Our evening routines in our house are a non-negotiable for me these days. Having a rhythm at the end of the day helps me feel like I’m not forgetting things so that I can go to bed on the right track. For me, the last few hours of my day really help me set the tone for the next day. Maybe you don’t currently have an evening routine, or you do but it isn’t quite working for you. Hopefully these ideas will help you develop an evening rhythm to alleviate some morning-time stress! Our Evening Routine:
Usually while I am cooking dinner the kids are playing with Nate. If we are having an earlier dinner time (soccer nights, church night, etc.) and I need to cook dinner while Nate is till at work, they occupy themselves with a little iPad time.
-Cleanup Post Dinner
After dinner our kids help us with the cleanup time. Our 3 olders are responsible for putting their plates and silverware in the sink. They take turns rotating who will help wipe down the table and who will sweep the floors in the dining room. Nate or I will start loading the dishwasher and putting away any leftovers.
While we are tidying up the kitchen I get the bathtub started for the girls. They go straight into the tub from their high chairs (to eliminate any mess tracking through the house in the process). As soon as they get out of the bath the boys get into the shower. After bath-time the kids get into their pajamas and brush their teeth.
For our oldest son, Jude, we work on his sight words or any homework he brought home right before we have our family devotional time.
-Bedtime for Kids
Before the kids head to their beds we have our family Bible story time, prayer time, and hugs and kisses. They run to the bathroom one last time and then we tuck them in.
-Tidy up Living Areas
When the kids go to bed the real magic happens. This is when I do most of my prep work and tidying up to set the tone for the next day. Nate and I work together to clean up the living room and the rest of the kitchen if we couldn’t finish it before.
In an effort to make mornings run smoother I go ahead and get all of our school prep done the night before. I pack all their lunches and snacks, fill up their water bottles, sign any school papers or agendas, and pack their backpacks. Eventually this will be a good responsibility for them to have, but at this point in time I still take care of these things. Their clothes and shoes (very important) get laid out for the next day so that when they wake up they can get dressed and be ready to hit the door if needed.
I learned a while back that doing one load of laundry a day is super manageable when you have 6 people in one house. It is all too easy to get behind and to feel like you are drowning in laundry. For that reason, I try my BEST to do one load of laundry every day. I’ll fold a load each night if I didn’t get to it earlier in the day, and start another. Throughout the day if I have a dirty item, it goes straight into the machine. At the end of the day, the machine gets closed and started. Before I head to bed I throw the load in the dryer.
Whether or not you’re a work-from-home mama, I think making to-do lists are a super helpful way to take control of your days. Each night I’ll open my calendar and see any appointments or deadlines I need to be aware of. I’ll schedule my day out based on that. I also write down the meals we will have (that way I don’t stand with the fridge open wondering what to cook at 6:30pm). I then write down any tasks I’d like to get done around the house that need my attention. I’ll also pull out my to-do list from that day and transfer anything that didn’t get done for the next day and try to make those the first priority.
Having a consistent evening routine has meant so much to me and has allowed me to feel less stressed and anxious. I feel like I’m able to manage my home better. When things start falling through the cracks it is usually because our evenings get out of whack. I hope these ideas will help you create an evening rhythm in your home to help you take control of your day!