Questions Regarding Hospitality and Etiquette

Updated on August 06, 2009
R.B. asks from Hudsonville, MI
24 answers

Hi Mamas,
I am hoping for some advice regarding an up-coming event. First let me give some background. When this event takes place, in less than two weeks, I will be 9 1/2 weeks pregnant. I am currently having some pretty intense morning sickness that lasts on and off throughout the day and am super fatigued. I have barely left the house in the past week and a half, and I have spent a good part of several days in bed or on the couch. I will feel "good" for an hour or two or even most of the day, but then can quickly feel horrible again. Anyway, some friends and I are having a big get together weekend in two weeks. One of the friends is a missionary who is only in town every two years and two of the other friends are coming from Ohio so this is a big deal. Before I knew I was going to feel so lousy, I was willing to have one of the friends from Ohio stay with us, and we had planned to spend a lot of our time hanging out at my house. (My oldest daughter has bad seasonal allergies that often flare-up in August so this plan was made to accomodate our family and our needs.) Now, however, I am overwhelmed with the thought of entertaining and having a houseguest. I have not been cooking, I can barely keep the house tidy enough to walk through, and cleaning has fallen by the wayside. I have mentioned in e-mails to the others that I am not feeling well, but I don't think they are understanding the severity of it. Sorry this is getting so long; I will get to the point. I just found out that the friend who plans to stay with us is driving up from Ohio on Thursday night after work. She is coming with her 10-month-old, so I imagine this 5.5 hour drive will actually take closer to 6.5 or 7 hours. In her e-mail she didn't give an expected arrival time; she just said it would be "late late." I had assumed she was coming Friday during the day. My question is this: Is it horrible etiquette to explain to my friend how exhausted I am and ask her to let herself in when she arrives? I am sure I will wake up when she gets here, but I don't think I can handle waiting up until what might be midnight or 1 in the morning. I am struggling enough with fatigue so I really don't want to start out this weekend with so little sleep. Any suggestions on how to handle this? Thanks so much
Rachael

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K.A.

answers from Saginaw on

Just back out and explain why! I went through a similar situation and there was no way I could`ve entertained! I was soooo sick and ALL through the pregnancy! To this day (6yrs later) I do not have house guests now. LOL
They will understand completely!

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A.H.

answers from Detroit on

Hi R., Right now, I am quite concerned with what you are saying about how you feel. Have you been back to the Dr. To tell them how bad you are feeling right now. If you are actually vomiting or not eating well because of the nausea, you may be losing a lot of the necessary vitamins for you and your baby. I would be worried about dehydration or worse. Please promise you will contact your Dr. and get something to deal with being ill all the time.Your other little ones need you too.

I would tell your friend to let herself in and if she is a good friend, she will make herself at home.

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E.J.

answers from Detroit on

I think it is completely appropriate and hospitable of you to explain that you have not been feeling well and are very fatigued. Any friend (especially one who has survived pregnancy) will understand and should not be offended. You can leave a nice note welcoming your guests and get their room or sleeping quarters all set up so that she can find everythig she needs when she arrives (just in case you are not able to wake up when she arrives at your house). Hope you are feeling better soon!

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L.L.

answers from Detroit on

Your friend is not a child; she does not have to be entertained. Explain your situation to her. You do not have to wait up for her. Leave your door open and her room fixed up. Tell her to come in, get settled and go to bed. Perhaps your husband can be up to welcome her. You may be sorry later if you do not have this visit. Good friends understand and are willing to adjust. Enjoy visiting with her. Her child is her responsibility. Do not cook big; she can help you in the kitchen and you both can visit. Enjoy simple meals; use carry out. Make it a fun time and you may even not be so sick because you are busy enjoying your friend.

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L.G.

answers from Detroit on

While I was reading this, I thought you were going to ask at the end if it was ok to ask her to stay somewhere else! So, asking her to let herself in is NO problem! Just have everything ready and leave a note of anything that would be helpful. OR, could your husband wait up or get up when she gets there?

if she is a good friend, she will understand!

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A.P.

answers from Grand Rapids on

R., This is your girl friend of course she wouldn't have a problem with letting herself in. She might ask that you leave a light on for her, but other than that, I am sure she can let herself in and get settles by herself. Beisdes I am sure the little one will be sound asleep. I believe if you are honest with her she will be fine with it.

A.

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P.B.

answers from Detroit on

From the sounds of it you have all been friends for a while. With that being said, i would suspect that if you ar eup front with your guest she will not find it rude at all. If i were your guest I would much more worried about you getting your rest so we could visit the next day. Be up front with her or ven ask her to give you a call when she is close and then get up to welcome her. And remember, if she has a little one, she will remember the fatigue of her last weeks. Have a great weekend with your friends!!

A.W.

answers from Kalamazoo on

This would all be based on how close you are with her and the others. It sounds like you are pretty close. I wouldn't think there is anything wrong with telling her that. If I was on her side, I would totally understand the feelings of a mother-to-be in her first trimester. Just make sure that things are set up for her, a place to sleep etc. and leave her a nice note out on the kitchen counter or something saying how glad you are that she is here, hope she had a nice drive and help herself to anything she wants to eat etc. Also, if you do wake up when she arrives, maybe you could get up just for 10min or so to make sure that she feels comfortable in you home. As for the rest of the time with everyone at your house, just try to relax and have fun. If any of them are moms, they should understand. If you need help from them, then ask. And don't over do it trying to have everything perfect like you would normally like it.

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A.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hello there - I think it is absolutely fine for your friend to let herself in to your house if it's so late. Just explain to her beforehad where she'll be staying and perhaps leave her some welcoming cookies or snacks in the kitchen for her and her child. Could you not ask one of your other friends, however, if they could host your friend from Ohio - it sounds like you're a bit overwhelmed by the thought of this house guest. However, having another pair of hands around the house might be a good thing - if she's a hands on sort of person. Have you told her ahead of time how bad your morning sickness is? I would. Good luck - Alison

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J.M.

answers from Lansing on

If you expect people on Mamasource to understand, then your friend will understand. I don't agree that pregnancy is a "free pass", but another Mom will understand. Let her know what you told us. If she isn't comfortable with it, she'll tell you. If not do what you can and enjoy your time with friends.

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K.W.

answers from Grand Rapids on

If she is any kind of a friend, she will completly understand...Be honest and let her know. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, you will start feeling better and be able to enjoy the time with her. Tell her where the key is, come in make yourself at home, and I'll see you in the morning....

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K.L.

answers from Detroit on

If she is a true friend of course she wont mind letting herself in. Also in two weeks time you will probably be over your morning sickness. Mine lasted until 10.5 weeks with all three of my kids.
Again, real friends would totally understand the situation and would be more than happy to help out however they can.......good luck

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S.C.

answers from Detroit on

Just be honest. I believe that any good friend would be understanding - especially one with a baby. Though I know exactly how you feel with the morning sickness. I am in week 18 and just started to feel relief last week! I don't think I ever had more than one hour each day of feeling just okay. I also worried that people (my sisters) didn't understand how bad it was. If she is staying with you, believe me she will see it. If you have always had a good relationship there is no reason for her to be offended. It always helps to keep in mind that the health of your baby is the most important - so do what is best for you! Good luck making it through the weekend - I'll say a prayer for you! As far as the cleaning goes, most Moms should understand. What is more important - a tidy house or enjoying time with a friend you don't see that often. I know that I would never expect nor want a friend (in your position) to go out of her way and to push herself just to make some kind of unnecessary impression on me. I think it will all be fine - just get rest so you can enjoy it more!!

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D.S.

answers from Grand Rapids on

R.; not at all, its perfectly fine to leave the light on and door open for your freind without you , im sure she will feel better knowing too that she did not bother you , she all ready said she is getting in late late, no one is expected to wait for them, im sure she is happy to have such a freind as to let her stay there, it sure cuts down on hotels and other things, dont worry if you are sick im sure its understandable, she knows how it feels to be pregnant, and we all cope with morning sickness from time to time, go to bed and get your sleep and be ready for a nice calm day of talking when you wake up , have her room or bed all ready leave her a little note and let her know if there is any food she may eat , etc, etc, or if she has not been to house let her know wehre bathroom is etc, have fun and enjoy D. s

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C.M.

answers from Detroit on

Asking someone to let themselves in, especially considering the circumstances, is not a big deal at all. I think ANY woman would understand. It's so very wonderful that you're such a considerate person and would worry about hosting your friends properly when you just need to be taken care of. The Lord will bless you for your good heart. Just relax, don't worry, and everything will work out fine. When I get to worrying (and it happens a lot), I like to refer to Matthew 6:25-27. I hope this helps!

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C.M.

answers from Detroit on

I don't think that is horrible at all! I don't know about the letting herself in part, though. I don't think you should go to bed with your doors unlocked. Certainly she has a cell phone and could call you when she is 15 minutes away. That way you can go to bed AND greet her at the door. I hope you feel better soon!

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K.V.

answers from Detroit on

Just let them all know how crappy you are feeling. I would think that it would be okay to have her let herself in, she will be tired from the trip too, and may welcome not having to stay up and visit. I would have everything ready, and leave a note, you might also leave her a bottle of water and a snack on the counter or in the fridge and tell her about it in the note. She might not be comfortable on the first night, making noise russling around the kitchen, so having something ready would be really nice (just cheese and crackers would be great I would think, and not a lot of work, or even jsut make sure the fruit bowl is full and stick a chocolate bar or some treat with it).

I would also be honest and ask her about what time she might arive, late late to her might be 10pm or 2am. Then go from their about what your plans are. Have a fun weekend, it will all be good, don't stress too much, they are here to see you and not your house. It will be a mess after the first 5 hours anyway.

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J.K.

answers from Grand Rapids on

The fact that you feel so lousy and still having your friend stay with you along with her infant is more than plenty. There is no need at all to stay awake. With construction and traffic there is no way to guess these days on how long the trip is going to take - especially when traveling with a baby. Have her call your home or cell phone when she is in the drive way or within 5 minutes of your house if you want to be up to greet her or leave a key out or door unlocked - I am sure she will be more than understanding. I personally wouldn't be offended to ask this of a friend or to have a friend ask me to do this - friends are understanding and want what is best for you - right now that is rest and I am sure having just had a baby not too long ago she understands that. You don't need to worry about this at all - there really is nothing to even be concerned about.

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L.N.

answers from Benton Harbor on

I think that when you are pregnant, all bets are off! Etiquette takes a back seat to what you need while you are pregnant. You would certainly understand if the roles were reversed, right? Since your friend has a baby already, she should be perfectly happy to oblige. You are being very selfless in offering your home to them while you are feeling miserable.

Pregnancy is a woman's 'free pass' to doing whatever she needs! :)

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B.J.

answers from Detroit on

Hi, hope the 1st trimester goes by quickly. Not bad etiquette at all. I would try & take it a step further, and ask if she could get off work earily, and be at your home at a decient hour, before 11pm, if it will be after, you will see them in the morning. Leave key under matt, bedding, night-light, ect. Don't let this situation stress you out, let nature take it's course & enjoy being pregent.

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N.W.

answers from Detroit on

She has a 10 mos old so she will certainly understand. Leave lots of lights on for her and tell her exactly where everything is so she can make herself at home.

Or- you can ask her to call you when she is on your street and you can wake up and help her into the house (Or your husband can!)

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S.D.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I think it's just fine to have your friend let themselves in. I actually have a friend coming over, and will be letting herself in at 4am in a few days. It seems that you are close with them, so I don't see how they would ahve problems.

I would let them know the severity of the morning sickness, but let her know that you will have her place all set up for her and her baby. She was pregnant not long ago, so she should remember what it's like.

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C.C.

answers from Grand Rapids on

if i were your friend, i wouldn't be offended if you told me you weren't able to wait up for me.....i would want you to be getting the rest you so very much need right now. i'm sure if you just talked to her, she'd be fine. we tend to blow up those types of situations in our heads when in reality they're no big deal!

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C.C.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Just be honest with your friend, I would almost be surprised if she was expecting you to wait up for her. If you need to rest during her visit, you should do so, too, just communicate with her what's going on.

Blessings, hope you are able to enjoy the visit.

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