“I’m in Dublin this weekend; I’ll call to your house for a while before I go home.” These seventeen words send chills down the spine. Mammy Dearest is coming to see what your college house looks like.

Now, if you’re a normal student, your room looks a mess. Your job now is to clean up a little and make it look like you make an effort to live in some state of cleanliness and maturity. There are a few points you need to check off the list when you find out that Mammy is on her way.

Get the entire house cleaned

Mostly the parts of it that will be seen. The kitchen and sitting room together are the most obvious, as they’re the welcoming areas of the house. But my mother knows me too well, and a quick glance around your bedroom wouldn’t go to waste either. Unless you want your mother to find out what you REALLY get up to when classes end. . .

Get rid of anything  "bold"

Much the same as the previous tip, if there’s something you don’t want displayed to the woman who thinks butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth, hide them. In the wardrobe, under your bed, in a roommate’s room, do whatever needed. She doesn’t need to see the haul you collected during SHAG and RAG weeks. No one does.

Make it look like you can survive on your own

Have dinner cooking, even if it’s just something basic like pasta. She’s going to want to know you’re still eating. Have something decent and worth watching on the TV, if you have one (I settled for the Ireland match, but The Discovery Channel would also be a clever choice.) Have a few notepads out, so it at least looks like you’ve been working non-stop from sunrise to long after sunset.

Offer some creature comforts

Have the kettle on (Mammies love tea. I even let her use my favourite mug.) Bring out the big guns and get something fancy for her to eat while drinking said cup of tea. I went old school and made Rice Krispie buns, and herself then brought over some cake.

Appreciate it while she’s there

She took the time to come visit you, the least you can do is put away the laptop and phone and interact with the woman! If she brings anything, like cake, clothes or money, make sure you show your gratitude. And, whatever you do, don’t make her feel uncomfortable in the house. Pretend you live with Hyacinth Bucket rather than a frat house.