This is a partnered post.
If you’re a parent, you may have times when you long for those days when your evenings were free, and you could spend your time chilling out in front of the TV or enjoying a long, hot bath with a glass of wine playing solitaire. When you have kids, your evening routine tends to revolve around getting them ready for bed and hoping that they play ball when it comes to drifting off. For many, by the time they’ve finished tending to the children, there’s very little time available to relax. If you’re keen to regain some relaxation time in the evening, here are some tips that may come in handy.
Prepare in advance
If you have time during the day, start getting ready for the evening ahead. Even simple things like getting your child’s pajamas out and laying them on the bed can help. If you work all day or you have more than one child, and you’re doing school runs, it’s really useful to prepare meals in advance whenever possible. When you’ve had a busy day, or you’re short on time and it’s getting late, the last thing you want to do is slave over a hot stove, so it’s a good idea to have some quick and simple recipes to hand or to batch cook. If you have a couple of hours at the weekend, you can rustle up some dishes and then freeze them. You can then remove the number of portions you need, defrost them, and all you have to do when you’re ready to eat is heat them up and serve.
Get into a routine
Routine is so important not just for children, but also for parents. When you’ve been up since the crack of dawn, you don’t want to be fighting with your kids to go to bed when you’re ready to hit the hay yourself. Try and establish a routine early and make sure that your children are familiar with the pattern. Make your evenings a relaxing time and avoid activities that will energize them after 5 pm. Wind down by listening to music or reading books and after dinner, run a bath and get into pajamas. Read a bedtime story together, clean teeth, and then tuck your children into bed. It can take time for children to get used to a new routine but hang in there. Once they’re in a regimen, you’ll find it much easier to plan your evenings and to ensure that you get some downtime too.
Image credit https://pixabay.com/en/child-bath-foam-soap-1446724/
Set the tone
It’s very common to get into bed and then find it difficult to switch off, and children are no different. If they’re full of energy and their bedrooms are full of toys or flashing lights, this is going to stimulate them, rather than relax them. Make the bedroom a calm space, tidy away toys before bed and use a sound machine to help your child relax. You can read reviews online to help you find the best sleep sound machines. Dim the lights, let your child get comfortable in their bed and remove any tablets or other devices that may beep or flash in the night. If the bedroom is a serene spot, this should help them to nod off.
If your evenings are more hectic than heavenly, hopefully, this guide will prove useful.