Billeting can certainly bring the unexpected. There’s the awkward first couple days or weeks where everyone is getting to know each other, and then things really start rolling, and everyone’s schedule goes nuts. The next thing you know, there’s a load of wet clothes in the washing machine that smells like it’s been there for a few days, or you open the fridge expecting to see your leftovers, and they’re gone. Your billet coordinator probably told you to go over house rules with your player and their parents so everyone is on the same page. It’s easy to forget all these little things in favor of things like curfews or no drug or alcohol use, but it’s the little things that will drive you crazy. It’s not just house rules, though. You have to go a little deeper and more granular than that.
Start by disarming their egos and telling them you understand they may know some or all of the things you are about to show them, but you want to go over it anyway just so everyone is on the same page. Then literally walk them through how to use the washing machine and dryer and all the other appliances in your house. They may say they know how to do laundry, but chances are pretty good they don’t have the same make and model you do, so walk them through the whole process. Include things like whether your house folds things straight from the dryer or if you put loads into baskets to fold later. I was well into adulthood before I realized there are people out there who don’t fold their laundry straight from the dryer and put it in baskets to do later.
If there are any other “systems” your home has for such things or rules, this is a great time to jog your memory about them to prevent future annoyances. For example, I have a “rule” in my house that I don’t run the dishwasher or the washing machine unless I have a full load. Maybe you only run those appliances after a certain time to get off peak utility savings, or maybe never after a certain time because of noise. Another example is that I have a “curfew” on my microwave. Since my bedroom is close to my kitchen, I don’t want to hear the beeps from the buttons or the door opening and closing when I’m trying to sleep. If your home is laid out differently than mine, you might need a rule not to use a certain door to come in late at night or not to do laundry after a certain time.
You might need a system for communicating about food. For example, if there are things you are planning to use in a meal, maybe those go in a certain place, or you leave a note. You will want a way to communicate about leftovers and how those should be handled--are they fair game for anyone? Do they belong to the person whose meal it was originally? You will want to remind them to let you know if they won’t be home for meal times.
You might need a rule about the ratings of games or movies brought into the house if you have younger children. Maybe they should only play rated M games when the littles are in bed or only in their own bedroom with the door closed, for example. You might need a rule about music as well.
The biggest thing, really, is communication and respect. There are so many things we do on a daily basis that they just become second nature to us, but when you throw another person into the mix, it can be really eye opening to discover just how many different ways there are to fold towels or do the dishes.
Author: Michelle Anderson
from Behind the Champ
Hello! I am a Minnesota hockey mom of 15 years with a son currently playing junior hockey. My son was 2 ½ when he saw his first hockey game, and he became obsessed with playing hockey himself. I thought, “He’s 2. It will pass.” It didn’t. I have to admit that I knew absolutely nothing about hockey when we first started this journey, but I learned quickly along the way thanks to all the other hockey parents out there. I also saw how much fun he was having so I joined a women’s league and learned how to play myself. The kids make it look a lot easier than it is, but it’s a beautiful game and tons of fun both to watch and to play, even badly in my case. I look forward to bringing you a hockey mom’s point of view to these shenanigans in the world of junior hockey.
* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Michelle Anderson, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.