What to Do Once the Kids Are Asleep

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From 8am to midnight, I feel like a race car going 70 mph. The only time I can slow down is to fill up for coffee. And then it’s right back on the racetrack for another fifty laps. I have way too much on my plate and I know that. Yet they are all important things— spending quality time with my family, growing my businesses, helping with our church plant, spending time with my friends, and making healthy meals, and so on. I love all these things, but I am completely exhausted. And I just don’t know how to force myself to slow down and breathe.

Then I started reading my first e-Book this week called One Bite at a Time by Tsh Oxenreider from Simple Mom. In this book, Tsh has compiled 52 ideas for simplifying life and it called out to me. I already ditched the TV seven years ago, which has helped us fill our time with creative and productive things. Yet now I wonder if I have overfilled my life. And if so, what can I do about it?

Idea #4 from One Bite at a Time is about establishing an evening routine. I already nailed the bedtime routine with the kids, but my evening routine with me and my husband needs some work. Lots of work, actually. It goes something like this: kids fall asleep, I eat a snack and grab some water, head up to my office and work until the wee hours of the night. The quietest, most intimate part of the entire day is not spent with my husband, but rather my 27-inch iMac. I am over it and ready for a change. This is when Tsh comes in and speaks to me about an evening routine. She didn’t speak directly to me, but it sure felt like it when I read her words.

When you bookend your days with a simple routine, they’ll feel less chaotic, and you’ll be more in control. These routines will be a salve to your soul. — Tsh

So yesterday, I announced to my family that I will not be on my computer past 7pm at night. This means whatever design projects or blogging I need to do will have to wait until the morning.

What I will do instead with that precious slice of time is:

— write my to-do list for tomorrow (I usually do this midway through the day when I get overwhelmed)
— take a shower (I should really do this more, so I am very happy about having this on my list)
— clean the kitchen (like disinfect the counters and mop the floor)
— read my Bible (I have been a pretty sad example of a pastor’s wife these last few months)
— spend time with my husband (board games, talking, praying together, and just reconnecting)

I am saying good bye to super late nights and cranky mornings. Is it gonna be easy?  Absolutely not! But I am ready for the challenge. My exhausted body and mind need this challenge. And my family needs it. I am ready to fall asleep with my husband and wake up before my children pounce on me. I am ready to reconnect with myself and my family. And I think my new evening routine is the beginning of making this a reality.

I’ll let you know how it goes…

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