Before my feet even hit the ground, my head was spinning. Wrapped in my warm blanket, I felt paralyzed by the thought of tackling another Monday morning!
“Noah needs to remember to pack his basketball clothes for after co-op. Sophia needs to make her lunch. What time is Tyler’s class and does Bella have a ride to practice?”
That’s when I knew something needed to change. I knew I needed a different strategy for Mondays!
Waking up on a Monday morning feeling unprepared for the week ahead is not fun.
I feel grouchy and stressed. And so do the kids! As my children have grown I have learned the value of being prepared. It makes for a happier mom, happier child, and ultimately a happier home.
So how do Mondays become less stressful? By doing something different on Sunday!
One of the habits I have cultivated with our family is gathering together on a Sunday night to go over our week ahead. It allows us to go over everyone’s schedules, discuss important appointments or meetings, and get on the same page. I have to be able to see ahead to know what needs to be prepared.
I know my own soul needs this time of preparation. It creates clarity and calm for me, but also our kids. The weekend goes by way too fast most of the time, and before we know it, our kids are having to prepare for a new week ahead. We shouldn’t fault them for dreading it when we as adults can definitely feel the pain too. Sometimes it feels like just as we are winding down, it is time to get going again!
As is with most things in a family, being proactive versus reactive is always the best way to enter a new week. Being proactive simply means that I am going to plan ahead before I am in the middle of it. Giving Monday morning a thought before late Sunday night makes for a calmer, easier start to the week!
So, here are a few of my Sunday night ideas for preparing your kids for Monday morning:
1. Spend time in God’s Word.
There is absolutely no better way to start a week then spending time in God’s Word together. This doesn’t have to be complicated. We grab our Faith Forward Family Devotional and spend time studying the devotion for that day. It gives us time to center our hearts and minds on what is most important before the busyness of the week begins. This ensures that we step back and focus on what matters most. There are even times when our devotion might center around something that we are struggling with or we may face in the week ahead. It is a great time to encourage our children in the Lord, whether it be something they are fearful of, need more faith for or just need to be reminded of.
2. Take time to check the family schedule.
Syncing schedules is a must for me. With four children ages, 17, 15, 13, and 10 years old, I need to talk through everyone’s schedule to be sure we don’t miss anything. Mentally and verbally processing what everyone has going on for the week ahead actually sets my mind at ease. Another benefit of checking schedules is seeing if there are too many things on the calendar. There have been times by looking ahead we have realized that it was necessary to cancel appointments or commitments because we just couldn’t make all of it happen. Again, this is being proactive and helps your family maintain a healthy schedule where your priorities come first.
3. Straighten up the house.
I try to head into a new week feeling like everything is freshened up and in its place. This won’t be perfect, but having our kids join us in making sure their rooms are picked up, laundry is put away and the house is straightened will help settle their hearts for the week ahead. Atmosphere has so much to do with our attitude. We definitely come back to this almost every day, but by intentionally getting our atmosphere ready for the week ahead on Sunday night it eliminates the distraction of disorder (at least for Monday morning! Ha!).
4. Have everything set out for the next morning.
It is no fun to be running around when it is time to leave on Monday morning. Simply being proactive can solve so much unnecessary angst. How many times have we shouted from upstairs, “Do you have your homework?”, “Make sure you don’t forget your epi-pen!”, “Did you pack your lunch?!”, “Do you have a hat and gloves? It is cold out!” and the list goes on. Being prepared by having bags packed, coats ready, lunches packed and more will eliminate the scurrying to grab everything as you walk out the door!
As Nester Smith, says in regards to the home, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”
I would say that the same applies here. No matter how hard we try we will never get it all right, but we can do our best to make even the imperfect moments beautiful by giving a little thought to the days ahead.