Creating a schedule for yourself is one thing. But scheduling the whole family? It can be like herding cats, particularly if several members of the family have different schedule styles or rarely check the family calendar.
In our house, Ash and I approach scheduling differently. While we have a shared calendar, how we maintain it differs. This doesn’t cause conflict, but we had a conversation a few weeks ago over how I schedule things does not work for him and vice versa. It was an interesting conversation and gave me more insight into how his internal logic works.
Communication is key to any relationship, so setting up a family schedule that everyone has access to and can update helps keep everything straight to avoid conflict and double-booking.
Analog or Digital Calendars: Why Not Both?
We have several different ways we highlight the month’s schedule in our household: analog and digital. In our closet, we have a hanging whiteboard that I update every month with the main activities going on in the household. Ash’s roleplaying games, Jai’s playdates, my appointments.
This helps me plan out my day as I am getting dressed. Do I wear nice clothes for that appointment/coffee date? Or do I spend the day in comfortable clothes because we’re staying home all day?
It allows for quick reminders and conversations that we might need to have in the morning before Ash leaves for work or I go for my morning run.
Digitally, Ash and I have a family calendar that we share together that contains the events pertaining to the family as a whole. Additionally, we keep separate calendars for our own activities, but we mutually share them so we’re aware of each other’s schedules.
Ash put down a reoccurring event in his calendar that highlights two days each week he can help me out should I need it. That way, if I am in the middle of setting up an appointment, but know that Ash will be the only one to watch Jai during that appointment, I can schedule it for a day that won’t conflict the most with his work schedule.
Likewise, Ash knows when he’s able to schedule is medical and social events around me because he can see everything on the family and my personal calendars. Once Jai is old enough, he’ll gain access to and control over his own calendar which will sync with ours so he can be responsible for his own activities.
It seems like common sense, but I’ve seen in several different parenting forums about the struggle of maintaining a common calendar between partners and children. It can be hard to set up, but if using a digital platform, easy to maintain.