I have poor boundaries.
I pick up other people’s children when they fall down. I push them on the swings if they ask me. I answer their questions and help them get their toys out of trees and fix their bicycles.
Children in my house are welcome to eat whenever they are hungry. I have house rules, of course, and guidelines about what food at what times, but I will feed them. I do remember to ask their mother, but it is an afterthought. Children who have mothers familiar with me no longer have to ask. Their mothers know I am not going to load their kids up with candy.
In the evenings I take watermelon slices outside and any child with permission from their mother can have some. I do the same with homemade juice pops, store bought freezies, and homemade cookies.
I let children come into my house to play, even if not with my own children. I have a lot of open space for play, a lot of furniture appropriate for child play, as I need to encourage my son with his OT at home.
If a child is in my house, his or her mother can walk right in. It seems ridiculous to require a mother to knock when retrieving her child. I have nothing to keep her waiting for, nothing to hide.
I turn children away at the door only when a member of my household is sick. Today is one of those days. It is very quiet in here. I can hardly think, with only three children present.