My family and I have found ourselves in a situation where we have to crash with a friend while we wait for our house to be ready and it is no easy task. It's hard enough being a good house guest and trying not to overstay your welcome but doing it with a 3-year-old and 1-year-old is close to impossible. I've picked up a few helpful habits over the last couple of weeks and thought I'd share them here.
Our kids have always had an early bedtime but being in a new environment and coping with a time change really threw all of us off our game. It took a couple of days but we finally got them back to their early bedtime and it is so nice. Having the kids go to bed at 6pm allows us to spend time with each other and with our friend that is hosting us. We can have much needed adult conversation without feeling like the kids are running the show.
If you are fortunate enough to be staying somewhere with a safe outdoor area for the kids to play, then by all means take advantage of it! We give the kids popsicles every morning (what? they are made of fresh squeezed juice!) and tell them that popsicles are only for outside. It allows us to get ready for the day and lets them burn off some energy right from the start.
Clean Up (constantly)
In your own home it's easy to get used to the mentality of cleaning up during the day being futile since it's just going to get messy again but when you are a guest in someone's home it's best to just follow your toddler around like a street sweeper and try to keep up. It may feel like you are constantly cleaning but it will help your host see that even if things are chaotic, you really are trying to keep up with the chaos.
Report Problems Immediately
Just the other morning, my husband discovered a hole in the door of our friend's master bedroom and even though the kids hadn't left his sight he was sure that they had somehow managed to inflict damage on this door. So we did the responsible thing and immediately called our friend to let them know what had happened, apologize and offer to cover the repair costs. It turned out that the hole had been there for years but our open communication was appreciated.
Do the Grocery Shopping
As we all know, kids eat a lot and they eat a lot of the same things so be sure to stock up on your essentials so that you have enough to feed not only your brood but your host as well. The other day I bought 4 bunches of bananas and they were gone by the end of the week. It's also nice to make a healthy dinner for everyone once in awhile even if you'd rather just feed your kids a PB&J and have a glass of wine for yourself.
Any other tips that I missed? I still have 11 days left so wish me luck!