For one whole week, I asked my husband every day what he was doing and where he was going. And each day he would give me the same answer, his frustration growing exponentially as the week wore on.
As a one-car family, we do need to communicate with each other in detail about our comings and goings, so it’s not out of line for me to want to know when I can book my appointments. But, understandably, my method of communication was incredibly annoying. Sure, I could blame it on mommy-brain, but let’s be honest. It was pure laziness. Once I asked the question, I didn’t listen to the fullness of his answer; I didn’t write down his schedule. I just plain forgot it.
Then my husband had a brainwave. He suggested that we meet together every Sunday evening to go over our schedules for the week. Though initially I thought it might seem a bit too much like work, since we’ve started doing this, we’ve been significantly less frustrated, had less miscommunication, and have enjoyed more time to intentionally spend together.
So if you can relate to our frustration, here are a few reasons why you and your spouse might consider having a planning session every week.
1. You can enjoy some kid-free time to connect
At the end of a chaotic day, it’s easy to wordlessly collapse onto the couch in front of the TV. Though there’s nothing wrong with that, having time set aside to plan for the week ahead means you and your spouse actually hear about what’s going on in each other’s life — frustrations and all. It allows you to share in each other’s worlds, discover your various priorities, and how you can support one another in the week ahead.
2. It allows you to practically organize your household
Sometimes, the burden of holding down the fort, so to speak, rests solely on one person’s shoulders. Planning together allows each of you to take equal responsibility in organizing logistical details, and ensures you communicate what needs to happen in the coming week.
3. It gives you time to plan for date nights
In the throes of work, kids, school, church, and other volunteer commitments, finding time to go on a date with your spouse is often impossible to imagine. Yet it’s so important to spend time together — just the two of you — to continue to cultivate intimacy and fun in your marriage. When you sit down to plan out your week, treat date night like any other appointment. If you have kids, find a babysitter right then and there so you don’t keep putting it off. Creating the space to plan for time together will ensure your marriage is a priority!
4. It gives you a chance to set goals together
When my husband and I sit down together each week, we usually finish the logistical planning in about 10 minutes or less. But the beauty of these conversations is that they often evolve into much deeper and nuanced discussions about our goals and dreams for the future. We’ve been able to commit to a few goals we had been previously waffling on, and are now able to keep each other accountable in working towards them.
If you’re like me, having a weekly "business" meeting is probably the last thing on your list of fun-things-to-do-with-your-spouse. But once you start, you may just find that you crave the quality time, meaningful conversation, and deeper understanding that happens as a result.
So grab your laptop, your favorite beverage, and your partner... and let the planning begin!
This article was written by: Leanne JanzenPhoto Credit: Alejandro Escamilla