We are that family. Without fail, for months we would arrive at church on Sunday mornings at that awkward time of being too late for Sunday School but too early for morning service. Sunday mornings at home would be a confused, chaotic time that usually ended with shoes missing, diaper bag left at home and me yelling. Yes, a pretty picture I know.
My frustration would inevitably peak each Sabbath as I asked others to take care of (last minute) what I should have already done. For example- my 3 and 4-year-olds are not the most motivated of creatures when it comes to getting dressed so I would enlist one of their older siblings to assist them. Without fail the unnamed sibling would come to me complaining that they couldn’t find anything church-worthy for the babes to wear. This, of course, would only ignite my nerves all the more sending me on a rampage through the house looking for anything that fit and wasn’t stained.
And that’s just one example of a weekly occurrence.
I would gripe all the way to church about people “not doing their job!” And once we got there, I would magically transform into the smiley, patient mommy while in view of my church family. Hypocrite much?
During worship I would pour my heart out to God, asking him to help me not be so angry and frustrated with my family. Begging Him to show me how to not be Angry Mommy became a weekly thing. I’d walk out the doors resolute against negative emotional responses to my family only to be right back in that ugly place when we arrived home hungry with nothing prepared sight to eat.
About a month ago I decided that I’d had enough. I wanted Sunday mornings to be what they are intended to be- the Lord’s day. I
wanted needed to get a handle on my house and get things in order.
I sat down and made a list of 5 simple things I could do on Saturday to ensure we would have a smooth Sunday morning.
1. Take Care of the Mom Stuff
Having my nails painted and eyebrows tweezed are important to me. It just makes me feel prettier when I get those two things done, however, I found myself attempting to do them on Sunday morning… which was always a fail and caused strife.
Setting the 30 minutes aside on Saturday to polish my nails and tweeze the brows is such a better way of doing it! I can take my time and get it done right.
One other thought.. instead of showering on Sunday morning, I do it Saturday night. That way I’m clean and just need to do my hair and face in the morning (which I can do while the babes are in the tub!).
2. Prep Breakfast
This is an easy one. We do a lot of oatmeal around here- baked, soaked, on the stove, in the microwave… you name it, we do it. Oatmeal makes for a quick, convenient (and healthy) breakfast any day. Our favorite baked oatmeal comes from Money Saving Mom. Anytime I make the freezer-friendly oatmeal, I use these handy-dandy pans. They’re the perfect size for anything from oatmeal to lasagna that you want to make ahead.
Of course cereal, bagels or breakfast casserole ready to go in the oven in the morning all work just as well.
Whatever you choose, do as much prep as you can on Saturday night. I set out bowls, spoons, cups, a box of cereal if necessary.. whatever doesn’t need to be refrigerated and will be needed the following morning.
3. Prep Lunch
There’s something about Sunday morning church that brings out the hungry in everyone, and if that hunger isn’t addressed quickly… well, we all know the grumpy attitude that begins to run rampant through the house. Thankfully, I’ve developed a few tricks to keep the hunger monster at bay.
When it comes to Sunday lunch/supper freezer meals and the crock pot are your best friends.
Heavenly Homemaker has some wonderfully healthy ideas that are sure to fill your family and when timed correctly, will be ready just minutes after you arrive home. My all-time favorite freezer cookbook is Not Your Mother’s Make Ahead and Freeze Cookbook. All of the recipes use real food ingredients and I have yet to make one that we didn’t like. When I get the freezer cooking bug, it’s my go-to book.
Here’s how I time things to be done when we get home:
- Take the frozen meal out of the freezer
- Put it in a 200-degree oven
- Go to church
Complicated, huh? By the time we get home, the food is cooked through and all it needs is a quick broil to brown the top (I tend to top everything with cheese and consider it a bit of a mortal sin to not brown said cheese).
Crock Pot Meals
Oh, crock pot, how I love thee…
There are two different ways you could go about setting up your meal with the crock.
- Put everything in the crock the night before and just leave it in the fridge until morning.
- Or.. my personal favorite.. the freezer crock pot meal. Yes, it’s for the
lazy of the lazysupreme time managers out there.
Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Family Favorites is definitely one to add to your arsenal of cookbooks. If however you aren’t sure about the whole idea of freezer crock pot meals, Sidetracked Sarah is your starting point. Her Chicken Cacciatore is one of our family favorites.
Whether you choose freezer meals, crock pot meals or leftovers, the key is to have a plan and make that plan work for you! Do as much prep as you can the night before so you have minimal work in the morning.
4. Get Everyone’s Clothes Picked Out
This was definitely my biggest sources of strife. It literally takes less than 20 minutes to get everyone’s clothes (and shoes!!) picked out for the following morning. That is IF everything is clean. If not, do what I do and just rummage through the dirty clothes baskets, grab what you want the family to wear and do one load of laundry. But make sure it makes it to the dryer before you go to bed!! Trust me, no one wants to go to church smelling like Ode de Mold.
5. Bags Packed
Okay, this one was usually the kicker that sent me into full-on Angry Mommy mode.
Deciding to pack the diaper bag and get the Bibles together in advance was smart. But then going a step further and putting them in the car… yeah, that’s just plain genius. Not to mention a HUGE strife saver.
See? 5 simple steps that I promise will help take the stress out of Sunday mornings.
The main idea is to be proactive.
I’ve learned to apply this not just to Sundays but every other day too. If I know we are going somewhere or will have company, you better believe I make a list of the to-dos that I can accomplish before hand.
Making the same list every Saturday can seem tedious. Eventually, I thought to just copy it with my printer. So now on Saturdays, I can reach for my pre-made list and get started.
I’ve made a printable checklist to help you get started too! The two-page printable includes a blank list so you can customize it to meet your family’s needs.