Monday, March 31

The Sunday Morning Scramble

One of the blogs I enjoy had a recent post on getting ready and to church on time on Sunday mornings. What a great topic! In past years we've found ourselves scurrying in to church after the worship has begun. What a terrible feeling that is! Now we seem to have a routine that works for our large family and gets us to church on time (usually). All this might get messed up again as we add a fifth child to the mix.

Here's what works for us:
1.) Nurture an attitude of peace on Sunday mornings.
Completely serious here. What calms your kids? Soft worship music? A calm good morning greeting or a frantic and stressed mother? There is a law of the universe that says that if something can go wrong on a Sunday morning, it will. Okay, so I made up that law but it has been proven in our household and ought to be on the books as fact.
If there's a tantrum to be had during the week, it'll be before church. If something is to be broken, it'll happen then too. If the dog doesn't make it outside in time, it'll happen on a Sunday morning... Someone needs to puke? You can guess when it'll happen. You get the idea.

2.) All the kids bathed and sweet smelling on Saturday night.
Sean has been a great help here recently since I don't bend in the middle so well right now. Our older two children (5.5 and 7) can run a bath or shower by themselves. I am so glad we've trained them how to do this.

3.) Clothes laid out and ironed on Saturday.
I will admit to last minute changes for myself because when you are this pregnant sometimes an outfit you planned on wearing just magnifies the belly and needs to be set aside! For Easter I had planned on wearing a Sense and Sensibility dress that I made in a teeny tiny plaid/check. It looks lovely on the hanger and I'll wear it after the baby is born but in it large and pregnant I reminded myself of a big plaid double stroller. It wasn't pretty.
While you are picking out your children's clothes, mentally prepare an "in case" outfit for them. "In case" they spill grape juice on their shirt or "in case" they fall in the mud as you're walking out the door.
A side note here for parents with strong willed children - letting our three year old see the night before what he is going to wear and giving him the choice between two outfits makes the morning dressing time a LOT more peaceful.

4.) If you are in the diaper bag stage of life, get that ready too.
A full sippy cup in the fridge ready to go, a snack packed, diapers and whatever else you require can be readied the night before.

5.) Mom and Dad, get up early on Sunday morning.
I know it is the weekend, but it isn't a great day to sleep in. Being able to dress and heat up the curling iron before everyone else is out of bed gives me a head start. I love head starts. It makes me feel like I've pulled one over on someone. Don't ask me who. I don't know. Maybe whoever put into motion that law of Sunday mornings.

6.) Do the girls hair before breakfast.

This way it is out of their faces, pulled back and won't be falling into their syrupy pancakes.

7.) Don't dress the kids until after breakfast.
Just common sense. I've seen perfectly spotless bibs with soiled clothes underneath. I don't know how they do it, they just do.

8.)Divide and conquer.
"You dress the boys and I'll dress the girls."

9.) Plan breakfast the night before and make it as simple as possible.
This doesn't have to mean cold cereal. If you'd like a pancake Sunday morning tradition, just assemble all the dry ingredients together the night before and have all the wet ingredients waiting together in the fridge.
It goes against my frugal nature, but one thing we've found that saves time and sanity on Sunday mornings is eating out. That way there is no breakfast mess to come home to. (Insert the heavens open and the angels singing!)
We like Panera for this and it really doesn't cost a whole lot for bagels for everyone.

10.) Pray for wisdom and help.Maybe you think these ideas are terrible and that's fine with me. God knows exactly what your family needs to get jump-started on Sunday mornings to get to church with hearts that haven't spent th last few hours in turmoil.

Anyone else have any good tips? Especially for negotiating Sunday mornings with a breastfeeding infant? I' need those tips...


Jodie Wolfe said...

I also set the table for breakfast, the night before.

I am in the process of researching for a book I would like to write that addresses ten struggles that Christian women face. I would love to have your input as well.

Thank you for any help you can give me. All I need is the list of ten things as well as your age. Thank you!

Anna said...

It can be helpful (assuming you are able to pump and don't mind bottlefeeding expressed breastmilk occasionally) to pump during the week and have a bottle ready for Sunday morning. That way Dad (or an older sibling) can feed baby if there is something else that only you can do. Because, according to that law of Sunday mornings, that is *exactly* when baby will need to eat. :)

Pam said...

For my 6 children, I have found that having each gather a book bag full of things they might need for church the night before makes a different (bible, crayons, notepad). Also, we always run out of tights and check this as well as if the church shoes are clean or muddy! The last thing (this may seem compulsive) is to determine what we will eat when we get home. Everyone is hungry, and if I don't have a plan, it's really stressful!!!

Me said...

Anna, I remember having a bottle ready when the baby gets older. If I don't nurse when they are little I have all sorts of problems...
Pam, those are great reminders. How many times we have run around and stressed looking for a missing shoe and getting home from church late and trying to figure out what to cook is not fun either!

Anna said...

I completely understand that. I feel slightly hypocritical, because I don't use my own tip. :grin: But I have trouble pumping, and baby doesn't like a bottle, and sometimes that the only time I have to sit down and be still ...

Anyway, a friend had suggested it to me because it worked really well for her ... so I thought it might be helpful. :)

Anonymous said...

awesome post (a little TMI on all this pump stuff tho!) :) but I wanted to simplycask if the photography on your blog is your own? It is amazing.

And great reminder to set out clothes the night before. We only have one child and since he is adopted this Dad does all the early morning feeding, bathing and dressing for mom, it is wondering bonding time for me while mom gets relaxing shower and personal time getting ready each morning before I'm off to work and she is on duty the rest of the day until I'm home for dinner.

Me said...

Karl, one of my girlfriends says her husband's only complaint about this blog is that it is sometimes a little too "girly" and I laughed and asked if he did realize it is written by a woman!
I'll try to remember to put a warning label on a future posts with TMI.
Good for you doing the Sunday morning scramble! I really appreciate that Sean is so involved with our children. It is good for all of us.

Yes, the photography is mine.