As a working mom, I’ve found that having a solid evening routine is crucial to managing the never-ending tasks of getting everyone out the door and ready for school in the morning. It’s also the perfect opportunity to recharge and slow down after a hectic day.
Establishing and sticking to my evening routine allows me to divide tasks like cooking dinner, prepping lunches, and checking homework off my list. This frees up more time for relaxing activities with my family, like watching movies or going for a walk. In this post, I’m excited to share some activities that have worked for me that may inspire you to rethink your evening routine. In the end, I have also included my “Evening Routine For Working Moms Checklist.”
Evening Routine For Working Moms
Dinner & Meal Clean Up
After a long day at work, ordering takeout or eating something quick and easy may be tempting. However, taking the time to prepare a healthy meal for yourself and your family has infinite rewards. Allowing your kids to participate in the meal prep and clean-up can also be an excellent opportunity to bond and spend quality time together.
Consider evening routine rotations with your kids to facilitate quality time and character-building by serving the family. Activities can include washing dishes, wiping counters, taking out the trash or sweeping the floor, and I like to set aside 30-45 minutes for clean-up. For more age-appropriate chore ideas, read this post.
Meal prepping is one of the best ways to streamline your morning routine, especially when it comes to packing lunches. Taking a few moments to prepare tomorrow’s lunches during your evening routine will save you a lot of time the next day. It’s best to pre-pack as much as you can ahead of time. This means washing and cutting veggies, boiling eggs, portioning snacks into individual bags or containers, and checking your meal plan for the next day to see if anything needs to be taken out of the freezer. Ensuring lunches are ready at night makes it much easier when it comes time to assemble lunch boxes or snack bags in the morning. This takes about 15-20 minutes to complete.
If you have school-aged children, homework time is essential to the working moms’ evening routine. Set aside 15-30 minutes, or longer if needed, for homework to be completed in a workspace without distractions. You can also use this time to review your child’s progress or help them with any questions they may have.
After your child finishes their homework, encourage them to check their backpack so it is ready for the next day. During this time, you may want to make sure their water bottles are filled, papers are signed and put back and all library books are ready to be returned.
While this may not be the most enjoyable task, decluttering is one of the best ways to start the following day with a clean slate (pun intended!). Start by setting a timer for 15 minutes and gathering items out of place, such as toys, books, clothing, and other items. Consider delegating tasks to your children to make the process easier and more efficient. Then, straighten up furniture and surfaces. And finally, wipe down counters and organize cabinets or drawers if needed.
Lay Out Clothes
As a working mom, evenings are the only time I have to get things done. One of these tasks is laying out clothes for the next day, both for myself and my youngest children. Personally, I don’t like staring into my closet at 5 AM, not knowing what to wear for the day. Laying them out in an organized fashion works better than aimlessly shifting through my closet frantically, searching for something decent to put together at the last minute. Plus, having outfits ready for my littles saves precious time in the morning.
By preparing my clothes in advance, I can handle getting ready with much less stress in the mornings. I usually set aside 5-10 minutes for this activity.
Bedtime Routine for Kids
A study from the Sleep Foundation shows that establishing a gentle bedtime routine for your kids can help them fall asleep faster and sleep better. My kids love this time because it helps them to relax and unwind from the day.
After a warm bath, I read them a bedtime story. We usually pick out one or two books each night and take turns reading. Listening to stories is not only calming, but it also helps their imaginations grow. On top of this, my older children have a few extra steps to ensure they are ready with little to no stress in the morning. They have learned to lay out their clothes for the following day and tidy up their rooms. We set aside 30-45 minutes for the bedtime routines.
Schedule the Next Day
Staying one step ahead of the day can be challenging, but when I take the time to look over my schedule for the coming day, it helps me to stay organized and prepared. Checking my calendar is an integral part of my evening routine, as it provides an overview of the tasks and activities I need to prepare for.
When examining your schedule, it’s important to think about appointments scheduled, errands and activities that might take up lunchtime – such as picking up groceries or attending a yoga class. These tasks and more can interfere with the productivity of your workday, especially if you don’t plan them out in advance. It’s also essential to check for upcoming activity dates for your children, whether a field trip is requested from school or a special event is happening in their extracurricular class. Ensure all necessary materials are packed ahead of time so nothing is left behind. Preparing will save time and eliminate stress and anxiety leading to the next day.
Finally, it’s time for me to relax. Taking time for myself each night can make a difference and helps me to wind down from a long day. At the end of each day, that “me time” leaves me feeling refreshed and ready to start the next day on the right foot. Even something as simple as reading a book, taking a bath or watching my favorite show gives me much-needed relaxation. For my tips on practicing self-care at home, see this post.
Set aside time every evening and permit yourself to relax so that you can look forward to a new day with renewed energy and enthusiasm. If you feel guilty for making time for yourself, then read my previous post on why you should make yourself a priority. It doesn’t take long; just 15 minutes is all that’s needed to practice some self-care before falling asleep.
Get Your Evening Routine for Working Moms Checklist
A checklist can be a powerful tool to help ensure a smooth evening routine each and every night as a working mom. A checklist can help you to stay on track and ensure that important tasks are remembered and noticed. By completing tasks, you can save valuable time in the morning and avoid morning chaos. This can lead to a less stressful morning routine and, more importantly, quality time with family before heading to work.
The “Evening Routine for Working Moms Checklist” provides a list of tasks to help working moms stay organized and efficient in the evenings. By using this checklist, you can optimize your evening routine and achieve a greater sense of control and balance in your life. In addition to my evening routine, I also ensure to take time each Sunday to perform a much-needed weekly reset. See my Sunday Reset ideas and checklist HERE.
An evening routine is a crucial component of work-life balance for busy moms.
Remember, caring for yourself as a busy mom is crucial to your well-being. And, incorporating self-care practices into your daily routine is important for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Whether it’s enjoying a quiet cup of tea, taking a walk outside, or indulging in a good book, make sure to carve out some time for yourself each day.
Implementing an evening routine can help you feel more organized and in control of your mom’s life. By completing tasks like meal prep and lunch packing in the evening, you’ll enjoy more quality time with your family during the day. So, take advantage of the printable “Evening Routine for Working Moms Checklist” and, in the comments below, let me know what evening routines work best for you and your littles.