Thursday, 13 October 2016

The Emotions of Hosting

The emotions of hosting

We have friends coming over tomorrow, a long overdue catch-up. It's great, I'm excited, they are wonderful, loving friends who encourage and build up and are a joy to be around. 

What I'm not excited about right now, as I write this post at 9.50pm is hosting. The truth is, it's my fault. I've got caught up in this idea that I have to be a perfect host. So, when my friend asked yesterday, for the third time, if I really didn't want her to bring food what I should have said was "actually, yes, that would be really helpful". Because she offered, she offered more than once. 

And in my mind what I had going on was "because tomorrow I have a long day at work, then we'll have to food shop and then I've volunteered to lead the session at guides. Which is enough in itself. Except on Friday I've got another long day at work, and I can't possibly miss my friend's leaving drinks which means actually... I don't really have the time or capacity to cook. 

Instead, of course, I said: "No, it's no bother at all, honestly, it's really no bother". So I find myself, now at 9.55 on said Thursday evening, having rushed around the kitchen since I got home preparing food for the slow cooker tomorrow and then hurriedly cleaning the kitchen.

Please don't get me wrong, this is not a call for sympathy, I know my life is relatively chilled compared to others. For one, I don't have children who rely on me, just a highly capable 26-year-old husband who really can fend for himself. (Although,side note, if I see one more meme about how non-parents can't possibly be tired I will start printing "parenting privilege" cards). Equally, my job whilst busy isn't pressured with long hours and a lot of the other things I have chosen to do. 

But as I cleaned my hob, for the 100th time, I reflected on what I can learn from this and perhaps you can too :

1. Accept help - real friends don't offer if they don't mean it. 
2. Equally, don't offer unless YOU mean it - Seriously, learn to say no not just to others but to the pressure you put on yourself
3. Be honest about your limitations  - physical, emotional, mental, time constraints. Recognise them, own them and be honest, not just with yourself but with your friends.
4. Find joy in hosting, not guilt and pressure - if that means you do less or you simplify than fine, again, real friends won't mind.
5. Don't, under any circumstances, literally, any, apologise for the mess! I've written an entire post about this but to sum up: Your friends have not come to visit your home to judge you for a channel 4 program, they have come to visit YOU. Embrace that. 

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