I’m back today with another “Day in the Life” post sharing a recent Sunday around here with two toddlers. I love looking back on these snapshot posts and realized, after looking through the ones over the last two years, that I’ve never captured a Sunday.
Sundays are generally a day reserved for family and worship and we spend the first part of the day corralling kids at church and then the rest of the day just being together.
I remember sitting in a church council meeting a few years ago and discussing how we could make Sundays more meaningful for the members of our congregation. One (old, retired) man voiced the opinion that “Sundays are a day of rest… and so my wife and I like to take naps. If Sundays aren’t restful, then you’re doing something wrong.”
I quickly responded with (a lot of indignation and) something like, “With little ones at home, on Sunday I have to do every thing I do every other day of the week, but this day I have to do it in an uncomfortable pew, without regular nap schedules, and while attempting to keep my kids silent. Sundays are often the most tiring day of my whole week.” I wrapped it up with a little more and felt pretty justified in my reasoning for dreading Sundays and the exhaustion they brought on.
Over the last year though, I’ve been working this year to make Sundays a more restful and joyful experience. Some weeks go better than others but I’ve found that even with two toddlers and irregular napping, with the right attitude and preparation, Sundays can be the most calming and healing part of my week.
Here’s what a recent Sunday looked like around here:
A DAY IN THE LIFE: SUNDAY WITH TODDLERS
5:17 I hear Adelaide and drowsily wander in to her room.I whisper, “It’s still time for sleeping. Would you like some more milk?” right as I commit to sleep training and breaking this 5 am milk habit, next week.
6:35 I wake up to “Mama! Mama!”
“No Adewaide, we have to say it louder like this “MAMAMAMMAAA” and thennnnn she will come. “ They continue with the “mamas” at varying decibels.
6:39 I finally drag myself out of bed, smiling and half asleep, closing the door behind me so no one wanders in to wake up Ben.
**we’ve discovered recently it works out much better if I’m the one up with the kids on Sunday so I usually sleep in while Ben wakes up with The kids on Saturday
6:44 After diaper changes and “how was your sleep”s I crawl under the blanket on the couch in the living room.
6:48 Adelaide walks over to her chair in the kitchen and I tell her, “It’s not quite time for breakfast yet.”
6:49 We read books on the couch and Lincoln comes in to join us, barely fitting.
7:02 They ask for breakfast again and so we roll of the couch and walk the four steps into the kitchen
** In an effort to keep my kids from pushing their wakeup earlier and earlier, I never feed them breakfast before 7am. Sometimes they’ll both wake up before then and we’ll just play.
7:04 I talk Lincoln down from a meltdown about Blueberry Miniwheats. “You’re feeling sad because you want to eat Blueberry Miniwheats. Do you have any? Are there any in our house? Should we buy some more at the store? Okay, this morning would you like regular mini wheats or eggs?”
7:06 I refill Adelaide’s plate (she does better with the cereal in a little bit of milk on a child’s sectioned plate instead of a bowl) with 5 more mini wheats and she insists on more milk, even though there’s still plenty on her plate.
7:16 We’re done with breakfast and I get out the Magnatiles in the kid’s room. Adelaide get’s out a few cars and starts building parking lots while Lincoln builds roads. I take the six steps into the bathroom and wash my face.
7:22 Keep putting on makeup
8:01 Wake up Ben
8:31 Leave for church
8:37 Get to the car.
8:51 We pull into the parking garage and find a spot before heading upstairs to the chapel. We’re there early enough to get a regular pew and sit in the middle behind some friends (with access to the aisle so we can make an exit at least once during the meeting).
8:56 I take the kids on a short walk out in the hall so we don’t spend our children’s limited quiet sitting capacity before the meeting has started.
9:04 Lincoln wants his cars. I decide this is noT the week to start my new “no toys until after the sacrament” policy (sacrament is the first part of the meeting where we take the bread and the water to to remember Christ).
9:05 Adelaide wants a snack. I try to distract her with a car. She’s not interested. I whisper a reminder that we can’t eat in the chapel (only in Grandma and Grandpa’s chapel) and give her a mint instead.
9:12 Lincoln is crashing his cars into each other. I remind Lincoln he can only take the bread if he’s reverent during the sacrament and spend the next few minutes debating if that is using a sacred ordinance as bribery or just teaching him to be respectful. I don’t come to a conclusion. But I do have to remind him again during the prayer over the water to fold his arms.
9:22 We break out the Water Wow books and Lincoln insists on the alphabet one, which Adelaide has already claimed. “Would you like a turn when she’s done” doesn’t work nearly as well as the mint I put in his mouth.
9:31 Lincoln loudly exclaims “NOOOO” as Adelaide touches a car he’s playing with. When Ben tries to quiet him down he bursts into tears. Ben carries him out into the hall.
9:48 I catch a few sentences of the speaker and try to figure out where we are in the story they’re telling.
9:48 Adelaide tries to dart out of the pew and I catch her by her arm.
10: 23 We feed the kids snacks in the hallway before taking them to nursery and enjoying a solid hour and a half of child-free church. I commit to making Sunday a more restful and healing day for our family during a wonderful discussion about how Jesus lived the law of the sabbath.
12:02 I get out of class and find Ben has already picked the kids up from nursery so we chat in the hall for a few minutes before heading home.
12:21 We give the kids a choice between sandwiches and leftovers for lunch before putting them in their room for naps.
12:41 Lincoln comes out of his room saying he needs to use the bathroom. In my rush for naps I’ve totally forgotten to have him use the toilet before naps.
12:43 Lincoln claims his jelly bean and goes back to his room, where Adelaide is still talking and I can hear him playing with cars.
12: 44 Ben and I talk about the week over bowls of cereal.
1:07 The kids are quiet and I decide to take a nap as well.
2:40 I hear Adelaide from my bed but don’t get up.
2:52 I hear Ben and Adelaide reading stories in the living room and I drift back to sleep.
3:15 I wander out to the living room where Lincoln has taken all the pillows off the couch so he can jump into them.
3:32 We put on shoes and socks to head outside for a walk around campus. I grab the camera and a few bags of fruit snacks.
4:20 We’re back home and I slip into the office to write a quick email to my sister serving a mission in South Korea. I also edit a few of the pictures from our walk that afternoon to send along in the email. Ben and the kids are building towers in the nursery.
4:42 I hear Adelaide and Lincoln arguing over something and hit send on my email before coming out to the kitchen. I ask Ben if he’d rather make dinner or play with the kids and he opts for dinner so I take over the tower building.
5:46 We sit down to a gourmet meal of Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken and friend rice. Lincoln thanks God for our water, our chicken, and our rice and Adelaide mostly eat’s black beans.
6:02 I run the bath for the kids and the sound draws them to the bathroom. Adelaide tries to get in with her clothes on.
6:09 I negotiate a dispute over the cups in the bathtub.
6:09 I remind Adelaide that if she stands up in the tub that tells me that she’s all done and it will be time to get out.
6:11 Lincoln dumps water on Adelaide’s head and she cries. I dump water on Lincoln’s head. He’s not happy. I commit to finding a new strategy for dealing with water wars.
6:13 Adelaide stands up before I can reminder her not to so I get her out of the tub, screaming and flailing because she wants to stay in.
6:21 Adelaide plays with cars while Lincoln continues to play in the tub and Ben and I clean up the kitchen.
6:34 I get Lincoln out of the tub and dressed in pajamas and we spend a few minutes cleaning up the kid’s room together.
6:40 I call the kids into the living room for “scripture snacks” and we all sit on the couch. We read a few pages from a simplified New Testament book with stories of Jesus’s life. Lincoln asks for the John the Baptist one and Adelaide want’s to turn the page every three seconds.
6:42 We end with a family prayer, said by Lincoln, listing all the thing’s he’s grateful for, including “nursery class” and jelly beans.
6:43 I dole out two jelly beans to each child before putting them in their beds with a pile of books Adelaide settles right down with her bottle of whole milk and Lincoln gathers up some cars to play with in his bed, using the books as ramps.
6:51 Adelaide cries and wants more milk. I put a few more ounces in her bottle.
7:12 I head back in to brush their teeth and turn off the light. I put up the blackout curtain, turn on their white noise, and rub a little oil on the bottom of their feet. Lincoln turns on his nightlight and jumps out of bed to turn on Adelaide’s.
7:13 Adelaide asks for “scouts” so I turn on “Scripture Scouts” on my phone and leave it up on the shelf by their white noise.
7:15 I start to close to the door when Lincoln says, “I need one more thing mommy, a hug and a kiss.” After hugs and kisses for everyone, I close the door.
7:20 Ben and I spend half an hour on our laptops on the couch. I’m browsing Pinterest and looking at Facebook. I think Ben might be writing an email to my sister Madison.
7:40 We commit to getting off the couch to clean the apartment in five minutes.
7:47 I sneak back into the kids room to get my phone. Adelaide is asleep and Lincoln is still rolling cars around in his bed. I give him another kiss and tell him I”ll see him in the morning.
7:48 I shoot a quick text over to a friend letting them know our kids are down and they are welcome whenever.
8:11 I hear a knock on the door. We spend the evening playing games, snacking on Lincoln’s potty training jelly beans, and watching a bit of the olympics.
10:03 Our friends leave but Ben and I can’t quite get ourselves off the couch. We watch a bit more of the ladies short program on the tv.
10:38 We head in to brush our teeth and get ready for bed. I set out workout gear for tomorrow morning and check on the kids before locking up the apartment and turning off the lights.
11:04 I set an alarm for my 6:30 HIIT class and vow to go to bed earlier tomorrow night.