“You are no longer a guest here”, I said. Yes, I uttered those words to my sister-in-law when she was visiting. Unbelievable, right? But wait, hear me out, there is more to the story. Don’t judge me just yet. I was almost nine months pregnant with my second child. My first child was 15 months old and full of energy. It was the hot summer time. I was tired, so very tired. There are plenty of reasons why I said it.
My sister in law had come to visit and stay with us. She was very excited to come spend time with her first nephew. She played with him, feed him, just enjoyed the time. The problem was that I had a routine and she wasn’t fitting into my schedule. So when my son woke up at 6am one morning, and she took him out of his crib, it messed up my routine. Normally he would wake up, I would give him milk and he would fall back to sleep for another two and a half hours. This morning she took him out of his crib and decided to give him breakfast. Well, twenty minutes later he was falling asleep at the table and I was wide awake, shy two hours of sleep. Then there were the dishes she left in the sink. Or her shoes that I tripped over. Finally I exploded! “That’s it! You are no longer a guest here! After three days you must take care of yourself!” It was day four, and I somehow made up this ridiculous three day rule. After my sister in law got over the shock of my new rule, she put her dishes away, replaced the toliet paper roll and on and on. She was the perfect guest for an overtired pregnant woman. When her husband came the next day to stay, she told him he was not a guest. I laughed and said, “give him three days, he just got here.”
This silly rule has made me a better guest a peoples homes. I am more mindful that I am not on vacation and tend to work harder then I would at my own home. Its even more work with my four kids, but I understand how hard it is to entertain guests in your home. A year later, when I and my family stayed at my sister in laws home while she was almost nine months pregnant I clearly remembered how I felt on her visit. A few days into my visit with her, she said “I get it now.” When it was time to leave, she also told me I was a good guest. (The best guest stays at a hotel in my opinion) Now twenty years later we laugh about the three day rule, but I still follow it.