Finding a new sense of “normal” can be hard during this time of being quarantined with our kids. We, as parents, are trying to keep things as normal as we possibly can with having them at home and trying to work our day jobs as well.
I struggled to adjust to having the kids home full time and blog full time. There was no routine in place, I was winging it day by day, breaking up fights between my boys. Something had to change or I was going to be a stressed-out basket case all day.
As the weeks went by, I decided to go back to our original routine before quarantine life began as much as possible. I make sure the boys wake up and go to bed at the same time each weekday, meal prepped some food on the weekends, and found a new way to carve out some “me time” in between. So, here’s how I do that.
Evening Routine for an Easier Day with Your Kids
I thrive on organization and preparation. When you want to start each morning off smoothly and stress-free, it all begins with the night before. Getting as much done before you go to bed sets you up for success the next morning. Try and tackle as much as you can before bedtime and you’ll wake up feeling ready to conquer the day.
I cannot even begin to tell you how much this has been a HUGE burden lifted from my shoulders each week. Pick a day, any day that works with your schedule. Plan out your meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), shop, then meal prep what you can. This not only saves you time on weekdays but also saves you money because you are shopping for things you need for your meal planning.
Personally, I love to meal prep breakfast items because as mentioned, we need mornings to be quick and stress-free. What I love to do is make a HUGE batch of pancakes, waffles, or veggie-loaded muffins and store some in the fridge and freezer. On “school days”/weekdays, I pop them in a toaster oven on the “reheat” setting for five minutes (I hate microwaves) and serve them with a side of fruit or a quick veggie smoothie. This Orange Blossom Chia Seed Pudding is a huge hit with my five-year-old. We also love these Baked Veggie Omelete Muffins. Make a batch and eat them all week long. Again, doing the same things we did before everyone had to social distance, makes evening routines for an easier day with your kids more manageable.
School Work & Activity Prep
My boys are still young so they don’t have a ton of school work just yet. But their school did provide us with some packets to work on at home which that takes about 40 minutes. I also follow Busy Toddlers on Instagram, and she has some amazing tips and learning projects/activities to do with kids. I ended up purchasing her Playing Preschool Program to give us daily learning activities to do with the kids. She used to be a teacher and is all about a hands-on learning approach which is a great way to break up those worksheets. If you follow me along on Instagram, I share what I’m doing each day. So, in the evening, I will set up our lessons for the following day. It cuts down on scrambling to do it in the morning.
Each night, I grab their clothes and lay them out. They know that as soon as they wake up, they need to use the bathroom, brush their teeth, and get dressed. While they are doing that, I make breakfast and get any last-minute school work ready. I usually will put the boys in something comfy other than pajamas so we feel somewhat normal. But keeping the routine on getting dressed and brushing their teeth is helpful.
Now, I know this post is all about an evening routine for an easier morning, but I do have a couple of other things that can help you out as well in order to have a smoother morning at home with the kids.
Wake up 30 minutes before your kids
I cannot stress this enough. Just being able to wake up, get ready, read, work out, or meditate has been so life-changing for me. Instead of waking up and it being “go, go, go” you’re allowing yourself a little Me Time to do whatever makes you happy. Go for a walk, write in a journal, whatever it is, do something that lifts your soul and makes you less stressed in the mornings.
I make it a point to meditate for about 10-15 minutes each morning. Truly life changing. It sets my mind up for a relaxing morning and keeps me at ease. It’s my personal time for just ME. I have a free app on my phone called Insight Timer and they have so many different types of mediations on there for various different time lengths. I can’t recommend meditation enough.
Now it’s time to be the teacher. We start our day doing a calendar and weather song and then getting into our school work routine. We tend to do this from about 9:30-11am each day. Then we do some sort of outside activity or some online yoga for kids that they have on Youtube, or something that requires them to burn off some energy.
Whether your kids still nap or not, I always carve out two hours of separate quiet time. I keep them separate to keep the arguing at a minimum each day. They have to lay down for at least 20 minutes and then do some sort of quiet play, Legos, puzzles, etc. If they are really needy, I’ll let them watch television for at least 35 minutes or so. This gives me a chance to work, do a little yoga, writing, or whatever I need to get down around the house. This was a game changer and highly recommend all mamas giving yourself this dedicated time.