“Unlocking the Secret to Creating a Welcoming and Safe ‘Home‘ where the kids want to come and hang out”
In my younger days, I loved the amazing adventures I shared with my best friend and her family. Our bond was so tight and our mothers were close friends too, making us virtually inseparable. We even spent holidays together, and I can still remember the times when my friend’s mum would pick me up from school, claiming we both had tummy aches, just so we could spend the day together. Sometimes, we’d even sneak away for impromptu seaside trips, a luxury that is often frowned on now.
Those adventures were nothing short of amazing. Then, during my teenage years, I found myself living with another friend’s family, a busy household with six kids, parents, and friends from nearby villages. It was a lively, full house, and I loved every moment of it. My friend’s mum, who remains as great as ever, welcomed me in. Although my stay there was relatively short, it marked one of the most memorable periods of my teen years. Even now, I consider her my adopted mum, a title she often uses when introducing me to others.
Both her house and the home of my first friend felt like ‘that home.’ You know the type—a place where all the kids can play freely and feel safe, where the rules exist but are mixed with a healthy dose of coolness. As I grew older, I found myself wondering if I could create ‘that home’ when I had kids of my own. I wondered about the secrets and steps needed to become the go-to house for my kid’s friends to adventure to.”
Becoming “that home” where your kid’s friends can play and feel safe, is a great goal to have. Creating a welcoming and nurturing environment for your own children and their friends is not only rewarding but also an important part of building a strong sense of community.
Firstly, I know what you are thinking, I could never become “that Home”, I am already overwhelmed with my own kids and the housework. But I have great news for you. Stick around to the end of this post and I will tell you a way to let go of that overwhelm so you can become “that mum” and have “that home”
Here are some simple steps to help you become “that home”:
- Open Communication: Building trust and rapport with the kids in your neighbourhood starts with open communication. Take the time to listen to them, ask about their interests, and genuinely care about their well-being. Let them know they can always talk to you. Like you
- Create a Welcoming Space: Ensure that your home is a comfortable and inviting place for children to visit. Having activities that are age-appropriate for a range of kids is essential.
- Boundaries: While being welcoming can be a good start, it’s also important to have some basic rules in place. I know my energy can drift from one day to the next especially if we have had a high energy zapping day the day before or if I need to get back on top of routine. Make sure your kids and the ones that visit know that sometimes we all need space and while you love having friends over today is not that day. They also need to know what is expected of them regarding behaviour, safety, and respect for your property. Enforce these rules consistently but with kindness.
- Safety First: Make sure the kids have age-appropriate supervision, they know how to navigate any potential hazards properly and that any unnecessary hazards are removed.
- Snacks and Refreshments: Snacks are essential to becoming “That Home” Again create boundaries regarding snacks you don’t want to be spending ££££s on snacks each day. Let your kids know they can always make sandwiches, hot dogs or other cheaper bulk-buy snacks cheaper than prepacked mini snacks.
- Include Everyone: Ensure that no child feels left out or excluded. Encourage inclusivity and teach your own children the importance of being kind and inclusive as well.
- Be a Positive Role Model: Kids often look up to adults in their lives. Be a positive role model by demonstrating kindness, respect, and good manners. Show them how to resolve conflicts peacefully.
- Support Learning and Creativity: Foster an environment that promotes learning and creativity. Provide access to books, art supplies, and educational games. Encourage their curiosity and help them with any educational work if needed.
- Activities: Plan fun activities or playdates for your kids and their friends. This can include themed parties, movie nights, or outdoor games. Building these positive memories will make your home a favourite destination.
- Build Relationships with Parents: Just like your friends’ parents did when you were younger, establish strong relationships with the parents of the children in your neighbourhood. This helps in building trust and ensures everyone is on the same page when it comes to safety and rules.
The Secret is keeping mum life simple
Becoming “that home” where kids feel safe, loved, and welcomed can take a little effort, but the rewards are immeasurable. You’ll not only create lasting memories for the children but also contribute to a sense of community and belonging in your kid’s community. Remember, it’s the small acts of kindness and genuine care that make all the difference.But if you are already overwhelmed with motherhood how can you still foster this goal?
- First up create a rhythm to your home which means it doesn’t take a lot to rest after a full playdate.
- Imagine Toys easily get tidied up, towels from the pool get washed, dried and put away, snacks being in stock etc. Wouldn’t that be great?
- Rhythms can be a sticking point if you fear routine and schedule but they really can help the flow of your home.
- Make sure you have time for yourself. Topping up our teapot of wellbeing is an essential part of my simpler mum life. If we don’t top up our own mental well-being we simply can’t look after anyone else. Not without reaching burnout anyway.
- Boundaries I said this previously but stating your boundaries is important for creating a calm place for the kids and friends to hang out. If you have worked nights the day before, if you have been on a big day out, or are feeling sick added pressure of other people’s kids is not going to help your energy levels and may push you over the edge. So tell your kids your boundaries and stick to them. If it’s the summer schedule “drop-in days and non-negotiable quiet days.
For more help on rhythms, time management, boundaries and more why not head over to Simplified Mum Life- My membership for busy mums like you who want that extra support from a mum who has been there, in burnout, close to burnout, and come through with the skills and strategies to help myself and others live a simpler life
Always here to guide you to a simpler mum life