Bedtime Routine for a Busy Mom of Three Small Kids

Evening routine for a busy mom of three small kids

Last week I shared with you the bedtime routine our family has in place for our three small children (5 and 3-year-olds). I’ve received a lot of questions about that, and I will address them all in a future article. Today, however, I want to talk to you about my evening routine.

Just as my kids, mine starts around 3 PM, with dinner prep. I look at my meal plan (I make very few decisions on the spot) and take out what I need from the fridge. If there is any casserole assembly or cooking that needs to be done, I do that when the kids are eating their snack.

We go outside, and I really enjoy spending this time with them. They are full of energy and play, and this is also a good time for them to unload frustrations. So I am in full connection with them for these hours.

When we get back home, I make the last food preparation, and we eat dinner. It is now 5 PM.
When we are done eating, everyone puts their plates and glasses in the sink and heads towards the bathroom. They take a bath, and I take a shower at the same time. I’m in my PJ by 6:30 and we read stories, tuck them in and talk about all the great things that happened that day.
Lights are out for the kids at 7:30 (sometimes earlier) and my husband and I will sit down to talk about our day. The conversation is usually about the kids, and what happened during the day, however, we make a significant effort to discuss non-kid-related topics.
He also blocks some time in the evening for exercise, so in the evenings he’s heading out for a run or bike ride, I have some evening quiet time.
Next day lunch boxes are already prepared during dinner. I cook a larger batch, and as I clean up the table, I put some leftovers for the kids to have at school. I add boiled eggs, frittatas, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers or fruits.
By 8:30-8:45 I put my phone on flight mode. This way I am not tempted to browse social media or respond to messages. I put the phone away to charge and read a book (paper format) and dim the lights in my bedroom.
By 9:00 I am tired and ready to call it a day. I end my routine by writing down three events of the day I am grateful for. I enter my kids’ bedroom and give them a last snuggle as they sleep. I kiss my husband, and then I go to sleep. I fall asleep fairly fast and wake up naturally 4:45-5AM the next day.
You can read about my morning routine here.

The two obvious questions that come up a lot in my interactions are:
1. Do I watch any TV?
No. I used to, but with every year that passes, I became more and more aware of the preciousness of my one non-renewable resource. So I am very mindful about how I gift my time.
2. When do I connect with my partner?
Most seasoned couples watch TV every night and call it time spent together. We did it also for many years, yet it didn’t leave me to feel connected to my husband. Ever since I paused to think what makes sense for my family and me, I realized that staring at a screen at the same time doesn’t qualify as quality time, even though we sit in the proximity of the same couch.
We now make an effort to have a meaningful conversation, and even though it is not a daily two-hour long deep, soul-moving experience, it leaves us to feel more connected to each other. What I described above is our regular, weekday evening, when we both work and the kids go to school. In the weekends, we go for date nights, we see friends and have more diverse use of our time together.
He has his own evening routine and he goes to sleep a little later than me.

Once again, just like with everything else, there is no one routine fits all households and families, but whichever one is yours, make it intentional.

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1 Comment

  • Dianne

    Reply Reply August 15, 2017

    Love this! Bed time routines are so important!

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