By Sweta Doshi
I wish I could say my Sundays were full of brunches and bubble baths, especially since I’ve recently launched a baby skincare line that is all about those snuggles & giggles.
But let’s be honest - when you have two young kids, Sundays are when sh*% gets real. By most Sunday mornings, we’ve now been with our kids for a whopping 36 hours straight and if we’re not careful, we might just lose it.
Having two kids (ages 5 and 2) definitely threw our lives for a loop, and my husband and I have just recently been finding our footing again…both in life and on Sundays.
A lot of it boils down to letting go – letting go of the things I think I should be doing and embracing the things I want to do. Live in the moment more, not in anticipation of the long term. Simply put, happiness over stress.
The advice of a friend, life coach Regan Walsh, rings true to me here. She encourages women to shed our “shoulds”. Eliminate the non-essential advice and obligations that we burden ourselves with and free up room to thrive and be happy.
“A lot of it boils down to letting go – letting go of the things I think I should be doing and embracing the things I want to do. Live in the moment more, not in anticipation of the long term. Simply put, happiness over stress.”
So here goes…a journey through our typical Sunday and how I’m slowly letting go and finding my way to a balanced coexistence as a wife, a mother, and a new entrepreneur (for now).
Our Sundays used to start at roughly 6:15am when the kids run into our room because…well, this is just another day to them. Several months ago, I decided to put my son & daughter in the same room because I wanted them to have a strong bond and I felt that toddlers don’t actually need their own rooms. I’d been considering it for a while, but pulled the trigger (against my husband’s better judgement) one day after I got a lecture from our French pediatrician about how siblings should always share a room.
Their 6am playdates always start out perfectly until devolving into an inevitable tantrum that wakes up the entire apartment. I quickly realized that when I wake up on my own terms (in a peaceful environment), it makes all the difference in my morning mood. When woken up by a toddler tantrum before 7am, I’m a monster until approximately 9am.
After months of dealing with this we’ve finally moved them back into separate rooms (on most nights) and are starting to regain control of our mornings again. When we’re ready, we pull our happy kiddos from their separate rooms into our bed and get some extra cuddles. Sundays should be for snuggling, after all.
My learnings? Sometimes things don’t work out the way you think they should. Starting my mornings off on a bad foot has repercussions for me and my family throughout the day. My kids need a happy, rested mom much more so than a shared room. And guess what? They’re still super close.
Post snuggling, my ideal Sunday morning starts with some deep stretching and breathing. I have chronic back pain and starting my mornings with a stretch makes a world of difference.
Recently I’ve tried involving my little ones in this ritual. We each roll out our mats and together wake up our bodies (Good morning, Toes! Hello, Knees!), and then we reach up towards the sky (Good morning, Sun! We see you, Moon!). We do downward dog (woof!), cat (meowwww), and cow (moooo) poses. Sometimes I can even talk them into having a tree pose competition.
Little people are whole people too. They love spending time with me and by including them in my self-care ritual, I feel like we’re much more in harmony.
After some mat play, we move to the kitchen to make breakfast. Weekends in our house are for pancakes, pure and simple - eggs and fruit on the side. And coffee. Lots of it. We chase the kids around a little bit to feed them the healthy stuff, but we’ve stopped caring so much on the weekends.
Can’t control everything. Happiness over stress.
My husband and I recently started taking turns watching the kids mid-morning so that we can each get a workout in before their afternoon swim classes. This is pretty critical for reasons mentioned before - after 36 hours straight with the kids, each of us needs a little time away.
I wander over to a 9am CorePower Yoga class in the neighborhood and spend the hour in 95 degree heat with nothing to think about except alignment of breath and posture. I come back with renewed energy for the day. I watch the kids while my husband goes for a run.
My husband and I were always reluctant to split up and leave each other alone with the kids. We love spending our weekends together as a family of four because we don’t get that time much during the week. But when you’re a parent, you have to fight to find time alone otherwise you’ll lose yourself.
We eat a quick lunch, then scoot up to swim classes in our neighborhood. We watch each kid swim, shower and get them down for a nice, long nap. Naptime is our rest time too. There will come a day very soon when my older one won’t nap anymore. Until then, we’re living it up.
My husband passes out on the couch in front of ESPN and I am often in mental limbo between meal planning / grocery shopping or taking a little nap myself. When you have to feed four people every single day, meal planning / grocery shopping / cooking are critical activities to maintain order. However, it sucks. Like, seriously sucks sucks sucks. I used to love to cook and now it’s truly just a chore.
Nutrition is a really important part of parenting (to me). When I don’t plan ahead for the week, I end up regretting it. On the other hand, I spend all week working and planning for my family and my business, and I’d like my Sundays to be free of that. Sigh.
My husband often urges me to make my life easier. I guess it’s another way of saying “shed your shoulds”. If this food thing is causing me so much stress, maybe I need to let go of my high standards or find a way to outsource it? This one is still a work in progress…
We let the kids sleep until 5-ish and finally wake them when its nearly dinnertime. Dinner (order in, make your life simple!), watch some tv, and then back to the bedtime routine and sleep.
Once they’re down, we finally have a little alone time. For years we looked forward to Sunday night TV binges - that was our happy place together. But I recently launched my own business and one of the wonderful side effects is that I do not get the “Sunday Scaries” anymore. In fact, I get Sunday Excitement and typically have a long list of to-do’s that I am eager to get to on Sunday night.
This is not a sustainable habit. I need to protect that time for my relationship. Our weekdays are now full of work- and kid-related commitments, and I miss spending time together as a couple. Mark this one down as still a work in progress, too.
I know that being an entrepreneur is a marathon, not a sprint. I’m still working on setting boundaries for myself in order to maintain the balance that my relationship needs.
Wow, this was therapeutic.
I guess finding your ideal Sunday is a really a lot about finding yourself.
Sweta Doshi is the Founder and CEO of Bubbsi, the first line of clean coconut oil products that makes skincare fun for babies & toddlers. She lives in New York City with her husband and two kids. Follow her journey @lovebubbsi