Whoever wrote the song “Easy Like Sunday Morning” clearly did NOT have small children who needed to get ready for church. Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but when you have six small children who don’t usually get up until the sun does around 7:30 and service at 9:00 it is anything but! Here are a few things I’ve done to help calm the Sunday morning chaos.
1- Send kids to bed in their church clothes
I know, sounds a bit crazy, but it is genius! I can thank my amazing husband for this one. I rolled my eyes at him and ignored the suggestion, he told the kids to go get dressed for church before bed. Holy cow it made such a big difference in the morning! No hunting for a clean shirt or underpants. No more playing around in their pajamas when they are supposed to be getting dressed. I don’t put the two youngest to bed in their Sunday clothes, they will inevitably spill breakfast on them, but I do lay their clothes out on the couch ready to go. I also plan my own outfit and make sure everything I need is clean and ready to go.
2- Put socks in shoes ready to be put on
Obviously kids aren’t going to sleep in their shoes. Once we got the dressing on Sunday morning under control it seemed like we were always hunting down socks or shoes! Now I have the kids put their socks or tights in their shoes and place them next to their bed. Not only have we already found them, but this reminds them to put them on as they get out of bed in the morning.
3- Prepare an easy breakfast
I must admit I’m much happier with a nice big hot breakfast in my belly. I decided, however, that getting up early enough to scramble eggs, fry bacon, and toast bread wasn’t good for my morning sanity. Breakfast on Sunday is usually some sort of fruit with either cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt. Easy peasy and the biggest kids can get it all out themselves. I decide on breakfast the night before. We did consider setting the table at night, but decided that with a one-year-old who loves to climb on it that it may not be the best plan.
4- Clean on Saturday
Make sure the table is clean, floors swept, counters wiped etc. Do I actually need a clean house to leave for church, not really. Having a clean house, however, helps my mind to be in a more peaceful state. Not to mention that stepping on a Lego can seriously ruin a good mood on any morning!
5- Get up early
I know it’s the weekend and you want to sleep as long as possible. Welcome to stressland! Even if it’s just five or ten minutes get up early enough to give yourself plenty of time for unexpected delays. Fact is they happen, especially with small kids. Someone will spill something, the dog will jump with muddy paws, you’ll discover a rip or hole. Give yourself enough time to calmly deal with the situation and still get out the door on time.
6- Work as a team
Make sure each family member knows the expectations and what their role is. For example with the baby’s clothes laid out ready to go my oldest daughter will often take the initiative to start dressing him after breakfast. I don’t even have to ask because she knows what needs to be done and wants to be helpful. The kids know to put their socks and shoes on first thing, so I rarely have to remind them. Dad knows where the kids clothes are and what’s for breakfast so he can jump in and get things going. When I thought I had to do everything myself and wasn’t communicating and asking for help Sunday mornings were ALWAYS high stress and usually ended with me yelling, crying or both!
7- Don’t stress about being late
This is easier for some than others. We could walk in ten minutes late every single week and my husband wouldn’t bat an eye. If I am walking in and am not fully seated yet when the service starts I am a mess of anxiety. I have had to learn to give myself permission to just roll with the punches. My six kids are fed, happy and at church. It is far better to arrive at church late without any yelling, arguing, fighting, or tears than to be on time in a huff with everyone hating life.
Do you have any tips for calming the Sunday morning chaos? I’d love to hear them!