A few months ago, I wrote a post about the importance of using routines to make your days run smoothly. A few weeks later, I topped it off with a post on how to make a morning routine you can stick to. Today, I want to share what I’ve discovered is probably the most important routine of all: a nighttime routine.
A morning routine starts your day off right. I’ve listened to some of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in the world and they’ve all mentioned that morning routines are a habit of the most successful people out there. And I agree! There’s nothing like starting your morning off on the right foot by doing key things that get your day going.
However, I’ve also discovered that by establishing a consistent nighttime routine, you actually enhance your morning routine and your days run a whole lot easier. And how is this the case? Because when you do a few key things at night before you go to bed, you are making sure that you don’t spend unnecessary time the next day cleaning up the previous day’s mess.
As a stay at home mom, do you ever feel like you just can’t get your days under control? If so, trust me when I say I’ve been there and I can’t stand the feeling of not being able to get a hold of things. Between managing the home, meals, and training our kiddos, our days can seem to just run into one another with no end. When this becomes the pattern day after day after month after year, it’s easy to become angry, irritated, and feel like quitting.
But don’t do that. Start by implementing morning and night routines and I promise, your days will begin to go easier!
As I sit here, I have half my nighttime routine done (and after I finish this post, I will finish it :)). I’ve spent enough of my mom life either not having or not completing my nighttime routine to know that I want to be consistent and make it a habit. And that’s the beauty of routines: they become habits that eventually you pretty much do on autopilot. But more about that in another post 😉 On to the good stuff!
Here is the why and the how for seriously simplifying your stay at home life with nighttime routines.
Aside from what I’ve already mentioned, nighttime routines bring closure to your day, and you’ll end with a feeling of accomplishment. Not only that, but by preparing for tomorrow’s events in the evening, you can start the next morning already ahead (see more below).
I honestly don’t want to exhaust this post with repetitive information. I think you get the gist here. Basically, I’m just trying to make a case for the need of a nighttime routine, how it can take a huge burden off you as a mom, and some tips for what to put in your routine. So now, on to the tips…
What to put in your routine
My personal nighttime routine has a couple things that are crucial for getting the next day off to a good start. They also make me feel like I’m waking up ahead of the game. Because what mom doesn’t love that feeling? 🙂
Here are the four things that are a part of my personal nighttime routine:
- Quick tidy, if needed
- Next day prep
- Brush and floss teeth
- Pray and read Scripture
When I stick to this routine, it’s amazing how easy it is to jump out of bed the next morning. And the times that I don’t do it, I feel like I have a bazillion things on my mind when I first wake up, and it often takes me the better part of the morning to do things that could have already been done.
Some other things you may consider adding include spending a few minutes reading, listening to music, finishing the day’s laundry, praying, stretching, etc. If you put a few things you need to do plus a few things that you want to do, you’ll end up looking forward to your nighttime routine!
“Next day prep” refers to taking a little bit of time to set out the things that you’ll need for the next morning. For example, if you have an event the next day (like church, an appointment, a special outing, or even just school), I recommend putting together everything that’s needed the night before. You will LOVE yourself for this, seriously. There have been soooo many times that I’ve wanted to just go to bed and have literally asked myself, “will I thank myself tomorrow if I just quickly [pack snacks/lay out clothes/ load the diaper bag/ etc]?”. And the answer is always yes. And the next day, I’m always so thankful I did it.
I also want to note that we have a different nighttime routine for our kiddos. It includes showering, brushing their hair, brushing and flossing their teeth, praying with them and tucking them in. We also try to be as consistent as possible with having them lay out their own school and church clothes at night as well.
Tip: I love to make tidying up a game. I know that probably sounds silly, but it’s true. What I’ll do is I”ll give myself a certain amount of time to clean up a certain room, like 10 minutes to clean up the kitchen. It helps me move quickly to try to race against time. You should try it!
Tip: Set an evening timer on your phone that signifies when you should start your evening routine. That way you can make sure it gets done before you doze off!
Tip: Dishes are a huge thing for every mom, especially if you’re like me and you cook a lot. There’s nothing quite like waking up to a sparkling clean kitchen. To really get ahead on this, make loading the dishwasher a part of your dinner cleanup routine instead (if it’s not already). That way you can put another productive thing in your nighttime routine!
But does it really matter?
Let me be real and say that there have definitely been many recent days (more than I care to recount) where I’ve done no kind of nighttime routine at all. And it’s because of these days that I’ve decided I wanted more consistency with a nighttime routine.
Because let’s be honest. There is absolutely something psychological about cleanliness. When things are clean around here, it affects my energy level some how and some way. With four kids, I don’t like waking up with piles of yesterday’s mess to clean up (have I mentioned it wastes too much time?).
And yet there are times I wish I could just, ya know, do nothing in the evening. I wish I could just chill and do nothing and fall asleep and not have it be a big deal. And there are times I do this…and always wake up wishing that I hadn’t.
So if you’re looking to make a shift in your everyday stay at home life, start today with implementing a nighttime routine. Do you already have one? Comment below-I would love to hear it!