Like many babies born in 2020, our son was blessed with one of the silver linings of the coronavirus pandemic: a home with both parents around 24/7, for a time that extended beyond family leave. When my husband returned to the office full-time, our little one was still too young to fully express his awareness of downgrading to just one parent during the day. He is three now, and that has definitely changed! Enter: “Mommy Monday.”
“Mommy Monday” is a concept I came up with for my son (and myself!) as a way to 1) kick off our week together in a fun way, and 2) help soften the weekly blow of Daddy heading to the office after our fun family weekends together. This stemmed from us noticing at some point that our little tot would get his own case of the Mondays. He would toddle around, checking all the rooms on Monday morning looking for his dad, and would proceed through the morning with a slightly less cheery demeanor than is his norm.
As he has grown, learned the days of the week, and become very articulate in expressing how he feels, he has made it clear that he “really, really, just wants all of us together, all the time.” (This is not easy for his loving daddy, who will stay back long enough to whip up breakfast with our little guy whenever possible, but of course that’s not always possible). I know this stage won’t last forever, and is actually a good thing, but I’m a hybrid stay-at-home, work-from-home mom who homeschools! Mondays were going to need a makeover.
What are Mommy Mondays?
Starting last Spring, I told my son that every Monday, we were going to go on a planned adventure. Since our weekdays are full of lessons, playdates and scheduled activities, to make Monday stand out, I told him it would almost always be a NEW (to us) place such as a park, farm, or nature center, it would be a special time just for the two of us, and would include a fun lunch of his choosing. He can count on this every Monday, and he absolutely loves it. Although he enjoys our routines, we don’t immediately dive into them first-thing Monday, and it has made a big difference. He waves “bye” to my husband and is ready to go! Let me tell you, my heart just about burst when he actually told me last week “I LOVE Mommy Mondays! They are fun. I’m so happy.”
If I’m feeling on top of it, I decide where we are headed the night before. Otherwise it’s often a last-minute decision. This is very easy to do with DC Area Moms many wonderful guides! Because he IS three, I prepare B with the “plan” the evening before, or during breakfast. He always looks forward to whatever it is and gets really excited. Some of these Mommy Monday adventures have been trips to Wheaton Park, Glen Echo, a number of nature centers in the area, or attractions such as the new Lego Discovery Center. I will give myself a little pat on the back here and say that aside from a very few Mondays of truly inclement weather, or a bout of sickness, we have managed this every week!
Planning a “Mommy Day”
Hopefully it goes without saying that while I highly encourage SAHMs with littles to incorporate a special kick-off to their week, the concept is doable for anyone: any day, any time that works for you. An after-school Wednesday date at a pizza place, or anything that means something special to you and your kid(s). The key is to choose a certain day and time, that is always roughly the same, just for you, and try to make it stand out just a bit from the rest of the week. Need ideas? DC Area Moms has you covered: parks, playgrounds, nature centers, farms, and lots of seasonal ideas. Family trip guides is also a great resource for fun in the area.
Mommy Mondays Work
Children crave one-on-one time with their parents, and having something they know is just for them, that they can look forward to with regularity, will only strengthen your bonds, and embolden them to face challenges (missing the other parent who is at work, or on a trip, dealing with a new schedule, meeting new friends, learning a new skill or sport etc.) because they know they always have that time during the week where they can reset with the one who loves and knows them best. I love these precious times just as much as my little guy does, and know they are fleeting. So even though we spend every day together with plenty of precious moments, having this mindfully-incorporated time for both of us each week is extra special. It’s safe to say that Sunday Scaries here are pretty much a thing of the past, thanks to Mommy Mondays.