Saving Sunday Nights

Saving Sunday Nights | Twin Cities Mom Collective
Sundays can be hard.

I think I’ve always had an unattainable ideal of what it should be… full of afternoon naps and a whole lot of doing nothing. I do, after all, subscribe to the belief that Sundays are meant to be a day of rest. 

The reality is a bit different. 

Sunday typically starts with my husband and me rushing the kids out the door to make it to church about 10-15 minutes late, followed by catching up on housework that was neglected the rest of the weekend, topped off with a few end-of-weekend meltdowns (by all of us) because we’re realizing that tomorrow is Monday already. Sundays are like the end of a vacation: a good reminder that all the fun is about to come to an end. 

Sundays have always ended up being a bit mopey and sad.

And usually the most rest I get is the rare occasion I go to the grocery store without children in tow. Oh, and did I remember to plan a dinner for Sunday? Nope, because weekends aren’t for planning. So while I like to keep the weekends open and inviting to all opportunities that may come our way, the reality is, we do best with predictable routines and traditions. 

Finally, I became fed up with the gloom that Sunday evenings brought and I decided to do something about it. I didn’t want to do anything that would resemble a weekday, but I wanted to do something that would bring a bit of predictability to our house. Something that would remind our internal selves that routine was just around the corner. Something to prepare us for a return to normal.

And that’s when it hit me. Why not take something fun that many people reserve for the end of the week on Fridays, and make it our Sunday night tradition?

And that’s how family movie night became our Sunday evening’s very easy, very simple, saving grace. 

Saving Sunday Nights | Twin Cities Mom Collective

And to top it off, I don’t cook anything for dinner. 

No, we don’t get take out or pizza, that would be a bit much after a weekend of last minute meals out with friends and family. Instead, it’s family charcuterie night!

I prepare a tray of our favorite cheeses and crackers and fruits and meats, set it on the coffee table, and we all gather around waiting for that week’s movie picker to show us what they picked. We start early, because, you know, bedtime on a school night. We sit together, we eat together in front of the T.V. and we look forward to it all weekend long. 

What once was an evening of stress and anxiety about tomorrow’s impending early morning alarm, has quite easily turned into one of our family’s favorite times of the week. And by the time bedtime rolls around, no one has a meltdown, no one cries because tomorrow is Monday, and we all feel a little more connected and happy. 

Who knew Sunday night’s didn’t have to be so bad?

Maureen Zhao
Maureen is an educator and a mom to a sweet and wild seven year old named Leo and newborn named Remy. She and her family can be found digging in the dirt, seeking adventures outside, traveling, hunting down thrifty deals, visiting local museums and parks, discovering new global flavors at local restaurants, and looking for resourceful ways to be involved in their community together. Maureen is eager to connect with those around her regardless of where they come from and is passionate about raising a son who cares for the world around him. Both her and her family have a strong desire to be where the action is, yet yearn for the solace that is found when they're surrounded by nature. When not in the city where home and work is, they can often be found venturing north and setting up camp where the only thing they need to worry about is where to bike that day and where to find the best view of the sunset. You can follow Maureen and her family's daily adventures on Instagram {@maureenshealer}.


  1. Love this Maureen. We started Special Drink Friday, or family happy hour on [email protected] (or whenever we’re all together and the workday is done). It is a great way to set ourselves up for the weekend and still connect over the week. It’s the one time our kids get soda- they look forward to it all week. Love the idea of doing this on Sunday evening as well.


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