I don’t invite people to my home unless I really have to…

I have issues.

They started when I was a kid. My mom literally BEGGED me to invite people over for my birthdays etc. I couldn’t. I never fully understood why I was like that. It’s not like I was ashamed of where I stayed or anything and my parents were certainly not  embarrassing in any way.

I recently read this post from Margot at Jou ma se blerrie blog where she had an issue because her little boy REFUSED to have his birthday party at home. It brought it all back for me. AS a child I couldn’t articulate WHY I was this way. As an adult, I can.

For me, it has to do with two things: Privacy and Insecurity.

I don’t like people coming around because it feels like they are in my space. My home is MY space. It’s the only place where I can completely let me hair down. I don’t need everyone seeing how I let my hair down. I reserve this part of me only for my husband and sons.

I don’t like people coming around because deep down I feel insecure (and yes, intellectually I know that it is ridiculous) about the fact that I live in  a tiny little house with 2nd hand furniture.  I am conscious of the fact that my house needs a lot of work and I keep thinking that visitors can see ALL the cracks in the walls etc.

I don’t like people coming to my house because I somehow just don’t feel “free” if that makes any sense. It feels like I need to play a role – the role of homemaker, entertainer, hostess. ALL these roles don’t come naturally to me and I have to work VERY hard to get into them.

People in my life already know not to just pitch up at my place or to just quickly pop in. Those who know me (including my very close family) know that they MUST call first – this gives me a chance to prepare myself mentally and psychologically for people invading my space. And they also know that they can’t stay long. Really, I have been known to tell people that it’s time to go home now – especially if they have been sitting on my couch for two hours already!

Co-incidentally, my husband and Child1 are completely opposite. They LOVE having people over and I have really had to work hard to come to terms with this and make it work for me. After all, I would rather have Child 1’s friends play at our house than to have him go outside of the home to socialise. I literally can’t relax when I have people over and I am incredibly tense. Interestingly enough, when my son has his friends over I am not like this at all, it’s only when other adults come around. The other strange thing is that when I do entertain (usually under duress) then I pull it off sooooo well so I know that I can play that role and play it well.

Truthfully, I don’t really like my house all that much. I am VERY grateful for my shelter and that it is liveable and relatively comfortable, but purchasing it was a mistake. My DH and I made the mistake of buying a fixer-upper. We kind of forgot that one needs money to do the actual fixer-upper work and I think we thought that doing fixer-upper work would cost next to nothing. The house wasn’t expensive compared to all the others in the area so we thought that we could pull it off.

When we eventually moved in we saw that there was just so much wrong. In order for us to fix our house, we need to first fix the mistakes of OTHER PEOPLE. We find this COMPLETELY overwhelming and during the last few years of financial difficulty it certainly wasn’t a priority to do fixer-upper stuff.

My house reminds me that I can make bad decisions. It reminds me that I once did something without thinking properly about it. It reminds me that I can be stupid. It reminds me of an incredibly difficult time in my life.

I think that I don’t like people coming over because then they will see this. I don’t want them to see this.

We are going to sell this house. Soon.  We need a new beginning.

Seriously  though. Please don’t take it personally if I don’t invite you over. It’s not you. It’s me.

We can meet at the beach. Or at a venue. Or at a coffee shop.  You can even invite me to your place. Just not at my house. Sorry.x

Are you big on entertaining? Do you love having people over?

21 thoughts on “I don’t invite people to my home unless I really have to…

  1. I usually love entertaining – love having people around. But ONLY if I am prepared for it! I really don’t like dropper-inners!
    I had the embarrassment in our previous home – it was old and although we had done a stack to the house itself and it was looking really lovely inside, I used to be embarrassed about the way the entire neighbourhood started looking – i.e. shabby. When you have friends who are mostly pretty well of with delicious homes in delicious areas, you kinda start to get a complex about it..
    I am hoping this may change now, as I am more in love with my new home than I thought possible.

    And if you are around on the 27th – the offer still stands for you guys to join Celeste, Joyce, Sharon, hubbies, kiddies and I. I will send finer details later this week, okay?


  2. I love entertaining!
    We live in a small house, really small, currently, my lounge looks like a toy store vomited in it. But some how that doesn’t really bother me too much.

    I really do hope I get to meet you on the 27th at Lisa-Marie’s house!

  3. I love entertaining and having people over. That being said, in the past few years we have stopped entertaining as much as we used to… it has to do with the fact that I have an extremely rambunctious Jack russel who jumps on my friend’s kids. I feel like my friends feel like I cannot control my dog but she’s a jack russel for goodness sake – who can control them? Now that I have Kade I know she’s not that bad with babies and kids so I’ll probably start entertaining more again and try not get stressed when she licks or jumps on my friend’s (much bigger than Kade) kids.


  4. I’m very much like you in that respect. My home is my sanctuary – I don’t even share it with my husband anymore! Nobody just drops in on me… And I’m okay being like that!

  5. I LOVE entertaining.

    But i guess you realised that already :)

    I love my old rambling farmhouse, even with all it’s faults (trust me there are many). It is my sanctuary and safe haven and the place where I can schlumpf and be me, but because I am a completely over-organised OTT pain in the arse, it rarely gets into a mess. Sad, but true.

    And it hink you and your family need to come and enjoy some of our little piece of heaven. It would cost you the petrol and that would be all. And i can assure you, far nice nicer than camping.

    I also don’t do ‘dropper inners’. Phone first and i’ll welcome you with open arms, tea and biscuits, but don’t just arrive. I’ll probably be quite mean.


  6. I am like you too. Although I live in a lovely big house in an Estate I still am not a natural entertainer. I am quite untidy and not a wonderful house person. In fact, decorating and such isnt my passion and I often feel like the other mommies will judge my domestic prowess. I do have people over quite often but just for coffee etc. I dont entertain dinner-wise purely because cooking nauseates me so cooking for other people just sends me right over the edge! I have been known to invite people over for dessert and coffee ie EAT AT HOME then come over! But I do feel very much that my home is my safe, quiet family place.

  7. I used to be very much like you – worried about how people perceived my place, etc.

    And I am not a natural entertainer too – I love the people and decorating a table and that’s it. I eventually started focussing on the people and just throwing together something easy (for me) – like pasta and a salad with garlic rolls – and it got better. Much better.

    I also then read the Reluctant Entertainer (review on my organising blog) and I had several aha moments, all around what hospitality actually is (about connection, making your guests feel special, not your issues with your house) and I was set free.

    Re Mel’s comment above, she (RE) also says to embrace your style. So while before I was a Friday night supper gal, since the babies arrived I’ve done supper once (disaster for me as I was cringing inside after every laugh in case the babies woke) or twice and I’m now a breakfast and lunch gal. I’ve always been a coffee and muffins person so very happy for anyone to always drop in for that (by drop in I mean two hours notice).

    I do have some lovely friends and I totally delegate when they ask what they should bring. We’re doing two sets of friends next week – a brunch and a lunch – and the one set will bring croissants and the other will bring a quiche and salad, so it’s not too much for me and the crazy kids.

    And really, if people are judging you and your house, then never have them over again :) The thing is we are the ones who are most critical about our spaces.

    PS I don’t like people dropping in because they will catch me in my pjs with a shiny face and crazy hair :)

  8. I like having people over, but I actually prefer just having one or two over at a time. I never get to properly connect with everyone when there’s a massive crowd. And I really like visiting people in their houses instead of restaurants…it’s cheaper and more personal. But honestly that goes for anything from a back room to a palace – I couldn’t be bothered where or what it is, I’m there for the company.

  9. I really liked your article. I am not married, but I have lived with a couple men and it always drives me up a wall. My home is my place, my things, my treasures. It is my life, the real me, and in that space I am most exposed. I never invite people over, and the only time I lived with men was when they asked me to move in. I am again, now completely on my own. I am living alone and have my new, beautiful, down town apartment (that is above a bar) all to myself. It is set up how I want, I love my vintage furniture and all my 70’s owl collectibles. I do not ever invite anyone over, not even my best friend has been in here sense I first moved my stuff in. I have lived here for 6 months and not a soul, other than myself and the land lord has been in here. I love coming home to my things, my smell, my comfort. I love sitting in on the weekends and waking up and making coffee in my cute kitchen. I do not want to share this space, I never let people in my room growing up, I never invited people over (unless my mother made me) I always would have rather gone to their place. I feel like some people see their space as their space, and when others come in to that space (who are unwanted) they muck it up. They cause discomfort and I could understand the judgement that could be felt, “Will they think I am a crazy owl lady?” I feel that way from time to time, but at the end of the day I live there, I pay for it, and I love it. I am a private person. And I can relate and I am glad there are others kind of like me as well!

    1. I feel the same way as you do. I’m always finding excuses to avoid people coming to my house. To be honest I like my house the way it is & I’ve always enjoyed having time to myself. People do find it otherwise but that doesn’t bother me.

  10. I am exactly the same!!! I don’t like people coming to my home especially if they do not tell me beforehand. I feel my home is the only place where I can be myself, say/do/wear whatever I want freely.

  11. I felt like I was the only one who didn’t like having people around. Its nothing to do about my house. I love my house and Im quite the tidy person but inviting people and playing the role of hostess and doing everything seems too much of a hard work for me. My DH is never around most of the time, he works long hours and is never back until midnight which leaves me to do everything from household chores, shopping, kids etc. Having other people in my house seems like an invasion of my personal space. I’d rather sit down quietly enjoying my book with a nice cup of tea than having people to muck it up. My DH always tells me I’m a bit different in a weird way I suppose but I’m glad there are people who feel the same way as I do.

  12. My real big problem starts when people expects to be asked to stay over or for a weekend…that is just too much for me. I feel insanely invaded, My house is my space, my palace, with all my stuff that makes me feel good and things I don’t want necessarily share with anyone, it’s a space just for me. My husband makes me feel I’m very selfish…and more than once we’ve had arguments over this. But I can’t do it, it’s not natural for me. stress me out badly. Thank God I’m not the only one.

  13. i TOTALLY get pissed with people coming over… i hate cooking meals and washing the dishes for them and talking about mundane crap when i have a whole ton of workload waiting in my room that needs to be completed… and the fact that i’m in the eastern part of the world having to be awake and working on western hours just puts me up to the walls… i love my solidarity and peace and being hospitable is not a gesture i’d love to practice on a day to day basis.

  14. I cannot bear it. Only my parents and brother do not stress me out but I get palpitations when my husband’s family drops in. I always feel judged even though our apartment is quite cute and clean (ish)

  15. I am the same way. Most of the people I know have 2+ kids. I keep a very neat tidy home ( yes I have a child). I just don’t enjoy entertaining my mother is the one who lives for that. I guess because it is my private space and absolutely HATE dropper-inners. When I first got married my husband’s family did a lot of that and eventually they got the hint. In the past I have had bad experiences with unruly children trashing my home. Having over company is fine when we can keep the little ones outside. Going in my bedroom is totally off limits and I hate when people bring thier kids over and they think that it is ok to go in my bedroom, jump on sofas and pull things out of closets and chest or drawers. Don’t get me started on sippy cups spilling on the sofa or snacks in the living room. Most people don’t come around anyway because we are picky about not having our house messed up guess we are weird that way. Glad to see I am not the only one who does’nt like to have folks over just sad you get labeled by others as being bad people because you dont invite guests over.

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