Yes, we dread Sundays. And so do you, which is why distressed parents like yourselves submitted their questions
We write this column as representatives of MENASE — Moms Eagerly Nullifying All Sunday Events. In case you were confused, this is pronounced menace — coincidence, of course, but nevertheless an ironic embodiment of the day. Yes, we dread Sundays. And so do you, which is why distressed parents like yourselves submitted their questions.
It’s not like anyone treats Motzaei Shabbos like a school night, so pray tell, WHY do I need to be the one dragging my seventh grader into the minyan carpool at 7:15? If our minhag as a klal is to have pizza after midnight on Motzaei Shabbos, our minhag should also be to sleep in on Sundays. We need to either be sleeping late in the mornings or going to sleep on time. And nothing in between!
Who says the problem is the Sundays? The problem is the pizza! Serve them something boring, like leftover cholent with a side of chess for beginners, and watch your children prefer to go to sleep early before your very eyes. But you’ll probably still have to drag them out of bed to make the minyan carpool.
Let me give you an example of what I’m dealing with on Sundays. My 14-year-old made “study” plans with her BFF across town and asked for (demanded) a ride at 11, while my middle one has birthday party from 11:30 to 1:00 (which I only remembered I hadn’t picked up a gift for at 10:30). My youngest two are in a Sunday program and need to be picked up by 12, and the repairman for the dishwasher told me to be home between 10 and 4. How does anyone survive this?
There’s a really easy trick you have to learn; master it once and enjoy a better life forever:
Care. Less. If you have to say no to the morning schmooze (oops, we meant study date) and only have an unwrapped gift for the party pickup, and maybe forget one kid somewhere for an extended period of time, so be it. Consider Sundays like a mishloach manos scavenger hunt on Purim; when you look at the facts on paper it will feel impossible to accomplish, but by the end of the day you made everything work. And also, your kids will be hyped on sugar, and you will be hyped on lack of sleep. That’s life, kiddo!
My husband is the only local pediatric dentist who works Sundays, which leaves him the hero of our hometown… for everyone except me. Hellooo, forgot about me? Sunday is my one day off a week, so I also have to figure out when to grocery shop and cross off every errand on my ever-growing list. Plus, I would really like to actually make the 8:30 a.m. spin class that I keep committing to and flaking out of if that’s not too much to ask!
Simple. Sign your kids up for Sunday Funday… hire a babysitter… set them up with a cordless and Hatzolah’s number in case of emergency — do whatever it takes to get out of the house. But let’s get real. You don’t need to spend your whole day on errands; jog to get your returns done and order groceries online while you’re waiting at crosswalks. Multitasking is underrated!
My neighborhood does a round robin, and I have three kids who participate. That means that for each kid, for one Sunday of the school year I have 30 kids trashing my neat little playroom. Not only that, when it’s my turn to host, the kids blow right through the 120 minutes of activities I have carefully planned in the first six minutes. How do I make this work?
Ok, first of all, let’s be honest and admit you are doing two hours of nothing for 29 Sundays a year while your house is quiet. Second of all, if you’re weighing risks and rewards, maximize both by scheduling all of your kids’ turns on the same Sunday, and letting all 90 kids loose with slime and glitter, which is widely known by all children to be contraband, and therefore will keep them busy and make you a favorite of the kids, if not their parents. Also, take your flexes somewhere else. This is a column for legitimate kvetches only.
The moment the grilled cheese plates are cleared from lunch, my kids launch into their Sunday usual: a five-hour event we like to call Complaining About Leftovers. No matter that they absolutely pounded that corned beef on Friday night and that corned beef tastes BETTER once reheated. No matter that Tatty will gladly handle the salad leftovers. No matter that if I had frozen that chicken soup and then put it in a new pot and pretended it was fresh it would be a celebrated Tuesday night treat. I can’t win, and I won’t give in. How can we figure this out?
We have the perfect solution. Stop by your kid’s favorite takeout place, buy their containers and bags, fill them with your leftovers, and send the bags out the back door, into your husband’s car. Then, send your husband on a trip around the block, whereupon he arrives home with the fragrant bags, calling out jovially “Kids! Look at the treat Tatty picked up for you!” Alternatively, freeze it all and serve it nonchalantly on Tuesday.
I don’t know anyone who likes Sundays. Sundays are chaos. What are they here for? Carpools and blasting music and front-closet cleanouts and baking projects with kids’ friends who show up without invitations and endless kvetches of “I’m bored” while homework gets forgotten until one minute before bed? Sports games for the boys whose whole days are ruined when (IF, sorry! We believe in you!) they lose? Kids who make messes faster than it would be humanly possible for any non-robot parent to clean them up? (We’ve tried; our Roomba laughed and quit after a week). Enough is enough. It’s time to officially take a page out of Israel’s book!
Such a great call. You can definitely abolish Sundays — the Senate/House/President will probably get right on that once they get around to abolishing Daylight Saving Time. Expect your plans to be altered sometime in 2052…and we’ll expect a letter from you then wondering why the grandkids never come around to visit on Sundays.
(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 817)
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