Household Summit / New Podcast Ep / Etc

November 8, 2017

Several of you asked about the Household Summit Josh and I held this past weekend, when our kids were away having childcare.  This was sort of a mini-summit, since we were both on call.  We weren’t talking about big big BIG picture things (as we’ve done on some trips away from the kids, typically!), but more focused on the next 12 months.

OMDG asked who planned the agenda.  Short answer:  me.  Yep, there’s that “mental load” thing.  However, I’ll be completely honest — it took about 5 minutes.  Lately Josh has been taking care of a ton of really annoying stuff (buying new car / selling old car!) so if “mental load” is what is left . . . I’ll take it.  Plus, when it comes to planning, a) I happen to like it and b) I happen to think I’m pretty good at it.  So, yep.  It was my agenda and idea to have the meeting.

How often do we do these?
No set time.  I think quarterly is about right, with maybe one yearly BIG PICTURE version (asking the huge questions like: are we in the right location, right jobs, right # kids . . .*).

Is it okay if the kids are home?
Honestly our kids zone out SO HARD when they watch a movie that a movie night would have worked just fine.  That said, I think much more clearly in the morning (we did our summit around 10 am I think) so the fact that both kids were out of the house during the day was key.

How long did it take?
A little over an hour this time.

What did you discuss?
Here’s our agenda:

The calculations on the right = my figuring out how many weekends per year we’d be on call total (approximately 17/52 or 1/3 for 2017 – not terrible, not amazing).

We first went through the 2018 calendar (I had printed one from timeanddate) and looked at all of the trips / conferences / events coming up, to facilitate requests as to when to be on call (or really . . .when NOT to be on call!).  We talked about things like my preference that Josh NOT take call on Mother’s Day weekend – seriously, that’s the WORST!

We also discussed vacations.  Always a fun topic though the logistics of traveling with 3 makes me cringe a little . . . we’ll see!

Home improvement ideas were thrown around – I honestly never really care much about this, so it’s mostly Josh’s purview.  Our typical scenario: he names 93347 projects that would be great and I remind him that we can afford like 2 of them 🙂

Aaaand we finished with the sad acknowledgement that despite it being on our to-do list for all of 2017, we still need to do our wills / power of attorney stuff.   Maternity leave perhaps?

So, that was it!  Nothing earth shattering but absolutely necessary to aid with planning the next year — something we are forced to do in advance due to call schedule requests, but I think it would be helpful in any household.  Other things we have discussed at other times but not this one:

– kid-centered issues (this one wasn’t really about that)
– budget stuff (both the day-to-day and long-term investment-type stuff)
– whether we are happy with current routines / work/life situations / etc

So that’s our Summit!  It probably sounds more impressive than it is.  I imagine there will be a time when our summits have some kid involvement too, though I think the adults-only part will still be a necessity (they probably don’t need to hear about things like taxes and home repairs even if they’d like to weigh in on vacations).

This was a fun episode 🙂
We’re almost at 50,000 downloads (!!!) and have some very very VERY exciting guests coming up.  (seriously – like I am in fangirl mode already and we haven’t even recorded yet).  But this was a fun cozy one, as are the next few!

Laura and I discuss FOOD – specifically the logistics of getting food on the table for busy families.  She has a great round up post on her blog – check it out.  I gave a shout-out to some of my favorite blog inspirations for dinner ideas (oddly not pure ‘food blogs’), including A Healthy Slice of Life and LagLiv.  

Ana noted she is trying to avoid countdown mode, but I honestly can’t help it when I’m on call. I just enjoy the rest of my life so much more 🙂  Maybe it’s okay to count down in certain cases . . .
I am now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel – just 2 days left, plus call for Thanksgiving (4 more) and then . . . none for a long long time.  Hooray!  I’m very excited for the weekend already:

Famle Tym is Happy!
(by Annabel)

* We had one of those in May of 2016 which ultimately led to baby #3 in 2017 🙂


  • Reply leebecknell March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Jason loves this sort of thing. I’m going to suggest we have our own family summit.

  • Reply Gillian March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    We are due for one of these summits! I love hearing how others plan and think around these things. I can’t wait for your organizational podcast!!! As for traveling with more kids, we now have 4 kids and have only gotten on a plane with all of them once. I had people in security at JFK cracking up as I reminded my kids then 9, 6, and 3 (baby was in the stroller) "Everyone is responsible for his own backpack!" over and over and over again. I will be giving a repeat performance in February.

  • Reply MommyAttorney March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Travel with an infant is the BEST. Travel with a toddler is the WORST! (Said as a mom of 3). So plan on traveling this year.

  • Reply Ana March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Like OMDG I really can’t imagine my husband being on board for something scheduled like this, though we’ve discussed all these things somewhat informally over the past year. I also HATE home improvement stuff and leave that 100% on my husband’s plate, other than getting recommendations from our neighborhood facebook group (he’s not on facebook) for people to call. I literally screen shot the post and send to him so he can sift through recommendations. We have a mile long list of want-to-do and even need-to-do and I let him choose the order and priority. its the one part of our life I feel truly like I’ve outsourced and do not have on my mental load.

  • Reply Colleen March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Hi Sarah, I just wanted to say how much I’m enjoying your podcast. Right now I’m home with my 1.5 year old, looking for work. When I lost my job I felt *terrible* about taking our son out of daycare (we had to because it was so expensive). But now that he’s been home with me for a few weeks I already feel bad about some day going back to work and sending him back to full time child care. I do really want to go back to work, though and this is where your podcast comes in. It just makes me feel like a working mom is a normal, good thing and that I’m not being selfish. It has also made me realize some of the narratives that run in my head about working mothers that I’ve grown up with. For example, that a parent (99% of the time the mom) should be home when the kids get home from school. Now that I’ve recognized that these aren’t necessarily true I feel better about myself and my desire to work. So thank you. I look forward to hearing more 🙂

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