It starts on Sunday evening. My stomach get tight, my brain starts working overtime, and I get a little anxious. This has happened to me since Kindergarten – you can ask my mom!
It’s not because I don’t love Sundays – I do! As a matter of fact they are my favorite day of the week. It’s Mondays I’m not so fond of.
Everyone is a little more tired on Monday than usual even if bedtimes were kept rigidly. We’re all a little down at the back-to-school routine even if the break was just two days long.
I’ve learned that Mondays need to be ‘easy’ days at my house. Not only does it take me a while to get into the groove of the week again, I need to start the week off at a slower pace so I’m not burned out by Thursday.
Here are some things to consider when trying to carve more time and sanity into your week:
TV/COMPUTER TIME: Consider making Mondays the day the TV and computer games get a break – turn it off. Studies show that school-aged brains think best when they haven’t had too much computer game or TV time on school days. It might take some adjustment, but it’s worth it.
We haven’t had TV channels in our home for 16 years and we’ve done just fine! Our kids don’t feel deprived, we get our news off the internet, and we do have a television for videos (VHS because we now watch most videos on our computer monitor). It’s good for the kids to go outside to play, read a book, play a board game and simply use their imaginations. It might seem like more work at first, but in the end it will free up a lot of time.
SLOW COOKER DAY: I love my slow cooker. I have three slow cooker pots that share two bases. One base is coming apart and still works if I set it ‘just so’… but I still use it! Mondays are definitely the perfect day for slow cooker meals. Either Sunday night or Monday morning while the kids wolf down some breakfast, throw your ingredients into the pot, turn it on and leave it.
You can find great slow cooker cookbooks, but if you don’t want to rush out and buy anything you can check some online recipes.
Here’s one my family loves – it makes enough for a starving army!
CREAM OF SAUSAGE VEGETABLE SOUP
1 lb sausage or ham, cubed (Make sure it is a smoked ham or sausage, quite strong in flavor)
5 medium potatoes, diced finely
3 large carrots, diced finely
1 large onion, diced finely
2 cups green beans, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp dried green pepper (or ½ fresh pepper diced)
1 tbsp dried red pepper (or ½ fresh pepper diced)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
10 cups water
Combine above ingredients in slow cooker.
Cook for 8 hours or overnight.
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup flour (rice flour for gluten free recipe)
4 ½ cups milk
*About 10 minutes before serving, melt butter in a large pot.
Stir in flour until a smooth paste forms in the pot.
Add milk, stirring constantly until it boils.
Slowly add to cooked soup.
Garnish with shredded old cheddar cheese, croutons or parsley.
You may have wondered why I chose to do a Monday Madness on a Wednesday. It’s so that you have plenty of time to get ready to implement the changes before Monday comes.