Being a working parent is no easy feat.
A Welch's study suggests that working moms virtually never stop working, as they clock in the equivalent of two full-time jobs, churning out an average of 98 hours per week. The average working mom will start her day at about 6:23 a.m., and she won't call it quits until about 8:31 p.m. Every single day during the week.
So it's safe to safe that juggling work and children can be overwhelming — which can come to a head on Sundays when you start thinking about everything you have to do in the coming weekdays.
Spare yourself the Sunday Scaries, however, by doing these eight tasks to set yourself up for a more successful week of working parenthood ahead.
1. Clean the house.
Get yourself, and your space, organized before you kick off the week. A wealth of research suggests that a space that's clear of clutter can actually boost productivity; so if you keep your home clean, you may just have a better shot at powering through your week's work.
2. Make a to-do list.
To-do lists can help you to mentally prepare for the week ahead and, more importantly, prioritize. When you write down exactly what you have to do, and the order in which you have to do it, you relieve yourself of the mental burden of remembering it all. And crossing off each item on your to-do list also feels inexplicably satisfying, motivating you to keep churning and burning. Here are some to-do list apps to get you started!
3. Prep your meals.
Save yourself time, money and, ultimately, stress throughout the week by prepping all of your meals on Sunday. If you cook a bunch of healthy meals in one round, you can store them in Tupperware and chuck them in the fridge to serve your family or bring to work with you throughout the week. You can find tons of easy, lasting meals to prep, from these simple freezer dinners to these 100+ recipes for work.
4. Do your laundry.
Waste no time sifting through your cluttered closet during the week, tossing clothes around looking for something clean and ironed to wear. Do your laundry on Sundays and make sure that you hang and shelf it all neatly so it doesn't wrinkle. When you wake up before work each morning, you'll thank yourself when you're spoiled for choice.
5. Book your self-care appointments.
It can be difficult to find the time for self-care practices when you're in the middle of the workweek, just trying to keep your head above the water. Do yourself a favor and book your self-care appointments — whether that's to get your hair or nails done, to finally get a massage, to hit the gym with your personal trainer or even to go to the doctor for your annual checkup — on Sundays. When you already have your appointment penciled in, it'll be easier to stick to attending it.
6. Delegate childcare duties.
If you have a partner, Sunday is a good day to sit down and discuss both of your upcoming weeks. Compare your work schedules and other responsibilities or obligations you may have, and delegate childcare duties for the next few weeks. Maybe you have a late meeting on Wednesday, so your partner will have to scoop up the kids from work. Perhaps both of you have a dinner to attend on Thursday, so you'll have to call in a sitter to watch them. Save yourself from scrambling later on by taking the time to figure out who is going to do what, or if you'll need an extra helping hand, in the days ahead.
7. Catch up on your passion project.
It's not easy to squeeze in time for your passion project during the workweek when you're trying to do your actual paid work and take care of children... and look after your own sanity. You might find yourself wishing you could be making gains on your side hustle, but feeling stuck in a pileup of other responsibilities. Take a few hours, or even just an hour, on Sunday to focus on what it is that you really want to be doing. This way you won't feel stressed during the week that you'll just never have time for that real dream.
8. Totally unwind.
Sundays are synonymous with relaxation. They're a time to do a whole lot of nothing. Take the bulk of the day — when you're not cleaning, scheduling, meal prepping or doing laundry — to also just unwind. Kick back with a good book. Catch up on your favorite television series. Take the kids to the park. Do whatever you need to do to recharge your batteries so that you're ready to tackle the week come Monday morning.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.