As much as I love routines, my bedtime routine took me the longest to get into. I loved the time after my kids went to bed and the house was quiet. I would watch TV, or scroll on my phone. However, this mindless relaxing often led to me staying up way too late, and regretting it in the morning.
I knew it was healthy to have a “bedtime” and abide by it every night, but I was struggling to commit to a certain time. I didn’t want to give up my relaxation at night, and waking up early in the morning wasn’t enough motivation to get my butt to bed.
However, over time, I learned how to create a bedtime routine that works for me. But more importantly, I figured out how to stick to it!
I’m going to share with you a very detailed look into my bedtime routine.
To be totally transparent, my kids are in elementary school and they are pretty good sleepers – thanks to their bedtime routine. If you are in a season of life where you have young kids that are unpredictable with sleep, don’t beat yourself up if you struggle to stay constent with your bedtime. Just know that eventually, you will have your time back and use this blog post as inspiration for how you would like your bedtime routine to look someday 🙂
The Bedtime Routine That Makes Me a Better Mom
6:30 pm – After Dinner Clean-Up
On a typical night, when we don’t have after school activities, I spend time after dinner cleaning up the kitchen and preparing for the next day.
This includes wiping down the counters and kitchen table, and placing whatever centerpiece we have at the time in the middle. On a side note – one of the little joys I have in the morning is waking up to a clean table and kitchen counters.
I start the dishwasher and program the coffee maker for the next morning.
The kids alternate with after dinner clean-up also as part of their daily chores.
I take time earlier in the day to fill out my planner for the next day. I review it after I clean the kitchen, and fill out my habit tracker, or jot down notes that I don’t want to forget.
Many of this tasks I do at this point of the routine are to set myself up for the next day.
7:30 pm – Shut Down the House
Around this time, we all head upstairs to start getting ready for bed.
The kids and I will go around the house and do one final pick-up, then I’ll make sure we are good to go for the night.
The kids know what they have to do to get ready for bed so I no longer spend time bathing, or helping them.
While they are getting ready for bed, I’m putting my pajama’s on and washing my face/brushing my teeth. I also take this time to pick-up the bedroom, put clothes away, and make sure my workout clothes are good to go for the next morning.
Depending on how the night is going, we may stay up and watch a half-hour show together as a family. We have some sitcoms that we enjoy watching together.
Similar to the saying, “nothing good happens after 2am…” (or whatever time your parents would say), I’ve established a rule with myself that I’m not going to worry or make any major decisions after 7pm.
By this time in the evening, I’m exhausted and so is my brain. Unfortunately, this is when my brain loves to throw me worst case scenarios and sometimes act irrationally. I’ve learned that it’s best to remind myself that I’m tired and I can deal with whatever “catastrophe” is brewing tomorrow. This awareness has really helped me to calm down at night.
8:00 pm – Put Kids To Bed/Quiet Time
My husband and I alternate putting the kids to bed. When it’s my turn, I read them books then lay with each of them for a few minutes. It’s our time to cuddle, and they have a chance to share with me what’s on their mind.
When I have the night off from putting them to bed, I use the time to read, watch TV, or mindlessly scroll my phone.
8:30 pm – Watch TV
Around this time, the kids are in bed. My husband and I get in bed and watch an episode of whatever series we are watching. Right now it’s 30 Rock.
We started the tradition during the pandemic and it’s been a really great way to make sure we go to bed at the same time, and have something in common we are watching. (I still haven’t convinced him to watch Bravo TV shows with me…)
It’s rare I make it through a full episode of 30 Rock. I’m usually falling asleep within 15 minutes.
9:00 pm – Lights Out
After one episode, lights out, and time to sleep.
My phone is set to bedtime mode at this time. I don’t receive alerts/notifications until 7am the next day. This makes for a restful sleep.
I wasn’t always this disciplined with my bedtime. However, once I established a morning routine that I LOVED, it was way easier to go to bed at the same time every night. I DID NOT want to miss out on precious morning time because I overslept.
If you are struggling to go to bed at a decent time, I suggest you start with creating a morning routine that’s so great you, you won’t risk missing it by staying up late.
Benefits Of A Bedtime Routine
By the end of the day, you’re exhausted and made a gazillion decisions. Having a solid routine in place takes the pressure off of you to decide what you should do next.
Like I said in the beginning, before I had a good bedtime routing, I spent too much time watching TV or scrolling through my phone. Having to make the choice between getting off the couch to go to bed, or staying in my comfy spot, was too exhausting.
Once I put my routine in place, I no longer had a choice to make.
I’ve had this bedtime routine for almost two years, and it’s been so helpful in so many ways:
- I get a consistent amount of sleep each night. Between 6-7 hours. This improves my mood and helps me to be a more patient and happy mom.
- I spend time with my husband at the end of each day and this has strengthened our relationship.
- I wake up to a clean and organized kitchen, and the coffee is made!
- I’ve created time to spend with my kids.
- I’ve set boundaries aroud my time. Any important work that needs to get done has to get done before 6:30pm. I don’t email or work after that time.
Tips for Creating Your Bedtime Routine
When it comes to creating a bedtime routine that you love, I recommend the following tips:
- Find Your Why – You need to love your reasoning for putting a bedtime routine in place for yourself. As I mentioned previously, my “why” is being able to get up early and really enjoy my morning routine.
- Keep in Mind Your Season of Life – Consider where you are in life and create your bedtime routine accordingly.
- Have a Plan and Write It Out – There’s something about actually writing something down that cements it in your mind.
- Keep Electronics to a Minimum – Give yourself the gift of not getting caught up in your phone the last few hours of your day.
- Be Flexible – You will still have nights when the kids won’t fall asleep when you want them to. Don’t let this discourage you or throw you off your routine. I still have nights when there’s a little knock on my bedroom door after I’m cozied up in bed. I used to get really annoyed and worried that I was going to be thrown off my sleep schedule. I now recognize that these are times when my kids might just need a few more minutes from me, and I’m happy to do that. I know this won’t always be this way.
What Will Your Bedtime Routine Look Like?
Now that you have seen my bedtime routine, and have some tips for how to create your own, what will your bedtime routine look like? If you have a bedtime routine you enjoy, share it in the comments below.
If you found this post helpful, you may also like:
- 7 Moms Share Their Bedtime Routine
- 8 Tips to Create a Morning Routine as a Mom
- How to Wake-Up Before Your Kids
- Mom Morning Routine That Incorporates Self-Care
**Are you sick of feeling so angry and yelling at your kids? Check out my new blog series: 6 Steps To Go From An Angry To Happy + Confident Mom**