This is an open invitation. It is an invitation to ask to visit, to ask questions, to comment on my posts and all sorts of things within the realm of communication.
The worst I can do is say “no”. Less bad is “not just yet”.
The reason I am giving this invitation is because a number of people in my life have felt like they must wait to be invited into it. I completely understand the feeling that you might be intruding, or interrupting, or making more bother in a busy situation; I really do. However, here’s something you need to know:
Bear & I are pretty open, honest and hospitable. We also really quite like people.
This means that the likely answer will be “Yes please! We’d love to see you!”, or “That sounds nice, how about *enter date here*”. If it is not something like this, we will likely have a pretty decent reason and tell you exactly what it is; we will also often give an alternative.
We have been told before that after getting married we needed a year of almost complete solitude, that we shouldn’t have people to stay, and some avoided coming to visit. For us this was just wrong: we are social people and if people were willing to come to see us we would provide bed, food, towels and whatever else they might like. Even when a spare bed wasn’t available, there was a blow up mattress, or spongy thing that could be used as one, or the sofa at a last resort. Our point: we like people.
I have also heard this advice from churches to their newly married members. They have been told to stop all helpful activities, slow down involvement in home/small-groups, leading, or really turning up to anything. The couple that particularly came to mind were at a loss of what to do – was this the full extent of their relationship now that rings were on their fingers? Were they to only be with each other forever? Why were their skills suddenly not as useful? Their vows had said nothing about this.
Now, of course, I understand that the advice was given in love, but it is possibly a good idea to mould this advice around the couple in question. They ended up ignoring the advice and simply made sure to take each day as it came; if they found that they needed more time together then of course they could cut back, but they weren’t about to cut all their involvement. It is a good idea to put priority on your new marriage, but personally Bear and I would’ve killed each other within a month had we only had each other for company. The first year of marriage can be pretty difficult (again, personally all three so far have had some hard times), but humans are social creatures and if anything being around others should enhance and support the relationship you have committed to in your marriage.
Now that our dear baby has been born we have spotted this attitude to leave us alone/give us space repeating. Again I understand the good intentions and love within the feeling of wanting to let us rest, not stress us out, or as one person worried “drive us into a cleaning frenzy”. All of this is understandable and lovely particularly after the emergency C-section (I was not sad to be allowed to curl up in bed with Cub for a few days recovering), but we still love people.
Our thoughts around visitors evolved in this way:
“OMGOSH please not in the first 24 hours!”
“As long as they don’t mind me being half-dressed/smelly/a state and if Cub’s asleep then she stays asleep.”
and then onto:
“That would be nice. We’ll just have a bit of time between visitors so we don’t fall asleep in our dinner.”
We have invited a couple of people over, but to be honest these have been a rarity, and have included the godparents of our child; we are not planning on purposefully inviting anyone, but you are still welcome. We wait for people to ask to come. This isn’t because we don’t want to see people, really it’s not! Honestly it is simply because there are more of you than us. If we were to try and organise to invite everyone we want to see we wouldn’t sleep. As you can imagine getting sleep is a large priority and an even bigger battle.
It makes perfect sense to give people space and many would appreciate it. However, in the context of our lives company is wonderful. We have lived alone and in community, and we have generally preferred the community.
So want to get in contact, catch up, visit? Ask! The worst we can say is no.