Sleepovers can be a polarizing issue. Some are OK with them, others say never.
Let me present a third option: The family sleepover.
Before you give me that face, think for a minute about a road trip where you stay with friends and family that live far away. When you travel with your brood and stay with loved ones, it’s a whole-family-sleepover. What I’m proposing is the same thing…only local.
Our family sleepover tradition with one particular set of friends grew out of an annual habit of celebrating New Year’s Eve together. We wanted to stay off the road – both because there are drunks out there and we intended to be drinking ourselves – so crashing at one place or the other made the most sense. Along came kids, but we just kept getting together, and thus the family sleepover was born. Twice a year, we pick one house or the other and spend the whole weekend there. Here are reasons it’s awesome:
- Kids love sleepovers. Parents often fear them. If you are sleeping over too, your kids can still enjoy late night movies, giggles and games like a regular sleepover, but then sleep safely under your watchful eye in the guest room with you.
- Parents can stay up super late playing adult board games and sipping adult beverages after all the kids are down for the night. When Junior gets sleepy and it’s time for bed, put Junior in bed and the fun can continue! No need for one kid rubbing his eyes to shut down everybody’s good time.
- Only one parent out of 4 needs to be functional the morning after. If you’ve handled the previous bullet point properly, there’s a good chance you’ll be tired (or worse) the next day. Since all the kids are keeping each other busy anyway, only one parent has to drag their groggy behind to the couch, and the kids dive right back into a fun visit with their friends! This is the ultimate in hangover parenting. Achievement unlocked!
- You have time to settle in and enjoy each other. Oftentimes, when we finally get schedules aligned for a night out with other parents, we spend the first part of the night catching up on the kids and our jobs, and just as we transition to actually enjoying each other’s company, it’s time to get home to the relieve the sitter. With a family sleepover, you have hours to get caught up and then…more hours of fun!
- Spending a full day or two together means everyone can pick an activity. Kids can’t agree on a movie? Watch both. Swim in the pool or walk to the park? Both. Chicken nuggets or spaghetti? Both. You get the idea. When you’re not short on a time, you aren’t short on options. Everybody wins.
So the next time you see a free weekend on your calendar, call up a family of friends and see what they’ve got going on. If they say not much, it’s time to pop the question,