The 5 Biggest Mistakes that Moms Make at Night

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.

tired woman laying on the couch next to collection of cleaning supplies

Take a look and see if you are making any of these 5 mistakes in the evenings:

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.

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:

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?

young girl and her brother

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.

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.

Not 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

coffee mug and alarm clock on a table

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.

workbook with pencil on a table next to a pair of glasses and cup of coffee

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.

pages inside a workbook with a pencil

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?

About The Author

4 thoughts on “The 5 Biggest Mistakes that Moms Make at Night”

  1. blank

    I just started the course and love it so far. I do have an evening routine and it has helped me get to bed on time and get the important things done each night. But I hoping with the course I can become more focused with my tasks and get more consistent.

  2. blank

    At night, I have been struggling with getting to bed on time. I know I really need to get back in the habit, because when I let my toddler stay up too late she gets SO hyperactive, and it makes everything harder! Do you have any tips for when the rest of the family is getting home late from work? My partner and older daughter are sometimes not getting home until 8, my toddler’s bedtime. It has made things really chaotic. Should I just let her sleep longer in the morning to make up for it?

    1. blank

      Hi Nicole! Thanks so much for stopping by today 🙂

      Bedtimes and toddlers are often a bit tricky 😉 In my experience, it didn’t matter how late my kids went to bed, they always got up at the same time the next morning! They often don’t like going to bed early either, because they don’t want to miss out on anything that they think will be fun. But when they don’t get enough sleep, they are super cranky the next day, so it’s important, in my opinion, to try to stick to a regular sleep routine.

      Being able to see her family members after time away is exciting for her, and I can imagine how it messes with her ability to calm down for bed. This is what I would try: go through your regular bedtime routine…maybe a small snack, a warm bath, and a story…to get her in a calm mindset for sleep. When the other family members come in, maybe they can come into her room to say good night/give a quick kiss/etc…as part of the routine. Maybe they can even read the book to her, have a quiet chat while she’s eating her snack…or whatever it is that you do at bedtime. She can see and interact with them as part of the bedtime routine and feel like she didn’t miss them. I would also ask them to stay quiet after she’s in bed, so that she doesn’t hear all the “fun” that’s going on without her 😉

      If she’s a child that will get up over and over again, I would patiently lead her back to her room as many times as you need to, always reinforcing that she needs to stay in bed. I know it can be really frustrating when they keep getting up, and it can take a long time for her to learn to stay in bed, but you have to hold firm…she will never learn to stay in bed if you don’t.

      Hopefully this will help you get to bed at a good time too!

      Let me know how everything goes, and good luck! 🙂

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