In any household of more than one person, there will be a lot of moving parts. There are things that have to happen, and then things that you might want to have happen, but need input on from other people.
Everyone in my household is plunging into our “busy” time right now, with spring sports going, end-of-year concerts and the like beginning, and the conference season swinging into full gear. To keep everyone on the same page, my husband and I try to have a calendar meeting every week or two to look at what we have going on and coming up. For various reasons, though, we hadn’t had one of those meetings in a while. Partly it was due to vacation, some of it was due to my husband leaving on Sunday night for Europe a few different weeks (we often do the meeting on Sunday night) and some was my annoyance that I always seem to be the one initiating the meeting. But I guess I am the planner in the family, and things go better when we have the meeting and — this is key — don’t leave it for date night, because then we spend the entire time that is supposed to be romantic discussing household logistics.
Anyway, we finally got our calendars and sat down on Friday night to go through them. That is the sort of fun people we are. It took an hour, and that was more because we lost intensity around early June than that we were actually done. I realize early June might sound quite a ways in the future, but it’s only about 6 weeks, and I have a lot of weekend speaking events coming up, and since we know our 7-year-old’s baseball calendar, I can already see that there are games during the 2-year-old’s nap, when my husband would be on solo parent duty, and I’m trying to give fair warning.
A few good things came out of it. We booked a Friday night in May (sitter arranged!) to go to an outdoor concert with one of my husband’s favorite country music acts. We coordinated a week in May when the two of us will meet up in Washington D.C. for an event. We figured out how we can both be at the elementary school one Thursday morning for a meeting about one kid. More immediately, we discussed the plan for this past weekend. Our 9-year-old had a friend’s birthday party at the Y, and we saw that family swim (with water slides) was right before that, so we made a plan to get everyone there. My husband, while looking at the YMCA pool schedule, saw that swim lessons were starting this weekend. We had totally missed the sign-up, but the 7-year-old and 5-year-old are rusty, so he got the 5-year-old in, and put the 7-year-old on the wait list for a lesson that would be right around the same time. He showed up on Sunday at the Y and got them both in, so now that is done, and while it will make the next 6 weekends even more, um, full, it probably needed to happen. We both got to run both days this weekend, and I even did a 7.25 mile long run (not that I’m training for anything — though the calendar planning got me thinking about doing a June half marathon).
And when we had our in-home date night (steak, artichokes, and a bottle of good wine) on Saturday night? There weren’t too many logistical discussions. Some, but not too many. That’s the goal of the calendar meeting: closing open loops, so logistics don’t crowd everything else out.
How does your family stay on the same page?
Photo: Flowers that did bloom this spring (unlike the magnolias…)