It happened every Sunday morning. I could have set my clock to it. The Sunday morning “pre-church hustle.” Wake up (usually late), run around like crazy trying to make myself and 3 tiny humans presentable, feed the family, deal with the dog, prepare nursery bags etc. Inevitably, someone cannot find a shoe, spills cereal all over their clothes or the baby has a major blow out seconds before walking out of the door!
The house has gone from clean/tidy to post tornado status. I have usually spent my morning yelling at everyone to “HURRY UP!” or “EAT FASTER” so by the time we get to church, I am in a foul mood and definitely NOT ready for worship.
My husband is the pastor of our church and likes to spend Sunday morning reviewing his sermon, so the majority of the church prep falls on my shoulders. I am also the church nursery director so I have to be there by 9 AM to get everything prepared for the day.
After several weeks of chaos and angry words on Sunday mornings, I finally decided that I needed a better plan. I was tired of going into church with an angry heart and was worried that my kids would start to hate Sunday mornings because they knew that “the church beast” (aka me) would make her (its?) weekly appearance!
Over the last few months, I have made a few changes to our Sunday morning and those changes have helped to completely change how our mornings look. Goodbye rage monster! Goodbye angry words! Hello peace and a heart ready to receive the morning message.
Since I know that a lot of people join me on the Sunday morning struggle bus, I thought I would share a few of the changes we have made in my home! These tips are not earth shattering but simple, adjustments that can easily be made!
1. KISS: Keep it simple stupid. How rude! But really, forgo the gourmet pancakes and intricate omelets. Stick to easy breakfasts, simple outfits, hair make up etc.
Pre kids, I was a walking MAC add. Make up done to the 9s, hair perfectly curled etc. Life now is much more basic. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t walk around looking like a wretch but my makeup and outfit are simple. Breakfast is typically a quick scrambled egg or cereal and the kids clothes are comfortable and easy to wear.
Note, this is not me but the make up is pretty spot on for pre-kids Stephanie. The look was….dramatic. I, however, would not waste good doughnuts by resting them on my head.
2. Be flexible: This one is very hard for me. I tend to air on the side of type A and like things to be done a certain way. I have a plan in my mind and if things do not go according to plan I tend to…..lose my junk. However, I am learning that flexibility is the key to a better day!
Your daughter wants to wears her favorite pair of sneakers? Your son wants to wear his hair in a way that you don’t really like? Who cares?! It is better for them to be in church and happy than to be fuming all day. Our church runs more on the traditional side, but I will sometimes allow my daughter to wear a more casual outfit with a reminder that this is not an “every Sunday outfit”. She is happy and a lot more agreeable the following week when I present her with a fancier dress. Thankfully, churches tend to be a lot more casual these days so most people wouldn’t even care!
3. Prepare the night before: So easy to say but not always easy to do, because once i plop down on the couch at the end of the day, I am down for the count. Before I make a bee line for the couch on Saturday night, I lay everything out on the table, round up the shoes and prepare their church bags. It is another simple step but it is amazing how much of a difference it makes on Sunday morning! I have also started to get the older two kid involved with the idea that they will start taking over these tasks as they are able.
4. Put on Christian music: I have found that playing Christian music while getting ready for Sunday morning helps to center me and to prepare my heart for worship. I will usually put on a Pandora station and turn it up! A bonus to this is that the kids end up learning the songs as well!
5. Wake up early: I saved this one for last because it hurts the most! In order to do everything that I need to do, and walk out of the door on time (8:30 AM for us), with a smile on my face, I have to be up and moving by 6:30 AM. This time might change depending on whether my hair is done (curly hair problems). I get up, get my face on, hair fixed and dressed before the kids have even woken up.
Once they are up (usually around 7 AM), it is bathroom time and I start have started preparing breakfast. It literally takes them ffoorreevvveerr to eat breakfast but since they have gotten up so early, I do not have to scream at them to hurry up anymore! After breakfast, they are dressed, hair is brushed and they will usually watch a show until it is time to leave.
The early bird gets to church with a smile!
My kids are on the younger side (5,4 and 1) so they require a lot more assistance in the morning but I will probably continue to incorporate these little tricks as they get older.
What do you do to get your tribe out of the door on Sunday morning? I would love to hear your tips and tricks!