PARTY Planner — Weekend self-care guide


If you feel like the days drag on and yet there’s not enough time, if the weekends leave you feeling drained and sluggish rather than energized and ready, if there’s too much togetherness but not enough quality time, then we need a better system. We need weekends that refresh and restore us.

Enter the PARTY Weekend system.


Intended audience: Busy parents who are exhausted by keeping up with to do lists

What is it?

  • It’s pretty straightforward, but the results can be revolutionary for your well-being.
  • At its simplest, PARTY Weekend is a scheduling tool. In practice it’s a way to make sure all your needs are getting met. It helps you communicate with your family members. It reminds you all the things that bring you joy and fulfillment, and helps you do them. It teaches you how to be aware and alive in the moment.
  • PARTY stands for all the ingredients of a great weekend:
    • Play
    • Accomplish
    • Rest
    • Thrive
    • Yes
  • After a week or two of PARTY planning, you’ll find that it’s easier, more intuitive, and sweeter to take care of yourself, your home, and your people.


Why you will enjoy it as a parent?

By intentionally planning your weekends, following through on your must-dos, and relishing your want-tos NOT ONLY do you get to have great weekends that serve you BUT ALSO you train yourself to live all your days with this sort of intentionally and awareness.


What you need:

  • You can customize your PARTY Weekend on your computer and then print, or print first and customize by hand.
  • Pro tip: Erika likes to print a batch of them to have available for a couple months.
  • Not a paper person? You can customize it and reference it on your device


What skill is this building?

  • Values-driven behavior
  • Positive role-modeling
  • Intentionality
  • Awareness
  • Mindfulness

Please note this item is a digital file. You will not receive a hard copy.

  • We know from countless articles on the “mental load” that parents, mothers specifically, are exhausted by everything we have to do and hold together. This is burnout. (See citations below.) “Self care” can begin to feel like just another item on the to do list, which defeats the purpose. And not checking those self-care items off the list can make us feel even worse. 


  • We’ve all heard the advice to “put your own oxygen mask on first,” but what we need is to integrate that well-intentioned advice in practical, actionable ways. That’s why Erika Friday developed the P.A.R.T.Y. Weekend system. 


  • For further reading:
    • “You Should’ve Asked,” Emma, the feminist cartoon that started the conversation. 
    • “Why Women Do the Household WorryingAnd how to get men to do more of it.” Jessica Grose, New York Times, April 21, 2021. 
    • “There’s a Stress Gap Between Men and Women. Here’s Why It’s Important.” Kristin Wong, New York Times, Nov 14, 2018.
    • “The Primal Scream. How Society Has Turned Its Back on Mothers. This isn’t just about burnout. It’s about betrayal.” Pooja Lakshmin, New York Times, Feb 4, 2021. 
    • “Mothers Don’t Have to Be Martyrs. How to shift your mind-set from giving so much of yourself to others.” Pooja Lakshmin, New York Times, May 5, 2020. 
    • “The Pandemic’s Impact on Moms: Why Mental Health Needs to be a Priority. Moms are taking on more responsibilities & feeling more stress during the pandemic.” Jan 4, 2021. 
    • “Anxiety, depression have increased among mothers since onset of COVID-19 pandemic.” March 30, 2021.
    •  “Postpartum Depression During a Pandemic: Is COVID-19 Putting More Moms at Risk?” Maria Masters. March 1, 2021.
    • “Anxiety, Depression, and Working Moms in a Pandemic. Sociologist Jessica Calarco is studying how the pandemic is affecting the mental health of working mothers.” Harvard Business Review, The Anxious Achiever, with Morra Aarons-Mele. S3,E9. November 30, 2020.