Talking about our evening/bedtime routine today! We often hear how important it is to have a morning routine that starts the day off right and sets you up for success, but for me I’ve found that my evening/bedtime routine is what makes all the difference! Maybe because I’m more of a night owl than a morning person? I don’t know. What I do know is that you have to figure out what works best for YOU and your current stage of life. Our evening/bedtime routine has changed over the years as my kids have grown older but we still do a lot of the same things! For school nights, my goal is to always connect with each my kids before they go to bed and of course.. to make sure we are organized and ready for the next day. On the weekends we try to find a little time to relax and spend time together.
*Honored to partner with The Company Store on this post and share why bedtime is special to me! I love that they are celebrating moms for mother’s day by sharing their evening/bedtime stories.
A few things my kids do every evening:
Write down one thing they are grateful for. We started using our Gratitude Jar at the beginning of this year and have been doing pretty good! Some nights we miss, but we try to remember to do it at least a few times a week! Addison is usually the one reminding the rest of us.. she keeps us all on track around here. :) Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in what’s hard, sad or a struggle during the day and I love how this jar has helped us focus on something GOOD happening every day in each of our lives.
Pick up their rooms. Every evening I tell my kids their room/bathroom needs to be clean before bed. We have been doing this for so many years that my kids are really good at keeping their rooms picked up because they know they will have to do it before they go to sleep. Kole had a playdate the other day and I heard him tell his friend “we have to pick up my room before you go because if we don’t I’ll have to do it all myself tonight..” Ha! Start training them young moms. ;)
Homework and get backpacks completely loaded and ready for the next day. Ad and one of her close friends doing homework together a couple of weeks ago. These two have great plans of moving away to college together and conquering the world. :) As soon as my kids finish their homework I make sure they get every SINGLE thing ready for school the next day.. signed notes, homework, books, snack, water, etc.
Lay out clothes for the next day/week. When my girls were little we had a lot of outfit decisions/drama each morning before school so I would always have them organize their clothes with ziplock bags on hangers each Sunday for the week ahead.
This saved us lots of time (and tears!) every morning. :) As they got older I bought closet organizers for them to lay out their clothes in the night/week before.
If you have little ones and think this would help with your busy mornings you can read more about our system here! I also go into detail in that post about the complex system I came up with for Kole and his every day outfits. ;)
A few things I do every evening:
Read with Kole. Reading with my kids has always been one of my favorite parts of our bedtime routine! For years when the girls were little Kenny and I would take turns reading books to them at night before bed. Now that my girls are older they usually read for 20-30 minutes before bed on their own and I read with Kole. I love that I get some one on one bonding time with him every night and it has really helped his reading skills. (He is obsessed with Diary of a Wimpy Kid books right now!) After I read with Kole we say his prayers together and then I like to check in on my girls and talk to each one of them individually for a few minutes in their room before bed. We talk a lot throughout the afternoon but I always like to check in right before bed and make sure all is well in the ever changing land that is middle school. :)
Late at night after my kids fall asleep I always check on each of them one more time! It’s something I’ve done since they were babies and is a favorite way to end my day. Kids look so peaceful sleeping, don’t they? It always makes me pause and remember what’s important and how much they mean to me.
Wash face/skin routine. About a year ago I decided I needed to start washing my face earlier in the evening so that I wouldn’t be too tired to use my Clarisonic and take care of my skin. I had a bad habit of going to bed too late and then I was always too tired to use all of my skin products (it can be a process right!?) so I’d just quickly wash my face with soap and vow to do better the next day. Which I never did! So now as soon as I read to Kole and get him in bed (around 8:00 each night) I head downstairs and wash off my make-up right after. SO much better than doing it after midnight when I’m usually rolling into bed beyond tired!
Clean my kitchen. I can go to bed with the rest of my house turned upside down but my kitchen has to be clean! It’s messy again after the morning breakfast rush, but much easier to clean quickly for the day if I already did the bulk of it the night before. (Kitchen pics and sources here.)
Brain dump and pick up office. I always write my to-do list/plan for the next day before bed. I know some people like to do it in the morning, but I sleep better if I do it the night before so all of my to-do’s aren’t swirling around in my head keeping me awake at night! I usually take 10 minutes to clean up my work space and write my to-do’s and just go over what’s ahead of me the next day. This is one of my best tips for increasing your productivity!
Lay out my clothes. If I have to be somewhere early I try to lay out my outfit the night before so I’m not scrambling to find the earrings/purse/jeans I need. (Ignore the bad lighting! Took this quick at night when I was getting my clothes ready for the next day.)
If I’m going to exercise (most mornings I hop on our treadmill for 30-45 minutes before I take Kole to school) I lay out my exercise clothes. Everything down to the socks I’m wearing! And I fill up my water bottle! I have to make it so that I have no excuse but to just get dressed and get moving because I stay up too late with all of this evening routine stuff and have no mental energy first thing in the am. ;)
Friday night evening routine: Life is SO busy and a lot of times making time for yourself can be near impossible (especially if you are in the thick of it raising kids!). I started a little Friday evening “relax and unwind” routine years ago when I was feeling especially burned out and it has become something I look forward to all week! It doesn’t happen every single Friday night.. but most Friday nights I pull it off. Kenny and I are always so tired by the end of the week that we usually make date/friend plans for Saturday night and just take Friday night off. If our kids aren’t with friends we put on a movie for them upstairs so we can relax. Then I kick my Friday night off with a bath!
I LOVE taking relaxing baths and always have. When we built our home I wanted a free standing tub so badly because I love the look, but after trying a few out (yes.. I laid in them in the store!) I knew they wouldn’t work for me. I actually use my tub and comfort was my top priority on this one!
I love to turn the lights on low and light a few candles and relax in a nice hot bath. It feels so good to just ZONE out and slow my mind and body down from the week.
(I also love these chevron towels and aside from being soft they are perfect for bath decor! Roll them up in a basket, etc.)
BEST way to end the week. My bath totally relaxes me! Then I put on comfy pjs and blow dry my hair and join my husband on the couch for a movie. Half way through the movie he’s usually asleep and I’m on Pinterest, checking my favorite blogs or shopping on-line.. but that’s ok. Whatever relaxes you right? ;) My Friday night evening routine always helps me recover from a busy week and rest before the weekend madness hits.
Sometimes (if I’m feeling relaxed enough after my bath) we even let the kids join us for movie night.
That wraps up our evening/bedtime routines! They help us stay organized, connect and relax. I’d love to hear about your evening routine! Anything special you do with your kids/family? Or a good habit you have that helps you get ready for the next day? (I’d love to hear from you in the comments or share your bedtime routine/story on IG with the hashtag #ShareYourBedtimeStory!)
I think I have some free time each night between 11:35 and 11:40 pm so I can implement your suggestion then..