This weekend, we’re spending some time with friends that live up in New Hampshire (only an hour’s drive from our house in Boston) by sleeping over as a family at their house. Maybe that’s weird or maybe everyone’s been doing this all the time and I’m the only one that thinks it’s novel and fun.
If you haven’t done this before, you should definitely give it a try! We’ve known this couple now for nearly 10 years and our kids are similar in age. They have a beautiful home in New Hampshire and were gracious enough to invite us over for a family sleepover. We LOVE hanging out together, so this was a very welcome invite.
The kids love all sleeping in the same room and the adults get to have some much needed grown up time together. It’s late night chats, catching up with grown up lives, having grown up drinks, and just being grown ups. The kids get to spend their energy playing with one another and entertaining each other. It’s a win-win situation all around.
It’s a great way to have a family adventure in a relaxed setting and also a new way to maintain some grown up friendships. But, I recommend some ground rules and a few working out of details. Here are a few tips for a successful family sleepover:
1. Make sure the other family is someone you like and really enjoy their company – including the kids. The reality is that someone that you are friends with might not be friends with your partner/spouse and vice versa. Maybe your kids have this slightly tense love/hate relationship with each other. It might not be so fun to spend the night together if this is the case. It might be obvious, but I have great friends that I love having dinner with, but living with or going on a trip with or anything like that is not as fun. That’s ok, but you just have to be aware.
2. Pack all the lovey objects, blankets, etc. Make sure that your kid has the stuff that will help them sleep in a new place. Some kids need more consistency than others and comfort objects are really helpful when you are somewhere different.
3. Make expectations on both side clear. Have a set arrival and departure time, talk about food, allergies, etc. If it’s your first time, it’s better to just have those expectations set so that things are clear and already talked about. It just makes a smoother experience.
4. Be willing to abandon ship and have a back up plan. Sometimes, the kids are just not ready or the kids get sick or the grown ups get sick. Sleeping over at a new place is also big deal, so be flexible. You can always give it a try again later.
5. Make it a date night swap. Think about going out on a date night after the kids are in bed and then the next time, swap! Even better, get a sitter and do a double date!
There is something totally fun and exciting about waking up together and seeing your friend first thing in the morning. It’s like a house camping trip. How fun is that? Give it a try. If you do, let me know how it goes!