Monday, October 10, 2016

4 Things I Do That Make Weeknights Go Smoothly

If you're like us, evenings at home after work are rushed....and I work from home! It seems like it's a battle against time to squeeze in dinner, clean up time, baths, brushing teeth, bedtime reading, and bedtime, which always happens later than anticipated because of the evening rush. I wish I could say I've discovered secrets or special tricks to add more time to the clocks. However, I have found a few things that have cut down on chaos in the evenings:

  • Go to meals. They're not always fun or exciting but they're easy. Whole grain pasta with salad and green beans, frozen tortillini, eggs, toast, and a fruit, chicken (that's been pre-cooked and ready to throw in) and rice with peas. Easy meals that take 15-20 minutes at most or can be pre-made and re-heated (pancakes, egg muffins, egg burritos, casseroles).
  • Everyone has jobs. While I'm cooking dinner, two things are happening: clean up the house and any school work/reading time. We've done away with reading before bed and instead do it when the kids are happier, more awake, and can enjoy reading a bit more. This just leaves the after dinner clean up of the kitchen, which Hubs and I take care of after the kiddos are in bed.
  • Power showers. Sure you've heard to power showers for parents, but we do them for the kids too. I start the shower, the first kids gets in and have exactly 1 minute to wash and 1 minute to rinse, all while the next child is undressing. When one child steps out of the shower, the other enters. Showers are six minutes tops and I've got clean kids. Weekend showers and/or baths have become their designated "playing in the water time."
  • A half hour of "freebie" or "fudge" timeThat's what I call it at least. Kids need to be in bed by 8:00 p.m.? I shoot for 7:30, knowing that they'll either head to bed late (because it's TOUGH to get everything completed in the evenings) or they'll spend that half hour talking in bed. It's lessened the guilt for me because they rarely get to bed late and it's been nice for the kids to have a little bit of time just relaxing before they drift off to sleep.