All households come with responsibilities. It's the nature of the beast.
For the sake of efficiency, couples tend to divide these responsibilities by type of task. For example, grocery shopping, cleaning, and yard maintenance are all types of tasks. It makes the most sense to have one person in charge of a certain thing than to have many people doing everything.
But here's where things go off course. You're sacrificing your ability to function as a team by splitting tasks this way.
For example, when you have one person in charge of groceries, no one else gets much of a say in what the family eats.
There is also an issue with communication when items are so divided.
Who here has texted or called their partner at work to ask them a trivial household question?
I am SO guilty of this!
"Do you need anything from the store?"
"Where is the black flashlight?"
"Do you like these end tables?"
It's bad form to interrupt your partner's work day with questions that can wait until later. But if you don't ask, they don't get opportunities to give input.
This begs the question, if marriage is all about teamwork, how can we bring in the team on these individual tasks?
How can I make sure my husband is eating the dinners he likes? How can he get more involved in our house projects?
And, more importantly, how can we do this efficiently?
It is with all this in mind, that I designed our Weekly Partner Check In system.
It started with the worksheet. I made a printable for us to fill in every week.
It includes the following sections:
- Requests for the Chef (meal suggestions)
- Expense Tracking (records weekly household expenses)
- General Household Business (i.e. Where's the Netflix dvd?)
- Upcoming Projects
- Notes Spaces for each member of our household (for love notes and pertinent info)
- Q&A Space (i.e. How should we spend date night Friday? Do you need anything from the store? Do you need any special support from me this week?)
It's important to note that we both fill in sections of the page.
Two-way communication is key.
Next, I created recurring tasks in my planner to fill out the sheet and deliver it to my husband.
Here's how it works:
I carry the sheet with me all week and add to it whenever something pops into my head. I try to have my half filled in by Friday. On Saturday, I deliver it to my husband with his morning coffee. He fills it in before dinner that night and we go over anything that needs more follow up together while we eat.
At first, I wasn't sure how my check in worksheet would go over with my husband. I delivered it with a big kiss and a brief explanation about how I wanted us to communicate about household business more. To my great delight, he fills it in every Saturday.
It's success stems from the fact that checking in tells your partner you care. When I hand him this sheet, I'm letting him know his opinions are important to me. I want him to be a part of the household decisions that I would otherwise make alone.
Besides, the sheet gives my partner space to respond when it's convenient. It takes him 6 minutes (I timed him once) to fill it all out and he has the whole day to do it.
My favorite benefit of this system has been the open communication. Sometimes he'll throw in a silly answer or write something sweet. Sometimes he'll have a great suggestion for dinner or a fun date night idea.
He also says things that surprise me. Once, I asked him to rank our upcoming house projects in order of importance. To Mike, making curtains for the sun room is higher priority than organizing the crawl space. (who knew?)
This system has been a great addition to our weekly routine. We're handling general household business more efficiently. Expenses are being recorded in record time and everyone is on the same page about projects.
Looking to give the Weekly Check In a try? I made a printable worksheet for you!
Do you have your own weekly check in system? Share it in our Facebook Page!
Until next time,