In the business world, it is very common – if not expected – to have weekly office meetings to check in, delegate tasks, assess project progress, identify areas that need improvement and so on. Has it ever occurred to you that your family could benefit from this same sort of concept? I have been reading Family Inc: Office-Inspired Solutions to Reduce the Chaos in Your Home (and Save Your Sanity!)
and I can not believe how a few simple changes have already made such a huge impact in our family life.
When my kids were younger, I did all the meal planning, the majority of the cleaning, planning their schedules and keeping the peace. But now, I have a high school junior who can drive, has a job, does sports and has a girlfriend. I have a high school freshman who volunteers at the hospital twice a week, plays sports and has a busy social life. And I have a 5th grader who is just as busy as her brother and sister. That doesn’t include my commitments and my husband’s either. It was starting to get crazy around here and I was feeling like the single point of failure for the entire house – not good!
It was time for a change and I had read just enough of Family, Inc. to get started pulling it all back together.
We have started having family meetings on Sunday evenings. In addition to using this time to get everyone’s schedule on paper and deconflict any transportation issues, we also talk about things that need to be purchased, each person picks a daily task to be responsible for and each person picks a bigger weekly project/chore to tackle. We plan the menu for the week and plan fun, too. Once the draft plan is agreed upon, my youngest and I put it together into one big chart and off it goes – to the refrigerator for the week so there are no questions.
Topics we cover in the family meeting:
- Schedules by person by day
- Dinner plans for each day
- Chores that need to be done daily
- Chores/bigger house related projects we need done that week
- What needs to be spent – from who needs new shoes to which cars need gas
- What everyone has planned for fun
- Allowances for the previous week are given out during this time, too – so we don’t forget and end up with huge IOUs to the kids.
We are three weeks into the new way of thinking and it has been so much more calm around here! Everyone seems to be more respectful of each other’s needs, daily chores are getting done without a fight, and some big things like cleaning out the refrigerator and dusting ceilings fans are getting done, too.
How do you manage schedules and management of family obligations in your house?