Today, I’m sharing a bit about our own evening routine and helping you come up with one that works for your family!
Of course, we all have an evening routine of sorts, but I know there are many moms who need or want a little bit more structure to their nighttimes. I have always been one to need a plan, so having a set routine is great for me and for our kids, who also seem to thrive on structure.
Our routine starts at 5 PM when we get the kids from school/daycare. Right now, Mav is at daycare and Harlyn is doing a daytime “summer camp” for school aged kids. During the regular school year, Harlyn stays after school, so no matter what time of year it is, we’re still always getting the kids around 5 or so.
From the hours of 5-8:30, we have what we call our evening routine.
5:20: Arrive home
5:45: One parent goes for a run
6:05: Start dinner or eat dinner if non-running parent was able to make it
6:30/6:45: Bath time or play time (we do baths every other night)
7:00: Potty/teeth brushing
7:10: Special Time. Harlyn and Daddy do something together, and Maverick and Mommy do something together. Harlyn loves to use this time for Barbies, fuze beads or games, and Maverick likes this time for watching Mickey, playing blocks, or magnatiles.
7:45: Head to bed. Reading, prayers, a devotional for Harlyn. I’m usually out of Mav’s room by 8:10.
8:10: Put Harlyn to bed. Finish up talking, rub her back, you know the drill 😉
8:30: Both kids asleep!
8:30-9: Finish up the day’s work.
9:00: Head to our room for some TV!
9:45/10:15: Somewhere in there, I go to bed, and Brandon is never too far behind me.
Here’s some things to think through when you’re creating your own routine.
1.Consider what’s most important to you.
Much of our evening is devoted to meeting needs, like feeding and bathing the kids. But we squeeze in running because running is very important for both Brandon and me. It just doesn’t work in our morning routine, so it must go to the evening. We also want to be sure we have time with the kids, so as each night comes to a close, we spend one on one time with the kids (Harlyn and Daddy, Maverick and Mommy).
2. Be realistic.
You can only fit so much into these evening hours, especially if your kids are on the younger side. Our kids are in bed by 8, so there’s not endless time. We make adjustments–like less play time on bath nights–to be sure we’re not trying to fit an impossible amount of tasks into a three hour window.
3. Add joy.
This one’s hard for me, because I go into Mom Mode and it’s hard to come out. I see chores, messes, and a ticking clock. But Brandon keeps me in check by ensuring the kids are playing and laughing every night. Even if it does sort of drive me to the brink when things are wild and crazy here and teeth need to get brushed!!
4. Leave time for bedtime.
Bedtime can be quite the process in many homes–and ours is one of them. Our kids will not cooperate enough for us to read and do devotional as a family, so at bedtime, Brandon and I each take a kid. I go into Mav’s room to read with him, and B goes into Harlyn’s room to read with her. After reading, prayers, and requests for water, a lot of time has passed. Because I don’t want to rush through these precious moments with our kids, we know we need to plan for the time it takes. We head for the kids’ rooms st 7:45 to spend that final QT of the day with them. This is so important for us because we spend so much of the week day away from our babies that we want to be able to reconnect with them, talk to them, and snuggle.
Do you have an evening routine?