I often get asked the question, “how do you have the time?” This is a valid question, and I think it’s one that all women deal with on a regular basis. I am a full time working mom to two under the age of 5, a wife AND a part time blogger. As a family where both of us work outside of the home, we are always searching for ways to simplify our routines and make things easier all around. I think a large part of what makes our nightly routine work is the partnership that my husband and I have. Everything is very much a team effort. . . except on nights when he is traveling for work. On those nights only prayers and wine will get me through. And the help of family – life lesson, ACCEPT THE HELP when offered!
I realize everyone’s situations are vastly different, but I hope that me sharing our nighttime routine with you will help provide you with new ideas (or just to know that you’re not alone)!
someecards just keeping it real!
Yes, you’re reading that right. We give our kids a snack BEFORE dinner. One of us picks the kids up from daycare around 5:30 – 5:45 and they are always super hungry when we walk through the door. The snack is light in hopes that it doesn’t spoil dinner. We try to stick to things like Cheerios, fruit strips (we love these from Target), or a granola bar.
Once snack time wraps up (typically around 6:00) we have a little play time. One of us plays (usually me), while the other preps dinner. If the weather is nice we spend time outside or going on a quick walk. If not, then we play inside and try to do activities that don’t involve screens. Our kids really love puzzles these days so we spend a few minutes doing that until dinner is ready, usually around 6:30-6:45.
Plan your meals in advance! This is something we are still striving to do better, but the simple act of just writing out what we will eat all week for dinner every night helps us to stay on track. I try to do this on Sunday’s before grocery shopping. I would love to get to a point where we are meal prepping on Sunday’s but we just aren’t there yet. #goals
Once I have our dinner meal list in order, we hit the grocery store or Walmart curbside pick up. 🙂 Download the Walmart Grocery App to see if the service is available in your area. I promise its the quickest and most convenient way to shop. It allows me to have more time for my family and to do the things that I want to do on the weekend instead of spending time in a store shopping. If it’s not a service in your area, another thing I love is that most grocery stores offer a free cookie from the bakery when shopping with kids! So if you’re shopping with your little one(s), be sure to check and see if your local grocery store offers such a treat! I promise it makes shopping easier!
We try to make 3 meals each week in order to have leftovers for dinners/lunches throughout the week. I love these glass Pyrex food storage set with lids because when we are done we just portion them out so that I can take to work for a lunch or have for dinner again one night that week. On nights where we don’t actually make something then we have something like this.
Some of our go to meals are. . .
We are an every other bath night family here. Depending on how the night is going usually determines if the kids bathe together or separately. Lately we have been on the separate schedule because Layla wants to shower more than take a bath these days. Henry typically goes to bed earlier (7:30-7:45) so we tend to do his bath first. Another tag team effort by us, one of us handles bath, while the other plays. This is typically the time of night where Layla gets a little bit of screen time before she heads up for her bath/shower.
Side note, we recently switched to Beauty Counter’s Kids Bath Collection and it has been great! The shampoo doesn’t cause tears when it’s time to rinse and it smells great too! Both kids have spent a ton of time in the pool this summer, and the conditioner has been awesome (especially for my daughter). Click the link below to shop!
Before we even start story time, I always lay out an outfit for each kiddo to wear the next day. It’s one less thing to do in the morning, and if Dad is the one getting them ready in the a.m. then this is helpful to EVERYONE! 😉 .
ME-TIME / PLAN AHEAD TIME
Exhale, you made it! Now you are rewarded with endless amounts of mindless TV, wine, working on your side hustle, whatever YOUR heart desires!
For me, I usually spend the 8:30-9:30 time frame sitting in front of my computer either in our office or parked on the couch with the hubs. I realize to some this may sound strange, but my blog is MY outlet and my passion and I truly look forward to the time I get to work on it. Whatever your passion is, find it and make sure you spend some time to yourself doing it.
I find it super helpful to prep for the next day. For me, it is making sure my daughters dance bag is packed and ready on Tuesday nights because dance is on Wednesday right after daycare. Maybe you have an important meeting at work the next day, plan your outfit the night before to avoid outfit frustration in the morning.
Lastly, something I’ve been doing even before kids, shower at night! I love this because I can sleep a few extra winks in the morning and not have to mess with blow drying my hair! I shower at night and then let it air dry and style it in the morning. I think this is a win win because I’m avoiding the damaging heat of a blow dryer – woot woot! I also don’t wash my hair every night. I’m an every other and on nights where I don’t wash it, I just throw on a cute lil shower cap like this!
NIGHTLY ROUTINE TAKEAWAYS
Moral of the story, try to plan ahead as much as you can. If you can do something ahead of time that will make the actual moment easier, then why not do it? I summed up my 5 key takeaways to a smoother nightly routine below! Be sure to pin this and save it for later when you need a reminder!
What works for you? I would love to hear! Comment below.
Also, if you’re in search of an easy breakfast for your toddlers, be sure to check out this post!