Sometimes evenings can be the worst time of day for moms…we have dinner to prepare, dishes to wash, homework to help with, sports practice or music lessons to drive the kids to, laundry to finish…and the list can go on and on. With so much to accomplish, we can feel frazzled, with little time to spend on the things that matter most, but our nights don’t have to be this way.
Take a look and see if you are making any of these 5 mistakes in the evenings:
1. Trying to do too much. I’m SO guilty of this! There is so much I want to do…read a good book, spend time with the kids, spend time with my husband, watch my favorite TV shows, go out with my girlfriends, volunteer at church, check out my favorite blogs, catch up with friends on Facebook…the list could go on…but it’s unrealistic to get all of it done, no matter how much I multi-task or try to sneak a minute here or there.
If my most important goals are to cultivate important relationships with my family and make a comfortable and welcoming home for them to be in, then I must choose to do those activities that work toward these goals on most nights and purposefully accomplish them. That means that I need to pare down my activities that take me outside the home (or take my attention outside the home) at night on a regular basis so that I can be fully present with my loved ones.
2. Not having a plan. One of the things that I think is so helpful in taking most of the stress out of each evening is to have a plan for dinner. Knowing what I’m going to make each night, and having the ingredients on hand because I’ve done my shopping in advance, lets me get dinner on the table quickly and helps me avoid the frazzled “what’s for dinner???” mood at 5 p.m.
If you’ve never planned a weekly menu for yourself, I can help…It’s totally worth the few minutes of effort each week! Check out all of my menu planning resources:
3. Not being honest about your bad habits. Let’s face it: sometimes checking social media is way more fun than reading your kids that same picture book for the 50th time. We all think that we’re only spending a few minutes checking out friends’ posts on Facebook or searching for decorating projects on Pinterest, but have you ever stopped to actually measure how much time you spend looking at your phone?
I recently realized that I was spending quite a bit of time in the evenings checking all my social media. After I cleaned up the kitchen for the night, I would innocently pick up my phone and start browsing. Before I knew it, 45 minutes had passed and I had missed a chance to read to my kids before their bedtime…when one of my goals this year was to read aloud to the kids at least once a day.
Maybe your bad habit isn’t social media…maybe you’re drinking too much coffee and can’t get to sleep at a decent hour, so you are tired the next day. Whatever it is, it’s a good idea to take a minute and think about how your bad habits might be affecting your evenings.
4. Not going to bed early enough. Hey, I get it….sometimes staying up late after the kids go to bed may be the only time you get to be by yourself or to spend time with your husband. It’s tempting to stay up late to do something by yourself, but are you taking away from the time your body needs for sleep?
I usually try to get to sleep by 10 or 10:30, but on those nights when Downtown Abbey and The Good Wife are on at the same time and I just can’t wait until tomorrow to watch them, or when I’ve had a particularly stressful day and all I want to do is sit and talk with my husband, I suffer the next day because I haven’t gotten enough sleep. My family suffers too…from my grumpy attitude. And that’s not how I want to be with my husband or my kids.
5. Taking care of yourself. Are you eating too much sugar, not getting enough exercise, not getting enough sleep (see #4!), or otherwise neglecting yourself? When you aren’t planning for and eating healthy meals, eating too much junk food, or failing to get much-needed exercise, it takes a toll on your health.
As a mom, you are the center of your family’s universe. Keeping yourself healthy and physically strong is a gift to yourself and your family, so don’t feel that taking time to sleep or go for a walk is selfish.
Need help fixing your evenings?
Making changes in your lifestyle can be difficult, especially if you aren’t sure how to go about changing. That’s why I loved going through the new Make Over Your Evenings course from Crystal Paine at MoneySavingMom.com.
Because I’m an affiliate for the course, Crystal gave me a copy of it to check out so that I could decide whether or not it was something that I wanted to promote to my readers.
I have to say, it’s pretty awesome and if I didn’t have a copy already, I would definitely purchase one on my own. I’ve already been implementing some of her recommendations in my evenings, and it’s made a big difference in how my next day flows.
The course consists of 14 days of short videos of Crystal talking about the day’s assignments, as well as a printable workbook that you can use to brainstorm your ideas for each day’s task. There are lessons on prioritizing what really matters, how to set yourself up for a successful day and how to make sleep a priority…things just about every mom would find helpful.
Hopefully this resource will help you discover what your true priorities are and work toward a plan to make your evenings more successful.
Chime in: What is the thing you struggle with the most in the evenings?