Every mom has been there. After a long morning of feeding, cleaning, chasing, entertaining, and refereeing kids, she finally reaches that heavenly moment…nap time. She corrals her little ones to their beds, kisses those faces, and bids them sweet dreams. Then she shuts the bedroom door and almost floats with excitement to the sofa to enjoy some R&R. She kicks off her shoes and grabs the remote, but before she can hit the ON button, the doorbell rings. She looks out the window and sees that beloved family member or friend. She opens the door, and they give each other the “Surprise!” face. She loves this person, but why now? And why does everyone feel a need to make everything a surprise anyway?
“I was in the neighborhood, so I thought I’d stop by. I hope it’s OK.”
Of course, she does the gracious thing. “Yes! Come in!” In reality, an hour from now would have been so much better. They sit and talk for a while, and before she knows it, she hears her little ones stirring in their room. She prepares their snack and saddles up for a long afternoon of feeding, cleaning, chasing, entertaining, and refereeing kids. Then it’s bedtime. She tucks them in and heads to the kitchen to clean up. After that, she grabs the load of laundry from the dryer and settles down next to her husband to hear his thoughts on everything from work to politics. Finally, the day is over. She showers and heads to bed without a single moment to herself all day.
Maybe I sound like a downer, but I’m really speaking a truth that most moms who feel this way might never say: We love to see you, but we want to know you’re coming. A simple phone call or text would make the visit so much better. It would allow us to align our day appropriately, not to mention tidy up for company. You might say, “Oh honey, I don’t care about a little mess” or “You have kids. It’s to be expected.” Here’s the thing: We care about the mess.
It’s not possible to keep a house perfect every minute of the day, but we would really appreciate an opportunity to present it in a way that makes us comfortable. Personally, if you are coming in the afternoon, I might need to spruce up the place while my kids eat lunch. If you are coming in the morning, I might need to stay up a little later the night before to dust or mop. Let me prepare for you.
I know nap time seems like the opportune time to visit because we can talk undisturbed about more grown-up topics, but for a lot of us, nap time is the only time we get to ourselves. It’s the only time of day when no one is yelling “Mommy!” or asking for a juice box or fighting over a toy. It’s the only time of day we can watch something other than Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It’s the only time of day we can actually relax. I would much rather you visit before or after
I would much rather you visit before or after nap time when my hustle has already started. Let’s go outside and sit under the tree while the kids play in the yard. Sit at my kitchen table and keep me company while I prep dinner. Come in the morning and have coffee with me. I most definitely want to see you, but please—I’m begging you—don’t stop by at nap time.