Every time I head home to Michigan to visit (or back when Thomas used to make visits home to me) I find it’s always very busy. I do feel like it’s a vacation but often it also has a little stress to it.
Let me state right now I love visits home and id never give them up even if it can be a little stressful.
I find then stressful because of how much we have to do and many people we need to see. We have 3 sets of families my parents, Thomas’mom, and Thomas’ dad. Plus you have the immediate family. Then the friends you miss dearly. Trust me you miss friends almost as much as missing family. I mean who else made Chinese food runs, random Walmart trips, drives because your board, and listened to you talk about your crushes and your heart breaks? And don’t forget 8 hours of school 5 days a week for many weeks and many years. Now if you ask me that’s a lot to do with someone to never miss them when you leave.
This trip alone we have 3 weddings, a graduation open house, family photos, church, and like I stated before visits with family and friends. Goodness I worry we won’t have to time to see and do everything. That is probably what stresses me out most. Not getting everything done or seeing everyone we want to before we leave.
But something I find amazing is how supportive my husband is and how great our families are with letting me work the schedule as best I can without trying to force a lot on us. Having family who makes my life easier is great. Now don’t get me wrong they tell me what they’d like to do with us but from there they let me plan the time frames as best I can. They also understand when I say I’m not sure we’ll have time for that. Something else that’s great is when I say we might be able to fit that is but it would have to be a last minute decision none of them bother me with questions like “Have you decided?, “Will it work?” “Huh huh huh?” And many other questions I’m sure I couldn’t think of. Yeah that makes things easier.
Anyways I know I’ve rambled but what I really wanted to talk about was 3 helpful tips when planning a visit home. Especially if it’s anywhere as near as busy as mine is.
1. Ask in advance. That’s right. Ask everyone if they have anything they’d really like to do. But mostly what’s most important. For our family most important is they want to have dinner 1 or 2 times while we are home. So ask family first then ask any friends if they want to get together. (Bonus tip. See if you can plan a group thing with multiple friends. Do more than one group lunch if needed. This helps with condensing the time frame from maybe 20 coffee dates to maybe 3 coffee dates.)
2. Schedule. Now I personally like mini calendars with a pencil because I can easily change my plan. I’m also a visual/hands on person so this helps me remember what’s going on along with being able to update. I also use my phone to set a noise reminder 30 minutes to an hour before my event so I don’t forget. Honestly if you’re good with your phone you can totally do everything on your phone. I’m just not that great and I enjoy old school style.
3. Be open to change. Try giving yourself some leeway every day in case there needs to be a change. Kids have accidents, pets get lose, and cars break down. Sometimes there needs to be a change and just be willing to go with the flow. (And honestly even if you’re open to change it still just might not work out. Bonus tip. Be understanding that things happen. If that means you can’t see a friend give them love and plan to make them a bigger priority next visit home. This trip specifically I had a friend who jut didn’t have time to meet up with me so I got a hold of her a few days ago and she put a request in for a day off and I have a special time slot just for her. And with my planning I was able to put our lunch date on a day where even if something goes wrong we’ll still have time to meet.)
I hope these 3 quick tips help!
What are some of your tips for going home and visiting?
P.S We are also young and have no kids so that makes it a tad easier to fit a busy schedule in. As time goes schedules evolve and so will yours!