Not-So-Manic Monday

When I was 8 years old,  I remember getting my first "boom box" and cassette tape for Christmas.
The tape I got was the Bangles "Different Light" tape.
Ahhh....gotta love the Bangles.
The first song on the tape was "Manic Monday"
I would sing it all the time.
Also on that tape was "Walk like an Egyptian"
And now those songs will be stuck in your head all day.
You're welcome ;)

As I got older, I realized how true that song can be.
Mondays are manic. Most Mondays, I do wish it was Sunday.
(Cause that's my Fun-Day)

After having kids, I have realized that Manic Mondays are not good for me.
I do not like starting my week un-organized and manic.
I prefer to have a "Not-so-Manic-Monday"
I thought I would share some tips of things I do every Sunday night to ensure that our Monday (and our week for that matter) get started on the right foot.

1.  Meal Plan for the Week
Every Sunday afternoon I meal plan for the week. I LOVE meal planning our dinners for the week. I go through our fridge/freezer/pantry and make a list of things I need to get at the store. I go grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon. That way, Kevin is home to watch the kids and I don't have to drag all 3 kids to the grocery store. Because let me tell you...dragging 3 kids to the grocery store is not fun!
I can't tell you how much I love meal planning...it truly makes my weeknight dinners go so smoothly. That 4-6 time in the afternoons is SO crazy for us. Trying to get homework done, running the girls to activities, etc. Knowing that I have a plan for dinner is a lifesaver.
2. Early dinner, bath, books & bedtime for the kids.
Before we had kids I had a "vision" of how fun it would be to do Sunday night dinners with extended family. All of us from both sides of the family getting together for a Sunday Night Dinner (like how they do in Parenthood and other TV shows)
But, I have realized, for this season in our life, having a Sunday night dinner with grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings & cousins is just not going to happen when my kids are young. Our kids need to start off their week well rested, which means early dinner (with just the 5 of us), baths, books & in bed before 7:30.
Kevin and I both realized years ago that we like to keep our Sunday nights free of any plans so that we can just focus on getting everything organized for the week ahead. As our kids are older, then maybe we can implement Sunday Dinners with the Extended Family, but for now we don't do them.

3. Have Monday night's dinner prepped on Sunday night
On Sunday afternoon, I not only prep the meal we are having that night, but I also try and prep the meal we are having on Monday night. About 90% of our Monday night meals are Crock Pot meals. On Sunday afternoon's I will dump all the ingredients into the crock pot, put it in the fridge so that on Monday morning, I just pull it out of the fridge and pop the crock pot into the heating unit.
Tonight we are having my Slow Cooker Ribs (Recipe HERE). SO good!
Another meal I do a majority of the time on Monday nights is my Chicken Tortilla Casserole (Recipe HERE) because you make it the night before and on Monday afternoon, I just have to pop it into the oven.
You can check out my family friendly & easy Recipes in the Recipe Box tab {HERE}
Another note about meal planning:
Every Wednesday night we host our Small Group Bible Study at our house at 7, so Wednesday nights are a little nutty because we have to get our house picked up, kids feed and put to bed by 7, so I always make sure our Wednesday night dinner is a leftover meal, so that I don't have to make dinner on Wednesday night, we just have leftovers. It's usually Monday's dinner that we have leftover on Wednesday.

4. Pick out outfits for the next day (kids AND yourself!)
Every Sunday night, the girls and I check the weather for the week. We then pick out what they will be wearing the next day. We have a rule with our kids....they pick out their outfit the night before and they CANNOT change their mind in the morning. We set out their outfits, socks, shoes & headbands (and jackets if necessary) so that when they get up in the morning, they can get dressed right away and so there isn't a scramble in the morning searching for things.
What they pick out the night before is what they are wearing. Mornings are chaotic trying to get out the door, so no outfit changes.
Every work night I also layout my outfit/shoes/jewelry so that I am not trying to figure it out in the morning!
And, every Sunday night I also paint my nails so that my nails are fresh for the week!

Here are some lyrics from the song Manic Monday:
"Have to catch an early train
Got to be to work by nine
And if I had an airoplane
I still couldn't make it on time
'Cause it takes me so long
Just to figure out what I'm gonna wear"

Seriously, I think that part of the song was ingrained in my brain because I have been picking out my outfits the night before since I was in 5th grade :) Always makes my morning easier!
5. Make Lunches
Every school night, I make lunches for the girls and keep them in the fridge. This way, in the morning, I just have to take their lunch boxes & put them right into their backpacks!
Again, this is something I started doing when I was in middle school and my mom made me make my own lunches, I would make them the night before! That habit has stuck with me!
I also get Luke's food prepped/organized/set out for when he goes to my moms or mother in law's in the mornings.

6. Check Backpacks
Every school night, I also go through their backpacks. Sunday nights, I check through their folders, see if any paper work is due for me to turn in, see if there is anything that needs to be turned in (Fieldtrip forms, etc) On Sunday nights,  I also get their library books gathered up & put back in their backpacks so they can turn them in.
After I have checked backpacks, I set out their backpacks at the kitchen table so that after they eat breakfast, they can grab their backpack and be ready to head out the door.
7. Make Coffee for the next morning
We have an automatic timer on our coffee maker, so every night Kevin makes coffee and we have it set to brew in the morning. Again, mornings are chaotic trying to get everyone out the door to work  & school, so we prep the night before to make life a bit easier.

8.  House picked up, dishes done, Laundry done & put away
If my house is picked up on Sunday nights, then I feel like my week is going to go so much smoother. Having 3 kids and being a working mom, the weekdays are chaotic and I don't get to clean up things and organize them much during the week. I like to start my Monday morning with a clean house. If my house doesn't get picked up on Sunday night, then it won't get picked up all week. Not having a picked up house makes me feel stressed out. I feel much more peaceful when my house is picked up.
Every night we go to bed with an empty kitchen sink. Both Kevin and I agree that there is nothing worse than waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes. Yuck! We get things cleaned up before we go to bed.
In a perfect world, I would also be totally caught up on laundry and have it all put away, but the reality is that doesn't happen every Sunday night...Right now as I type this, I have clean laundry in the dryer that needs to be folded & put away, but that will wait until tomorrow. You have to give yourself grace :)

9. Take a look at your schedule for the week & touch base with your spouse about the week ahead 
Look at your calendar and see what you have going on during the week. 
Any week night meetings or things not in your normal weekly routine?
Any playdates, activities, appointments scheduled?
Make a list of things you need to get done.
I LOVE making to-do lists and write one almost everyday.
It helps me stay organized and not forget things.

10. Go to bed early & make sure alarm(s) are set!
Do you know what Sunday night dread is? My friend (who I teach with) and I made up this term about 10 years ago. We would call/text each other on Sunday nights and complain that we couldn't fall asleep. I stay up extra late on Friday & Saturday nights so when Sunday night rolls around, my body is used to staying up a little bit later and I have a hard time falling asleep. And, then my mind starts thinking about all the things I need to get done that week,  that I have to get up early on Monday morning and worried that I will sleep through my alarm. All that is what Sunday night dread is made of. Not being able to fall asleep and then worrying that you won't wake up on time Monday morning. Anyone else have Sunday night dread?
I try to go to bed earlier on Sunday nights and of course I make sure I have my alarms set so that I don't oversleep.
My advice is to try and get to bed earlier on Sunday nights so that you start off your week well rested. Nothing is harder than starting off your week exhausted. It is so hard to catch up on sleep during the week!

So, there you have it. My Top 10 Tips for starting your week off right so that you don't have a Manic Monday!

What things to you do to start Monday off on the right foot?
I would love to hear more tips or things that work for your family!

Happy (Not-so-Manic) Monday to you!


  1. I love posts like this!! I love to peak into people's routines and see what they're up to! And I agree 100%...you need to be organized on Sunday night to set the right tone for the entire week!

  2. Bake and crockpot meals so I have healthy options ready to heat and eat- this is what keeps me out of drive through lines during lunch hours and weeknights!

  3. This sounds exactly like my Sunday nights, especially #1, 3, and 8. Having the house picked up, laundry way, etc. is a must. I am so much more stressed when I start the week unorganized. Love what you said about extended family dinners - so true. Although we don't do them often, when we do, our Sunday night and week is much more chaotic.

  4. Love this post. Your tips are great. I'm trying to get used to life as a mummy of two so will implement few of these.

  5. I am not nearly as organized as you...however, my MUST for any day is pre set the coffee, have lunch bags out and filled with at least the snacks, and make sure everyone has clean clothes (most likely NOT put away...but clean in bins)...and leave enough time for prayer BEFORE kids come down the stairs at 6am. Meal planning is key too...and I ALWAYS have frozen pizzas or taquitos JUST IN CASE life gets in the way of my perfect plan :-)

  6. We clean up the playroom on Sunday nights because if we don't, it looks like Toys R Us exploded in there. I am like you, if I start the week off with a big mess than it just stresses me out. I also wash the kids clothes every Sunday so they will be stocked for the week - their towels are usually washed on Saturday. Since Monday is my day on post at the newspaper, I like everything to be in order so I can focus on staff meetings, etc.. We keep shoes by the door and they have their own command hooks in the coat closet by the door so they can grab their own coats and get out the door. I used to do the night-before lunch routine but I am usually comatose by 10pm so I have found that it is easier to do in the morning. Confession: I did not make their beds today. My eye is twitching as I write this. :)

  7. Love this post! Especially making sure the sink is cleared. I don't know why, but it drives me crazy, and every time I complain about it I hear my mom telling my 10 year old self to put dishes in the dishwasher! :)

  8. I absolutely do this on Sunday night. We even agreed not to plan anything on Sun nights so we can have a guaranteed down time. My week feels much less stressed that way.

  9. Great post! I do a lot on Sunday to help make the week go smooth. If Monday starts off bad for some reason the rest of the week does not go well for me.
    I thought the same way as you regarding Sunday dinners...big family dinners. A while back after trying big extended family dinner a few times on Sunday and realizing that they did not work well I started having our own "big" family dinner. I always make a nice dinner and a homemade dessert. The kids always look forward to Sunday night dinners and if they have to miss for some reason they are always a bit sad. I hope this is something they will look back on and remember.

  10. Love this post! I am the exact same! I do pretty much everything on this list, too!

  11. Love this post and all family organizational posts! Such great tips. One thing I also try to do is chop my vegetables for the week while I meal plan so that I am not doing it with the littles tugging at me during the bewitching hour. I also like to get laundry done and out of the way too! Btw--catching up on your blog today...praise God your father is doing ok!

  12. could not agree more with all of these! I'm so much more relaxed when I have the menu planned, fruits washed and put in the fridge, etc. It makes life so much easier when you can start that week in good shape.

  13. that tip about putting the crockpot already loaded with ingredients into the fridge the night before is BRILLIANT! can't wait to try that! thanks for stopping by!



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