Your parents are due any minute and you’re feeling a bit stressed.
You want to make sure everyone has a fun and relaxed time, but family visits can be a bit… intense. You will be spending nearly every waking minute together — for the next 72 hours!
Ding Dong! They’re here!
Gee, that’s a lot of luggage! Are they staying the weekend, or planning an Atlantic crossing?
As you carry their surprisingly heavy bags inside, they tell you about the “stewardess” who gave them an extra can of pop and park themselves on the sofa. Your Dad turns on the TV, officially kicking off their visit.
Here are the 3 keys to a successful parental visit:
Should you break out the old air mattress? Hmm. It tends to deflate in the night and with your Dad’s back and your Mom’s knee, they might sink in and never reemerge! Better put them in your bed and crash on the couch yourself.
While you may sprinkle in a trip to the museum or a notable landmark, your primary engagement throughout the weekend will most certainly be eating. And restaurant selection will fall squarely on your shoulders.
Remember, this is not the time for gustatory exploration. Save that for your fancy foodie friends!
That’s not to say that your parents want to spend the weekend only eating at chain restaurants, simply show them a little consideration and try to find nice, quiet places with food items they recognize. And preferably not too dark so they don’t have to do that thing where they turn on their phone flashlights to read the menu.
Your relationship has probably changed since you lived with them, but there’s no reason you need to grow apart. Your parents want to know what’s going on in your life, so talk to them.
When your Mom wonders aloud why you would choose to move across the country to a big city so far away, tell her the truth: The career opportunities! The culture! The impossibility of home ownership!
On the other hand, it may be best to avoid any conversational pitfalls and stick to safe topics. Recommend some tv shows to watch, explain mansplaining, and fix your dad’s “broken ringer” by turning off airplane mode. Turns out you’re a tech genius!
Before you know it, the weekend is over and your parents are headed home. They wake up at 6am because they want to get to get to the airport 4 hours early — just in case.
You’re exhausted from this marathon weekend, but as your Dad gets into the front seat of their Lyft for some reason, you can tell by their smiles that they had a nice time.
And somehow you did too!