In our home, Sundays are for church, football, and—if I can squeeze it in and my children aren’t hovering too close to me—a nap. But for my husband and I, Sundays are also the day that we have our most important meeting of the week.
On Sunday afternoons, while our children play upstairs or outside, we grab a steaming cup of coffee, our laptops and phones, and the calendar. Then we sit down at our weathered kitchen table and run through our weekly Family Meeting.
I begin by pulling up a Google document that updates in real time as we walk through our list of items. Here’s a quick overview of what they consist of for us:
- Calendar. We start by talking about work and family commitments for the week, including any evening events that deviate from our typical routine. We also look ahead at the next 2-3 weeks to see if there are any days or evenings that may require babysitters for our three young daughters.
- Meals. I sketch out the week’s dinners based on our calendar and add ingredients we need to purchase directly to my list in the Target app, since that’s where we buy the bulk of our groceries.
- Projects. We list any current or upcoming projects that need to be finished, whether that’s organizing an area of the house, fixing a running toilet, or helping a child with something for school.
- Budget. This is often a natural segue from our project list, especially if any of the projects are home-related or there is a cost associated with them.
- Parenting. We talk about any concerns we have or issues that came up within the last week.
- Friends. Community with others is something that’s important to both of us, so we are careful to intentionally make room for them in our schedule. During our family meeting, we update our list of friends we haven’t seen lately or would like to visit within the next month. We usually choose at least one person, couple, or family to follow up with that week about finding a time that works to get together.
- Prayer. We spend time talking about any current prayer requests we’ve become aware of in the last week (including the friends we’ve just considered) or would like our spouse to be praying about.
- To-do Lists. Based on the notes taken during the meeting, my husband and I jot down any follow-up tasks or projects. I usually email myself my list directly afterward so that I can easily remember what I committed to finishing.
Sometimes our meetings can get lengthy, especially if we need to work together on a sticky parenting situation or budget concern, while other meetings only last ten minutes. Either way, I’m left with peace of mind over the week ahead and the confident expectation that my husband and I are working together as a team. And, if I’m lucky, I may even have time for that nap afterwards.
Your turn! Do you meet with your spouse weekly? If so, what do you go over? If not, do you think this might work for you?
A career in journalism set Kristin Demery up to publish her own stories of living this wild, precious life. She now is an author of five truth-telling books, including the latest 100 Days of Kindness, and part of a trio of writers collectively known as The Ruth Experience. Kristin served as a newspaper and magazine editor and her work has been featured in a variety of publications, including USA Today. She still works behind-the-scenes as an editor for others while writing her own series on kindness, friendship, and living with intention. Find more from Kristin at theruthexperience.com.