How to Make the Evening Routine with Kids Simpler in 7 Easy Steps

Family life can be chaotic, there's no denying that! And busy days taming the chaos make us working parents more tired than we ever knew possible!

In the evening, you are likely to have less energy and feel less productive, but with some small tweaks, you can make the most of this time and transform the evening routine with kids to make it happier and more fun for everyone.

We can all find the day-to-day routines and things we have to do monotonous and tiring make us parents far less productive and engaged with our kids at the end of a long day.

However, a change-up in your routine can make all of the difference.

During the evening there will be so many things that you want to get done.

Between preparing for the following morning, getting the kids bathed and ready for bed and cooking dinner, you're going to busy.

Then there's cleaning up so you don't live in a pit, work tasks, hopefully some self care, and actually enjoying the time you have with your children.

However, you can ensure that you don’t collapse in a heap on the sofa come the end of the night feeling under-prepared for the day ahead.

With that in mind, here are some of the ways that you can transform the evening routine with kids:

1. The Cleaning Schedule

Cleaning can be one of those things that starts to take a back seat when your life speeds up.

When do you have the time to give your home a full deep clean?

Often, it is then left to the weekend, when really all you want to be doing is spending time with the family and resting from a stressful week.

The solution? A cleaning schedule.

It may sound silly, but this can help transform the way you do things.

Simply take some time to work out when you are best placed to tackle some of the bigger cleaning jobs and spread them across your week.

Add into your change of routine a few things that you can do daily, and voila, you have a weekly cleaning schedule.

Don't want to figure it out for yourself? Grab this ready done cleaning schedule:

This, in theory, should help you to maintain your home throughout the week, spending less time cleaning overall.

It will also help you to wake up to a clean and tidy house ready for the day ahead.

At night, try to do a few things before bed such as load the dishwasher, clean down the kitchen sides, and tidy away kids’ toys.

You could even get the kids involved earlier in the evening.

2. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

Life is B-U-S-Y and it’s important to realise that you are not superwoman!

You can’t and shouldn't be responsible for every chore in the home.

So instead, why not try delegating some chores to the rest of the family?

Let the children take responsibility for making their own beds or tidying their rooms.

Ask your partner to help with cooking, sorting out the bins, listening to the kids read, and some of the cleaning chores.

A family is a team and everyone needs to contribute, you can't do it all!

3. Meal Planning is the Future

One of the biggest stresses of the week, especially for families with children, is the evening meal. 

Picture the scene, you get home, everyone is hungry, and all appropriate ingredients are frozen, you have nothing in, or you simply can’t decide what you fancy or even feel like cooking.

Sound familiar? You are not alone!

This is when meal planning for the week ahead can really help you take the stress out of dinner and cooking.

Knowing exactly what you are cooking and beign certain that you have everything in to prepare it will enhance your evening.

It will also help you to keep track of when things need to be taken out of the freezer, or what you need to prepare ahead of time.

Another thing you could do is batch cook. Cooking extra and freezing it, or taking a few hours at the weekend to cook ahead for the week can make things easier.

Meals then take less time as they are already prepared and simply need heating up. 

4. Get Ahead with the Kids 

If you have packed lunches to prepare, get them made the night before.

If your children need school uniforms or specific clothes for the following day, get them out now.

The more you prepare in the evening, the less stress you will have the following morning.

While it may feel like you are giving yourself extra work in the evening, the main pay off is a less anxious mind at night.

You can go to bed knowing that you have done everything that you can.

Having the knowledge that there is nothing crucial that you need to do the following day can help you to have a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling rested and energised. 

5. Create a Bedtime Routine

To help kids sleep better, they need to have a calm and quiet transition to bedtime.

And the key to calmer, happier bedtimes is to incorporate a bedtime routine with them and be consistent.

This might mean some downtime, a bath, reading a book, or whatever else suits your family, depending on your child’s age.

You might want to start restricting screen time and setting a bedtime that you can all stick to. 

Having a more regimented routine directly with your children will help to free up time in the evening for you - and reduce stress!

6. Teach Organisation

Encourage your children to be more in charge of themselves.

This is something you can start doing in the evening with your children; helping them to take on some  responsibility for things.

For example, they could be in charge of getting their school bags ready for the following day, laying out their school clothes or getting themselves ready for bed.

Small things can lead to bigger responsibility and they can also take some pressure off you. 

Teach them how to make a list, or create a checklist for them.

Show them how you create a list of things that you want to do in the evening, or use it as an opportunity to note down the things you want to do the following day or need to remember.

Explain how this helps you to feel organised and more productive. 

7. Take Some Time Out for Yourself

Finally, when life gets busy, it can be easy to forget that you still need to be taking care of your own mindset and well-being.

So try to ensure that within this new routine you take some time out for yourself.

Maybe you can indulge in a nice hot bath, reading a book, having an early night, or even treating yourself to an at-home pampering session.

Do what makes you happy and fill your up your own bucket first. You will be a much happier person for it. 

I hope these tips will help you to transform the evening routine with kids to reduce stress and enjoy the time you have together more.

More tips to make your busy mum life easier:

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