Insights from Couples Therapy: Family Logistics Meeting

Source: Photo by Laura Margarita Cedeño Peralta on Unsplash 

Successful relationships are built on effective communication and working together. Unfortunately, the stresses and pressures from daily life can get in the way, resulting in both of the individuals feeling like they are not getting the support they need. However, the time when we feel busiest is when it is most important to attune to the relationship. A weekly family logistics meeting can give couples a structured way to work together as a team while also ensuring that each individual can meet their self-care needs. There are three crucial elements to the family logistics meeting:

  • Reviewing the events happening over the upcoming seven days day-by-day
  • Adding in self-care activities
  • Creating and updating a shared calendar

Each of these steps are important to ensure that this conversation is a good use of your time and energy. Going over each of the coming days allows both of you to review the specifics of your schedule. This is important for multiple reasons. It lets you know what you are prioritizing and where you each may need support. If you are parents, having everything laid out allows you both to see how your lives fit together. Additionally, this review will help you get a better look into your partner’s world, making sure you do not miss the important events in their life.

When going over the week, make sure that you and your partner have time for your self-care. Recognize that self-care time is not optional. After you review all the upcoming events, go back and look into where you want to put in self-care time. This time can involve both time together and time apart. Prioritize the time that you will each need to recharge. Self-care can include a wide variety of activities, but some common examples are exercise, time with friends and/or loved ones, or doing a hobby you enjoy.

As you are going through and planning your week, create or update a shared calendar so that you have a shared resource you can reference as needed. Do not assume that you will remember everything. This calendar can be a physical calendar in your home or a digital calendar that both of you can review on the go, whichever works best for you. Making it a shared calendar allows you each to get a “live” view of what is happening over the week, and allows you to respond appropriately.

Life has a way of changing our plans, and we simply cannot always be aware of what is going to happen over a given week. You can absolutely revise the shared calendar as needed. When things come up, make sure to update this calendar so that you are on the same page. This can be a helpful reminder to communicate and share when things change, further improving dialogue in the relationship.

Frequently, the first few times you do the family logistics meeting it will feel a little awkward. This is normal. You are trying something new; do not expect each other to be perfect. Some common pitfalls that couples can fall into is trying to overplan and fill in every single minute of each day – try to avoid this and allow for some flexibility in your schedule. Sometimes it will feel like you are both too busy to complete this meeting. However, when you feel busy is when you need this meeting the most!

Having this conversation can feel daunting at first. Over time as you get more comfortable, this conversation will greatly improve your ability to communicate and manage logistics in your relationship. The effective use of this strategy can actually create more time and give both of you concrete data of where you can make more time for the relationship or how to better meet your self-care needs. This meeting is an important opportunity to see how your partner is doing and give support while making sure you are supported in turn. Use this meeting to help improve and strengthen your relationship.