At least three Sundays in a row now, someone has asked me how we get ready and to church on time each week. Each time I jokingly answered with, “We started last night!” but it’s also the truth! Now, let me preface this by saying perfection isn’t possible. Sometimes, yes, things go completely as planned. However, all the planning and prep in the world won’t eliminate every single toddler meltdown, spilled breakfast plate, or broken sandal. Or prevent the pig from getting into the laundry room and spilling the chicken feed and eating the dog food. (No, I didn’t make that scenario up.)
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…
There are a few things I’ve put into practice over the years to help us get out the door on time, and get our church day going smoother.
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- Start the night before.
Choosing and laying out clothes the night before makes a big difference in our mornings. Be sure socks, shoes, hair bows, and other details are not overlooked. I like to have the kids also gather their bibles and put them on a bookshelf in our living room. This step gives me the overnight hours to wash a load of clothes when one (or several) kids suddenly realize all their pants are still dirty, in a pile behind their bedroom door, instead of in their closet.
- Make breakfast easy.
Prepping for Sunday breakfast will look different for every home and budget. In one season, we stopped at McDonald’s every Sunday morning for sausage and biscuits. (I’m honestly glad that’s over. Pretty sure my kids are too.) These days, I plan ahead and buy frozen ones. Things I take into consideration when making our breakfast plan include budget, time, and probably the most important one to me – mess potential. Cereal? Nope. Too much spilled milk. Donuts shop burritos? Too expensive. Muffins – way too much time required, and I have to make a million of them to feed my crew a single morning. A box of frozen biscuit sandwiches from Sam’s? Yes please!
- Pack the diaper bag.
When I had multiple little ones in separate nurseries/Sunday school classes, this became even more important. In some seasons I’ve had a designated Sunday diaper bag that was labeled with their name. I kept the Sunday bag packed with an extra set of dress clothes. For a few years now, I’ve used my favorite Itzy Ritzy bag all week, but taking a few minutes to make sure it’s packed with all we need the night before saves one more step in the morning.
- Set an alarm. A realistic one. Do the backwards math.
Yes, it’s terrible setting an alarm for Sundays. Yes, it is necessary. I am blessed with a husband who is a naturally early riser. He will make sure I’m up and out of bed every Sunday. However, his idea of the time needed and my idea of the time needed are not the same.
- Set a reasonable bed time.
For the kids AND adults.
Again, this one isn’t fun, but it makes a difference in how the morning goes.
These things make a big difference in how and when we get out the door on Sunday mornings. Do I sit and sip coffee, stress free, while everyone gets ready? Ha! Definitely not. These steps and preparations do make less work and stress for me in the hours before we walk out the door though.