It’s very common at the end of the evening when the children are finally tucked up in bed for us to just flop down exhausted.
We reach for whatever is close to hand. ( Junk food, Chocolate, comfy couch, magazines) I know the day has been busy doing all that you wanted to do for the kids and family and also filled with many of those other things.
Depending on your family bedtimes and whether you’re a night owl or a lark preferring to get up early there’s often many hours in the evening that’s just ours. Just ours..
We see how well routine works for the children in the morning to get ready and their evening routines. We have our own routines to get ready for work and preparing for a day with our kids at home. We prepare the household or have our contributions we finish off during the evening. Yet there’s something though about the evening that causes us to just stop with the routines after the kids are safely tucked up in bed. Stops after all the tidying, fixing, laundry is away.
It’s not the end of the evening.
On average how much time do you have in the evening and for most of us it’s a lot more than we allow ourselves in the morning. The evening is when we have the time….to do what?
What do we do with it?
Our evenings might be our most productive time, especially if you’re a night owl. It’s sometimes the longest continuous time to get things done for most of us. The evening time is the ending of the day so it’s full of preparation for the next day, tying up of lose ends from this day and things you set for this time.
Here are some ideas to have a more intentional evening. You’ll likely have a family evening routine already full of activity that help the family be ready for the next day. But what about an evening routine that feeds and nourishes you. Where is the space, place and opportunity for you.
Isn’t it time we crafted our own evening routine?
Choose something to give your evening a purpose a flavour and direction. Not every night. There is a time and a place for vegging destressing and zoning out. Being a parent is hard. We all need that time. But start choosing intentionally to do what you want each night than falling into the groove of whatever is easiest and comes the quickest to hand ( or bottom!)
I’m in love with soy candles as these seem to burn well without just burning down the centre. Lighting a candle is a lovely symbol of transition from the business of the day to the slowing down of the evening.
Download/ Sync calendars
Syncing all the calendars from the elementary, middle, preschool, work, clubs, practices takes time. Plus some are paper, some electronic, some on the whiteboard. Carefully crafting a system then regularly updating it helps everything to run smoothly at home. Don’t forget to add in things you want to do. Your dreams won’t happen unless you put it on the calendar.
Revise permission slips/school bags
Even though this is for the children, it saves my sanity if I look in the bags too at the end of the day. I have time to find the money, last minute item or wash something that’s needed for tomorrow.
Read the save articles
Pocket is a free app that helps you find those saved articles you found on Facebook or Pinterest. You’re on Facebook and see a great article title and picture and click over to the site all excited. At that exact moment something happens and you’re putting down the smartphone or leaving the computer. It’s a shame as you really wanted to read it. Instead of trawling through your history save these articles in one place.
Pin and save ideas that interest
Search for Potty training tips, how do I stop him from biting, what is Waldorf play? Can I go back to school and retrain? What’s the best shoes for running? What’s a good historical fiction novel? Take time to create boards saving things that interest you to encourage you to try new things. Pinterest is often everyone’s happy place.
Share intentional parenting/family articles that impacted you with your spouse
It’s easier now if you’re on a smartphone to share instantly things you like and send to email or send to Pocket. That’s not always the best way to do things. We’ve had lots of times when we’ve read an article that really spoke to us. Reading it too each other or sitting side by side chatting about it has also been a good way to bring up topics we’ve struggled with putting our own words to. Also things totally outside of your experience you can share.
There’s nothing like another person’s point of view to bring out your voice. From these types of conversations how we do family changes.
Draw/ paint/Knit/ sew do something with your hands that’s beautiful
Writing not just for the mornings.
Connect with a girlfriend
Cheer yourself up, laugh out loud, be a good listeners. If you’ve been with little people all day or no one else then catching up with a friend who gets you is the best tonic.
Catch up on a chapter
Look forward to that next installment all day. What will happen?
Spend time composing playlists ( energy much like the runner, clean up, happy times, inspiring etc)
Didn’t you love to spend hours making mix tapes? Certain songs come on even now and the take you right back to a moment. Prepare for the low times and have fun in the high times with music playlists for the right times.
Prayer- meditation- contemplation- bible study
As simple as a book full of prayers or deep breathing taking care of our spiritual side is often the first thing to become neglected.
Now you have 11 somethings to look forward to that’s just for you.
Just imagine if we have 1 hour every night to ourselves that’s 7 hours a week , almost a whole working day and over 30 hrs a month
With your highlight and purpose for the evening routine craft your other routine items and a bedtime and you’re all set.
Choosing to be intentional like this will give you energy to continue through that day knowing you’ll be getting to that thing you want to do. Switch your mind to selfcare knowing you’ve worked hard in your family so no feeling bad. You deserve to have an evening routine that takes account of you.
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If you’d like some fun in your teacup see the little man.
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You read my mind when you posted this, just what I needed to read my wise friend 🙂
Lovely to see your smiling face Vicky. You are welcome.
Such an important post. Great timing, especially for this crazy time of year when any child free moment needs to be used wisely! Thank you!
This time of year gets so squeezed doesn’t it! Self care gets pushed down. Thanks.