At Our House, We Say More the Merrier

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Our house is a house where you don’t have to ask first to come play. We live in a neighborhood with many kids, and they love getting together after school and on the weekends. While having a “more the merrier home” often full of messes and loud noises can be a lot, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

We’ve always wanted our home to be warm and welcoming to our kids’ friends. We bought our current home while pregnant with our first. It had a pool and a spot for a designated playroom, making it easy to envision our future kids enjoying our home with their friends. Now that our kids are 6 and 10 years old, they’ve built strong friendships, and our house has become one of the places where everyone wants to hang out.

How chaotic is it? It’s often pretty chaotic. But there are several reasons why the crazy is worth it. The biggest is that we care about having a safe place for kids to be. That means being physically safe and looked after and a place to be welcomed. I appreciate knowing their friends, being a part of their lives, and giving them an extended support system. Another bonus is that when kids come over to play, they play. I don’t have to restrict screen time – they run around, make up games, and do crafts. It’s awesome.

At our house, my kids’ friends will be treated as our own and as I’d want my kids treated. Snacks are always on hand, and they can stay for dinner. We don’t sweat the small stuff like couch cushions being made into a fort or juice spill. It’s worked extremely well for us that we have a designated spot for kids to hang out and for the majority of toys. We’re lucky enough to have a playroom with a door, where I care much less about how tidy it is (or isn’t).

While some people may call a home like ours the “fun house,” I prefer to call it a “welcoming house.” Yes, there’s fun stuff to do, but I want the emphasis to be on comfort and welcoming. If one of our kids’ friends has had a bad day, our place can be a soft place to land.

If a full, busy house sounds overwhelming, it can be. That’s why setting up rules and boundaries is essential. For example, we only use paints at the kitchen table, take our shoes off when we come in, and I’ll often ask kids who aren’t mine to clean up. One of the most interesting things I’ve learned through having a “more the merrier home” is that asking our kids’ friends to participate in things like setting the table or putting toys away actually makes them feel more welcomed. We do set time apart for family time, and I’m not afraid to send kids home when we have plans or other commitments. Overall, the kids are incredibly respectful and understanding of how we run things.

Your kid wants to play? We’re glad they’re here. At our house, it’s more the merrier.

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