A Bit of Ettiquette

Today I was at a friend's house and noticed that as we were talking she was folding some laundry. I thought about it more later and realized that most of the time I was there, she was in constant motion, putting things away, etc.

Then I gave it some more thought and realized that most of the time when a friend drops by my house, I do the exact same thing.

I'm not sure what to make of this. Are we just so busy that we can't even take time out of our day to stand still and talk to a friend? Or is it that as moms, when we're at home we are basically at work and if someone drops by they are essentially interrupting our work day?

How do we balance the "need for speed" in dashing through our daily chores with the need for rest and gracious hospitality? Is it rude to work when a friend is visiting, or is it acceptable because it's a necessity?

Anyone have the answer?

Oh, and "friend whose house I was at earlier today", you know who you are. . .I"m absolutely not upset, I just saw you doing something that I always do and it made me take notice. Those of you who do come to my house, do you notice me not stopping?

3 readers took time to leave a thought:

Sara Kay May 13, 2008 at 11:08 AM  

I've been thinking along these lines lately too. I wonder - do we feel the need to prove to each other (and especially ourselves!) that we really are busy and productive? I have the hardest time just "being."

God and I have been talking about this one, and probably will continue to do so for several years. :)

Karen May 13, 2008 at 5:24 PM  

I too think I do this unless it's overnight guests and then they get to see me relax in the evening. I think the reason I do it is because I would be embarrassed at the mess that is already accumulating while the friend is over. You know it just happens so quickly especially when there is additional people over. I personally wouldn't mind if my friend was folding laundry while I was over at her place because I can follow her around and still talk and you know most of us woman can do 3 things at once:) If you really want time to just visit with your friend I suggest not being at your house. Like meeting at the park or a fast food place with play area. Or the mall play area is always good by us. That way the kids are entertained, and you can just talk and you might have the fleeting thought about laundry that needs to get done but if you aren't home you can't do it. yay! I personally have yet to find a way to just sit around my house and look at the mess. I welcome suggestions on that as well.

By the way, 4littlemen is my sister in law that's how I found your blog. And of course the whole fam talks about Alec and Benji and miss cutie pants Ava. So I had to see what all the fuss is about. Sounds like you are a great friend to have around:)

Kate May 14, 2008 at 8:06 AM  

When I was at your house BOTH those times, you did not run around getting things done. The first time (when I was a zombie on your couch from my pregnancy fatigue!) you sat there almost the whole time and just talked! The only time you got up was to get the 400 kids you had over (AND ME!) apples. And then the other time you cut me a piece of chocolate cake and we sat at your table and talked while Mylo was wanting to snuggle up with you. : ) There's ALWAYS something to do around the house, and I probably wouldn't even think twice about it if you were folding laundry while we sat there and talked. But then again, I'm a mom who understands how much needs to be done. I'd probably start helping you fold! : ) But I can see where you're coming from...I actually have to tell myself OVER AND OVER again when people are over, "Be like Mary, just for this time, and enjoy your guests. The dishes can wait." It's really hard to do sometimes.

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