Monday morning, waking up late, pizza boxes on the kitchen counter, out of milk, he won’t get out of bed, and she can’t find her tuba mouthpiece to practice for the concert the very same night I have promised to go shoe shopping with the other one. Someone starts moaning, another starts panicking, and parent starts shouting. Been there? Me too, all too often. Monday mornings can really suck for single parents.
Have a set list of tasks to do on Sundays to be ready for the week:
1. Meal plan and grocery shop for the week (don’t shop without the plan).
2. Have the laundry washed and folded. I actually try to get this done by Friday so that weekends are free days. I do no more than 2 loads a day (and often do none), but I tend to do it when I am brain dead and numb (before 5 am or after 8 pm, and bring a bribe with me) to preserve neurons for interactions. At any rate, have your portion of that chore finished by Sunday night (anyone over 16-years old does their own laundry).
3. Pick up the living room and clear off the dining room table for dinner on Sunday night (Gretchen Rubin says every night, and I am working on that one).
4. Have bills in line for payment if not paid already. I paper clip the envelopes to the bill and keep stamps at my office to make it easy to fill and mail envelopes from there. I read mail at home nearly every night, and it all goes either in the recycle, the payment pile, or in a slot to reply/do later. Ideally, I would deal with it immediately when I open it- and I am working up to that. Sunday nights, have the paper pile thinned down in a small box (the bigger the box, the bigger my paper pile. Go figure).
5. Dinner together in a relaxed format to talk and laugh over things and share highlights of last week and plans for this week. Sometimes we have breakfast out instead.
6. Calendars synced so that the choir concert and PT conferences are on the radar. I need lead time for evening activities, and he needs some warning about locating/ironing his tux shirt for the concert.
7. Kitchen cleaned up. This can take me hours sometimes, I have no idea why. Please tell me.
Of course I mess up and sometimes end up at the grocery store on Tuesday nights at 9 pm , wandering the frozen pizza isle with bills stuffed in my purse to read at the stoplight. But if we could do this Sunday Prep Plan consistently, that won’t happen as often, and Monday morning arrives with everyone perhaps not happy, but at least a little more prepared.