Evening Routine for Stay at Home Moms
Stay at home moms need routines to help their homes run smoothly and an evening routine is one of the most important ones. A lot of time we start with trying to fix and improve our morning routine but, I truly believe that your evening routine is even more vital.
A good evening routine will set up your day for success. It allows you to wake up less stressed and frazzled and actually achieve more in your morning routine.
And I hear you… as a stay at home mom once my kids are in bed the last thing I want to do is another routine, wash another dish, or make a decision. As soon as my kids are tucked in bed I truthfully plop (seriously, imagine a belly flop) onto my bed and scroll my Instagram for 15 minutes while I ask my husband for quiet.
But as soon as my 15 minute scroll timer goes off, I get myself up and start my evening routine, no matter how tired or worn out I am, because I know it’s value and importance.
How to End Your Day As a Stay at Home Mom
I recommend having a structure that splits your evening routine into three parts – closing out today, prepping for tomorrow, and taking time for you. As a stay at home mom, our job starts the second the kids are awake (and if their like my early birds that is 5:30am) and goes way past their bedtime. Having a plan, checklist, or routine for the evening is going to be super helpful when you have decision fatigue and just want to put most of your tasks on auto pilot.
Closing out the day is the toughest part of the evening routine as a stay at home mom because we just get burnt by the end of the day. We’ve cleaned up the same mess over and over, attempted to fold laundry all day, and just don’t want to do it.
But it’s super key and needs to be done first to help you get your evening routine mojo flowing!
I suggest putting on some uplifting music or a podcast and just getting started. I like to listen to podcasts while I do my routine because I find that it makes the time zoom by and gets me motivated to keep going. You can see my list of favorites here if you need some ideas!
I’ve shared a checklist below of suggested things you could do to close out the day and I left some blanks for you to come up with the things that you know need to get done. All of our homes are different but, when you’re trying to come up with tasks to close out the day, think of 1-4 looming tasks you know you didn’t compete or must get done. This is not the time to complete your entire to do list, berate yourself for ‘not doing enough’, or feel like a failure – this is the time when you get done what you know will decrease your stress and set you up for success tomorrow.
And a quick note: you do not have to complete this entire checklist by yourself. Many nights, these tasks happen before the kids go to bed and we do them as a family. I like to put them on my checklist because for the crazy busy nights, or the ones where we are at church or sports, or I just want to direct people to how to help, it is helpful to have a reference.
Remember, there is power in a checklist. I like to use this checklist as a data point for myself each week. If you’ve never done an evening routine, you can try it out for week one and get a percentage of the tasks that you’ve completed. Next week, you can aim to get 1-2 more tasks done than last week. This helps change the ‘all or nothing’ mentality into a mentality of growth and grace!
For me my ‘closing out today’ tasks include;
- Taking out the Trash and Recycling
- Loading the Dishwasher
- Wiping down counters
- Putting away mail or loose papers in appropriate bins
- A quick sweep of our main kitchen/dining room floors
- A 15 minute pick up (you read all about the power of the 15 minute pick up and how to do one in your home here)
Prepping for Tomorrow as a Stay at Home Mom
Once the close out tasks are done and I feel less overwhelmed by the craziness of that day, I am ready to plan for tomorrow.
As a stay at home mom, you want to create an evening routine that makes sense for your day and helps you run your home well. I am a firm believer in having routines even though we’re at home and feel strongly that kids thrive off them as well.
Prepping for tomorrow really allows you to start your day with ease because you have things done and know what to expect. If you’ve ever had a frazzled morning trying to get everyone off and ready for school and forgot to pack lunches or check book bags than you know what I mean!
On the checklist that you can download for your evening routine at the bottom of this post, you also will see a blank space for adding in preparing tasks. I’ve added in some of the things I do but again, think about the season of your family! Your tasks may look different if your kids go to traditional school or you homeschool. It may look different if you have older kids vs younger kids. So take the template I’ve given and customize it for your needs!
My prepping for tomorrow tasks include;
- Making lunches (including mine and the kids as much as I can, even though we’re home! This may look like pre making salads or making a batch of hard boiled eggs)
- Packing book bags, diaper bags, sport bags or anything else needs (and again, the kids can be a part of this as well!)
- Laying out clothes – I lay out my workout clothes so that I have no excuses in the morning and the kids pick their clothes out during our bedtime routine to make it simple.
- Loading the coffee pot with the timer
- Reviewing our schedule for the day and pre planning my time blocked tasks. Read more about time blocking here!
- Setting out an independent morning activities for the kids (I put one on their small table that they always gravitate to so I can get breakfast and the morning going without them under my feet and them asking for TV right away)
I think it’s key to have a good idea of your schedule and pre planning tasks for your family the night before. I like to use time blocking for most things so it helps if I know in advance which errands I want to run, which work tasks I’m planning to focus on or any phone calls that I have to make before places close.
Taking Time for You as a Stay at Home Mom
After you’ve done the majority of your home tasks for the night, it’s time for the best part of the evening routine — time for you! The closing out and prepping stages of an evening routine might take you anywhere from 30-45 minutes depending on how much you get done before the kids go to bed (again some of mine gets done with their help before bed) or how crazy the day is.
I like to close out my day with time for me and, as a stay at home mom, it’s very important you do the same. When we’re just go-go-go for everyone else and don’t pause for us, stay at home mom depression and burnout can occur. I find as a stay at home mom I have to be super intentional about time for myself, self care and personal growth.
Once my checklist is complete, I take 15-60 minutes in my own learning and growth. And I know that seems like a lot of time if it’s not a habit you already have but trust me, 15 minutes can start to become a habit that you crave and take more of!
So what are some things you can do during this time? (and again, start with just 15 minutes and over time increase it by 5 minutes. You’ll find that you love that time, the mom guilt will melt away, and your mindset will be on fire!)
- Bible reading, devotionals or Christian development and reading
- Take a course about a topic you want to learn about
- Watch youtube tutorials on how to gain a skill
- Read a book to increase your mindset or for pleasure
- Exercise, do yoga or meditate
- Journal, draw, or anything creative
- Check out this post for a bunch more options!
By ending your day for you, you’ll go to bed with less anxiety, more peace and feeling jazzed about the next day. What I don’t recommend you do though is just plop on the couch and have a Netflix binge or get sucked into a social media scroll. These things wreak havoc on your mindset, make you compare your lives to others and don’t fill you up.
Now, there is nothing wrong with social media or TV but I just don’t think it’s the best way to close your day. The lights from the TV and phone can keep you up, your brain gets super stimulated, and the last things in your brain tend to be where your dreams go. Give yourself the gift of positive thoughts!
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