“What makes a good host?”
“What makes a guest comfortable?”
Recent events had me pondering about those questions as I belatedly realised the host plays a crucial part in determining my personal stress level. I’m embarrassed to say it but honestly, that in turns affects my kids as they usually bear the brunt of my vents.
Having house-proud hosts are bad idea for families like mine. My stress level peaks naturally.
“Don’t touch that!”
“Look at that mess you left on the floor after your meal!”
“Keep your shoes!”
“Don’t sit there. You might dirty the sofa!”
You can hear me constantly hissing to the kids as I weld the broom and pan. I would probably feel the need to diligently mop the floor everyday, if I can find out where the cleaning essentials are being kept. I try to trail behind them to make sure water marks are not being left behind. I go on my knees to scrutinize the floor to make sure all crumbs are eradicated. I’m not even half as concerned about our own place.
In case you get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being house-proud. It’s just unfortunate that I don’t raise robots. As much as I warn and hiss (the whole species of snakes should have been so proud of me), sometimes the kids just override my programming. It’s simply a reminder to myself that it’s not a good fit for us, despite all the (possible) best intention when the invitation was issued. It did made me question my parenting skills when I hear accusations (imagined or otherwise) in the questions and statements.
Which naturally leads me to the hosts who either:
1. Have only babies currently
2. Forgotten how children can sometimes behave
Some children are boisterous (I almost said ALL!). I admit mine goes hyper sometimes when they’re excited but I also know when they are just being… childish. You know, jumping, taking in loud voices, playing games. I know babies do not generally do those things but I wish the hosts will try to stop giving them the evil glint and show the kids a little bit more grace and patience. Perhaps you feel that I cannot control my brood but I also hope you’re aware that your babies will grow up and outgrow the stage of adorable drools and coos. By then, I hope you’ll be little bit more understanding why I can’t and won’t control them like robots. But then again, maybe your superior parenting skills will prevail.
Currently, I’d rather spend on a hotel to save my sanity, preserve my children’s esteem and pride while providing a relaxing break.
Anyway, the upside to all these is it made me reflect on my own behaviour as a host.