When I think of Sunday mornings, I think of a huge spread for breakfast – not cereal or English muffins, but French Toast or pancakes – and a relaxing atmosphere. Everyone enjoying conversation with other while they prepare their hearts for church.
Then the alarm goes off, the kids’ clocks turn green, and reality hits.
Having small children makes life a little… well, unpredictable, to say the least. In fact, living with any other person or having any relationship at all makes life unpredictable!
Almost every Sunday morning, someone has a tantrum. Needs a diaper changed or help getting dressed. Can’t find the ONLY outfit they want to wear. Doesn’t want to eat whatever is for breakfast.
It has taken me a long while to learn to roll with the punches and go with the flow. I am still working on it, and I know I’ll never fully “arrive,” but our Sunday mornings are so much more enjoyable with the progress I’ve made.
So how can we embrace what our actual Sunday mornings look like without pulling out our hair, feeling like a failure, or stuffing our feelings way down deep inside?
Create a new vision.
What is realistic for your family and the season they are in? Can everyone get themselves dressed and ready, or do they need help? Who will help them? Who will make breakfast? Will you take care of the breakfast dishes right away or later in the day? Start with what an ideal Sunday morning looks like to you, then adjust it to match reality.
Brainstorm solutions for what isn’t working.
When do the most tantrums occur? At what point do you feel overwhelmed? What happens when you are trying to walk out the door that causes you to go from “plenty of time” to “OH NO, we’re going to be late!”? Find those trouble spots and come up with solutions before the next Sunday comes around.
Take a deep breath.
No, really. Breathe in for four slow counts, then out for four slow counts. Take a moment to get calm, take stock of what’s most important in this moment, and then move forward. Your family feeds off you, Mama, so do your best to stay calm and loving (even when you don’t feel like it!).
Give it time.
Communicate your expectations clearly to your family, ask for their feedback, and begin to implement the changes slowly. Choose one thing at a time to work on, and when that thing has become the new normal, choose the next thing to change. As you learn and grow in this area, your family will learn and grow, too.
While we are on this planet, in this lifetime, there won’t ever be a picture-perfect Sunday morning. And that’s okay. It really, truly is. We just have to learn to see that it’s okay and embrace the beautiful chaos of our family while taking small steps towards Jesus.