I’m not normally one of those people who can stick to a routine or schedule. In fact, I’m usually the opposite! Mostly because I can change my mind about anything at any second of the day. I love my spur of the moment mentality, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that sometimes it really causes me problems. So this year I decided I NEEDED some sort of a routine and schedule to make our lives run a little smoother, and to keep the anxiety at bay. So far it seems to be working out extremely well, so I thought I’d share my new bedtime routine with you all.
Make the Kitchen Sparkle
There is nothing that will derail my mornings along with my sanity than waking up to a destroyed kitchen! When my kitchen is a mess, there’s hardly no counter space to work on, I can hardly get to my faucet with the dishes piled up everywhere, and the floors feel like I’m walking on sugar. I HATE that! If I have to wake up to that mess, then my nerves are already shot for the entire day! So I make it a point to make sure my kitchen is completely clean before I go to bed. That means all of the counters and table are cleared and wiped down, All dishes are washed, and the floors are swept. If my kitchen doesn’t sparkle, then I’m not going to bed! If it’s a really big mess then I call in the kids and husband to help. After all, we all make the mess, its up to all of us to clean it up! Then when I wake up the next morning, I’ll be greeted with a sparkling kitchen that needs no attention yet.
Quick-Clean Living Room and Bedroom’s
Once the kitchen is clean, I make everyone pitch in and do a quick cleaning session in the living room and bedrooms. There’s something about waking up to a clean house that makes the flow of everything so much better. If I wake up to a messy house, my anxiety is on peak for the rest of the day! When everyone pitches in and makes sure there’s no toys or dirty clothes laying around, then everyone wakes up in a much better mood.
Plan Tomorrow’s Dinner
I always make sure I have a plan for dinner the next day. Last year I spent most of my day being so busy that when it came time to eat, I had no idea what I was making, because everything was still frozen! We spent a lot of days making quick boxed dinners or having “fend for yourself” nights. Now when I know exactly what to make, I can start preparation during my morning schedule, which I’ll elaborate on more in a minute.
Program the Coffee Pot
Once the house is completely clean, I make sure to take a couple minutes to prepare and program the coffee pot. That way when I wake up in the morning, and I’m too tired to function, my coffee is already brewed! (I LOVE the program function!) I even sit my coffee cup out right by the coffee pot so I don’t have to worry about finding my mug in the morning. Those who know me know that I’m NOT a morning person. My children call me “the dragon” in the morning for a reason. This one simple step helps the dragon have a smoother morning!
Prepare Tomorrow’s Lessons
Usually I do this step on Sunday Nights. I make sure I have the entire week planned and I help the kids stuff their binders with their work for the week so we’re completely ready to start the day. Doing this on Sunday night makes my week run so much smoother because I know everything is ready to go and I only have to spend one night prepping instead of worrying about it every night. You can read more about my “system” here.
Put the Kids to Bed by 10 PM
This one is more for my own sanity. I’ll admit – its probably the most selfish thing I do! I make my kids go to bed by 10pm. I know some of you may think that’s late for kids their age but honestly, since we don’t HAVE to be up early, I encourage my children to sleep in while they can! And just because society says I should do something doesn’t mean that I have to do it, right? Anyway, I do this because I NEED to have at least 2 hours at the end of the day to myself. I have to unwind, gather my senses, and just breathe! I can’t do that when the kids are awake. So by putting them to bed by 10 I get some time to myself with my hubby before I go to bed and I get to watch TV that *I* want to watch (since the rest of the day the tv is either off, or ruled by the Wii or a sporting event of some kind). Everyone in the house knows – 10pm they have to surrender the TV and get to bed! It’s MOMMY TIME! Sometimes I’ll have the girls lay down by 9:30 and tell them they can read or write in their journals until 10. But 10 pm means lights out and voices quiet!
Go to Bed by Midnight
Midnight is what I consider *my* bedtime, but it all depends on if I was successful at getting the kids in bed by 10 or not. If they take longer to get to bed I’m usually even more stressed from trying to get them finished and it takes me some time to wind down. I’m not someone who can just go to bed and fall asleep easily. I have to numb my brain and ease into bedtime. If I get to bed by midnight I can still get enough sleep at night (I NEED my 8 hours!) and wake up at an early enough time to beat everyone else in the morning and have some quiet moments to myself!
And there you have it – My bedtime routine! Since I’ve stared this I’ve noticed my anxiety is much more under control, my house is much cleaner for a longer period of time, and I just feel like I’m so much more put together and with it the next morning when I wake up. Some nights I HATE that I still need to do things like wash dishes, or sweep. But I’ve learned that if I make myself just do it really quick, I’m always so much happier in the morning. If you haven’t developed your own night time routine – I highly recommend giving one a try for at least two weeks. Once you develop the habit, you’ll forget how went so long without one!
Check back tomorrow and I’ll tell you all about my morning routine!