How to Enjoy Sunday Evening: 5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Family Weekend

When The Commodores sang, “Easy Like Sunday Morning,” we all knew the feeling they conveyed. Then The Bangles (well, actually Prince who wrote “Manic Monday”) followed up a decade later with the line “I wish it was Sunday, cuz that’s my fun day.”

Sorry if those songs gave you ear worms, but their sentiments are all true, until Sunday evening. On Sunday, about 5:00 p.m. or so, we start feeling “Grouchy Like Sunday Evening.” The weekend behind us, we see Monday on the morning’s horizon and start to panic. So much to do to get ready for the week. All those things we were going to accomplish over the weekend went undone and we still have a closet full of dirty laundry.

Before you waste another Sunday evening stressing out before your week even arrives, try these suggestions for ways to enjoy this last bit of time. After all, it’s still the weekend. Let’s free up those last few hours of goodness and squeeze every drop of enjoyment out of our precious two days.

I want us to Save Our Sundays and incorporate them back into our lives in a positive way. These are my “Five S’s for Sunday Evening.”

how to enjoy sunday evening

Start on Friday

Yes, I know you just made it to Friday. Who wants to think about the weekend’s chores? Hang with me for a minute. Go ahead and go to happy hour with your friends or have pizza night with your family. I’m not talking about spending your evening scrubbing floors.

However, if you’ll take just a few minutes to think about what you need to get done over the weekend, you can plan ahead of time and take care of some of them before Sunday evening arrives. I’m not even talking about writing out a list. I just mean start thinking of a general plan for your chores.

List each thing you need to do to be prepared for the next week. Starting with the big three, laundry, meals and house cleaning. subdivide these into the main tasks you want to have complete before Monday morning.

For example, under meals, you might list “grocery store, lunch preparation, and menu planning.” Instead of waiting to do all this at the last minute, how can you break this up in a way that works for your family’s schedule?

What is on your schedule for your next week that you need to prepare for? For me, I need to look at the school lunch menu for the upcoming week on Friday, before I go to the store on Saturday mornings, the time of my usual weekly trip. I usually look at the menu on Sunday evening and then wonder what I’m going to pack for Sylvia all five days of the week because there’s nothing she wants to eat at school that week. If I prepared on Friday, I could add needed lunch items to my grocery list before I go to the store on Saturday.

How about laundry? For many of us, Sunday evening is a mad scramble to make sure everyone has clothes clean for the week. In my house, there’s a pretty good chance those clothes are clean, but they’re sitting in a laundry basket waiting to be put away.

But maybe there’s a specific uniform from a game Saturday afternoon that hasn’t been washed but is needed for a game on Monday evening. Yes, there are things that will happen at the last minute on Sunday evening, but if routine laundry, like dish towels or linens, were on your radar for first thing Saturday morning, Sunday can be just for those emergency loads you have to throw in.

how+to+enjoy+sunday+evening

Soup or Salad

Your family may have a tradition of big Sunday dinners together and if so, you’ve hopefully already built that into your routine. If not, consider making Sunday evening’s meal a pot of soup or that sits on the stove for your family to grab when they’re ready or maybe a crockpot casserole that’s ready when they are. On warm weekends. make up a big salad on Sunday morning that’s sitting in the fridge, ready for anyone whenever they’re hungry on Sunday evening.

By eliminating the stress of an organized sit-down meal, you can prep earlier in the day and not spend your evening getting everyone fed.

And if you can manage to have the dishwasher unloaded from earlier on your Sunday, make sure everyone puts their dishes in there when they’ve finished with dinner and most of your cleanup is complete as well.

how to enjoy sunday evening

Soak Away Your Stress

Cleaning up your crew from a long weekend in prep for the next week is one more task on your to do list, but if you create something fun on Sunday evenings as part of this chore, you may get more cooperation from your dirty little ones. Have a stash of special bath bombs or bath crayons or something extra enticing to make Sunday’s bath feel a little different and make them a little less resistant. This might even buy you an extra few minutes of quiet and sanity while they’re occupied.

And to make it even better, get yourself a moment in the tub as well. Add a glass of wine and you’ve got a chance to relax in the midst of the chaos. If this becomes part of your routine, you might even come to look forward to Sunday evenings.

Socks and Shoes

Socks are my “go to” baby gift. I buy several pair in several sizes for the new mom, knowing you can never have enough of them. I once took a picture of all the mismatched socks I found when I went through drawers and I now that I’m blogging, I wish I could find it to share with you right here. It was embarrassingly absurd.

But you don’t really need my picture, do you? You have your own sad tales to tell about socks. Most of us have enough clothes for ourselves and our kids that we could miss laundry on a weekend and still have clean clothes for Monday. Except socks (and maybe underwear, but that didn’t fit well in my heading). Clean shirts and pants, but socks? Not so much.

If you can get in a routine of setting aside a pair of shoes with socks tucked inside some time before Sunday evening, you’ll know that more than likely you could get everyone out the door decently on Sunday morning even without doing everyone’s baskets full of laundry each weekend.

If your budget allows, buy packages of socks for those in your household who are running short. Your sanity is surely worth that cost.


Sunday evening is not New Year’s Eve

Sunday evening is not the time to tackle big organizing tasks out of frustration or frantically clean out sock drawers, determined to find all the matches. You’re prepping a new week, not a new year. I’ve been known to have an anxiety freak out on Sunday evening and beat myself up over how unorganized I am. I take on a big task and then get even more frustrated because I can’t complete it.

Be realistic about what you need to get done and cut yourself slack. If you are somewhat prepared for Monday, you’re in good shape and ahead of many people. If things are especially hectic on your Sunday, simply plan for the next day, not the entire week.

If you can do some of those weekend chores early in your weekend and get some of the big items out of the way, you can turn Sunday evening into an enjoyable part of your week and not the moment everything changes from fun to misery.

I want you to be able to say “yes” to movie nights on Sunday or a family bike rides. These tips are designed to help you be able to do that as well. Try them out or use them as inspiration to come up with some plans of your own that help you enjoy more of your Sunday. By saving our Sundays, we’re saving our sanity as well.

You may never change the words of the song to “Easy like Sunday evening,” but at least you won’t be singing a miserable tune to start your week.

For additional tips, download my free PDF “The Older Mom Survives Her Weekend,” with these ideas, plus suggestions on feeding a picky eater and keeping your kids busy.