Banish the “Team of One” in Your Family

I remember it so clearly…being a mom to 3 young kids who were dependent on me in every way. It was exhausting! But above that, my husband and I had become two ships passing in the night. And the crazy thing was…I didn’t really even realize it. I was blazing through the day “checking the boxes”, trying to get it ALL done. In the meantime, my husband was watching this all go down, waving at me from the distance in desperation to get his wife back. The fog was too thick…I couldn’t really see him. My eyes were on the 3 littles who needed me “NOW”.

Sadly, my story isn’t unique. My story is your story. Couples get married with strong feelings for each other, kids enter the picture, the gap between the couple gets wider and wider as mom (or dad) fills the needs of the kids and has nothing left for their spouse. TEAM OF ONE ensues! Mom feels like a team of one…dad feels like a team of one…and no one is very happy.

I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve heard moms and dads say “I just feel like I’m all alone” and “There’s no teamwork happening over here at my house” and “Maybe someday these people will pitch-in and help out around here. I’m exhausted, doing it all.”

Check out Episode #002 of our podcast, the Families of Character Show, to find out how my 4-year old daughter was actually the one who pointed out the distance between my husband and I before I had even noticed. And how I ditched my plan to escape to Sante Fe, instead challenging myself to lean into the pain in order to turn my team of one into a team where everyone is now pitching in and helping out.

In the meantime, I’d highly recommend these 3 specific things for unifying your family.

  1. Communicate the Daily Plan.  Summertime seems to be EXTRA crazy with the family calendar! Curb the chaos by running through the happenings of the day with your family (either the night before or each morning) for a quick 3-5 minutes. Write the schedule down and post it where everyone can see it for even greater peace among your people!

  2. Have a Weekly Huddle.  Sunday nights are a great time to throw some burgers on the grill and talk about the upcoming week. Allow everyone to ask questions and pitch ideas for greater understanding and more fun! A glance at the week ahead will give a broader perspective and settle anxieties about what’s coming next.

  3. Set a Family Focus!  Give a single word to your family to focus on for the next month. What about “Generosity”, “Organization”, “Respect”, or “Responsibility”? Get everyone thinking about how they could do 1 little thing each day that's focused on that theme. Reward them for any positive effort towards it! 

I can say with certainty, these 3 Essentials are transformative!  My husband and I are enjoying regularly scheduled time together, dating again! Our kids are taking responsibility for their daily tasks and pitching in around the house, without being asked! (I know…crazy!!) We identify as “Team Langdon” and even have our own Mission Statement and Team Cheer!

You’ve got this! With the craziness of our culture, we need to band together as unified families, even more than ever. Join the movement of like-minded parents who aren’t willing to settle for “team of one” or the status quo.  Join our private facebook group, The Thrive Community by Families of Character! We’ll see you there!

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