For a while now, I've struggled with how to approach Sundays in our house. I wanted it to be set apart from the rest of the week, but that's hard for us. Steven almost always work Sundays so, for us, Sunday in a way is "just another day". It's another day of just the girls and me, of our normal routine. For a lot of people, both parents are home that day, they go to the same Mass and church each week, and may even have a tradition of making a big breakfast or going out to breakfast, or something else like that. We haven't had any of that so far, but I had been thinking that I wanted to incorporate some small ways of making the day feel special. I reached out to some Catholic friends of mine and heard all kinds of ways they set the day apart. I found it fascinating that people had opposite things they would do but for the same reason, showing that what works for one family might not for another. After hearing some ideas, such as not running errands, trying to avoid chores, either not watching any tv or watching extra, more family time, a faith based activity, a big family meal, I sat and thought about what I wanted for the day in our house.
A big priority for myself was that the day feel more restful for me. Obviously I can't avoid cooking or chores since I'm the only adult home, but I figured I could certainly find ways to make the day more enjoyable. I don't really watch tv through the week, and never in front of Felicity (mostly because I find it impractical... she talks too much!), but I grew up watching CBS Sunday morning so I put that on on Sunday mornings. It feels really comforting to me and I like that it's generally "happy" news, and not even really news. It's just such a feel good show for me. Felicity knows that it is "mommy's show". For the most part, I don't have to worry about what she's seeing when she watches it, the way I do with 'real' news, which she's very sensitive to. She plays or reads, and I drink coffee and watch bits and pieces of the show. I recently started going through the Starbucks drive through right beforehand so I don't even have to make my own coffee. It's a treat I look forward to any Sunday morning that Steven is working (if he's off, we go to morning Mass; if he's working, we go to evening Mass).
I also wanted it to feel special to Felicity. Because we are celebrating the Eucharist on Sunday, I want our day to feel a bit celebratory, too! I want the day to feel more fun than the average, which I think is a nice balance to our quiet, more focused hour in Mass later that day. So my tv rules for her are very lax on Sundays. On normal days, the tv stays off until 5pm. I find 5pm on to be the hardest on me, mostly because I'm making dinner and juggling two kids alone, then doing bed times for both often by myself as well. So I save her screen time for that so that I can get dinner made and put Clare down with little interruption from Felicity. On Sundays, however, I put shows on for her here and there throughout the day which certainly makes for a more restful day for BOTH of us ;). I'll often give her a "picnic" where I put her lunch on a blanket in the living room and she can have lunch while watching one of her shows. I have made it a point to begin talking about the fact that it's Sunday and that we get to do special things to help us to both enjoy and rest on God's day to try and make a connection for her.
I know for the next family, drive through coffee and extra tv might not remotely help their Sunday celebration. For us, it has been a great way to unwind and have a calm day leading up to our hour in Mass. We do usually go outside to play or go to a playground at some point so I can make sure Felicity has gotten some energy out before Mass, but most of the day is pretty low key. I eventually want to add in some type of religious activity that relates to Mass, like Holy Heroes, but I will wait until Clare is a bit less needy. For now, this is working for us to differentiate the day.
What do you do in your house to set apart Sundays?