Hospitality Tips for Busy Moms –Guest Post by Anna Aamone.
Busy moms and hospitality don’t always go together. Maybe mothers lose the art of hospitality in between washing the dishes, changing diapers and cooking. How to be hospitable when the house is a mess, you don’t have time to take a shower and you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin? First off, you need to be more organized. The rest is a matter of desire. Although having friends around for dinner may seem more like another busy evening rather than a great way to chill out and have fun, you need to relax. Everything is going to be all right. Here are a few tips to prepare your home and show hospitality.
Follow These Quick Cleaning Tips
If you have, say, 30 minutes to tidy and clean your home, make sure you focus on cleaning until the time is up. This means no phone calls, no TV or any other activities that will put you off. Quickly dust all areas your guests are likely to pass by. You don’t even have to clean the whole house because you are going to spend the afternoon/evening in the same room. So focus on cleaning that room. Sweep and mop the floor, pick up items, dust and vacuum. Pay attention to the entry area as well. Remember to clean everything in sight. Act like a guest for a while. Enter your home and go to your living room. During the walk-through write down everything in plain sight that may need cleaning. Then take out your cleaning supplies and start cleaning and decluttering. You’ll be done in 15 minutes.
The house doesn’t have to be perfect. Your guests will understand. Besides it’s wrong to assume that their homes are immaculate. Don’t strive for perfection. Instead focus on making the evening unforgettable for everyone.
Cook an Easy and Fast Meal
Next comes cooking. If your guests value true friendship, the meals won’t matter. You don’t have to be a great cook to show your guests you enjoy having them over for dinner. It’s all about small gestures and signs of affection. For example, you can cook their favorite meal or serve their favorite store-bought cookies. (That way you won’t have to spend hours in the kitchen.) Or you can opt for light and easy meals that are ready in an instant. Think salads, pasta, French fries, salmon with salad, bean salad, soup, chicken with zucchini, omelet with chorizo and potatoes, etc.
Dessert may include marshmallows, fruits or ice cream. If you plan a more occasional evening with friends in the garden, make some tasty appetizers or prepare barbecue food and let everyone cook their own dinner so that you don’t have to cook at all. Try this one only if you know your friends are just as crazy as you are. You don’t want to appear inhospitable.
Show Welcoming Spirit
True hospitality is not about how you folded the napkins but how much enthusiasm you showed throughout the evening. If you don’t have much time to cook a fancy meal and scrub the house down to perfection before your guests arrive, a welcoming spirit always counts. If you make your friends feel special, the menu won’t matter. Or cleanliness. If your friends feel they are not welcome, they will not have a great time and may refuse your future invitations. You should aim to make them feel loved and adored. Show them you have not invited them to your home but to your life and they will love you eternally.
During the visit, make sure to spend more time with your guests rather than in the kitchen. Listen attentively to what they have to say and ask questions. Be involved and show real interest in the conversation. Don’t talk about yourself all the time. Try to make your guests feel comfortable talking about themselves. If they have children, let your kids play with them.
Hint: During summer it’s best to host guests outdoors where children can have lots of fun while you and your friends chitchat and laugh it up.
So are you ready to have fun tonight? Remember, it’s all about showing a positive attitude.
The article is written and edited by Anna Aamone. She runs a company called CarpetCleaners W8 and loves to write.