Happy Mom Monday – Mondays Make Me Happy

happy mom mondayHappy Mom Monday!  You may think I’m daft, but Mondays make me happy.

I know, Monday has a bad reputation.  It’s the day we all return to our routines after a busy weekend of fun.  As moms, we have a double whammy.  We need to get everyone else in the household back on their routines (not bad in the summer, but tough during the school year) PLUS we have a weekend full of laundry and cleaning to catch up on.

During the school year, by the time I get everyone successfully out the door on a Monday morning, I am wiped out!  A full weekend of family actives (whether at-home or on-the-run) leaves me yearning for a little peace and quiet to recover.

And, so, about three months ago, I decided to give in to the yearning.

I declared Monday to be MOMday.


After I got everyone off to school and work, I started a load of laundry.  Then I curled up on the couch with a book.  I didn’t budge until lunchtime.

I can’t tell you the difference it made.  I felt like I’d actually had a weekend off!

I tried it again, and again, and again.  Same results.

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, taking Monday morning off and calling it my own was the PERFECT way to start my week.  My natural inclination is to cram Monday with as much of the housework and errand running as I can possibly fit into the day.   But I discovered that taking half of Monday off actually helped me to get MORE done each week.

I think it works because Happy Mom Monday actually gives me a weekend.

Most Saturdays are pretty hectic.  During the school year, they are crammed with sports.  It’s also the day my husband wants to get all his errands and to-do’s done, and he invariably wants us to run all those errands as a family.   Between all those activities, we’re away from the house for eight or more hours.  That’s not exactly a “day off” kind of experience for me.  I love the time we spend as a family, but my Saturdays feel more like I’m working overtime.  (please tell me you can relate)

Sunday morning means church.  It’s not until Sunday afternoon that my family actually slows down and gets still.  On most Sunday afternoons (after I’ve checked for homework, made sure the backpacks are packed, layed out school clothes, and made sure we have food for Monday) I begin to unwind and relax just in time for dinner.  In my mind, that’s when I finally get a little “weekend action” of my own.

By extending my weekend into Monday, I actually feel like I get a weekend!

I’ve gotten pretty sneaky at extending my weekend.   Well, not really sneaky.  I told my husband what I was doing and he helps me accomplish it.

Here’s how I re-gained my weekend by embracing Happy Mom Monday:

  1. I talked with my husband and got his support.  By the end of the school year, he was getting the kids up, fed, and dressed without me.  He took them to school too, so I could have stayed in bed and slept in.
  2. I complete the Monday morning lay-out (school work, lunch boxes, clothing, sports bags, whatever) on Sunday, as soon as possible.  During the summer, that includes making sure the breakfast foods are accessible for the kids.
  3. I run at least one load of laundry each weekend day.  No sorting required, I just get it through the dryer.    That ensures I can be caught up completely on laundry at the end of Monday, just like “the old days.”
  4. Make sure the dishwasher (and sink) are empty and ready to receive dishes on Monday morning.   Again, this helps me feel caught up and on top of things for the week.
  5. Crockpot meals and quick-prep dinners are essential to my Monday plans.  If I had everything prepped and in a bag, my husband would be happy to start the crockpot on Monday mornings.
  6. I put it on the calendar.  I won’t schedule errands or appointments on Mondays unless it is absolutely necessary.   Neither will my husband.

I know, it looks like I just pushed half my “Monday” work back onto the weekend.  I did, and I don’t mind.  I pushed it into the part of the weekend that didn’t feel like “weekend.”  In the process, I cleared a space on the calendar that truly feels like time off.

During the summer, it’s a bit harder.  But I try.  I’m planning on taking the first week of school “off” just to make up for the summer.

I share this now, over the summer, to make a point.  Unscheduled time to myself is part of what keeps me being This Happy Mom.  It requires intentional effort to accomplish.  I believe most moms have the same need.   Taking time “off” from housework and motherhood reminds us of who we are.  It refreshes and renews us.

I encourage you to take time now, before the school year starts, to define when your “day off” will be.

Find your Happy MOMday, no matter what day of the week it falls on.

How?

  • Reserve one day a week as your at-home day with pre-school children.  Toss dinner in the crockpot and refuse to leave the house.
  • Instead of cramming all your errands into the one “mother’s day out” day of childcare, take half the time to sit and be still.
  • Swap a few hours of child-care with a friend.  Run home and curl up with a book.
  • Ask your husband to take the kids and leave the house for Saturday morning.  Crawl back in bed with a book.
  • Put your kids to bed early on the night your husband works late.  Toss the paper plates from dinner into the trash and take the night off.

Whatever time you define for yourself, be a jealous guardian of that time!  Protect and treasure the time you have to just be YOU.

Got any other ideas for creating MOMday time?  I’d love to hear what works for you.

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. I can’t say I have any ideas per say, but I do make sure my younger kids go to bed at 8pm during the week for school nights. My oldest stays up, but he doesn’t bother me or make any noise at all. If need be he helps put the youngest to bed (my daughter still has nights when she fights her bed time.) So, I get a couple hours at night for a couple nights for me. I love your suggestion though!!

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