A Day in the Life- Evening Routine
I share often about our morning routines on my social media, but our evenings aren’t shared as much simply because it’s our family time. But today, I’m going to share our evening routine with you.
Evenings are such a sweet time around here. We eat together, play together, read together, and put the entire house to bed.
When I had itty-bitty babies, all piled up on my lap, evenings used to feel a bit rushed. I was flat out exhausted (in the best way possible) and it seemed like we were in the home stretch toward the daily finish line.
Even though those nights seemed full, they are some of my most treasured memories.
Now, our nightly rhythm is much more relaxed and I don’t feel tired in the same way I once did, although, I am now tired in a different way.
I’m excited to share our evening with you because it is such an important capstone in our day. The mornings are amazing, but the evenings are when the family conversations become rich.
Our Evening Routine
Once three o’clock rolls around, I consider the evening to be underway. I know it is still the afternoon, but all of our evening prep begins around 3.
Our nights are busier now that our kiddos are older. They have nighttime activities, but we do have some nights that are kept just for us to spend together.
Supper Prep, Outside Play
Three o’clock with when I’m working hard to get supper prepped and cooking. The kids grab a light snack and head out the door for lots of fresh air and play time.
I truly believe this is what makes them sleep so well at night. They work their brains for several hours and then they play for several hours. It’s a great combination.
Supper is around 5:30 at our house. We gather at the table and eat whatever I’ve cooked that night. I have shared some of our favorite meals if you want to check out the post on Weeknight Meals. If you need a “dump it in the pot” and leave it recipe, make sure you get my French Dip Sandwiches. They are delicious!
Once supper is over, we all have our own chores to get the kitchen tidied up for the night. I shared how that works in my Fall cleaning post and my Top Tips for House Cleaning. We all share the responsibility for cleaning the kitchen, which makes my evenings so much better.
Once the kitchen is clean, the lamp is turned on that sits on the counter and the kitchen is closed. I run the dishwasher one last time for the day and sit down to enjoy the family.
Family Time Evening Routine
Once the kitchen is clean, we have family time. Mark will throw the football with Liam, I will water my roses, the girls follow me around and we chat about all of the things.
Many times, the conversation revolves around the spiders hiding in our shrubs or something funny the dogs did.
Depending on the evening, we might take a side-by-side ride, a family walk, or go fishing at our local lake.
There are also times that Mark and I just sit on our patio while the kids play.
Around 7:15, the kids go in to bathe and get jammied up. This is one of those areas that I no longer have to help with. I loved bath time when my kids were little ones, but I also love not having to do it, too.
This gives Mark and me some time to chat, which we both look forward to after a full day.
Family Discipleship Time Evening Routine
I get asked about this the most on Instagram, in regards to our evening routine. Every night, we sit down together as a family and Mark reads the bible to us. He, usually, reads a chapter and we slowly work our way through a book of the bible.
Afterwards, he answers any questions the kids might have about the scripture and he prays. Our process isn’t anything fancy, but it’s what we have done for years and years.
We used to use a Jesus Storybook Bible a long time ago, which we liked, but now he just reads from his bible.
I love that our kids will have memories of this time together. We have done this for years, so I know they will remember it and it makes me so happy. Our hope is that they will do the same with their kids, one day.
Mark and I tuck in each kiddo at 8 o’clock. The little girls go to bed once we turn the lights out, but Ella and Liam are allowed to stay up and read for an hour, if they want.
Mark and I tuck each kiddo into bed. It’s a sweet time of the day because we each get to chat with them individually for a moment.
At 9 o’clock, the older kids have to turn their lights out.
Mark and I hang out from 8 to 9:30 and chat about our days or what’s going on in the world. It is a time for us to reconnect and just be together. I look forward to this all day long.
For those with little toddlers, this time used to also be filled with a lot of, “back to your bed,” as someone was always trying to sneak out of their room. lol Rest assured, at some point, your kids will stop doing that and you will get uninterrupted time with your spouse.
During the fall months, he oftentimes starts a fire in our fire pit and we will sit out by the fire. This is one of my favorite things to do.
Mom and Dad Bedtime
At 9:30, Mark and I turn in for the night. We both read our bibles, turn out our lamps, and rest.
How do I get ready for bed?
I love getting up early in the morning. I’ve shared so much about this both on Instagram and in my Morning Routine blog post.
Loving mornings means I have to go to bed at a good time. If I don’t go to bed early enough, I will be tired all day the next day, which I don’t like.
There are a few things I do to make sure I go to bed on time. Most of this happens after the kids are tucked in.
Getting Ready for Bed
- Drink a cup of tea– I love having an evening cup of tea, especially during the cold months. I don’t do this as much during the hot months.
- Stay off of my phone– I like to put my phone away at 8. Do I always do this? Nope. But, I can tell that my brain shuts down much easier when I limit my screen time at night.
- Read a book– Reading always puts me to sleep, so I never get very far in whatever I’m reading. This means that I don’t make it through very many books/year, but that’s okay.
- Wash Face and Brush Teeth– I don’t know about you, but I cannot go to bed if I haven’t done both of these things. For some reason, I don’t feel settled until I’ve brushed my teeth and cleaned my face for the night.
- Use Lamp Light– Lighting matters in so many areas, but it really matters when it comes to getting your body ready for bed. Soft, warm light is what I prefer.
- Cool the House Down– Don’t laugh at me, but I like to be cuddled up in my bedding with the room super cool. I sleep so much better when the bedroom is cool, but I’m cozy.
- Go to bed on time– My body gets used to a certain routine very easily. When we travel, it always messes with my sleep and then I have to completely reset my body when I get home. If I go to bed at the same time each night, my body will naturally get tired around that time and it won’t be much effort to fall asleep on time.
Routines are so comforting to me. I like being flexible, especially during the summer, but the school year means routine is here and I’m not complaining.
My night routine is so simple and, most likely, you do the same things. My routine begins after the kiddos are tucked in for the night. It does change, depending on whether it’s a weeknight or weekend.
- 8- I tuck everyone in for the night.
- 8:15- I prefer to take a shower at night. Evenings are when I take walks and go outside with the kids, so I like to take a shower so I go to bed fresh.
- 8:30- I moisturize my face and slather it with my face serum, roll on my nighttime oils, put on my cozy jammies, and sit with Mark. I might sip some tea, read a book while we chat here and there, or just simply talk with him.
- 9:30- This is when I prefer to go to bed and read my bible before turning off the lights. I will read for awhile and turn off the lights no later than 10. Mark doesn’t always go to bed at the same time. I know some couples like to always go to bed at the same time, but for some reason it doesn’t bother either of us. He is usually not far behind me, in regards to going to sleep, though. I’m just a grandma and I can’t hang with the cool kids anymore. 😂
My Evening Routine
That is a snapshot of what our evening looks like. Most nights are very similar to this routine, except a few outliers.
I hope this helped you see how our evenings work. Things shift in each season, but this is what is working for us now. Let me know if you have any questions!
I walk in the evening time when Mark is out playing with the kids. It is usually between supper and bath time. I have a loop that is 1 1/2 miles that I walk. If I have time, I like to walk two laps. Typically, I go on my walk and listen to a podcast, but sometimes a kiddo accompanies me.
I do dishes before. When I come back from my walk, I want to enjoy my evening with my family.
I always use my face serum. I love it so much. I put it on after my nightime serum that I use from Dime.
We get about an hour in the evening before the kids go to bed- during supper clean up and while they play that we hang out. Then, after the kids are tucked in and I have had my shower we hang out for awhile prior to bedtime. We also talk about what we read in our bibles before bed, so that’s time we spend together, too.
We eat around 5/5:30.
I don’t prep either. I have sandwich stuff for lunches in the fridge at all times and the kids make their own at this point. 🙂 I do all of my school prep prior to the school year starting, so all my kids need to do each morning is look at their lesson plan (that I make them prior to the year starting) each morning before school and fill out their planners. I have a few posts to explain this, if you are interested.
1. Getting Ready for a new school year
2. Easy Homeschool Planning
3. Guide for Homeschool Planning
Yes, I have a playlist that I listen to, but I oftentimes listen to podcasts while I walk. This helps me to stay “in the know” with what’s going on in our world.
You can find both of those below:
1. Music Playlist
2. Podcast list
I shower early enough that my hair isn’t sopping wet when I go to bed. I have naturally wavy hair, so it curls up as it dries and then I tend to it a bit in the morning. Sometimes, I will put it in a lose braid to keep it from getting frizzy, but I usually just let it do its thing.
Well, I don’t have itty-bitty kids anymore, so I do get some time alone while they play in the afternoons before supper. I listen to music or podcasts during that time. I also get up early, which you can read about here, and that gives me a couple of hours before the house wakes to myself. We do “alone time/rest time” from 1-3 in the afternoons, so that is time when I can do my things, also. It is sprinkled all throughout my day.
1. Early mornings- 5 to 7
2. Quiet Time- 1 to 3
3. While kids play outside- 3 to 5
They play outside most evenings. This is the time when Mark gets to really interact with them after a long day. We also go on walks, side-by-side rides, and occasionally fish on nice nights.
I’ve had so many women talk about how beneficial it is to wake up an hour before your kids and I always want to, but it’s that evening time with my husband I just can’t give up. Half an hour isn’t nearly enough time to spend for us. I would feel so lonely; he’s my best friend.
It sounds like you’re doing exactly what you need to be doing. 🙂
I am so glad. 🙂
We seem to be so similar! I love the cozy house and I love a routine. I am (sloooowly) working on getting up earlier in the mornings bc I do love the quiet, uninterrupted time of the morning, but I am not a morning person and struggle getting out of bed. I’m enjoying your posts!
I wasn’t a morning person for YEARS. It is a process, for sure. 🙂
This sounds amazing! I am in the season you mentioned above- with littles. Three of them- 5, 4, 23 months. And although we try so hard to stick to a routine, I just feel exhausted by the end of bedtimes. I think I will try the soft lighting trick. That makes a lot of sense to me. The one thing I am most guilty of is *not* putting my phone down. I have to break that habit. My husband isn’t a big reader, but we do enjoy watching a tv show together at night, so I do look forward to that. 🙂
We used to love watching TV together, too. We have struggled to find shows lately. You’re in very exhausting years. :). Just keep going. You’re doing great.
Loved reading this! I think it’s so fun to see the special moments in an “ordinary” day(evening) in the life!! Thanks for sharing♥️
Sounds so lovely! Do you guys not watch any TV? I’m not being critical, I’m genuinely interested. My husband and I do tend to watch TV quite frequently (we love MMA) but I wonder if maybe we should limit it. I’d love to add in family Bible reading time for sure. We’re definitely lacking the communal Bible time.
Thanks so much for another wonderful post. I’m not on social media so I always look forward to getting the email that a new post is up.
We don’t watch TV. It’s not because we don’t like TV, but we struggle to find shows these days that we like. The last show we watched was Poldark. Now, we can’t seem to find anything. lol