The idea of a recurring family meeting sounds tedious, but I’ve reached the point in my marriage where I have found them to be a standing, cannot-be-cancelled necessity.
How come? We’ve entered the era of the “family firm” as parenting expert and economist Emily Oster defines it. I’m also no stranger to the Slackification of American parenthood. (I’ve set up my fair share of Google docs and Trello boards in an effort to organize the chaos of marriage, motherhood and career.) Still, at the encouragement of my therapist, I realized the necessity of a dedicated—and weekly—sit-down with my husband where we look each other in the eye and sort out the details behind both small- and big-picture to-dos.
We set a time limit. But we also set a Google calendar reminder so it doesn’t go forgotten.
Our goal is to proactively address obstacles and trouble spots that are bubbling up and stay on the same page about the week ahead (but also life). So that might mean these 30 minutes are spent sorting out date nights where we need a babysitter, but it also could involve giving the other person a head’s up about a stressful workday on the horizon. (Hey, it helps to give notice that one of us might be out of commission, emotionally-speaking, that day.)