The holidays are upon us. That means you probably have guests arriving at your home or workplace. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins … they’re coming. Added guests can bring on changes in routine, schedule and stress levels for all. Here are a few things you can do to assure that everyone has a wonderful and stress-free holiday.
Sit down with the parents and clearly outline what the expectations of you will be while the guests are here. Will you still need to work every day? Will your hours change to accommodate any family events or will the grandparents, aunt, uncle, best friend want to take the child? Will you be required to watch any additional children and how will you be compensated for the extra child – by the employers or by the guests?
By setting the expectations and boundaries early on, you set the tone for the visit, and the parents can relay the information to the guests. Knowing early on that the grandparents are allowed to drive the children to events or not, or to remind Aunt Julie not to give the kids gum will help all feel welcome and comfortable in the home.
Make them feel welcome
Find out of any of the guests have special dietary restrictions or favorite foods they like to have and make sure you put together a small welcome basket of their favorites they can go to in the pantry or put together a special welcome package of small toys, books, coloring books/crayons for the visiting child, age appropriate of course. Put a package together of area attractions, maps, local directions, and restaurants that may interest your guests.
Work with the parents to develop some house rules, print them out and place them on the refrigerator, and as an added touch, buy an inexpensive frame, frame them and place them in the guest room/s. Rules can be no shoes worn in the house. Please don’t feed the dog/cat people food. Please no glassware on tables without a coaster. Pick those rules that are important to the household, and that you would want to know if you were a guest. If guests are staying for an extended stay, consider typing out instructions to the washer and dryer, dishwasher, TV / Streaming Services, Wi-Fi information and any other helpful tools they will need to make their visit comfortable.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Prepare yourself for the little things. Know that all the recyclables may not make it into the proper containers, and that dirty dishes may be left in the sink. Bedtimes may be disrupted by the excitement of having guests so you may have tired kids the next day. Realize that these are temporary issues and to not take them personally. Let everyone have their fun, and leave a little extra room in your day to find all the missing sippy cups and sort all the toys back to their proper basket.