Ever wonder how other families do their evening routines? Me too! I love hearing how everyone else is running their homes and seeing if there’s a better way I could be handling the hours between getting out of work and getting to bed.
Disclaimer: I have an amazing husband who makes this all possible. The teamwork we do is how we end up getting two kids in bed by 8 PM.
Our evening really begins at 5:45 PM or so, when we walk in the door. From there, Brandon and I immediately change out of work clothes, and whoever is running that night will get all their workout attire on and gather running gear. The kids play together while we take a few minutes to get changed. Somewhere between 6 and 6:15, one of us is heading out for a run. On Monday, Brandon runs. On Tuesday and Thursday, I run. B used to run on Wednesday but now he plays basketball on Wednesdays instead.
Whoever is home with the kids gets their dinner for them (they rarely eat what we eat), or if we’re all eating the same thing, Brandon will usually cook while I run. I generally don’t cook a family meal while B runs because somehow our kids need 345567 things when I’m home but sing Kumbaya and never bother B when he is.
Since we only run 2-3 miles during weeknights, we’re usually back home by 6:30 or 6:45, and then we eat our dinner. If the kids have already eaten by the time we’re eating, they will play for a little bit. If we’re all eating together or they’re still working on their dinner, we just hang out at the dinner table.
Right after dinner is homework time, which is usually my domain while B cleans the kitchen and entertains Maverick. If Mav is willing, we let him watch his Kids Kindle Fire so we can knock out homework and cleaning the kitchen a little more easily. Homework generally takes 10-15 minutes, so it’s about 7 PM or so when the kids are ready to throw jammies on and brush teeth.
By 7:15, the kids are laying in our bed, and we all do books, devotional, and Bible story together. At 7:30, Maverick asks for Minne’s Winter Bow Show (the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Christmas episode that as been recorded on our TV for a loonnnggg time!) and he and I go out to the living room to snuggle and watch “MickeyOSO” which is what it sounds like when he says it! During our time, Brandon and Harlyn read more books together in our room, or play I Spy or talk about life. Around 7:40 or 7:45, I bring Mav to B so that he can get in bed. Maverick goes to bed at 7:45 and Brandon literally goes in there, holds him for a minute, lays him down and says good night. It’s a quick turnaround for Mav.
While B puts Mav down, Harlyn and I head to her room and get her room all ready. B comes out of Mav’s room and says goodnight to Harlyn. From there, he leaves to finish up any household tasks (usually laundry) or start working on podcast stuff. Harlyn and I do her prayers and I rub her back til she falls asleep. I’m out of there by 8:15 or so most nighs (if I fall asleep in there B comes to rescue me about 8:30. Then I work on blog stuff til about 9 or 9:15 when we both put away the computers. We watch about 30-60 minutes of TV depending on the night and how long we worked, and it’s lights off about 9:30 or 10. (Don’t judge us–we get up at 4 and 4:30 AM!)
That’s the BASIC idea of our weeknights. Here’s a few other items I should mention.
School night baths are on Mondays and Wednesdays. I almost always do bathtime, so it works best to do them on my non-running nights. This way, I can usually feed the kids and start bathtime while B is running, and our timeline won’t get thrown off by much more than 5 minutes. I also give them a bath on Saturdays, FYI. Three times a week is about all I can manage for regular amounts of dirty and sweaty kid. If they got really bad for some reason, I’d do an extra one when needed!
Brandon puts Harlyn to bed on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I used to do all 7 nights and it was killer. I’d fall asleep in there every night and then not be able to come out and get anything done! So we made adjustments so that I could have a couple nights where I got the extra time and didn’t have to be exhausted!
Brandon plays basketball on Wednesdays now, which is a newer thing for us. So we haven’t totally figured out what will work best. Last week, B was able to get Mav down at normal time and say goodnight to Harlyn since his group meets at 8 PM and it’s super close to us. That means that on Wednesdays, after I put Harlyn down, I have a little time to myself to put whatever on TV, write a blog post, or decide to clean bathrooms. If I’m being totally honest, I’m kind of digging it. Don’t tell B 😉
And there you go! We only have just over two hours in our evenings, so they definitely can get hectic. I often feel like we’re just running a race from 6-8 PM, and that’s kind of true, I suppose. But I know that the kids won’t always need to go to bed before 8 to get up at a reasonable hour (Harlyn will NOT get up for school, even when we put her to bed before 8…ahhhhh!!). And I know that Maverick won’t be in daycare forever either…and when both kids are at the same place at the same time, we’ll end up with a little less commute and more time to play and enjoy our evenings together. But for now, we just make it work as best we can.
That’s all us mamas can do.