hosting family for two weeks ….three generations…dh sister, her son and grand daughter…all the way from Algeria…
- Planning is important but not essential…I mean we wrote down a list of dishes they might like and did grocery shopping accordingly. It helped me immensely to be able to go to the menu plan and just pick a dish for that evening. Having said that, being flexible makes entertaining easier too. Nothing wrong with a quick fry up or shop bought pizzas after a long day walking for miles from one touristic sight to another.
- Hosting is more manageable if done with a great team…It is definitely team work to its best…I could not have done it without the help of dh and my three elder girls…actually dd3 helped too by keeping our 5 year old guest happy with her toys…Everyone had a role and fulfilled it with a smile on their face…from driving them places, to shopping with them during the crazy sales, to cooking with mama ….It has made me realize what a great family I have , alhamdulilah…..
- Working behind the scenes is almost as important as being on the stage so to speak…once breakfast was over and a day had been more or less planned I was more than happy to stay behind and put some kind of order back into the house…also it allowed me some me time, some normalcy, time to get on with all the other business of running a house that goes on regardless of what additional people might add to it….
- Embrace cultural differences as much as you can, specially those you can not change…also try striking a balance between them and us….if eating dinner at 9 in the evening does not work for your family be honest and explain….allow them their ways but do not expect your family to accept the new routines….respect….this is the one thing I didn’t get right…next time they will be told with the welcome package of brand new towels and slippers…insh’Allah
- Sometimes everyone needs downtime….it’s ok not to do much and stay home and enjoy each others company…the two little ones appreciated it ….
- I’m not a superwoman and I don’t need to be….it’s ok to let the guests know that you are tired and retire for a long nap or even for an early night…dh and his sister had lovely bonding times in the kitchen…sil offered to cook classic Algerian dishes and other delicacies…bless her…
With all the above being said….one week of hosting is more than enough….after the first week they start feeling homesick and tensions arise….alhamduliah we survived and family bonds were strengthened….
Salaams y hasta la vista,