Thursday, January 22, 2015

Making Hospitality Comfortable for the Whole Family

Growing up my family had company fairly often and we all enjoyed it a whole lot. At least that was my understanding of everyone's feelings but at least for the most part I am pretty sure that it was true. We loved to have people in our home. It wasn't until I got older that I realized that having company wasn't something that everybody felt as comfortable with.

 When I was in college I continued on with the tradition of having people over. I was in a small Bible college so every now and then I would have fun cooking a meal and invite over all the other students to eat. I wasn't that great of a cook but we loved to get together and any cooking was often considered better than cooking yourself so many would come.

  When Ken and I first got married and were still in the college life we tended to have company fairly often but later I realized that having company wasn't something that Ken found as fun and easy as I did. As time has passed I have realized more of the reasons behind that. One of the reasons is that I tend to be an extrovert and Ken tends to be an introvert. Being around people is very fun for me and I think crowds are fun. A lot of people tend to wear Ken out and making small talk is simply not fun for him.

  There are a lot of different situations that could make it more challenging for your family to have company - perhaps you or your spouse are also introverts and having people around feels tiring. Maybe your spouse doesn't want you to have company because he thinks it will cost to much (we will address that issue in a later post - talking about entertaining economically), perhaps you have a child with special needs that makes it hard for you to have company.

  I don't know the answers for all the issues that could be had but I thought I would share some of the things I have done to try to make it so we can be hospitable regularly without making it to stressful for Ken.

A Ladies Tea

  1. I have hosted many a lunch date or had people over while Ken is at work. Naturally this would be with women or women and children. That way the kids and I can have fun with company and try to use that time to encourage others but Ken doesn't have to be there.
  2. When we have company over that will be there when Ken is there I try to plan it with him well in advance so he can have time to think about it and prepare for it mentally.
  3. When people are over I will try to steer the conversation towards topics that I know Ken and the guests enjoy so that everybody can have a fun conversation.
  4. A lot of our times with guests involve games as that is something that Ken really enjoys and it eliminates a lot of the need for small talk.

Game night
Those are some of the solutions that have worked for us in our situation. I would love to hear what your family has done to make hospitality more fun for everyone.


Amy and Mark said...

My husband is similar to yours. We found that hosting events in warmer weather, in our area that would be May-Sept, works best because some people are inside and some outside. It gives everyone a little more space to visit and Mark can escape to the place with less people when he needs a break. It also works well in the kid years because the kids tend to be happier when they can run in the yard. I, like you, also tend to host most guests while Mark is at work.

Nola said...

This is funny. In our marriage it is the opposite. My husband grew up with company, he was the one hosting others in university, he is an extrovert and I am an introvert! So, the idea of having people over when my husband is not here doesn't work for me :) but I like the game idea. That would work much better for me. I also try to plan ahead of some topics that I know would interest me and the guests. Also sometimes I let my husband carry the conversation topics. I don't know what to do about the exhaustion factor though. Being around lots of people is exhausting for me. My husband finds it energizing!!!!

Abbi said...

Amy, The option the go outside has worked well for us too. Also I have learned to compromise as to the number of guests I invite and try to be sensitive to Ken needing space.

Nola, It is so interesting how different everybody is. God made us all with our own talents and strengths. Thanks for the tips from someone who deals with the challenges herself.


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