Why in the world does life feel so hard sometimes? We try to prioritize family, friends, our faith. But it just feels like we can never get a handle on things. Something is always falling through the cracks. Someone seems to always be getting the shaft. There’s just not enough hours in the day.
We’ve been there.
A few years ago, Trent and I found ourselves constantly arguing over scheduling issues. Trent had multiple work calendars. We both served at church. There were appointments, blogging to-dos, date nights, family gatherings, friend gatherings, and the list went on.
Trent has always had a perfectly organized google calendar and I (Sarah) used to keep my schedule in my head. Trent would only look at the calendar. I would never look at the calendar. It was clearly a bad system.
On top of that, we were in the throws of parenting littles and life just seemed to be… living us. We were in serious need of direction, and we came to the conclusion (maybe after listening to a podcast…??) that we needed to have a meeting. With the whole family. We needed to get on the same page.
You may or may not have ever considered having a family meeting. I mean, meetings are a work thing, right? Who would willingly choose to have one with their family? Well, we did. And we think you should, too!
WHY FAMILY MEETINGS ARE A GOOD IDEA
- They get everyone on the same page: Having a time when everyone is looking at the calendar together allows all members of the family to see what the other members have going on.
- They head off issues before they come up: If there’s a scheduling conflict, or if the schedule is just getting too full, you can see that and course correct. In advance.
- They provide clarity: Families are made up of a group of individuals, with individual goals and priorities. Intentionally coming together offers an opportunity for everyone to share what’s currently most important to them, so everyone is aware.
- They propel the family forward: Imagine a team where everyone is out for themselves. Now imagine a team where everyone is working together. Family meetings bring everyone together so everyone can win.
WHO’S INVITED TO THE MEETING?
- Are you single? Then it’s just you, baby!
- Married with no kids? This is a perfect way to strengthen your marriage, together.
- Have little kids in the house? You can attempt to get them in on the action, but truthfully it’ll be hard and frustrating. It’s probably best to wait until they’re a little older.
- Teenagers? We can’t speak from experience (our kids are currently 10 and 8) but I would encourage having older kids take part. If you decide to meet weekly, maybe have them involved once per month and see how that goes.
A POTENTIAL SCHEDULE:
- Pray to start: Ask God to guide the conversation and provide clarity.
- Talk through the upcoming week: We each use google calendar + share them with each other. On any given day, we can look and see what the other has going on, but talking through things just adds an extra level of connection and clarity.
- Check-in on goals/resolutions/values: One of the things we LOVE about meeting weekly is that we have accountability in sticking with our goals. This is both personal and familial.
- Open discussion: Random things come up, and we don’t always have an opportunity to talk about them. This is a great time to bring up current questions, comments, and concerns.
- Pray again: Thank God for the time to come together as a team. If anything “touchy” was brought up, ask Him to help you work through those things in a way that brings the family together and gives Him glory.
I don’t know what you thought a family meeting was before you read this article, but I hope there was at least one thing mentioned here that will be helpful for you and your family.
As a side note, we meet every Sunday before we leave for church. We talk only about the upcoming week, except for the last week of the month. On that Sunday, we look ahead to the following month and do a very high-level overview. Typically it’s just Trent and me, but every now and again we bring in the kids. Sometimes they add to the discussion. Sometimes they just listen.
If you already have a family meeting please share what works well for you in a comment below. And if you’re planning on instituting the family meeting let us know that as well, so we can be praying for you!
Here’s to doing what it takes to strengthen our families 🥂
Because there’s a better way,
Sarah (and Trent)