Sundays are my favorite days. I love the beautiful mixture of worship and rest, of reflection and preparation. When I was in college I would basically spend the entire day either in church worshiping or in bed napping. Now that I am married and have children, however, things have changed a bit….
Here are a few things that help me balance the quiet of Sunday with the preparation needed for a new week. These are:
6 Things I Do Each Sunday that Make the Week SO Much Easier
1. Attend Divine Liturgy
Each Sunday my family and I go to church so we can worship, pray, and receive the Eucharist. Beginning the week in this way ensures that our focus is on what really matters. We worship our God who is “everywhere present and filling all things,” hear his Gospel, and receive the life-giving Body and Blood of His Son. This is the most important thing that we do each week and helps us prepare to serve others and each others in the days to come.
2. Take a Nap
I know, I know, experts say that we shouldn’t sleep too much on the weekend and throw off our sleep schedule. However, because of my thyroid issues (and because I’m a mom of three kids ages 2, 3, and 6!), I find that a good hour long nap on Sunday really helps me have renewed energy for the week ahead.
After we get home from Liturgy, we all have one hour of quiet time. The two youngest nap, my oldest son reads, my husband reads, and I curl up in bed to a blissful nap of my own. That mandatory quiet time refreshes all of us and is something we look forward to each week.
3. Turn Off Technology and Turn On My Attention
Next, Sunday afternoons are a no-work time for my husband and I. I don’t let myself work on the blog, on grading, or on social media. My husband pauses in his frantic dissertation-writing, and we all spend time together as a family. We might go to the park, play in the backyard, call the grandparents, play games, bake, watch a movie, read books, or any number of activities.
In the busyness of our weekday schedules, it can be easy to overlook the importance of spending time with family. By designating Sunday afternoon as no-work, family time, we guarantee that we spend some focused, quality time with our kids every week. This helps build family unity and shared experiences that make our weekdays more fun as well.
4. Get Caught Up on Laundry
I often joke with my husband that if we ever have extra money some day, I am going to hire out our laundry. It is one job that I just really don’t enjoy! It is also one job that completely overwhelms me if I get behind. With three young children, it is very easy to get behind on the laundry!
I try to do several loads throughout the week, yet I still find myself with piles of dirty laundry on Sunday. I have found that if I make a concerted effort to start the week with an empty laundry basket, I feel much more on top of things. So, throughout the day on Sunday–before Church, before quiet time, during family time, etc.–I quietly move loads of laundry around.
I save all of the folding for the evening after the kids go to bed. Then I put on one of my favorite podcasts, grab a glass of wine, and fold away. Since I “trick myself” into thinking that I’m having fun, it actually isn’t so bad! Then I can face a new week without mountains of laundry weighing me down.
5. Do One Hour of Freezer Cooking
After supper, I try to do one hour (at the most) of freezer cooking. What is freezer cooking? It is preparing meals, or parts of meals, and placing them in the freezer for later use. This can be a lifesaver for those nights when schedules go crazy and you only have 20 minutes at home before you have to leave for the next activity!
Here are some of my favorite things to do as part of freezer cooking:
-Make Freezer Biscuits (recipe from Money Saving Mom). I love being able to pull out homemade biscuits to go with meals! We’ll even have breakfast for dinner some nights: eggs and biscuits and gravy.
-Make Crockpot Refried Beans (especially now that Lent is here and we are eating a TON of beans!).
-Make Homemade Vegetable Stock in the crockpot.
-Cook up a package of chicken breasts. Then, place them in baggies in one cup portions and freeze.
-Brown a few pounds of hamburger. Put into baggies in one pound portions and freeze.
-Make a big batch of soup. Keep half out for tomorrow’s supper. Then, freeze the other half for a later dinner. Chilis and most broth-based soups freeze beautifully.
-Make breakfast burritos. Combine scrambled eggs with ham or sausage and some cheese. Wrap into a burrito. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the freezer. I love these for lunches!
-Make Budget-Friendly Homemade Granola. Ok, so this technically isn’t for the freezer, but I often make it on Sunday nights. Once the granola cools, place it into an airtight container and use for breakfasts that week. I’m going to use almond milk and have it for breakfasts during Lent.
For more ideas see my post on 15 Things that Frugal People Freeze. It’s amazing how much I can get done in just 30-60 minutes. And, I am always so grateful later in the week when I need a quick meal.
6. Prepare Lunches
Finally, I spend 30 minutes or so preparing lunches for the week ahead. My kids are still young and still content with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch each day. So, I make all of the sandwiches on Sunday, place them into individual baggies, and freeze them. Then, when I make their lunches each night, I just have to pull out a ready-made sandwich and pop it into their lunch box. So easy! I’ve found that it only takes me about 10 minutes to do a week’s worth of sandwiches. Not bad!
I will also cut up vegetables and fruit to use as side dishes throughout the week. These go into small containers that can be mixed and matched and added to lunches. The same goes for yogurt. I buy big cartons and then dole out individual portions into reusable containers. If I do this one time on Sunday, it saves time throughout the week.
Building Habits and Routines
These simple habits and routines help me maintain my sanity throughout the next week. In fact, they help me remain calm and actually enjoy my week.
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By doing these 6 simple things I am able to have a restful and a productive Sunday that leads to a restful and productive week. I am able to get the rest I need to know that I am not failing as a mother.
What do you do on Sundays?
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