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tara@thesugardoctor.com.au

How to Manage Domestic Logistics

Three men and a woman around a wooden table with coffee on a blue & brown tiled floor.

Photo by Jessica Sysengrath on Unsplash

“Hey babe, how was your day”

“Pretty great, I had a great meeting this morning… oh! and the power bill came in… the dog is due for his shots… there’s washing still on the line… and we need more milk”

“Oh yeah, do me now, I love it when you talk domestic logistics with me…”

Is this how it goes in your house? Didn’t think so.

To be honest, me neither. Well, that’s not strictly true. The first part was pretty standard; the run down of our days, interspersed with notifications for jobs due… not very sexy really.

This is one of the greatest barriers to intimacy & chemistry in a long term relationship. There are all of these strands to our lives, and we weave them together mindlessly. Date night becomes a blend of romance, logistics, and planning. Going to bed includes relaxing, reminders, and the random thoughts that pop into your head “so you don’t forget”.

I am going to share with you one of the simplest ways you can increase your chemistry by removing the knee jerk urge to talk shop with your partner.

It’s called: The State of the Nation

Before I get into the nitty gritty, I am making a few cheeky assumptions;

  • As a team, you are sharing domestic responsibilities and are reasonably happy with how that goes (but it could use some refining)
  • You are able to navigate the allocation of tasks, chores, and responsibilities in your household without having a throw-down fight
  • The allocation is NOT that one partner carries the responsibility for the entirety of domestic logistics.

If one (or all) of those aren’t going well, this suggestion is not for you. You have a lot of work to do, and I suggest you get yourself right into therapy or coaching before the resentment sinks your relationship…

That said, there are many of you who will love the way this changes your lives!

A RELATIONSHIP IS A BUSINESS

In this day and age, relationships entwine so many facets of our lives;
Where once it was about political & financial stability, now an intimate relationship has become an important part of our personal actualisation and fulfilment.

It gets a bit tricky when we weave together the threads of finance, domestic logistics, education, parenting, intimacy, and business in every interaction.

So let’s begin by separating the logistical threads of running our lives, from the time we spend together as lovers, creators, and best friends.

THE STATE OF THE NATION

I’m going to ask you to bring an incredible level of discipline now to your lives.

Let’s introduce a meeting to your schedule that is specifically focused on addressing domestic logistics. Outside of this time, you won’t be talking about those things at all!

For Jimmy T and I this has transformed the way that we interact. It is a fairly new change for us, and it has been shocking to me how often I simply say whatever pops into my head, and how often it is a mundane domestic reminder!

We have been working on our logistics actively for years, and so this was a fairly simple tweak for us. We decided that once a week we would have our State of the Nation meeting. For some of you, more often will be necessary, at least in the early days. The increased complexity of children, a business, or some other external commitment might mean you need to increase frequency, but it makes it even more crucial that you bring the discipline!

THE SETUP

  1. Decide what is the longest you can possibly go without making decisions together.
  2. Schedule a meeting that is on the same day/s each week.
  3. How long you will have this meeting? (I recommend 20 minutes)
  4. When you will address things that will require more discussion?
  5. Decide on the agenda. Ours is:
    • Kiva (where we reloan together)
    • Bills (mostly automated so just a check for anything out of the ordinary)
    • Social/Family plans (what’s on, what do we want to plan)
    • Projects (where are we at on specific projects)
    • Health (how are we, what’s working, what’s not)
    • Relationship (how are we, what’s working, what’s not).

THE RULES

  1. No talking about those things outside of the meeting.
  2. No talking about those things outside of the meeting.
  3. No talking about those things outside of the meeting.

HOT TIPS

I wish I could express to you how important this is. You see, at the heart of MOST couples who are separating, are years of resentment or guilt over these very small logistical decisions.

Here is what helps us;

  • When there is something that we are working through, we book time to meet & navigate it together outside of the SoTN. We usually book 2 hours because more than that can make it worse not better.
  • For the things that we regularly plan & collaborate on (like financial planning) we have another regular meeting. For us, that is monthly for 45 minutes.
  • We know that we have taken a long time (40 years each) to get to where we are in our lives, and that very small changes over the next 40 will get us where we are going. That is, we don’t try to solve massive things all in one hit. We are playing the long game.
  • We use an app called Cozi to keep track of logistics. When I remember something right before bed, I keep my mouth shut and just add it to a list we keep for our SoTN.
  • We also use Cozi to keep track of what groceries we need, our social activities, and a couple of lists that are specific to our relationship.

I invite you to give it a try.

That is, perhaps over time you can work towards this. Pick one thing that you know you blurt a lot – groceries, kids sports, finances… and begin with only that.

Know that over time, you will get better at this.

And if you are realising you have a very big issue, please do something before it’s too late. There are loads of resources online about running a great meeting, and this will never matter more than in your love life.