May 5, 2010

The (Current) Evening Routine

*This is what I usually have at my feet while I'm making dinner.

I thought of this post tonight and how much my evening routine has continued to evolve.  As the big boy got older, when the little boy arrived, and now as both of them get older and things change.  I like the tips I included in my previous post.  They are:  1) Leave work early, 2) Ease into it, 3) Focus, 4) Plan ahead, and 5) Be consistent.

Well, easing into it isn't really an option any longer.  The little boy is starving the second we get home, so unfortunately I have to jump right into the task of getting food on the table.  And now that the big boy is a bit older, he's eating what we eat, so I have to make a "real" dinner and we eat together.  But I do try to make sure we fit a little playtime somewhere in the evening.

I think I'll write a post like this once a year or so, because I find it interesting to see how the routine evolves.  I'm coming to terms with the fact that my evenings won't be getting easier any time soon.  They will change, but I don't think that means they'll get easier.  With school brings homework, they'll start to get involved in other activities, they'll start to eat I'll just try to stay as prepared as possible.  And make sure to stock up on ice cream and wine every week!

Here's what my current evening routine looks like (all of the times are "ish" of course):
5:00PM:  Get home with the boys.  Start to prepare dinner.
5:30PM:  Eat dinner with the boys.  Trying to feed myself and the little boy at the same time is a challenge, but I know that will get easier.
6:00PM:  Bathtime or playtime.  I do bathtime about 3 times per week.  I just can't do it every night with both of them.  Bathtime is both boys together, which is fun but exhausting.  Playtime is both boys together, which is fun and a little less exhausting.
6:20-6:40PM:  Little boy's bedtime.  (feed, read, snuggle, sleep.)
6:40-7:10PM:  Hang out with the big boy.  Frequent requests are to do a puzzle together, or to do some coloring, play-doh, etc.  Sometimes he helps me with the dishes.  Sometimes we dance.
7:10-7:40PM:  Brush teeth and then story-time.
7:40-8PM:  Wild-card time.  Sometimes - usually - the big boy is fine at bedtime.  But sometimes this timeframe is the aggravating task of getting him to stay in his room and stop asking for things from downstairs.
8-8:15PM:  Check email, blog, make a phone call.
8:15-8:45PM:  Do the dishes, prepare lunch and bottles for the next day.
8:45PM:  Sit down!  Enjoy a mug of ice cream with a little TV.
9:15-9:45PM:  Head to bed.  Read for a while.
10-10:30PM:  Lights out.


  1. Hi Mary - reading this really took me back - 'make the bottles for the next day'! I so recall that feeling of having them all lined up ready to go - like money in the bank that feeling! Now its much easier - the older kids get, they become lovely company in the evenings; my daughter and I just chat and do homework and chill. My son - well he is another matter - full speed all day. But when he's gone to bed there is some quiet :-) x

  2. Louise - Ah, I am looking forward to the days without bottles! But I keep reminding myself to enjoy all the precious things about babyhood. The days go by way too fast, I know.

  3. Our nighttime routine is pretty consistent... I guess it starts when I pick my daughter up from school: Homework, tv show/start dinner, chat/facilitate play/finish up dinner, family hang out time, bath, books, snuggle bed. My daughter has started having after school activities and I'm having a hard time adjusting. I just love the consistency of it all. It works well for us, but I'm finding the older they get the more flexible I'm needing to be.


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