How to Use Google Calendars to Connect with Your Partner
In my last blog post, I talked about the importance of scheduling time to connect with your partner. I talked about how couples need time for both check-ins (the daily and weekly logistical and schedule-based stuff that keep your household running) and connection time (date nights and hangout time to reconnect and forget about the logistical stuff). And I also talked about the importance of self-care. All of these things need to be scheduled.
As the saying goes, "What gets scheduled is what gets done."
So, now, I want to show you how simple it is to keep both of your crazy schedules straight, so that you can make sure that important time together gets scheduled and actually happens. Trust me, this will make your lives so much smoother and will help to avoid a lot of conflict and misunderstandings.
So, check out the video. And, there’s a special bonus!
Scroll down to download my free checklist of calendar ideas!
(If you’re in the middle of rocking a sleeping baby or are otherwise unable to watch/listen, scroll down to find the transcript.)
I talked last week about connecting with your partner in my video blog, and how you really should be scheduling regular date nights. So, here is one of the ways I encourage the couples I work with in my Sacramento office to do so.
Hi, I'm Catherine O'brien, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist at HappyWithBaby.com.
And honestly, it doesn't matter how you keep track. I just have found with couples that I work with and also with my own partner, my own husband, is that it really makes things much easier if you do. And one way is by using a shared calendar.
So I'm currently using Google Calendar personally, but I know there's a lot of other great ones out there, and I'm sure if you ask your friends or different family members that all have their own opinion.
But I'm suggesting that you find something that works and use it. And that can be anywhere from a paper calendar, a wall calendar, or even just a whiteboard of upcoming events.
So I found that Google is the best one for me because we have-- I'm able to keep track of my work schedule on here as well. And so it's pretty simple and simple it's good for me. And it integrates well with that work calendar that I have, which is really key.
So things that you should be doing or managing on a weekly schedule check in [with your partner] is like keeping track of doctor's appointments. And so, say you schedule a doctor's appointment. You can use your app, you know, if you're out at the doctor's and write it in there from like the little card they give you. But, you know, you write it in there.
I already have that one from the other day, but if I wanted to invite my husband to it because he wasn't there at the appointment and maybe I wanted to make sure he came to the next one, then I would just go ahead and add guests. And for the heck of it, we will go ahead and just put my own in there. And I would go ahead and do that, and then when I save it, it goes ahead and invites him to that appointment as well, which is super helpful for future events.
So, that's one thing. So I would make sure that you keep track of any upcoming doctor's appointments. Maybe you have a tax appointment coming up. I would make sure that that was scheduled and that it coordinates with both your calendars. And say my husband's—if his calendar was connected to this one, it would have his appointments on there. And I could see and making sure not to over schedule different events.
But one of the other things that you can put in is like a birthday party, so maybe there's a birthday party this Saturday, and then you go ahead and put in Joey's 4th birthday Party. And then it's from 10:00 to 12:00, but then I know that it'll take time to get home, so I'll put 12:30 and I guess I should leave earlier so 9:30.
And then, more options. Again, I might want to add a guest and invite my husband to go with me to that. And maybe you go ahead and say, oh yeah, give me a ten-minute reminder that the appointment is happening, and then it will also alert you. Or maybe this isn't going to conflict with my schedule. I'm still free. So you can put free and it won't affect your ability to have the other things on that schedule.
So here, it's asking, would you like to send invitations to guests? Yes. So that way my husband (but really it's just me) would be getting that invitation. And so the other thing I had mentioned in that last video blog was that to do the regular daily check-ins, and so I like to put all my date nights or check-ins with my husband or whatever in red for love, right. So you can change the color of that as well. I'll show you how you do that, if you wanted to have different colors for different things.
So, I do the red or it's more like a pink. Or you can do green or yellow or whatever, and then it saves all of that. So I know like, okay, we got our daily check-in scheduled. And then our daily or weekly date night is in there. Anything in blue currently is things for my kids, so they have karate belt ceremonies, so we have that on the schedule. I have my self-care time and then my husband has his self-care time.
So different things that you want to make sure that you have on there. And then you can always make sure as you guys are reviewing the schedule for the week that is it colorful enough that we have a good combination of all the things that we want to make sure we're doing. So I like to do it that way. Some people like to keep it more plain. But whatever works for you is the best thing for you to do.
So, the thing to remember is weekly, you can set it up so maybe every Sunday at 2 o'clock, maybe that's when the kids are taking a nap. We'll do our schedule review. It would be helpful if I could spell. Schedule review. We do it from 2:00 to 2:30. Save it.
Maybe I want that in a different color because, like I told you guys, I do those in different colors. So that's part of, you know, our red. That's us connecting, so I'll go ahead and do that in pink.
And then so we do our schedule review for the week. And we can make sure about all the appointments: Did he'd get the message? Did I get the message? Does he have to work late? Maybe he tells me he has to work late on Tuesday. So I make sure that we either have extra childcare if I'm working late as well that evening. And so, we can just kind of double-check all the appointments. And then it's quick and easy during the week.
Like maybe when we do our daily check-in, we'll ask like, is there--Are you still coming home tonight at the same time? Or is there anything else that popped up on your schedule that we need to be aware of? Like maybe an appointment popped up that we weren't aware of was happening. So we can make sure we can check in on that.
So making sure that you have those doctor's appointments down or any other kind of upcoming appointments, any activities that are happening like preschool or karate practice or something, and then any tasks that need to be done.
And I think I'll be doing a little review of the ways I like to keep track of different tasks that need to happen, whether they're big chore projects like painting the bathroom, or you know, changing out the baby's room or whatever it is. And we can talk about how we manage those in a later video.
And then also making sure, of course, always, self-care. How are you both getting self-care in? And maybe you include any exercise that you're doing as well on that calendar. And those date nights for sure.
And just maybe other tasks and chores, like grocery shopping like I go every
Monday after drop-off typically. It was later this week because of a doctor's appointment, but usually I do it right after drop-off. And then I usually do a Costco run like twice a month. And so, then I put that in there. But doing things like that or maybe you'd have your housecleaning. This is when I clean the bathrooms. This is when I mop the floors. And you put those in there.
And it kind of helps keep you accountable of the things that you want to make sure that you're getting done. But also when you need any extra help or support, and how you guys can get that from each other.
I hope this was helpful. And I'd love to hear what Calendars or apps you and your partner use to keep in sync with all your schedules in your family.
Until next time, take care.
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