We Look at How Mothers Across The Globe Spend Their Sundays - The Grace Tales

We Look at How Mothers Across The Globe Spend Their Sundays



Forget Manic Mondays - have you heard of the Sunday Scaries? The overwhelming dread that can accompany a Sunday afternoon when faced with the thought of all that the week ahead has in store.

For parents, those Sundays can be exponentially scarier thanks to the demands of packing lunchboxes, finding missing school hats and the realisation that Kindergarten News Day tomorrow requires a detailed presentation that has not yet begun.

So, what’s the solution? We spoke to women across the globe to find out how they spend their Sundays, to prepare for the week ahead, and to make the closure of the weekend a little less scary.

Header image by Grace Alyssa Kyo.


Alexandra Carello, London-based luxury brand consultant and mother of one

How do you typically spend a Sunday? 
Ideally, Sundays are for family and laziness … Well, as lazy as you can be with a crazy toddler. I wake up when Olimpia wakes up but try to get at least half an hour of extra sleep as I put on Little Baby Bum cartoons.
As a rule, I only let her watch a little bit of TV on the weekends, but I’d be lying if I said I stuck to that all the time!

When I do get out of bed, I make myself a coffee and then get back into bed for family cuddles and to wake up slowly.

At about 8am, I’ll give Olimpia breakfast and then we will go out for (another) coffee and a lovely walk. Normally on a Sunday, we have a family lunch planned which can go on for a few hours!

Post-lunch we might have another walk and the family love to come around to have tea and to play with Olimpia. Then before you know it, it is time for baby supper, bath and bed.

Once she has gone to bed, I will try to do a couple of hours of work just to get a head start on the week.

What’s a typical outfit for you on Sunday?
In the morning, I’m in pyjamas and activewear. I swear by Ernest Leoty for lovely activewear that doesn’t make you feel too sloppy. For lunch I love to make a little effort but still feel comfortable, ensuring I wear clothes with stretch for all the food! I love a good headband on a Sunday; it always makes you look like you have made an effort. Camila King Millinery or Alexandre de Paris are my favourite brands. During winter, I will normally pair it with a cosy jumper, preferably a chunky polo neck and cropped trousers.

Do your children do activities?
Not yet. We play a lot and go to the park. She is only 14 months but I’m sure we will be doing countless activities before long.

Do you organise yourself for the week ahead on Sunday?
Yes, when Olimpia has gone to sleep I will get ahead on some work, do the weekly food shop, diarise with my husband and confirm Monday’s meetings. I do as much as I can to ensure Monday gets off to a smooth start.

Do you make school lunches the night before? Do you cook meals or make snacks for the week ahead? 
No, I always think to myself, “Tonight I will bake,” but it never seems to happen. I work a lot in the evenings because I prefer to sacrifice my nights rather than my days with her, so cooking never really happens. I’m looking forward to when Olimpia and I can bake as an activity together.

Do you map out your priorities for the week? What does Sunday night look like for you?
Yes, I look over my diary, assess the week ahead and then consider what work, life and baby time look like. I love closing the week in an organised way. It feels much neater. That makes me sound like a control freak!

Are there any must-do’s for your Sunday?
As little phone time as possible. Food, family, long walks and a gin & tonic at lunch!


Shentel Lee, Sydney and Malaysia-based entrepreneur, designer and mother of two

How do you typically spend a Sunday? 
Sunday is family day and the kids know from the minute they wake up that we are dedicated to doing whatever they want to do. We usually have a mini sleep in, watch a bit of television together in bed and read the paper before I will make myself a coffee and a mini snack for the kids. I will get the kids dressed and then we will hop across the road to our local park and have a bacon and egg roll with a second round of coffee for me and milkshakes for the kids. It’s not a healthy meal but we only do it once a week and the boys love it. It is a real treat. We head to the bike park where the boys might have a little ride. I rent bikes because I find that sometimes by the time we get there they are over it and just want to play at the playground, and with them growing so quickly its more environmentally friendly and I don’t have to drag them in the car with me. We let them burn up energy here and when they call it quits we usually head to a local gallery for a bit of art spotting followed by a late lunch. My two favourite spots have to be White Rabbit Gallery and the MCA. Both are free and kid-friendly with a cute gift shop and cafe with kid-friendly food. In the afternoon we will do our weekly grocery shop and then return our library books and DVDs. The boys love borrowing DVDs the most. I won’t lie, it is handy for when we return home because they both will watch a DVD or two giving me much needed time to just read a book or surf the internet or catch up on work. We always have a home-cooked dinner at home on a Sunday and it is always an early one with all of us in our Pjs. 

What’s a typical outfit for you on Sunday? 
You will find me in some sort of printed dress with a pair of white high top sneakers.

Do your children do activities? 
Yes, they do. They are both into very different things right now but the one thing they both love to do together is baking cakes. In our house, it is a boxed cake and we do it with grandma watching closely over our shoulders to make sure we don’t mess us the three steps. Guys when the instructions say add two eggs, they mean two eggs and not one. Trust me, we have tried it and the cake was crap. 

Do you organise yourself for the week ahead on Sunday? 
I love to prep my fridge on a Sunday afternoon. I wash all my fruit and veggies for the week and have them in containers in the fridge so it makes mealtimes much easier. I also love to make lists with post-it notes that I stick on my computer so I can see visually what the week is like ahead of me. When a task is done I take that post-it note and throw it in the bin. It is the best feeling and the worst at the same time. I still have three notes on my computer that have been on there for 3 weeks. It is a visual reminder that even when I think I have finished mum work for the day that design work is never-ending. 

Do you make school lunches the night before? Do you cook meals/make snacks for the week ahead? 
I do all my lunch prep the night before with dinner prep. I learnt this from my friends and I have to agree it is the only way. The mornings are so hard and I have found it so much easier with this change. Invest in a good bento lunch box is all I can say if you want to join this night before revolution. I love to make a big pot of bolognese for the week as well because I have one son who won’t eat anything else. I’m sure I am not alone on this one.  

Do you map out your priorities for the week? What does Sunday night look like for you? 
Sunday night I only have one priority and it is to read the weekend papers and watch 60 Minutes with a glass of very chilled white wine. I do not feel complete if I have not done this. 

Are there any must-do’s for your Sunday?
I must spend time with my family, see my parents or in-laws and have face to face time with them. It only takes seconds to really connect and look into their eyes and just say I love you. It is also the perfect day to just thank them for helping me throughout the week with the kids. I could never do this alone.


Bridget Yorston (pictured right), designer at Bec + Bridge and mother of three

How do you typically spend a Sunday?
My husband is a Pastor so Sunday is a workday for him. We go to church as a family in the morning and we’ll often have friends over for a casual lunch. We like to keep Sunday afternoons pretty low key, the kids might watch a movie, play lego or have a game of soccer in the backyard. I like to sit down with tea and a book and then fall asleep on the sofa.

What’s a typical outfit for you on Sunday?
I love an easy Summer dress that I can throw on a pair of sandals. 

Do your children do activities?
Not on Sundays, if we can avoid it. 

Do you organise yourself for the week ahead on Sunday?
I’m often exhausted by Sunday afternoon so I’ll try to cover off the essentials for the next day, clean school uniforms and food in the pantry, but that’s about it. 

Do you make school lunches the night before? Do you cook meals/make snacks for the week ahead?
If I make a meal for the week ahead I honestly feel like I’m killing it at mum life. It’s very rare!

Do you map out your priorities for the week? What does Sunday night look like for you?
Thankfully my husband loves a diary meeting so he instigates one almost weekly. I’ll try to cover off some family admin at the same time.


Ali Handley, Sydney-based founder of Bodylove Pilates and mother of three

How do you typically spend a Sunday?
Every morning I try to wake up before my family and meditate – I learnt Vedic  Meditation last March and it had such a profound effect on my life that I try not to miss it. My eldest daughter is our early riser (just after 6am) so we chat and draw together and she has her brekky (bacon, eggs, toast & OJ every Sunday since she was 2), I have my first coffee. My husband, son and baby are all up by 7am and the choas begins. I typically don’t teach on the weekends but I’ll sometimes go take an early class, but always home before 9am, so we can head out for the morning.

We’ll go do something with the kids in the morning – a park, the beach, bike track, a birthday party and then we are all usually home for lunch so my baby can have a sleep. My big kids usually will watch a movie over lunch and that is when I power through laundry, emails and do a spot of endless tidying.

This year we have hosted quite a lot of events at Bodylove for our community which takes me away some Sunday lunch/afternoons – we’ve wound down now for the year so no more events until February which is a nice break.

Sunday afternoon we will sometimes do early kids dinner with friends which I love. There are so many great places around our area of Sydney that can absorb the energy of lots of kids and you can have a wine and a catch up.

What’s a typical outfit for you on Sunday?
Activewear if I’ve taken an early class.  But otherwise something pretty casual  – in the summer, denim cutoffs are the staple. I’m excited to be heading into the summer – after all the years living in New York, all I thought about was spending as much time as possible at the beach, so that’s where we’ll be heading-  bikinis and shorts. I just bought myself a few bucket hats for the summer so they will be on all the time too!

Do your children do activities?
We don’t do organized activities on the weekend – I had a baby earlier this year, my eldest started school, and with the demands of the studio, we like to keep it pretty loose on the weekends. We plan on starting my two eldest kids at Nippers next September when they can do it together.

Do you organise yourself for the week ahead on Sunday?
Sort of – my husband and I check in with each other’s weeks so we can plan around any engagements. I do the Woolworths online shop. (the first for the week – I don’t know where all the food goes – but it goes!) I check in with the studio schedule and make sure it looks right and all the classes are covered and privates are confirmed.

Do you make school lunches the night before? Do you cook meals/make snacks for the week ahead?
I make school/daycare lunches in the morning before school but when it comes to meal prep I’ll do big cook ups and then freeze portions so that dinner never takes me more than 20mins to pull together for the kids. It’s kind of like groundhog day with the menu but the kids don’t mind – I freeze veggie-packed Bolognaise, Coconut Chicken, Lamb Meatballs and at the moment I’m making endless purees for my baby.

Do you map out your priorities for the week?
Yikes no – but I should. I try to do one big thing a day and then as many little things as I can get to. Someone once told me about the rock theory and I try to stick to that. Divide your To-Do list into – Boulders, Rocks and Pebbles. Focus on getting one Boulder done a day and then get to some rocks next and then Pebbles. Pebbles are things like laundry – it will always be there and it is never fully completed!

What does Sunday night look like for you?Are there any must-do’s for your Sunday?
I try very hard to have my inbox under control on Sunday evening so I can relax and be ok with the week ahead. Inbox control is something I’ve realized is hugely different from one person to the next – one of my best friends can hardly bear to look at my phone when she sees I have 7000 emails – but to me, I know what’s going on. (I think…)


Esther Adams Achara, New York-based fashion & beauty writer and mother of two

How do you typically spend a Sunday?
Sundays are our sabbath. We spend so much time rushing throughout the week, that we try really hard to keep this as a peaceful day. That may be hijacked by a kids birthday party, which they’ll obviously go to, but other than that, we aim to make it family time.

I wake up and make smoothies for my husband and I (unless he got up first and has already done them) while giving the kids breakfast. Then, I spend more time than usual moisturizing and styling my kids’ hair. I love this ritual and it can sometimes be rushed on weekday mornings, so on Sundays, I take extra care, do it more slowly, make it a little more of a massage and bonding experience for my kids (even if they are watching TV while I do it!). 

What’s a typical outfit for you on Sunday?
Something very casual, usually. I’ll likely wear a pair of cropped flared jeans, my elevated Dr Marten Chelsea boots, a warm sweater, beanie and my Joseph shearling coat.

Do your children do activities?
Not on Sundays, although, we do often have kids parties over the weekend. We go to church together in the morning and then try our best to keep it a structure-free day. The kids’ weeks are so busy, and New York has this adrenalizing energy that can make your head spin. I love it, but I often think of the effects on my kids’ developing nervous systems. That’s why we try to make Sunday a “sabbath” day, so no one burns out and we actually get time to spend together as a family rather than rushing from one thing to the next. We may go out for pancakes and then a run around in the park. Or it’ll be Lego building or board games at home if the weather is bad.

Do you organise yourself for the week ahead on Sunday?
No.

Do you make school lunches the night before? Do you cook meals/make snacks for the week ahead? 
We moved from an apartment to a townhouse a few months ago, so figured out some time-saving routines as we went along. Running up and down stairs without time to spare was no joke, particularly since we weren’t used to it (we hadn’t lived in a house with stairs for over a decade), so I now try to remember to take the kids’ clothes down the night before and their hair products are now constantly kept in a cupboard in the kitchen. The rest, we just do as we go.

Do you map out your priorities for the week? What does Sunday night look like for you?
Once the kids are in bed, Sunday night usually involves getting take out (although, I did randomly cook a spaghetti Bolognese last night) followed by watching our latest TV series. We were hooked by Succession, and may stream Apple’s The Morning Show…we are on the lookout for our next one!

Are there any must-do’s for your Sunday?
Rest! It’s so hard to do and yet so essential. A friend recently posted on Instagram, that resting “lets you show up in your own life, and then do the same for others”. I’m going to steal that, because it’s so true and yet it takes so long to realize it. 


COMMENTS

Comments

comments