Monday morning. The alarm goes off and you have no idea what time zone you’re in. You are exhausted and doubtful you’ve actually slept. The weekend is over and you’re home again – that you’re sure of. The bed is comfortable, your body is lead. You keep telling yourself you’ll get up in 5 more minutes. You keep reminding yourself you can’t be late to work. Suddenly a voice from the kitchen breaks the silence and screams, “MOM, we don’t have milk!”
We’ve all been there before. The reality is that Monday mornings are always a bit rough. Knowing this, why overshadow the memories of an incredible weekend by starting off your week stressed and unprepared? During my years as a single parent I learned that in order to truly bask in the wonderful afterglow a fantastic weekend away can provide, you have to be productive before you get out of Dodge. In a perfect world, this should be simple, but the truth is: I don’t even start packing my suitcase until a few hours before my flight.
Given my hectic day-to-schedule, my pre-weekend getaway to do list is short and focused. I do the things that will save me the most time, hassle and heartache come Monday morning. That way I can really enjoy those 5 extra minutes in the comfort of my own bed.
Surviving Monday: Pre-Trip Check List
Pay bills: The weekend before your getaway, double-check all your due dates. Set up payments online or leave checks written in advance so you can mail the payments when you return home. Don’t incur late fees or finance charges because you were having so much fun you missed a due date.
Clean: Yes, I know mid-week house cleaning is about as fun as a trip to the dentist, but cleaning & doing laundry the night before you fly out ensures you only have to deal with what is in your suitcase when you come home. Do the basics – kitchen, bathroom, bedroom. Starting off your week with clean clothes and a neat home sets the tone.
Consult with the refrigerator: Open the fridge and take 5 minutes to assess what will still be edible upon your arrival and dispose of anything that will be foul. This will vary depending on the length of your trip, of course. In many cases you might not want to buy anything in advance, but sometimes it’s nice to make sure you have some essentials at your fingertips when you come home Sunday night. Examples: Milk for breakfast Monday morning, tortillas & cheese for quesadillas, tuna and pita bread for sandwiches, pita chips and hummus for snacks, new container of yogurt, a frozen bag of veggies and frozen chicken breast for a quick stir fry dinner Monday night. I always make sure I have protein shakes ready for work Monday morning.
You Stuff: Have your Monday outfit, work bag and gym bag packed and ready to go for Monday morning. Make it to work on time and set aside lunch for exercise. Get right back into your routine.
Kid stuff: Make sure everything your kid needs for school on Monday morning is 100% ready before you leave on your trip. I cannot stress this enough. There is nothing like finding out Sunday night at 10:00pm that you were supposed to bake football shaped brownies for the team. Leave an outfit prepared, PE clothes & cheer uniforms packed, etc.
Misc. Stuff: Take out the trash, set the DVR, check your work email one last time and set your out-of-office, call the house-sitter/family members one last time with your itinerary.
Surviving Monday: Sunday Night Check-List. No matter what time you arrive Sunday night, just do this:
- Make sure your wallet, ID, cash etc. is back in your “everyday” wallet and in your purse
- Make sure your car has gas
- Set aside snacks, lunch or protein shakes for work and school – chances are you ate poorly all weekend – get back to clean eating ASAP. Your liver will thank you too.
- Check up on kids’ stuff: uniforms, clothes,
- Set an alarm and a back-up alarm
- Charge your electronics
- Check your work emails (if you haven’t already been doing that all weekend) so that you are not caught off-guard Monday morning
After my amazing weekend in Florida, I was still able to get out of the house early. So early, that Starlight and I stopped for coffee before school. So nice to not be rushed!