20 answers

Having Friends Over?

So basically my question is this: Will we ever get to a point where I feel comfortable having my children's friends over?
A little background: I am a SAHM to five children. My SO and I met just over 4 years ago. I already had a son (now6) he had three girls (now 5,8,9), together we had one girl (now 3). Well, now four of the five are in elementary school and have lots of friends. I'm wondering how many other families just don't really do the friend thing. Part of my problem is our house is never company ready, as you can imagine having five young ones running around all the time, everything gets dirty just as I cleaned it up, very frustrating but I'm learning. My SO's family likes to have nice things but does not care if the house is dirty/or pretty messy. My parents and family on the other hand are a bit more 'clean'. My house as a kid growing up was pretty cluttered/small/ old but cleaned by my mom. My home now (low income housing) with my children and SO doesn't feel like it could ever be 'company ready'. I would feel embarrased to have my child's friend's parent over. Our home is very cluttered and I just feel like I can't invite people over. And No, my SO does not help with the housework (also very frustrating).
So, I feel bad that I don't encourage my children to have friends come over. But I'm also just not very outgoing and don't feel that I would relate to many of the other moms. Are there any other moms that relate to what I'm saying? I was just thinking about this cause my son asked me today if his friend could come over in two weeks to play with the puppets they just made in class. I felt very bad when I said no.
Update: I have been trying to find more routine to my day, as I have been looking at Flylady for months (I'm just always exhausted). I do try to have the kids help. And I do just have a lot of anxiety about meeting new people and what there perceptions are on a clean home. I also don't really trust my kids going over to other people's houses. I'm really wanting to know how other people deal with this and feeling bad that there children won't have friends outside of school.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for all the responses. I do feel a little better, not ready to have their friends over but I do see a faint light at the end of the tunnel. I know as they get older it will be slightly easier. Thanks all!!

Featured Answers

My dad's rule when we were growing up was if we wanted to invite a friend, we had to get the house company ready... This was when we were living in a single-wide trailer with 6 kids and 2 adults... I have learned that it is a LOT harder to keep a small place with lots of people clean than it is a big place... the littlest bit of clutter can make the house look trashed!

2 moms found this helpful

I understand to an extent. When my kids have friends over - which seems to be constant at times - I do a quick pick up. Living room, bathroom, kitchen. The kids rooms I don't bother with because they are just going to get messy anyway and my room gets the door shut. Sometimes I don't want the extra kids around but I decided I wanted the kids at my house so I knew what was going on and I get to know the kids. That is what makes it worth having kids over for me.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

You have to stop worrying what other people will think. Your kids need to be able to have people over. I really think you should tell your son you changed your mind. They want to play with puppets they made!!! That's really adorable, and you need to support that.

When the parents drop their kids off they will probably chat briefly, and then leave. You should be able to do a few minutes of chit chat. You won't have to become their best friend.

You really need to push yourself to do this, not only for your son, but to expand your own world. It's time to become comfortable talking to other people. If you don't know what to say, ASK QUESTIONS.

Please let your son have his friend over. Who cares if your house is messy -- you have a lot of people in small quarters, so you have a good excuse. Kids who grow up unable to bring friends over are inevitably hurt by it.

Just quickly pick up the main room before someone shows up. Stuff things in a bedroom, or something.

ps -- when my kids were little, a friend of mind told me that the first time she ever came over to my house she told her husband afterward: "She's really nice, but she's a disaster," referring to the toys and stuff that was strewn all over the place. It's kind of funny looking back on that, because my house doesn't look like that at all now, but then I don't have little kids any more. Anyway, that woman became my best friend, so I guess she didn't mind my mess that much.

3 moms found this helpful

In our home, if you want a friend to come over and the house is a mess or dirty, everybody has to help clean..

So daughter would clean her room, clean the bathroom or the kitchen. I always closed our bedroom door and told that room was off limits.. Worked great..

Sounds like you have 3 great maids.. I mean daughters to help you. Just let them know you would LOVE for their friends to come over, but they have to help clean the house so that it is presentable..

Do not worry about visiting with the moms. They will more than likely just drop them off and you let them know how many hours till their child needs to be picked up.
I used to also give them my phone numbers and get their phone numbers in case of emergency.. Usually they had not even thought of this..

2 moms found this helpful

One word: Flylady. www.Flylady.com is a site devoted to helping people learn to get and keep their homes reasonably clean (so company can come) and their family life in reasonable order by doing a little at a time. I know the site drives some people crazy (and I can see why), but their basic principles are worth trying.

You don't have to have an expensive or magazine-cover-neat home to be able to have your children's friends over. You just need to develop a system so that people will be comfortable (and you will be, too). It can be done.

2 moms found this helpful

My dad's rule when we were growing up was if we wanted to invite a friend, we had to get the house company ready... This was when we were living in a single-wide trailer with 6 kids and 2 adults... I have learned that it is a LOT harder to keep a small place with lots of people clean than it is a big place... the littlest bit of clutter can make the house look trashed!

2 moms found this helpful

It sounds like less an issue with having company and more with your anxiety over the house, hunny you need to find FlyLady! She has helped me develope good house keeping habits, just google her...also you have a gaggle of kiddo's, start delegating responsibilities. FlyLady is AWESOME, she asks "Are you living in CHAOS?" (C) -Can't ( H)-Have (A)-Anyone (O)-Over ( S)-Syndrome....she tells you that you cannot clean CLUTTER...so toss it = ) She has fun things like 27 fling boogies = ) Personally I am ok with a bit of mess if it means that I am spending time with my kiddos, and kids are the last people that care about cleanliness, that is why it is up to us to instill good habits in them and enlist them to help...you Can do it = ) It is all about "Baby steps" check out FlyLady, it is always positive, and all her helpful hints are FREE!!!! = ) Before you know it, you will be "FLY-ing" and FLY means Finally Loving Yourself...no more guilt! = )

2 moms found this helpful

I understand to an extent. When my kids have friends over - which seems to be constant at times - I do a quick pick up. Living room, bathroom, kitchen. The kids rooms I don't bother with because they are just going to get messy anyway and my room gets the door shut. Sometimes I don't want the extra kids around but I decided I wanted the kids at my house so I knew what was going on and I get to know the kids. That is what makes it worth having kids over for me.

1 mom found this helpful

My house isn't always the tidiest, and often I feel uncomfortable around other moms. However, if we all wait until we have Martha Stewart homes, we will NEVER have someone over.

Maybe you could join a moms support group or MOPs or something to get you out of your shell and force yourself to go and force yourself to relate with other moms. Get out on hikes - do activities with other moms. Get the kids to have a "cleaning party" with you so they can have friends over.

It's time to get creative, and accept yourself for who you are, warts and all. That's why I like being 50 better than I liked being younger. The older I get the more I can accept myself for who I am "warts and all". I bet there are a LOT of moms struggling just as you are.

I used to be TERRIBLY self-conscious when I was a child. When I got older it started to fade. Now I thank God, because of where I am. But a lot of it was because I forced myself into social situations in spite of my feelings. I saw my feelings as betrayers, because they didn't speak the truth to me very often.

One tip - when you meet someone - instead of focusing on how self-conscious you are, focus on THEM - ask questions, focus on what they are saying. it REALLY helps to get the focus off of how you feel and before you know it, you won't feel so bad, and will have made a friend in the process. I LOVED the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" - that book made a huge difference in my life when I was a teenager.

1 mom found this helpful

I know you have a LOT of anxiety over this, but please try to keep in mind that most of the other moms have the same clutter and cleaning issues too. As for their friends, they are coming to see your kids and hang out and most likely could care less about the state of your house. Try to give yourself a little extra credit...you're busting your butt to raise five small kids and trying to find a balance between your home and your family time.

I can honestly say that an emaculate home just seems fake to me and like the family doesn't really get to "live" there. My home is neither filthy nor spotless and I always use the phrase "good enough for who its for". I'm a SAHM also and clean various things daily, but I also have two little ones (5 yrs and a 7 month old) and if my house isn't spotless when a parent comes to collect their child, they just need to get over it. AND be grateful that I had their child over, allowing them a short break. And to be further honest, I've been at the doorstep of many of my older son's friends and, you guessed it....not spotless.

So try to ease up on yourself and invite a friend over from time to time. Your kids will benefit and you might just find a good friend in the parent.

1 mom found this helpful

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