How to create an evening routine? Who needs one of those? Who has time for one of those when you are a mother?
At the end of a long crazy day with kids, the last thing on my mind is anything but self-care. Typically I just want to get comfy, in my bed, and turn some kind of mindless garbage on the TV. That’s relaxing, right? That will help me process and deal with the stress of today, right?
Well, no. Not really.
When you throw your evening routine out the window you are doing several things that aren’t actually so good for you.
Firstly you are setting yourself up for failure tomorrow. If you skip your evening routines you will simply be pushing them off until tomorrow. Then tomorrow is going to start off on that same stressed, overwhelmed place that you were trying to escape from on this particular evening.
If you don’t have an evening routine in place, don’t worry, we will address that in a few moments.
Secondly, part of being less tired and anxious involves figuring out ways to deal with your stress. Ignoring your daily stressors in favor of mindless “relaxation” is just a band-aid. The wound itself never gets healed and you only pretend that it’s not a problem.
Lastly, if you really want things to be different in your life you have to put in the work. Every day. You have set goals, make plans, make promises to yourself and keep them. You have to keep pushing forward and not let a long, crazy day set you back. Because once you let one day derail your goals it will be so easy to let that keep happening again and again.
Don’t believe me?
Today, was one of those crazy long, stressful, “I suck at motherhood” kind of days for me. We woke up late, I had to have my husband drive my oldest to PreK because there wasn’t enough time for me to get myself and the baby ready in time to take her.
Then I took the baby to dance, where she proceeded to bite another little girl, who went into hysterics, whose mother then went into hysterics. I unenrolled her from dance, cried all the way home and then continued to cry for a better part of the day.
Because I was sobbing at the time my husband had to pick our daughter up from PreK too. I ignored all my housework, let the kids trash the house and pretty much just spent the day in a funk.
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Finally, the day is over, the kids are in bed and I would like nothing better than to lay in the bed and continue to wallow.
If I don’t do all of my evening chores, tomorrow will be extremely overwhelming, probably just as rough as today was.
If I don’t get everything ready for tomorrow, we will likely start the day off late again which not only effects me but my girls too.
If I don’t take the time to decompress, I will fall asleep stressed, not sleep well, probably have anxious dreams and wake up tomorrow feeling like I haven’t slept at all.
Most importantly though, I made myself a promise. A promise that I will spend a specified amount of time each day working on this blog. Because it is important to me. You are important to me. No matter what happened today, I still have the ability and opportunity to clear the slate before I go to bed tonight. I intend to do that because I know from experience that making the effort will make all the difference.
What should be included in an evening routine?
How to create and evening routine for your Home
When you suffer from anxiety you look for ways to create control. Having a well run, organized home is a wonderful way to give yourself some control.
Having an evening routine for your housework will allow you to rest at night knowing that everything is done. You can wake up tomorrow to a clean slate and not have yesterdays messes hanging over your head.
This cleaning routine is broken into am, pm and daily tasks. The pm tasks are things that will finish out your day and allow your home to feel “put back together”.
My mother always did specific things each night growing up. As far as I know, she still does them. All the doors in the house closed, every light off, throw pillows removed from her expertly made bed and placed nicely in a pile to be replaced in the morning, sink empty of dishes and the lid on the washing machine open to let the insides air out.
She always wakes up in a clean home. The cleaning routine at the bottom of the post is meant to help you wake up to the same.
How to create an evening routine for your parenting duties
Having a routine for your kids each night will make creating a routine for yourself easier as well. We thrive on organization and schedules and sometimes we forget that our kids thrive on these things as well.
Depending on your children’s schedules your evening parenting routine will probably vary. The idea for any routine is the same though. You want to make them feel like the day is complete and allow them to wake up tomorrow with nothing hanging over their heads.
Recently I have started having my 4-year old put all her toys away before dinner. The playroom MUST be cleaned, in order and there should be no toys anywhere else in the house.
We then have dinner, bathtime, hair, and teeth brushed, pjs on and maybe 30 min of TV time while I put my 2-year-old to bed.
She knows what to expect every night and there is never a surprise for her.
I also make sure that breakfast is ready for the morning. Overnight oats, muffins out of the freezer, whatever.
Backpacks are packed and ready to go.
Clothes, shoes, socks, underwear, and accessories are laid out.
Everything besides bathtime takes about 5-10 min but the impact for the next morning is huge. I can also lay down at night knowing that I am not going to be running around like a crazy lady in the morning getting everyone ready.
How to create an evening routine for your Self
Finally, you can address yourself. Do whatever it is that you have decided is a good way for you to decompress. For me, I like to read books. My mother reads magazines at night. My husband researches football stats. Just give yourself some way to decompress besides social media or TV. I strongly feel that these things just add to our anxiety.
Journal, do a bible study, listen to music, take the dog for a walk. Just do something for yourself that will help you unwind.
If you shower at night do it. Take the time. Invest in some nice PJs! Take your makeup off!
Drink a cup of tea, avoid alcohol,, and chocolate as these all increase anxiety instead of decreasing it.
Once you have addressed all the big areas of motherhood life, Home, Parenting and Self you should feel accomplished, content, organized and be ready to put an end to the day. Ready to wake up tomorrow, refreshed and able to have a clean, fresh start!
So skip the laziness, the TV, and the internet surfing. Invest in an evening routine. The difference you see tonight will flow over into the morning and will ultimately create a happier, less anxious you!
Don’t forget to grab your cleaning schedule below!
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