These days I’m feeling a bit better about how our mornings at home are going. Since writing my “Grumpy Mom” post, I’ve tried to implement most of those ideas and they seem to be helping us start the day on a happier note.
Alas, there is always new territory to conquer!! Now I have begun noticing my tendency to be a Nighttime Nag. It seems that every evening I have to hurry things along in order to get the girls in bed with lights out on time (8:30 P.M. on school nights). I am finding that they still have much to say and share as we finish up Bible stories and prayers, while I am trying to wind everything down and stick to our schedule.
I’ve come up with only one solution so far and that is to start the whole process earlier. Our typical nighttime routine is as follows: pick up and put away toys, books, etc.; snack time; bath/shower; brush teeth; I read aloud a chapter from a longer book and one from a Bible story book (for each girl); say prayers; lights out.
It seems that I’ve been getting supper on the table a bit later the last few weeks, so in the interest of them having at least a little play time afterwards, I delay beginning the routine. Thus the Nighttime Nag moments start, with my rushing and hurrying them through each step so that I can be out of their room on time.
The last couple of nights, I have made sure to end their playtime at 7:00 P.M. My next goal is to be reading to one of them (we take turns as to who goes first each night) by 7:45 P.M. That allows me to get everything done by about 8:15 P.M., so that if it takes me several minutes to finish with hugs and last minute messages, I am still finished before 8:30 P.M. So far, this seems to be doing the trick.
As always, it’s a constant reevaluation around here to see what is working and what isn’t! Just like the morning problem I had, it comes down to how I want them to remember their childhood moments in our home. I would like for them to recall bedtime as a sweet, pleasant end to the day, not an image of a hurried, exhausted mother who dashed out of their room without a backwards glance!!
Do you have any tips for making bedtime routines run smoothly? I’d love to hear them!
photo courtesy public domain pictures