It seems like Sunday has been getting a bad rap in our culture lately. To think that fully HALF of our weekend days are filled with dread is dispiriting—we only have two to begin with! To be fair, Sunday DOES have a lot of weight to bear. It’s got all the anxiety of the week ahead combined with the pressure of the weekend when we’re supposed to be Enjoying Ourselves and Relaxing and Making Precious Family Memories. Sunday scaries
As the mom to three elementary-aged kids in our fourth (FOURTH!?) year of elementary school, I’ve picked up some tricks over the past few years to get ahead of all that weekly anxiety. Getting a handle on our schedule before the week begins helps me approach the days ahead with a clear mind, no matter how chaotic the week!
Here are some of the rituals I’ve incorporated into my weekend routine to help me prep for the week ahead. It might be spooky season, but Sunday doesn’t have to be scary!
First up: what’s on the calendar for the week? Is it the regular hubbub of three-kids-involved-in-activities or do we have extra things, like birthday parties or evening meetings? Basically, I try to get a feel for the week so I can set my own expectations for how things will go. I also double-check my to-do list to ensure nothing gets missed—like adding “order birthday gift” so it can get placed with my regular Target order instead of panic-shopping before the event on Saturday morning. sunday scaries
Meal Plan + Grocery Order
Next up? Meal plan! Once I have a grip on my calendar, I can figure out meals for the week. Are there any nights we already have dinner plans? Or a night so busy it can only be solved by take-out? I work out the more difficult days first and then go back and fill in the gaps. Some days are easy wins, like tacos (Tuesdays, always!) and Saturdays which are pizza night. Besides that, it’s up to our schedule and the season.
Besides dinners, I also lunch plan for the kids each week. We look over the lunch menu together to see what days they want school lunch and which days they want to bring food from home. I also check my lunch supplies and restock anything I need with my grocery order. We’re pretty basic over here, and keep it simple by having sandwich supplies, fruit, cheese, and crackers on hand.
While I usually check through their backpacks as soon as the kids get home from school, it’s always good to go through them on a Sunday afternoon to find stray gloves, wrappers, and that random toy we couldn’t find all weekend. I also double-check any homework requirements (reading, worksheets, spelling) to avoid any Monday morning surprises. Last, I restock their water bottles and snack pouches so it’s one less thing to do in the morning.
Organize My Desk
I try to do this on Friday afternoons when I log off for the week, but if I haven’t, I take a quick run over my desk. I toss any stray garbage, recycle papers I no longer need, and clear off the surface as much as I can so logging in on Monday morning doesn’t feel quite as stressful.
Maybe the most important step of all! I try to have time to connect with my family, my husband, and with myself each weekend. We’ve instituted a Sunday game night in our house: after dinner is cleaned up, we all meet back at the table in our PJs for games and snacks. It’s a nice* way to connect before the chaos of the week sets in. As for my husband, most Fridays you can find us enjoying takeout after putting the kids to bed early for a date night in. And while recharging with my family is important, so is time to myself! As a self-proclaimed introvert, I function best when I get some quiet time on my own. I try to prioritize taking time to get lost in a book each weekend. Bonus if I find time to bake or paint my nails, too!
*Besides that time Mario Party turned into tantrums all around. 1/10, do not recommend.