What immediately comes to mind when you think of hosting others in your home? Do you picture a spotless house, a well-planned meal, and well-behaved children? Is your house spacious and tastefully decorated? Do you have enough plates, utensils, chairs, etc. for everyone?
What if the reality is much different? Would you still invite others into your home?
I’m guilty of thinking that in order to host friends and family in my home, it had to look and feel a certain way. In the past I’ve held off hosting because I felt our space was too little, we didn’t have enough chairs, my kids are certainly not always well behaved, and I didn’t feel like it was ‘enough’ for anyone else. Things seemed to change when we moved; we had more space, and I had finally decided to purchase adult decor and let go of random hand me downs. I still didn’t host much though. Once again, something always seemed to not be just right and the thought of doing a deep clean sent me into a tailspin. Have you ever seen the video of Company is Coming by Chris Fleming? Go watch it and come back…that’s how I used to act before someone came over.
Something changed and I’m honestly not sure what. I just stopped caring.
I literally didn’t have an F left to give. So I invited my group of best pals over. The sink was full of dirty dishes. My floors weren’t vacuumed and certainly not mopped. We didn’t have enough dining chairs for everyone, so we brought in our patio chairs and fold out camping chairs. We even used two tables because everyone couldn’t fit at our dining table. Toys were strewn about and stuff was on the stairs because no one in my family can ever remember to carry things up to their spot.
Not one single person cared.
We used paper plates and probably paper cups because…sink full of dirty dishes. We ate food that I ordered out even though I own a food business. We talked, we played games, and not one person gave a FLIP about the state of my decor or how much space we had. The kids made a mess while playing, so I was even more glad I hadn’t spent hours cleaning. That mess meant the adults relaxed and ate a full meal and had real conversations. It was glorious.
This led me to enjoy what I’ve dubbed “messy hospitality.”
It’s not the picture our grandparents and even our parents painted — it’s very much a modern concept. It’s freeing us of bloated expectations and just letting us relax. I am all for making 2020 the year of MH. Wanna join me? It’s pretty easy. Stop breaking your back to clean your house and cook perfect food and just invite people over. That’s pretty much it. I’m all about keeping things simple lately and this fits the bill. You can even get crazy and have everyone bring their leftovers and a bottle of wine and have a good time. Your kids won’t eat what you cook anyway, they will be too busy playing and making a mess. If they do get hungry later, channel some vintage parenting and make them a PB&J.
Don’t get it twisted though; I will always love a clean house. Clutter and mess make me a bit twitchy and I get super stressed the messier my house gets, BUT I’m no longer going to speed clean my house before having friends over. I’m not going to worry if I’m ‘less’ because we don’t have enough chairs. The fact is, there are four people in my family and we have four chairs. Buying extra chairs for company just seems frivolous to me and not something I care to spend money on. Besides, our patio chairs and camping chairs have been working just fine for extra guests and our carpet is pretty comfy too.