Staying with Family: A Guide To Being A Better Houseguest

Well, it was a busy summer for me, I made two trips this summer to visit my children; first to my son's house in Oklahoma City to see him get his master's degree in Business Management, and then to help out my daughter in Sacramento after our only grand- daughter was born. These were real eye openers as my daughter in law is pregnant and was suffering with the heat and my daughter worked full time up to the time of her delivery.


As these trips were also mini vacation for us, I felt that it was important that I made myself as useful as possible but also I wanted to have a little fun. At my son's graduation, other relatives also from out of town were present. Here is a short list of things that you can do to be a big help and make sure things go smoothly.


If you know that there will be other guests there from out of town and will want to site- see, research the area and Google maps with driving directions so that your host or hostess does not have to take you to see all the sites. If you have not rented a car, see if you can borrow a car and take everyone who wishes with you. Sometimes this can be more fun you are not within time constraints and can explore that antique shop to your heart's content. I took my ex and his family to the Oklahoma City Memorial and we explored downtown.


Meals and Going Out

Plan and cook for everyone; my husband, and I did a Taco Buffet and let everyone make their own tacos and tostadas. It kept my daughter in law out of the kitchen and everyone enjoyed themselves. Make sure you clean up afterwards. I also offered to baby-sit for some of the young couples so they could also go to dinner and dancing after the graduation, not something I was interested in. I also babysat my grandson and the new baby so my daughter and her husband could go out to dinner to celebrate the birth and return of good health to my daughter and her baby.

Be Helpful

My son and daughter in law are both in the Air Force so my husband looked around for quick easy repairs that he could make that they had not had time to do, with them both working. Of course, he did this in the off time when other festivities were not planned. He helped set up the new crib and helped with the baby proofing that needed to be done with a 19 month old in the house. Helping keep things picked up and keeping the kitchen clean is one thing that my daughter was grateful for.


Pick up after yourself and spruce up the bathroom for the next guy. My daughter only had one bathroom for 4 adults so this was something we were all grateful for. Spring for dinner one night if this is a multi night stay but be sure you stay with in your budget. Pizza and a great movie can be relaxing for everyone.

One of the great things about staying with relatives is you can always use the washer and dryer to wash your own clothes so you don't have to bring as much. Always offer to do a load for them too. I stripped and washed the guest room bedding right before I left and then made up the bed so that it would be fresh for the next guest. My son's graduation party was held at his house and because of the heat, he made it a pool party. We did a couple of loads of towels so my daughter in law did not have that hassle to contend with. People with kids always have things that need doing, so make yourself available. You might help with homework or add that special touch to a school project. After a long sleepless night with the new baby, I took her and let my daughter sleep while my son in law took his son to daycare. It was only a couple of hours but it made her day. Every mother could use a nap every once in a while, so make the offer if your hostess is looking weary. If you know your way around their kitchen, surprise everyone with breakfast one morning.


These are quick and easy ideas that everyone can do and should make you the most welcome of guest in the future.

Staying with Family

About The Author: Debra Frick is a mother of 5 and a grandmother to 7 grandsons. She is a published author and poetress. Born in California, she now lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and many pets. Her hobbies include crocheting, reading, arts and crafts and bargain hunting.

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October 3, 20070 found this helpful

You sure had your heart in the right place, doing whatever you would want done for yourself if you were in opposite places. Good work! Not only to clean up your own messes and pay for your own costs, but to lighten the load of your hosts in every way you can, is the idea of being a good guest.


Way to go, your new grandbaby is lucky to have smart grandparents!

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By Julia in UK (Guest Post)
October 4, 20070 found this helpful

What a wonderful guest Debra is. Her family must love to have her to stay.

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By Carlton J. Cotton (Guest Post)
October 5, 20070 found this helpful

Guests need to be invited, not invite themselves and should give a date to arrive and date to leave.
Guests should never make you feel you are on their schedule but yours.
I have guest who come often and stay and stay never knowing when to go home, and they always find excuses to stay longer, for their own benefit, not mine.
Courtesy is knowing when they are coming and when they are leaving.

I think guests should be mindful of ALL family members and the times they work and sleep. How can you run around in your underwear if you don't know if they are still there are not?


Carlton J. Carlton

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By (Guest Post)
October 10, 20070 found this helpful

I spent two weeks at my grandchildren's home and took them to the grocery store to buy favorite foods and I did the cooking for them while visiting and it was a great opportunity for me to get reacquainted with my grandchildren who resides out of state and I don't see often.

Both grandchildren wanted to be my guide around their neighborhood and we walked all the way into town one day and then to a park a few days later. We passed an ice cream shop and stopped by to enjoy shakes before heading back home.

My granddaughter was learning to ride a bicycle and was confined to a certain area. I was able to teach her the rules of the road and stop and move over to the side when vehicles approached. Instilling in her and watching her apply these rules will keep her safe in her bicycling years.

One night the parents were out celebrating some occasion and the grandchildren and I had our own pizza party. Individual time with my grandchildren was spent having a tea party and later that night I had time with my grandson playing basketball.

Their mother was able to have time alone to relax for awhile and some of the work load was off her shoulders and she felt like she was the one on vacation while I was creating happy memories with my grandchildren.

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October 10, 20070 found this helpful

I spent most of my time with my grandchildren when visiting for two weeks. My grandchildren wanted to be my personal guides to escort me around their neighborhood showing me all the "nifty" places. We strolled through town and I waited while my grandson got his haircut and a few days later, they took me to the park on a mountain. Strenuous exercise for me, but much needed and they were so pleased to be showing me around. On our trek back home, we stopped at an ice cream shop and had shakes and pleasant conversation.

My granddaughter was learning to ride a bicycle and was only allowed within a certain area unsupervised, so I volunteered to teach her the rules of the road while riding a bicycle. She learned to move her bike to the side of the road and stop for approaching vehicles. She also learned to listen with her ears for sounds behind her when riding so she could get over in plenty of time. Before I left, her mother allowed her to ride outside those boundary lines with my supervision so she could see how well she practiced those rules without forgetting.

Also, when I first got there, I took the grandchildren to the grocery store and bought their favorite foods and prepared the family evening dinners while they watched me fix their food.

One night, the parents went out to celebrate and I ordered the grandchildren a pizza and we had our own little party and I was able to spend individual time with my granddaughter having a teaparty by candlelight together and then time with my grandson shooting basketball hoops.

My daughter-in-law felt like she was the one on vacation, but I was thoroughly enjoying the time spent with my grandchildren and making wonderful memories for us.

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