You made it. That beautiful, perfect, never-thought-I’d-get-there moment when all the kids are asleep, and you get to enjoy quiet time to yourself. Thank goodness for bedtime!
For me, this usually translates to sitting on the couch with my husband and catching up on shows we’ve missed or our latest Netflix obsession while scrolling through our phones. Sound familiar? Eventually that gets old, and over the last few months I’ve tried changing up my post-bedtime routine at least one night a week.
Here are a few ideas to help you get out of the TV and phone surfing black hole and boost your productivity. I’d love to know what you do as well after bedtime!
With my first child, documenting his milestones and the everyday things that I didn’t want to forget came easy. After all, he was the only one biding for my time. Now that we have two, and I suspect this will ring true as we grow our family, my time and attention constantly go in varying directions. As a result, I have yet to document the milestones of our baby girl.
One night this last week I decided to turn off the TV and write in a notebook. I wrote down things I wanted my daughter to know about herself, and things I didn’t want to forget. It was so refreshing to quietly reflect on my recently turned one-year-old.
Journaling looks different for everyone. Maybe you prefer writing in an actual journal, updating your personal blog or uploading photos to social media. Find something that works for you, something that is simple and forgiving if you go a long time without updating it, and then commit to it!
As a busy mom you are probably thinking, “My hobbies include Target and sitting in my bathroom alone for 10 minutes, if I’m lucky.” While I am totally with you on that, try taking some time after the kiddos are asleep to discover or rediscover a hobby. You might surprise yourself with what you find interesting!
Girls Night Out
Once a month try planning a simple night out with your friends. Maybe go out for dessert, catch a movie (I know this goes against the no screen thing, but you are socializing with friends so whatevs), sign up for a painting class, go to a concert or show…..heck, go to Target together!
Two words: self-care. You gotta make time for you, mama. Maybe this is taking a long shower or bath, painting your nails, working on a hobby, going shopping, reading a book that actually interests you, exercising, etc.
I love to run. It’s something I picked up in college, and it’s the one thing that always makes me feel like “me” when I do it. With my husband’s constantly changing work schedule, I’ve found that I have to go run in the evening after I put the baby to bed. Is it ideal? Not always. But I feel SO much better after doing it. Taking time to make you feel more like you is essential to being a happy and healthy mom!
Some nights, an early bedtime for you trumps any of the suggestions I’ve given. When all you want to do is sleep, but you want to finish “just one more thing”….DON’T DO IT, AND GO TO BED! I recently heard this saying, and I just love it.
Some things matter; some things don’t.
A few things last, but most things won’t.
Bonus: One other idea that a friend shared with me is having weekly date nights….this is something my husband and I frequently talk about doing but have yet to make happen. One day!
I hope these suggestions give you some inspiration to change up your post-bedtime routine and try something new. Don’t get me wrong, sitting down at the end of a long day and watching a favorite show is therapeutic, but a break from the norm can be a much-needed reboot!