When I worked in Silicon Valley, pre-kids, Monday morning had a completely different context for me. It would set in at about four o’clock Sunday afternoon that Monday morning would soon be upon me. I needed to “shift” modes internally to put on my “kick ass and take names” hat, ditch self-care and relaxation that I tried to embody on the weekends, and get back to work. Most people who work full-time Monday through Friday jobs don’t have the luxury of taking the beginning of the week – the Monday morning – a little easier.
As I transitioned to a work at home person 15 years ago, then to a work-at-home-mom of one, two, three, then four kids, the weekend workload of sports teams, birthday parties, church commitments, and family time became all-consuming. The rhythm of life changed; different, harder perhaps, more exhausting for sure that a week at the job. I noticed that the folks in ministry at my church I loved always took Mondays off. They had worked all weekend–preparing sermons and youth talks, planning and leading worship. Smart to then give yourself an actual day off. While moms don’t get days off that I know of (am I missing something?), I made a choice to give myself “Monday Morning Grace.”
Statistics state that Tuesday is actually the most productive day of the week for most working people. For me, I would echo this as Monday’s became my catch-up day, my laundry day, my ‘thanks public school for letting my kids out early so that you can have collaboration day” early elementary 1:15pm pick up day. How much can a person actually get done between 9-1:15pm? Until now, I also tried to go to the gym, do eight loads of laundry, get work accomplished to set up the week right, then pack the afternoon with all the sports practices, homework, and drama classes. Each Monday would be like a marathon.
The older I got, the more I realized that I can’t keep pushing myself past my limits, over and over again. I have to give myself grace to take an “out” morning. To play the piano and sing for the love of it; to take time to soul-write; to spend time with Jesus. This will fuel me for the rest of the week; the work will always be there, but I won’t be able to accomplish it all if I start out of the gate like a race horse.
Now I know not every mom has the opportunity to take Monday morning off, or to give oneself room to ramp up slowly on the supposed most important day of the week. But I challenge you to reframe your Monday; for years I came at Monday like a hyena chasing it’s next kill; as if Monday would be the defining day for how the rest of my week would go. If I didn’t rock the Monday, chances are I’d fail at the rest of the week. Anyone else do this kind of fake inner motivation to kick-start one’s schedule? I’m not sure it’s the healthiest approach. It worked for years until I realized I could in fact, arrange my Mondays however I wanted or needed to.
These days, I sometimes stay up an hour or so late on Sunday nights, like I’m doing right now, to get things organized and perhaps knock out an article or two so that come Monday morning, I can be purposefully, ever-so-slightly leisurely if only to regroup and edge into the week gently, lovingly, and spare some energy for the other six days to come.
I challenge you to edge into Monday gently. Drink another cup of coffee. Spend a few minutes looking out the window daydreaming. Thank God for the opportunities you have in front of you.
Lauren Hunter is a writer who loves the big picture of God’s journey we are all on together. Married to her high school sweetheart, Lauren lives in Northern California with her husband and their four children. Her latest book is Leaving Christian Science: 10 Stories of New Faith in Jesus Christ.