Company Ready…

Don’t you just hate the term “company ready”? As if having your house clean enough for family isn’t good enough for company. As if your family doesn’t deserve what you would serve to strangers who drop by.

It also implies that we shouldn’t have friends over until our house is in some state of perfection that we don’t normally even try to achieve for our own family.

I have decided that things that aren’t good enough for company to see, aren’t good enough for my family to see either. If I wouldn’t want the next door neighbor to see trash in the floor of my living room, then I don’t want my kids (who put it there to begin with) coming home from school to see it either.

Does this mean my house is spotless? Nope. But you could come over right now and I wouldn’t be embarrassed. I would be cleaning, as it’s my cleaning day, but I wouldn’t be ashamed for you to see my house, because I determined that my family deserved better. They deserve a home that is peaceful. That is clean (not immaculate, though at times I do get there). That is welcoming and inviting. That is stress free. Where friends can come in and out without invitations. That is “family ready.”

So many of us these days isolate ourselves, because our homes aren’t clean enough to have anyone over. We tell ourselves when the house is clean enough we’ll have company. Or we invite company then spend days cleaning to make the house clean enough for that company. Don’t our spouses and children deserve that same level of care? Don’t we?

Years ago I had a friend K. who believed that as my friend she should be treated as my family. If it was good enough for the kids to see dirty laundry on the floor, it was good enough for her.

My friend K. taught me a lot. She taught me that if I am sick, my friends will do my laundry for me and they won’t judge me that it was dirty. They, in fact, expect it to be.

She taught me if I am hungry, my friends will bring food. They don’t expect me to have a perfectly stocked freezer and pantry. They want to show off their cooking styles from their own stocks.

She taught me that I was missing out on a lot of fun by setting my expectations of a clean house too high. K. would come over and bring her two and add to my then two and we would talk and laugh, and occasionally fold some clothes. We’d feed the kids lunch and trash the kitchen with sippy cups and peanut butter smears and tired children. Then we’d wash them all up and put them down for naps and gossip about things women gossip about. Then she’d go home and I’d straighten up and get ready for Hubby to come home and I was extremely happy. The next day we’d do it all again at her house.

“Company ready” was never attainable. It’s exhausting even trying. No matter how clean a house is, it will never be “company ready.” And you will never want to have company over.

“Family ready” means a house is clean, organized, a little messy, a little busy, full of laughter. “Family ready” is attainable. And you will want to have family (and company) over.

So these days, when friends stop by, our house is “family ready”. They are welcomed in. We talk about our days, while the children play. We can have a little lunch. We can gossip while the kids go to the mall, since I am the only one who nap these days. LOL It’s fun.

So is your home family ready? Do you feel like you have higher standards for strangers than you do for you own family? Why? Don’t your spouse and children deserve better than anyone else on the planet? Don’t you deserve to have friends over for coffee, without the stress of a major move? How about joining me in my quest to make “family ready” the new standard in home care. That’s clean, organized, a little messy, a little busy and full of laughter. Not perfect. Not immaculate. But warm and inviting. You can do it. Do it for your family.

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4 thoughts on “Company Ready…

  1. My best friend, K, is 1300 miles away and she and I shared days and days just like you’ve described. Your post brought back so many memories…and yes, I figure my family deserves the best I have, so I don’t “dress it up” for company…what you see is who we are, day in and day out…family ready…

  2. I was brought up to believe that when you vist friends you go to see them, not their home.

    If you like and accept them as friends you will like and accept how they live. Also if someone comes to your home, if they spend all their time just looking at your home and possessions, do you really want them there anyway, they can’t be real friends.

  3. I agree Linda. I want my friends to be comfortable in my house. I have been to houses that were so clean you were afraid you’d make a mess. You were uncomfortable, because you couldn’t relax. When we have adult friends over, they always do seem relaxed. The teenage friends are used to the house both clean and messy and love us any way. They come in and out most weekends, especially in summer. They don’t expect me to clean before they come, or care if I do after they leave. They know our house is the place where they can just be themselves, play video games, swim, gossip, have surprise parties and spray confetti everywhere. As Hubby says, it vacuums.

    I don’t have my friends over as much as I’d like, but when I do, I try and enjoy their company. Sit and talk and watch our kids hang out. Come by here in the summer, and you’ll find me in the Queen’s Chair by the pool reading a book, feel free to stay around and enjoy the sunshine.
    While I do want my family to live in a beautiful home, and I do work to see that they do, I never want to live in a place where things are so perfect no one wants to hang there. I remember one home from my teen years. It was beautiful. We would go by and say hi, pick up her son and move on. It always smelled slightly of disinfectant. Our house was the typical cluttered mess. Mom kept it clean, but she was a collector. Where did we hang out at? My house. Why? Because if we spilled something mom’s reply was always “clean it up.” And she’d throw an old rag at you to do it. She never got mad if we ate all her food, and stayed up until the wee hours of the night. The last one out was supposed to lock the door.

    So while I want my children to have a little less cluttered mess than I grew up with, I want them to have that same feeling of welcoming that I had growing up. Life is messy, as the commercial says, so clean it up. 😉

    Funny thing is when I go to friends houses, I rarely think about how clean or not clean it is, unless it’s sterile looking. If it’s dusty, or really dirty, I really couldn’t tell you what it looked like. But if it’s super clean, I will remember because I will feel uncomfortable. That to me is the essence of family ready. It should feel like a family lives there.

  4. Hi

    I couldn’t agree with you more.

    When I was a teenager, one of my still closest friends, was going out with someone who lived three doors away but had just joined the navy.

    Her house was always clean and always tidy whilst his was spotless, when the children were little they could only have three crayons out at a time if they were “colouring in” as it made the room look untidy.

    When he came home on leave he used to spend all his time at her house.

    One day her mum very quietly said to him, “you are very very welcome here at anytime, but don’t you think your mum will be a little upset that she hasn’t seen a lot of you”. He replied “this feels like home, when I go there, I love my family to bits, but it is clinical and feels like a palace, to be looked at and admired but not enjoyed and relax in”.

    He married my friend and just a couple of years later his dad sadly died. The house changed overnight into a home, apparently they had lived as his dad decreed and his mum just obeyed.

    My mum and dad had four children in six years, the house was spotlessly clean and tidy every morning and put back before they went to bed, but in the middle of that time as long as you respected everything, anyone was welcome to enjoy it.

    Hopefully that is how my home feels.

    Regards

    Lin
    ps am still working at dear myrtles organisation list

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