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Create a Nightly Routine that Makes Life with Little ones Easier! Tips on how to prepare for the day ahead the night before in order to make you feel like YOU are running your day, and not the other way around!

Every heard the saying, “run your day, don’t let the day run you”? Chances are, if you are a mom, you’ve had your day run you before. It’s frustrating, overwhelming and usually leads to you feeling much more exhausted than usual.

Once you are behind, it can feel close to impossible to catch up as the day goes on. I’ve come to realize that having a simple, 30 minute to hour long  routine before heading to bed each night leads to me having a much easier day ahead.

*Keep in mind that EVERY family is different. I give a lot of examples of what works for us, but it won’t work for everyone.

Pick out the next Days clothes

I do this first since I need access to baby’s room in order to do it. Once she’s asleep, it’s too risky to go back in! After bath time, we pick out the next days clothes and set them out and then head to bed. Mornings are notoriously hectic and this one small step saves a lot of frustration with not being able to find certain clothing items or shoes needed for the day.

Pick up toys and general clutter

As soon as baby is in bed, I do a quick run through of the living room and play areas and put toys away. We keep 2 medium sized wicker baskets in our living room to house all of our daughters toys. I pick up any stray shoes that have been left throughout the house and find the proper home for any general out of place items. As Emmy gets older, I plan for this to be an activity we do together before she goes to bed.

Surface clean the kitchen

Make sure any dirty dishes are in the dishwasher, counters and table are wiped down and the floors have had a quick sweep. I go so far as to even make sure the Keurig is loaded with water and my coffee cup is near by!

Plan the following Days activities

When I sit down to plan the following day, I am thinking about three general categories: Pre-set appointments, kids activities and household tasks.

I start by planning out the day with the obligatory appointments and errands that need to be completed.  Doctor appointments, general errands, grocery shopping, etc.

From there, fill it in with fun stuff! You don’t have to have every minute filled with activities, but I find that having  at least one planned activity helps the day go much smoother. Whether it’s a free trip to the library or the park or a paid activity, map out what the day will look like for you and the kiddos. You don’t always have to leave the house in order to keep the kids entertained. Pinterest is full of fun activities and crafts you can do at home too!

I also like to take a few minutes to just mentally go through what I need to accomplish around the house the following day.I am aiming to only do laundry 2 days a week so when laundry day is coming up, I need to be prepared so I can get an early start! Jot down a few things you would like to complete around the house.

I also take a few minutes to run through the dinner plan is for the following evening. Am I sure I have all ingredients? Does it require any prep work throughout the day? What about snacks and lunch time for the kids? Could you prep some of that the night before?

If you are not already using a mom planner, I’m sure you are starting to see how it  comes in handy!  There are a ton of family planners out there made specifically for moms (like this one) that can really help you keep things organized for your entire clan.

Have some Mama time

Whatever makes you feel relaxed after the day you’ve had, end with that! Whether it’s a nice glass of red, a hot bath or a good read, end your day with some R and R. You deserve it and you’ll be the best version of yourself tomorrow by taking some time for you tonight!

Feeling Accomplished yet?

Every family is different and has different aspects of their nightly routine that need to be completed. Start thinking about what your biggest stressors are each day… what areas feel out of your control? How could you start tackling it earlier? Maybe it’s making lunch for the school-aged kids the night before versus in the morning. Maybe it’s moving from morning showers for mom to evening showers in order to free up more time as you start your day. Take some time to reflect on it and make a list.

It can be difficult at the end of the day to take on a long list of tasks, but I can promise you after one morning of seeing how your prior preparations are paying off, you’ll be hooked!

What else do you do at night that helps create a smooth morning? Share below!

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