I love all of your requests and ideas on Monday’s post! For posterity, the list of suggested topics includes:
1) Planning techniques (whew! I am glad this is a hit since it is one of my favorite things to think/write about)
Subcategory – Weekend planning
Subcategory – Weekly + Monthly planning. I love this topic and am always honing my processes. There are few posts on this already if anyone is interested:
My weekly review process
Monthly review process
Hobonichi weekly planner shot (old – I do feel like my style has evolved since!)
2) Book recommendations. Love this – I want to get back to sharing monthly reads, that was fun!
3) Meal planning / cooking — I am happy to share some of our favorites and weekly meal plans, though to be fair, I do not routinely cook during the week these days. I don’t necessarily plan for that to be the case forever, because I actually do miss it! However, the setup we have now (I meal plan / G, our nanny, shops + cooks) feels like the right one with the ages of our kids + my commute.
4) Prioritizing personal goals during the season of young children. I definitely do this, and I suspect some of it is my Upholder nature (Gretchen Rubin posted this on the topic just yesterday – it may apply to you, especially if you are an Obliger). I can definitely do a post, though.
5) Making friends / social life. This took approximately 4 years for us after moving, but finally feels really wonderful — I feel like I have local friends I can talk to about real things, we have a number of families we see regularly and our social calendar feels full enough to me. I can definitely share how this evolved, but for me the short answer is a) school! b) inviting people to do things c) joining things (for me, 2 book clubs).
6) Staying focused at work (though several of you pointed out that 100% laser focus all day isn’t necessarily possible or a realistic goal).
7) Workouts — I definitely recognize that not everyone cares about this, but I like posting about them anyway for the accountability aspect!
8) Process improvement / Six Sigma learning points — I just did a 2-day course on this and it was fascinating.
Thank you for the ideas! I’m going to print this post out and hang it above my desk for a reminder. I am also planning a FRIDAY PLANNING SERIES, featuring reviews (since I have multiple samples waiting to be played with!) and nuggets about planning rituals/techniques. We will kick off this Friday!
In the spirit of fulfilling the above promises, here is where I am now with weekend planning:
– My goal is typically to fit in some social time, workouts, some fun kid-centered outings, and a morning for us each to sleep in (note: my “sleeping in” is still typically with an early AM nursing session, but it’s still nice not to get up/come downstairs until I want to)
– Many weekends, I still send an email to Josh with my ideas, since it really helps both of us to have all the parts in writing.
– I start thinking about the weekend midway through the week — ie: do we want to schedule a playdate? invite fam for brunch? etc.
– Call weekends need plans too, though I often don’t aim for anything too ambitious. This coming weekend Josh is on call (and I actually didn’t realize until recently since he switched it!). We have vacillated on how we do things, but I do prefer when we sync our call weekends. It is not always possible, though.
– Sometime I am too tired/emotionally drained to plan the weekend. And that’s okay. Often if that happens, we’ll try to sit down at breakfast one morning and come up with some things to do together. I actually don’t mind “less-planned” weekends interspersed with the busier ones — particularly if we are both off. Mostly, Josh and I need to scheme when we can exercise and where to do meals and we can let things fall around that.
– This coming weekend – an example/actual plan:
(Josh on general call Sat and ER call Sunday / I am off. He will be working much of the time. I need to come up with things to do w/ the kids so I don’t go crazy!)
Friday night – movie night (typical ritual: kids watch while I sit with them read my own book on couch). Josh almost always works late on Friday night to try to wrap things up from the week.
AM – chill at home. Will try to fit in workout, either early before everyone is up OR during G’s AM nap
Will make muffins or scones in AM – makes me so happy to do this on weekend mornings!
Lunch @ home
Annabel piano @ 12:45 – crossing fingers Josh can come home to take her, otherwise I’m going to be disrupting the waiting room area with the other 2!
Afternoon – possible playdate – am going to email the mom today
MOBILE LIBRARY pickup 🙂 New library books = yay.
Evening – dinner out w/ friends (babysitter – I tend to book these at least a month out) – hopefully Josh won’t get called during this, but if necessary he can cut out early. We have a mission to plan out our Disney cruise which we are taking together in the spring!
Sunday – if Josh is not getting called by ER hopefully I can sleep in a little (maybe until 8 at latest – he will have to go in and round). I will assume that I will likely be on my own for the rest of the day.
AM – if he wasn’t on call, I’d probably try to meet up with family; since he is, TBD.
Will attempt AM nap for G — and if nap is solid, will do a Beachbody workout while kids watch a show
Lunch @ home
I will take all 3 somewhere (science or children’s museum) – maybe meeting up with another family if I can find someone interested
Alternately (or after) – if weather good – afternoon swim. Taking all 3 in the pool is actually fine now since the 2 bigs are good swimmers. And yes it’s still HOT here!!
Probably takeout (? pizza) for dinner since Josh will likely be at work and cannot run interference while I cook!
There you go. I won’t get a lot of time to work / be alone / read / etc this weekend, but that’s ok – it’s the reality of a mostly-solo-parenting weekend. I still feel like there are some good things to look forward to, and now there is plenty of time to make plans for Sat afternoon and possibly Sunday. While it took a few minutes to create this draft, I feel like it is worth it to have some ideas in place. I am absolutely fine with changing things up — in fact, last weekend we got an impromptu dinner/pool party invite that ended up being a weekend highlight! I’d just rather have something to fall back on.
Scenes from last weekend (@ Little Java’s play space in Weston)
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I love it when you post more frequently! Looking forward to the Friday post too. 🙂
I love when you discuss planning 🙂
Two logistical questions. When do you plan your weekend? Do you and Josh plan a time to discuss it (like Wednesdays?) or do you usually do it in the morning before the kids wake up/during lunch break etc. The second question is about movie night. This is something I’ve been wanting to implement (because I also want some extra reading time) but I still have an almost 2 year old who I doubt could sit through a movie. Is your baby asleep when this happens or what does she do? Maybe if I just start planning movies it will eventually happen?
I also have a question about the weekend planning–do you not do chores on the weekend? Or just not this weekend because you’re alone? Or are they just not reflected in your plans? I am also a big fan of weekend planning, but find it really challenging to fit in both a chore block and work block since the ideal time for both is while my husband takes the kids grocery shopping on Saturday mornings (his chore block).
i love how you sort of did a weekend pre-Mortem! (I think I heard that term on the Happier podcast once). And that the empty spaces are given as much weight as the filled ones.
One thought about your last post on blog traffic- I read on Feedly too, and the thing that gets me to click through is the commenting. I am more likely to click through if the blogger asks for input or thoughts on a specific thing because I like to see what other readers think too.
Reading about call also prompted a question, possibly for the podcast: When you take work calls at home/ out and about, how do you and your husband handle the usual family/ life noises in the background? This came up in one of the online forums I read- another poster was wondering what other people do when fielding work calls while at home? Do you apologize for the background noise? give people a heads up that there might be a crying baby in the background? Do you tell the kids not to bother you in pain of death and pretend on the phone call that they are not there? How do you remain professional on a work call while trying to maintain a home life, especially in that dinner/bed time hour? Or do you tell them you will call back later? (I know it’s probably not always an option when you are on call). And is it different if it is a pre planned work call as opposed to an emergency, "just need to run this by you before a deadline" type of work call? I’m sure some of this is a "know your work place" type of thing, but I’m always curious as to what extent people think professional behaviour encompasses acknowledging that you have kids with needs and what extent it means not even bringing it up?