my eyes when my brother in law walks around the kitchen holding a bagel looking for a plate.
My sister arrived yesterday and other than, within five minutes of her entrance, telling my nanny that she should no longer be using the empty bedroom because my sister did not want her sleeping on the furniture that my mom had painted, things have been going well. I explained it’s hard for me to tell someone who has been staying in the bed that now that we have five more bodies in the house we should keep that room empty for no real apparent reason.
Perhaps this is the same frustration my husband experienced when I told him the nanny should not sleep in our guest house. My husband rolled his eyes, mumbled something sarcastic and could not comprehend my rationale.
As anyone can imagine, it has been totally chaotic with all of the kids but for the most part everyone has been getting along great. It’s been adorable seeing the cousins play together and as my husband reminds me, it is about having fun!
While I’m prepared to receive a brunt of criticism from my sister complete with a list of items I should or need to do, I’m trying to embrace this opportunity for us to bring our families together.