How to Make Housework-Guilt a Thing of the Past

What to do when unexpected company arrives

Housework-guilt needs to stop, we have enough to worry about. Here's how you can stop it in it's tracks. Getty Images/Maskot

Some people believe that a clean home makes people feel welcomed and comfortable.  But in reality it takes a lot of time and energy to constantly keep a home clean.  A lot of time and energy that a working mom may not have because of a long day at work and maybe more work to do later on in the evening. 

When a working mom comes home from work she wants to rest and spend time with her children, not make her home picture perfect!

The guidebook for keeping a home (I’m sure there’s such a thing somewhere) was probably based on opinions of women back in the 50’s.  The amount of work a woman does nowadays has increased since then.

It’s time to make housework guilt a thing of the past!  There's many ways to make your guest feel welcomed in your home besides a tidy household.  This can be done by following a few of these tips.

Resist the urge to do a last minute scramble of cleaning up 

It’ll leave you feeling breathless and will consume personal energy that should be spent on your guest.  If your kids are old enough send them to do the scrambling but refrain from instructing them while your guest walks through the door.

Don’t apologize for your messy home

It is what it is.  You’ve done nothing wrong!  There is no need to say "I'm sorry for the mess".  Your guest is not the boss of your home, you are, so take responsibility for it by not bring attention to the mess.

Don’t talk about yourself

Time is fleeting, don’t’ use it on talking about your problems or making excuses for the state of your home.  Your friend isn’t going to unfriend you because your sink is full of dishes (if they do, are they really that great of a friend? No.)

Make your guest your priority

When someone unexpectedly arrives on your door step they need something from you.

  Otherwise they would have just called.  They didn't come over to judge you on the cleanliness of your home.  Their goal isn’t to make you feel uncomfortable or guilty.  They have come because they need something that you have or they need to talk to you. 

Keep eye-contact with your guest to help keep your focus on them

Pay attention to their words and listen to what they have to say.  Avoid thinking of the dirty dishes behind you or the crumbs you see on the floor behind your guest.  What they have to say is extremely important in this moment.  The better you listen the quicker you can give them what they need and they can be on their way. 

Pay it forward

Everyone’s degree of unacceptable messiness can be different.  So remember this advice when you walk into someone’s home unexpectedly.  Show support for your hostess by sharing something like this,

“Please don’t apologize.  Those crumbs belong there.  That’s where mine are at my house!”

“I’m unexpected company.  Your priority was <insert here> (maybe spending time with kids or just relaxing after a long day), not preparing for my visit.”

“I have no clipboard and pen to judge you, but if I did I’d put you in first place.”

So what do you think?

 How will you handle unexpected company the next time they come over?  Remember, monkey see monkey do.  Perhaps your visitor will learn from you behavior that a messy home is OK sometimes and that there's more important things to take care of, like friendship.

Come on over to my Facebook page and let me know how you'll handle company or how you'll make your hostess feel less housework-guilt.