We have come to an end of our daily routines series. I have walked you through a typical day of everything that I try to accomplish to keep the house in order. (Note that I said TRY, some times it just doesn’t happen, last week was one of those weeks!)
Our evenings can be pretty hectic some nights, but my husband and I have worked hard to create a routine with the kids to get them feed, bathed, and to bed at a reasonable time. Usually while I’m finishing up dinner, my husband comes home from work and my kids are more than thrilled to see him. Daddy’s time with the kids is so much fun! They both squeal with delight when he walks through the door.
There are 5 things that I try to accomplish each night to help my day end well and to prepare for the next day:
1. Clean the kitchen and dining room
This is the time of day when I give the kitchen one last, really good cleaning. Dinner dishes are placed in the dishwasher and it is ran. The counters and sink get a really good scrubbing, and I also wipe down the appliances if they need it. I sweep the floor, and if it needs it, I’ll give the floor a quick mop (does anyone else suffer from perpetually sticky floors?)
Before we had kids, my husband and I had a really nice arrangement where I would make dinner and he would clean the kitchen. But since he works all day out of the home, if he didn’t have that time after dinner to play with the kids, then he would barely see them all day. So I don’t mind cleaning up because we all benefit from intentional time with daddy :).
2. Last house sweep through
After the kids are in bed, I do one last sweep through of the house to make sure everything is picked up. We are teaching our kids to pick up toys after themselves, and my son is getting pretty good at it but he does miss some and my personality just likes everything picked up. If there is any remaining laundry that needs to be folded or put away, I’ll do that quickly. I also unload the dishwasher and wash any last dishes that need to be dealt with.
3.Plan for tomorrow
I take a few minutes and look over my calendar to make sure I don’t miss anything important about tomorrow. I also fill out my daily docket with a basic plan and to-do list for the next day. Basically anything that is running through my mind of things I want to get done or ideas that I have, I try and write then down that way they aren’t just swimming around in my head.
These days my memory has not been very reliable (hello Mommy brain!), so taking the time to think through my day and look at my calendar the night before really helps to save me time the next day, and helps me to be more productive. If I have a basic plan, then I know I won’t be lying in bed thinking about all the things I need to get done.
I also lay out the breakfast dishes on the counter, get my exercise clothes ready to go, and make sure my phone is charged. If we have to get out of the house earlier in the morning, then I’ll also get our bags ready to go too.
4. Wash my face
I was taught from early on to always take care of my facial skin now so I wouldn’t pay for it later. So before I sit down on the couch (because we all know that when Mama FINALLY gets a chance to sit down and relax at the end of the day, she done!) I take a few minutes and wash away my make-up and moisturize my skin for repair. I currently use the Oil Cleaning Method, and the skin on my face has never looked healthier. An added bonus is how frugal it is too!
I’m also getting into the habit of brushing my teeth too, because night time snacking tends to be my downfall. But if my mouth is already clean and minty fresh then I have a hard time justifying eating anything that I shouldn’t.
5. Read and relax
Such a sweet reward for the end of the day, the time to actually sit down and get all warm and cozy on the couch! Some day (OK most days :)) I don’t make it very long, but I’m very intentional about using this time to replenish myself, and reading does that for me. Most night my husband has a baseball game on while he’s reading the newspaper and I read whatever I’m reading. Some night we might watch a show that we have saved on the DVR (we still have the entire Bible mini-series from last spring saved because we haven’t had a chance to watch them all yet).
The hard part is finding a book to read before bed that is engaging and entertaining, yet doesn’t make me want to stay up super late to finish. I have found that I usually can’t read fiction right before bed, I have to cut myself off at a certain time and finish off with a lighter read. This is why I always have about 2-3 books going at the same time. My husband always thinks I’m crazy by having more than 1 book going at a time, but I like it that way! 🙂
Since I typically wake up between 4:45 and 5:00 AM, I make it a point to be in bed by at least 9:30 PM. I’m not asleep by that time. This also means that I have to have a set time to turn off the electronics (laptop and phone). There have been many a times when I have stayed up way too late by being on the computer and have suffered for it the next day. My rule now is that the computer goes off at 9:00 PM.
Now some of you might be reading this and wondering about time with my husband. We try to set aside a few nights a week to be with each other. One night a week, we sit down and go over the calendar, budget, and talk about specific concerns. We have been doing this since before we were married and it is probably one of the best things we do for our marriage. Most nights we also enjoy simply just sitting next together on the couch,watching TV or reading with the occasional conversation mingled in. We also make it a point to go on dates together as often as we can.
So that’s it! That’s what I aim to accomplish in the evening time. If you’ve been following along with this series, then you also have an idea of everything that I TRY to get done through the day.
Now I want to emphasis again that I am not perfect, I’m human, and there are many days when my routine just doesn’t go according to plan. But I think it is so important to at least have a basic routine in place so that I have an idea of what needs to be done, and how I should be best using my time during the day.
There is also plenty of room for margin. My most important job during the day is spending time with my family and making them feel loved. So that means that sometimes chores can wait.