the weekend email

January 7, 2017

I have been asked previously about the ‘weekend planning’ email I send to Josh every Friday.  Laura Vanderkam recently wrote about planning the weekend as early as a week in advance.   I don’t tend to look at the weekend as a whole until closer to Friday.  While I do try to plan our babysitting a month in advance or so (to reserve our favorite babysitter for date nights or other events), the actual piecing together of weekend logistics is reserved for Friday.

SOO – I’ll just share what I sent Josh yesterday.  Please note that this may not work for every couple; I know some partners might bristle at being given a plan that they did not have much part in generating.  For us, Josh seems to like it and has even asked for it when I did not send it by late Friday afternoon!  He will often add his own suggestions and then we’ll modify it together (example: he picked the movie for tonight & had an idea for friends to meet up with).

Weekend email, sent Friday at ~4pm:

friday night

movie night!
you can sleep in I will get up w/ kids
if you want you can work out in AM too!
zoo IF weather nice – if not, children’s museum?
if you need to work can work in afternoon when C naps
6 pm maria comes for babysitting – movie date night 🙂  and maybe . . .sushi?
i run in the AM
9:40 am / 10 am – swim class
lunch out?  Daily?
PM: I will take Annabel to bday party while Cameron naps
sunday PM I will cook something 🙂 maybe we can see if bebe & poppy want to play for a little bit?

Today’s plans are going to depend on the weather.  I’d really like to go to the zoo, but am not pleased about the potential for being caught out there in a storm.  One exciting thing is those LOWS!  I can’t wait to do my long run in 50s temps tomorrow.  
Happy weekend . . . we are both off (obviously, from details above!) and I’m excited for the family time!


  • Reply Jenny March 10, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks for sharing this – I feel like my family could really benefit from something like this. I do often have a weekend plan tentatively mapped out in my head, but my husband isn’t aware of it, so committing it to print help us both figure out how to accommodate exercise, personal errands, alone time, etc. The weekends where we go into it without any structure and try to "wing it" tend to be the most completely non-relaxing anyway…ironically!

  • Reply Susannah March 10, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Love this! We don’t always write it out, but since having Baby #3 we always have a conversation on Friday night about what needs to happen, what we want to happen, tasks, etc for the weekend. It is key!

  • Reply Andrea March 10, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Interesting! My husband would freak out if I presented a plan like that for the weekend … he detests having schedules for weekends or holidays. He balances me out nicely though. That being said we only have an 11 month old baby so maybe weekend planning becomes more essential when children get older or you have more than one?

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:09 pm

      I don”t think I would have done something like this pre-kids – what would be the point? We each kind of did our own thing back then. But post kids there are so many more logistics to coordinate (esp childcare) and things to plan ahead. I think it has gotten more as the kids have gotten older and have more activities/bday parties/etc too.

    • Reply Laura Vanderkam March 10, 2019 at 7:09 pm

      I’m naturally a planner. But from looking at how lots of other people deal with this, I’m pretty sure that not needing to think through weekends is a luxury of not having non-infant kids (or more than one). Or if you had 24-hour weekend childcare! Then you could decide last minute to go out for dinner on Saturday. But most of us need to book a sitter in advance. Or if 3 kids have 3 different sports, and you want to get a work-out in, you need to think through when that happens. You can add some elements of spontaneity (like leaving Saturday afternoon free and deciding in the moment what you’ll do as a family), or booking a sitter and deciding the night what movie or cuisine you feel like.

  • Reply Sarah March 10, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    My question is, where/how do you fit in the "chores"? Cleaning, yardwork, grocery shopping, trips to Lowe’s, etc? I feel like much of our weekends are ruled by these obligations, both working full time as you do.

  • Reply Cbs March 10, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    I love this! My husband and I keep a running list of things to do / rough plans in Evernote throughout the week and then print it out on Fridays and review the plan for the weekend. I just find it helps us keep on the same page and from overscheduling ourselves.

    I don’t know how two people in a tiny flat manage to have so many weekend chores, maybe we are using our time really poorly during the week? But it can be nice to be working at the same time, right now my husband is ironing and I’m working on a PhD chapter, we’re in the same room and have music and a pot of tea on.

    But I would like to clear the decks a bit to allow for some fun time on the weekend. Impending PhD deadlines make that feel a bit difficult and I think I’m too responsible (or stressed out by mess) to let everything fall around me. Hopefully there will be a bit of a gap between PhD submission and the arrival of Baby CBS to allow for weekend fun. And really, once baby is here, we’re going to have to find the money to outsource something.

  • Reply Ana March 10, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    My husband also chafes at the thought of "planning" so he would freak out at an email like that. But I plan it all in my head/planner, and involve him where he needs to be, by talking it through by Thursday evening. He makes up for this character flaw by being super easy-going about taking the kids on solo whenever I have to/want to do anything on my own, so I stopped pushing.

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