Do you get that feeling of dread on Sunday night just thinking of returning to work and facing the whole Monday shebang? I used to until I created a Sunday routine that helps me take charge of the week and empowers me to enter the week with a feeling of super readiness!
Before my son came along, I saw weekends as a time to relax and unwind from a whole week of work. Sundays were a dedicated self-care day I use to prepare for Monday - a hair wash, nails done, clothes for the week laundered and ironed, and the rest of the time was used to relax, catch up with friends and the likes of those.
But after having a child, let's just say it took a different turn altogether. And it never ends. But I've made peace with my weekends. I've cultivated a routine that not only includes time for myself and my son, but I also make time to do things to help me make the week ahead a whole lot easier.
I use my Saturday's to do whatever my son wants to do, which can be anything from watching a movie to going to the park, having lunch or dinner outside etc. But Sundays are what I use to get down to business so that our week ahead sails as smooth as it can.
It might seem like a lot of work on a Sunday when you're supposed to be doing nothing before facing the dreaded Monday, but the thing is, having a Sunday routine just sets my son and me up for a better week, and that to me is worth everything.
If you're wondering what to do on a Sunday, look no further. I share 6 things I do that might be helpful to you.
Being a working mom, Sunday is an organisation day for me. I sit with my coffee before my son wakes up and go through a list of things that I have to do for the day and the rest of the week so that I have a big picture of everything that is going to happen and what I need to do to prepare for it.
The length of my to-do list can vary depending on what's happening during the coming week so if you have a to-do list, accommodate it accordingly.
Remember to set up a realistic to-do list that you can actually follow and create some space to allow for some modifications. And don't beat yourself up with you don't tick off all your boxes - it's not the end of the world!
I group my to-do list into the following categories. It makes it a whole lot easier for me to manage.
Kitchen - Plan Your Meals for the Week
I'm not the biggest fan of cooking. I find it a chore, the prepping, the cooking, the cleaning after....aaahhh, it can be so much work. But it's something I HAVE to do - for my son and me, so we have healthier meals at home, rather than take out all the time. Don't get me wrong, we still do take out but occasionally - maybe once a week!
Because I'm not a huge fan of the whole cooking fiasco, I'm very intentional with what I do in the kitchen and things surrounding the kitchen to make the experience a lot easier and more pleasant.
I always start off with planning a daily menu of what we'll be having for the entire week. It takes the headache away from trying to figure out what to cook after a long day at work. I'm not too rigid on following the daily menu, and it can be swapped around depending on what we feel like having on a particular day. The thing is, you have all the options laid out for you to pick and choose from if you want to.
Once our menu is done and has been approved by my super picky son, I list down what I need from the grocery store. This would require me to go through my pantry and fridge to see what I have left and what needs to be topped up and added. Just for context - I do my grocery shopping only once every two weeks.
Personally, the list ensures I don't forget stuff at the store, but I tend to go beyond what is listed, especially when it comes to vegetables, condiments, and snacks!
Monday to Friday is usually a fast-paced, hectic time for most. Make your life a little bit easier by planning your meals for the week. It certainly has made my life easier on a whole new level.
What I do prep includes chopping onions, garlic, cutting up vegetables for a quick stir fry during the week, and marinate chicken. In addition to this, I also batch cook curries, soups and I cook rice and freeze it for fried rice. You could also batch cook pasta sauces, make pesto and chilli paste for sambal in advance.
Take anything out of the freezer that needs to be defrosted and put it in the fridge before you leave for work, i.e. chicken, fish, shellfish etc.
If you don't have time on your side, order your groceries online
Plan dinner options that can also be used as lunches!
Laundry - Get Your Clothes For The Week Sorted
To be honest, I only do laundry once a week and only on the weekends because I don't have the energy to deal with it during the weekdays.
Getting laundry and clothes sorted for the week is a great idea, saves you a tremendous amount of time in the long run and relieves a lot of stress from trying to figure out what to wear every single morning. My clothes and my son's school uniform are pressed and ready to go, so it's one (two) fewer things to think about every morning!
Cleaning - Your Home
It's not unusual for clutter and mess to pile up during the week, especially when you're having a super busy week. Spend some time tidying up your home on Sunday and get your kids involved too. Just go through your to-do list on home cleaning and tackle them one by one.
The items on my Sunday to-do list when it comes to cleaning include:-
Mop and vacuum
Clean the kitchen counter-tops, re-organise stuff in kitchen cabinets, clean fridge, microwave oven and stovetops
Wipe down all surfaces
Hang up clothing & organise your wardrobe, and your kids can help do their own
Re-organise your skincare and makeup cabinets and drawers
Clean out and re-organise your handbag or work bag, and your kids can do the same with their school backpacks
Clean the bathrooms
Reorganise your work desk
My best tip to maintaining a clean home throughout the week is to do what you can nightly before you turn in for bed - tidying the living room, kitchen cleaned and dishes put away, toys in their baskets, dirty laundry in their hampers.
Doing those little things every night goes a long way for me, I feel more relaxed when I wake up in the morning, and everything is in its place. Plus, I would have fewer things to do the following Sunday if I can maintain a somewhat tidy looking home throughout the week.
Go Through Your Child's Schedule For The Week
This is a big one for me because I'm a single parent. I send him and pick him up from school every day. And because of this, I make sure I know his timetable by heart, whether it's a normal school day or days he has extra activities like football and tournaments etc.
In addition to this, I always check communication from school on any updates or requirements that he needs to do or I need to do.
Not forgetting things that he needs to take to school like sports gear, arts and music stuff or even homework or that book report he hasn't gotten around to doing. We spend 5 - 10 minutes going through what's pending for school so I can gently remind him from time to time, especially when there's a deadline involved.
My son is quite playful, so whatever it is, I need to do to support him to make sure he's on track I'll do.
Sunday night is a great time to sit with your kids and run through the week ahead. Honestly, I do this with my son on Sundays, and every single night, so he knows our schedules, especially if I'm having a busy week and might be late from work.
Work - Get A Bigger Picture Of What Your Work Week Is Going To Be Like
Now, in the evening, instead of trying in vain yet again not to think about my alarm clock going off Monday at 5 AM (let alone all those other inevitable horrors), I spend 10 minutes making myself proud by taking care of some work stuff, so I'm ready to take on the next day and the whole week.
Many like to start on Monday mornings itself, but I prefer it on Sundays, so I don't waste any more time and can get straight to it the next day.
This can be anything from going through your weekly schedule or planner and updating it, emptying your inbox and flagging e-mails that need your immediate attention, creating a work to-do list for the week and prioritising them.
Check your bank account every week, which will help you get some idea of what your spending looks like. Make adjustments for the next week if you need to.
Set small goals every week to help you achieve your long-term vision. You can make a list of these weekly tasks in your planner and cross them off as they are completed. The more you see what needs to be done with the completion dates listed, then the easier it is for all those things to get accomplished one by one.
Don't forget to schedule some time for YOURSELF!
Above all, Sundays do feel like a time to recharge your batteries and unwind, and you should find some time to do that. You deserve to spend a bit of time every day doing something for yourself- whether it's working out, reading or watching a movie - just make sure you're making enough time for what makes YOU happy!
As a working single parent, I find being organised and productive is a form of self-care. I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that I have my life somewhat sorted out. It relieves me from anxiety and being overwhelmed.