The Urban dictionary defines the Household 6 (HH6) as “a military man’s stay-at-home wife”. This may have been true in the past, but today sometimes the wife works outside the home or the wife is the Soldier and the husband has a civilian career or is a stay-at-home dad. So, today, we can say that the HH6 is simply the family manager. The HH6 manages the home including but not limited to taking care of the house and property, managing time and schedules, planning special events, meal planning and grocery shopping, self-management, managing family and friend relationships and managing the finances. A great HH6 is someone who has a clear perception of what it is they want and knows how to deliver it. A great HH6 knows how to motivate, delegate and follow up. Three steps a great HH6 makes are managing in “manageable pieces”, defining what you want from those pieces and creating standing operating procedures (SOP).
First, a HH6 needs to categorize what it is you do. Kathy Peel has done this for us with her Family Manager program. She categorizes the manageable pieces as home and property, food, time management, self-management, family and friends, finances and special event planning. Home and property includes cleaning, organizing and even getting the car serviced. Food includes grocery shopping, meal planning and nutrition. Time management focuses on errands, work schedules, school schedules and the like. Self-management includes taking care of you by exercising, getting plenty of sleep and creating time for hobbies. Family and friends is all about maintaining relationships. Finance entails budgeting and bill paying. Finally, special event planning includes birthdays, holidays, family reunions or any event that doesn’t occur regularly. Managing our families based on these seven departments makes the management process easier. It also organizes our responsibilities and helps us accomplish each day’s tasks.
The second step is to define what you want from each these manageable departments. What are your goals? Do they include having a spotless house? Is it to be as fit as an athlete? Is it to be on time for appointments and events? When you are deciding what it is that you want, make sure you also consider the desires, priorities and values of your family. A family meeting might be in order to accomplish this step.
The last step is to come up with SOPs. Each HH6 will have different SOPs for each department. We are all individuals with our own ideas of what is acceptable or what we can live with. One HH6’s idea of clean may be a spotless home while the next HH6 is just glad the floor is clear for walking. One HH6 may think 5 or 6 hours of sleep at night is good and another HH6 may think 9 hours and no less! Whatever the case, each HH6 must decide what works best for their family.
Once you have these manageable pieces defined with realistic goals and have an acceptable standard that you will apply to these pieces you really can see what makes a great HH6. The answer is you! Yes, you are a great HH6. In the coming months be looking for the ten steps to building a family team and in depth looks at each of the family managing departments. I’ll have tips and tricks on managing smarter and more efficiently. Being the HH6 is a rewarding job. Let’s do the best we can and do it smarter so we can be the best parent, spouse and friend we can be.