5 tips for joyfully hosting overnight guests + free printable

*Disclaimer: I received a free set of Fleur D’Extase soaps to review. There is also an Amazon Affiliate link in here, which you can read more on in my About section. All thoughts, opinions, etc. are honest and my own.*

5 tips for joyfully hosting overnight guests holidays visitors host prep preparations

Create a list of fun activities that your guests can do with or without you

This is one that I did the first time that Bodie’s parents came to stay with us. It ended up being such a blessing. I separated the list into categories — activities they could do in a short period of time (like going on a walk around our apartment complex), slightly longer (visiting a local museum) and day trips. I also included a list of restaurants I wanted to show them.

Having a list like this can empower your guest to really have a better visit, because THEY know what kind of activities they like, and can look it over on their own and decide which sound good. I included both indoor and outdoor activities, and ones that we could do as a group or that they could do on their own.

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Don’t kill the learning!

Last night around 11 pm as my 5 month old daughter whined and reached out to me to help her sit up as I was just about to change her diaper, I thought to myself “Oh my goodness, I just want to change her diaper and get back to bed! If she plays now she won’t go back to sleep!” I took a breath, looked at my sweet child, and helped her sit up. It is a new skill. She has just started sitting up on her own.

She was thrilled. She sat up, played with the box of wipes, revered in her new ability, and in a few minutes I gently helped her lay back again and changed her diaper. No tears, no screaming, no fight. This is something new we’ve been practicing. I like to call it “not killing the learning”.

I find that learning comes at extremely unpredictable times. Often it happens when I as a parent think my child should be sleeping, or running out the door, or getting dressed, or doing other IMPORTANT things. I realized when my daughter was very young that if we were going to be peaceful parents, and if we were going to succeed in homeschooling her, I would have to practice not killing the learning.

After the diaper experience, I thought to myself “That wasn’t so bad. Letting her play cost me nothing and gave her so much joy, so much happiness, and we didn’t fight.” In fact, it brought us closer, because as I chose to help her sit up, I was connecting to my baby. I was saying, “I will help you do what you want to do. I will help you learn. I won’t force you to be on my schedule.”

If you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “she is nuts, this will never work for my family, we are busy” think again. I am busy too, and we don’t ALWAYS have the chance to let our kids choose, but when we can, we do. When it’s a question of safety, or something BIG, we have to be parents and choose for our kids. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you can take the time to let your kids learn, even if it inconveniences you when you can, they will be much more forgiving of the times that you truly need them to hurry.

Once I began practicing this, I found that the times when I truly couldn’t stop and take a minute to let my child learn were rare and usually safety related. Those times I don’t feel bad about rushing her, because I know that it is truly necessary. I believe as she gets older she too will appreciate these times and listen more closely if they aren’t too often. If I always yell at her, she may not hear me when I need to yell something truly important.

Parents of older children, teenagers, even adults can make the choice to stop rushing, stop yelling and not kill the learning. We were fortunate enough to jump on the gentle parenting bandwagon pretty early, but it can be done at any age. I have seen this work in my relationship too. When I don’t rush my partner, he is happier. When I let him take the time he needs, we have a better relationship. When I do rush him or yell at him or over plan our time together, we fight more.

Good luck friends, and let me know how it goes.

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Hello, world

Hi I’m Michelle and I’m going to a mommy! Really soon actually, like maybe tomorrow, or maybe in three weeks when the baby is due. These things aren’t up to me, and I like it that way. Tonight I spent three hours shopping online for crib bedding and became so deliriously sick of debating between shabby chic and gender neutral that I decided to start this blog.

I’m excited about it and looking forward to sharing my life and ideas with the world. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, and not only since it’s a damn good alternative to Facebook. For now we’ll start small, and see how things go. I’ll post as often as I feel like it, and I’m sure that’s how often you’ll visit too. Enjoy, and God bless!

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