I forgot about Sunday.
The day of rest. A day to refresh, to slow down. To give thanks, to practice contentment, to take a break from work. To breathe, and be refreshed; to become ready, again, for a new week.
After years of motherhood, I forgot. So I’m writing to remind you, to tell you – moms need Sunday too.
It may look different, but don’t give up Sunday, or Saturday, whichever day is your day of rest.
It will look different of course. Because motherhood doesn’t stop. Our children don’t sleep all day once a week (what a glorious thought!), they still need to eat, and wear clothes, and brush their teeth.
But maybe something could be different – our attitude, our routine, our plans and expectations.
Does the house need to be cleaned? Perhaps we might go to church instead. Must we make three meals ourselves? Maybe not. (My husband often offers to go pick up carry out on Sunday night, usually because I’m doing meal prep for the week ahead.) But if we pay attention to the chores we end up doing on Sunday, we could probably move them to Saturday or Monday most weeks.
Some things need to happen on the weekend because it’s worse if they don’t. For me that’s meal prep, for you it might be laundry or paying the bills. That’s fine, know what you need, but experiment with carving out some time to refresh, and then protecting it.
What if we treated Sunday as sacred? Every time we had the choice, we could choose to funnel events and commitments into 6 days of the week and leave one day less crowded.
Kids in sports and part time jobs can make this difficult, I know.
But what really matters is the mindfulness of it.
I want to challenge you to try, and I will too.
Try to make time to slow down, to hear your own voice, to take time to be with those you love.
Play with your kids, maybe take some time to explore your creativity, go to church or do a devotional as a family. Read to your kids, eat a meal together – homemade or takeout, doesn’t matter, get outside, play in the rain or the snow, watch the sunset.
If you’re not sure where to start, prioritize relationships: with your kids, your husband, with God.
Find time for silence, for joy, find space to just be.
And when you find the time, find the space, begin to take a Sabbath again, and you feel better – when that happens, use that to create rhythm in your week, tackle tasks with strength on Monday, work studiously on your to do list on Tuesday and Wednesday, and as you approach Friday and Saturday, look for ways to make space in your life for a break on Sundays.
Do shopping on Saturday, clean the house throughout the week, do the budget on payday, teach your kids to clean up after themselves.
Most importantly, don’t give up.
Don’t be a martyr, don’t work all the time. Stop and play with your kids. Practice mindfulness.
Stop letting all days feel the same, create a rhythm to your week, find days to work harder and then time to slow down. As you practice this in your week, then begin to look at trying it in your daily routine too. If dinner time gets crazy as it does for most of us, take a break during nap time to slow down and refresh yourself mentally, even if it’s just for 10 min. You might want to try waking up earlier to have time to center yourself before the house wakes up.
Taking time each day and each week to slow down, be still, embrace life, will help you to adjust your expectations, to let your children be children, it will help you manage your willpower, and bring all the benefits of creating margin in your life.
The more I read about science and psychology, the more I find nuance and support for the exhortations of scripture.
To be the moms God called and created us to be, to be the moms we want to be, we must find a balance between industriousness and rest, between productivity and peace, and as I study the relationship between science and faith, I find that the Sabbath is one of the most basic practices that is both powerful and easily forgotten.
If you’re worried about letting someone down if you slow down, then come at it from a different direction. Make Sunday about relationships instead of tasks, and you may arrive at a similar schedule with a very different mindset; and you might throw the schedule out the window but spend time with the very some people.
P.S. Today I took a long time to make breakfast, interweaving cleaning the kitchen with making muffins, eggs, oatmeal, and bacon, until everyone was full and the kitchen was clean. Then I pulled out the draft of this post that I had started and added to it. Then I stopped to play Mario Kart with my boys. Now I’m writing more, and considering how best to prepare for the week, mentally and logistically. May you find peace in your Sunday routine, my toddler has found me at my desk so I am going to go play.
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