I loved spending the night at friend’s houses growing up. It was always a gift and a treat in more ways than I think I even understood. I felt like my family was so strange compared to others, with a single Dad and a house with no couch and temperatures that were freezing in the winter and stifling in the summer with no form of air-conditioning or central heat to regulate things.
Going to other people’s homes was like a glimpse into some sort of fairy-tail normalcy I had built in my head.
So you would think I would love to host sleepovers as a Mom.
And you would be wrong.
A lot of it is due to our dog situation. He is not good around new people. And this stresses me out and so I just avoid the situation entirely by boarding him whenever we want/need to have people over. And this is not cheap and it requires planning and so we’ve not done it often. However, for her birthday, Nikki really wanted a sleepover so we boarded him that weekend.
But I think the other part of it is my own insecurity over whether or not the sleepover goes well. We don’t have a big fun house anymore. Eliah had people spending the night all the time when we had the big house. Sometimes I didn’t even know who was over. But this house is very different. There’s not a lot of room to get loud or crazy without bothering everyone else in the house. You can barely talk in a bedroom without people in the living room hearing you. I worry this cramps the capacity for fun.
For the birthday sleepover, Wes spent the night with his grandparents and we promised the girls the could have the living room until midnight so that helped.
Also – I think I worry more about my kid’s friend’s opinions of our house than I do my own friend’s opinions of it! Maybe because I’ve seen some the houses these kids come from and they could hold 2-3 of mine. Maybe it’s because I just want everything perfect for Nikki and I worry she’s embarrassed by our house.
Maybe it’s just how parts of my social anxieties manifest at this age in my life.
Either way, I don’t encourage sleepovers like I thought I would have when I was a kid.
I don’t ban them either though, and last night Nikki had a new friend over who has never met the dog. (She has one friend who our dog knows well enough that he barks but then quickly ignores her.) Nikki actually talked to Donnie about it first, knowing he’s the easier “get” for approval. After he approved I said, “Okay, but you’re handling the drop off with the dog. I can’t be here. My anxiety makes the dog worse and so I’ll be elsewhere and you text me when he’s calm again and I’ll come home.”
So I went to Panera and did some bullet journaling and they texted me after the dog finally calmed down. And now the girls are sleeping soundly while hopefully not hearing me click-click-click with the typing in the living room.
I’ve had friends who aren’t “crafty” Moms and don’t ever encourage painting or artsy activities. I have friends who aren’t “outdoorsy” Moms and don’t ever take their kids hiking or camping. I try to assuage (FYI – my browser wanted me to correct the original misspelling to “sausage” which would have made that sentence much more hilarious…and now I’m changing the title of this post.) my guilt over not being a “sleepover” Mom by at least giving myself points for doing the other things, but I do feel bad that it’s not a thing I naturally encourage and my kids know how much I hate it. I already feel them telling their own kids when they’re older, “My Mom never let me have sleepovers!” But hopefully they’ll remember the stuff I did let them do to counterbalance that.