If you are confused about the title of this post, don’t worry. I’ll get it all straightened out for you. Similar to how I think a morning routine sets the tone for the whole day (including naptime) I believe a good evening routine sets your next day up for success as well! I’m all about routines because I believe that if you are not intentional about where your time goes, you are going to wonder where it went! Of course routines are flexible, but having a guideline for your evenings ensures that you won’t just fall on the couch as soon as possible and binge watch tv for 3 hours until you fall asleep. Ya know? Time is too precious for that.
My evening routine starts when my husband comes home from work. I call this WE time. We eat dinner together and then we spend time together as a family. This involves playing games, having nerf gun fights, or quiet coloring (my personal favorite). Then when my kids go to bed I start to clean. Fun, right? Ah yes, being an adult. It isn’t so much cleaning as it is straightening or tidying up. I get the dishes out of the sink, run the dishwasher, wipe surfaces, and sweep. Just to get the house ready for the next day. There is nothing worse for your mood than waking up and walking into a dirty kitchen. There just isn’t. So I make sure that morning Amanda will thank nighttime Amanda for getting her started on the right foot. This usually doesn’t even take that long and isn’t strenuous. Just not something I would choose to do if given the opportunity, but it makes a big difference! I then sit at my clean table on top of my swept floors and I make a list of all the things I want to accomplish tomorrow during naptime! I take in consideration everything I did that day, what I have to do tomorrow (time crunch), and what I want to do tomorrow. I make my list in my big planner and set it on my desk, all ready to go.
After that is done I get some ME time. This usually involves a set amount of time looking at Memes on IG, of course. Then I snuggle up with some hot tea or an orange vanilla seltzer and read whatever book I am reading at the moment. This is usually around half an hour. I’m not a huge reader, so I read in fairly small increments. I rarely “get lost” in a book. (Could be because I only read self help books, but I digress).
After a considerable amount of time reading or scrolling I shut my book and start US time. Us as in...my husband and I. Up until this point we probably haven’t gotten more than a few sentences in with each other before being interrupted. It could be real easy to go a whole day without actually having a conversation if we are not intentional! Being a parent of little kids is a lot of work. Constant work. Like 24/7 work. Then at some point during US time we either turn the tv on and then off to bed.
WE, ME, US
This routine really sets up my following day up for success. I am able to have a clear plan for naptime and I know exactly what I want to get accomplished. Planning...its all in the planning.