How do you do bedtimes?

Nicolette Solan - posted on 10/24/2012 ( 24 moms have responded )

4

0

1

How do you get your child into bed by 8:30 if you work and only get home be 6:30pm. I seem to have so much trouble with that. By time I unwind, get dinner, etc. it's 9pm. Am I just a dysfunctional mother? What are your tips? Thanks in advance for the advice!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Amy - posted on 10/24/2012

6,337

33

2377

Meal planning! I had this same problem but now I plan out my meals for the week so I know exactly what I'm cooking for dinner on what days. I use my crockpot a lot, I can just pop a roast in and when I get home make the sides to go with it. My oven also has a timer to start so I can set all the controls on my stove like temp, and time to turn on and leave whatever I'm making right in there. A lot of times I make extras to freeze that way another week I can just pull it out and heat it in the microwave for another meal. My unwind time is after the kids go to bed from the minute I get home till bed time it's go go go go.



You are not a dysfunctional mother I think we can all be that way at times. Some nights we do breakfast for supper since it's so quick and easy to make french toast or pancakes, and I probably serve chicken nuggets more than most moms it's just the way things are.

Sophia - posted on 11/24/2012

193

0

40

it is what it is... you / we do the best we can. for our children..they have to eat ,do their homework, take baths, play alittle and talk with us... do what work for your home. god bless

Maria - posted on 10/27/2012

1

1

0

I feel for you! It seems that we as moms are burning our candles at both ends, juggling time for work, home and especially family. I would suggest meals in a crockpot. There are some great recipes for slowcookers and I know it saves alot of prep time at the end of the day. Involve the children! Make a math lesson out from measuring ingredients for next days meals. Hope it helps!

Danielle - posted on 10/25/2012

13

13

0

I have to agree with meal planning for the week. I put little bins in my pantry recently. I put everything I need for different dinners for the week in the bin I marked with for that day. And put a paper with the items listed I need from the fridge. It saves on time, and hunting for ingredients. I also sometimes cook mass amounts on weekends to freeze individual meals so I just have to defrost and it's ready. So e meals i keep in my freezer are : meatballs with sauce, stuffed peppers, lasagna, lime chicken, possibilities are endless. If you search freezer meals one shows up cook 50 meals in one day, and a bunch of other sites with great ideas. Total time saver. Also i buy a bag of onions and slice them all in one day then freeze them. Then when I need chopped onions it takes 2 seconds to grab them already chopped from the freezer. Pre planning is the key. It's taken me 5 years to be as organized as I am, and still have a crazy day occasionally. As for unwind time, that comes once my little ones 5,3, 7 months are in bed.

[deleted account]

I agree with Amy, on weeks that I have to work that late, I LOVE my crockpot. Just toss a meat and some chopped veggies in before you leave for work and it will be done when you get home. If you do have to cook, make something you can just throw together then put in the oven to bake--that way you can use the time it is cooking for your kid's bath or homework rather than wasting time standing over the stove stirring.



I always plan 5 dinner entrees before I go shopping, then I write the menu options on a little chalk board in the kitchen. When I cook one, I cross it off. This way, I always know what meals I have the ingredients for and I don't have to think about what I've got in the pantry or how to make it all work together. I eat leftovers for lunches but sometimes we do those for supper if I'm really short on time and haven't eaten them all yet.



I use the time after J is asleep for unwinding.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

24 Comments

View replies by

Julie - posted on 12/05/2012

503

54

53

With the TIMER. I set it and say it, and keep everyone on time! 6:00 dinner, 7:00 bath, 8:00 story time, 8:30 lights out!

Marian - posted on 11/27/2012

108

76

25

Organization and consistency are key to any kind of routine. I see several people have suggested meal planning, which is a must. But I take it a step further by meal prepping. For those of you that have a few extra minutes on the weekend chopping veggies that will be used during the week for dinner can save some valuable time. And occasionally I will cook Tuesday night and Wednesday nights dinner at the same time. The other helpful hint is get the kids involved. Making dinner as a family not only eases the stress for Mom, but is a great bonding activity. Crockpot dinners are a life saver, I highly recommend pulling yours out and downloading a few recipes. How nice would it be to walk in the door and have dinner hot and waiting for you...AMEN!!!!

Here is my evening schedule, and when I say schedule, I mean it. We arrive home from work by 6:15pm. Dinner is on the table by 6:30pm. We are done eating by 7:10pm. My son is in the shower by 7:15pm and in bed between 7:30 - 7:40pm. Lights out is 7:45pm at the latest.

Wonder about homework time? I have my son do his homework right after school. I have a nice situation in which my son comes to work with me, so when I pick him up he has a snack, then does his homework. I find that this saves all the usual struggles with homework time. I also save my decompressing from my day time until after my son goes to bed, this saves some time as well.

When we stick to our schedule our evenings run very smooth, and bedtime is accomplished with very little fanfare. Hope the suggestions help.

Arianne - posted on 11/25/2012

3

0

1

How old is the baby? I wish I had tips for you, but I can only commiserate. My daughter is a year old now and still doesn't sleep all the way through the night. She gets to take naps during the day, though, where I don't get that option! It's very frustrating at times!

[deleted account]

Honestly, 9 isnt that late. make it work for your family. if you move the bedtime to nine, no one will die. my 2yearold goes to bed at 830-9 some nights it takes longer than normal, DONT WORRY TO MUCH

[deleted account]

I will do quick meals normally a meat and a side or two... While the chicken is baking I do bath time and iron clothes. 30 minutes.mwe eat dinner and talk check homework or help with homework and I am strict about the bed time if we are home. I need mom time, my husband and I alternate days to cook with Friday off.

Shanti - posted on 11/06/2012

8

12

1

I'm a single mom. My daughter's bedtime used to be 8, then 830 and now thats she's 10 her bedtime is 9:00. Working full time she and I don't make it home until 6 or 630. Its used to be ver chaotic trying to figure out how to cook dinner, help her with her homework, get her showered and in bed by those times. However, I've started making meals that never take longer than only 30 minutes (including prep time). I even cheat by buying onions that are already chopped up from the grocery store. The key is cutting corners. I dont make my meals the night before but I do take out the meat sometimes before I leave in the mornings.



Also, depending on the age of your kids you can have them sit at the kitchen counter while you cook and you can help them with the homework at the same time. Its stressful at first but you'll get the hang of it. The key is to make meals that are super quick or dont require much of your supervision so that you can do other things while the food is on.



Just remember, the key to an online bedtime is to not relax and unwind when you get home. You have to go into the house on a mission and have order to what you are looking to accomplish.



Hope this helps,

[deleted account]

I get home between 6 and 6:30 right now. My son goes to bed at 6-6:30 and my daughter at 7. My husband gets home around 5:30 2 days of the week and 8 the other 2 days. I make fried rice on late nights, my husband cooks the rice earlier in the day, so it only takes me about 5 minutes to make. I also make ramen with egg, peas, and BBQ Pork. I use more water to lessen the salt level. My husband cooks the other days.



My son is easy, my dad gets him in pjs so all I have to do is feed him, brush his teeth, and put him in bed after a song. My daughter gets a book and singing time after her teeth are brushed. My husband bathes them earlier in the day if they need it.



I have to get up at 4 am, so I can't have them up late, otherwise I wont get to bed until 10.

Christina - posted on 11/05/2012

2

0

1

It is a real rush rush in my household. As soon as I set foot in the door, I am making dinner and then that is followed by the cleanup. Right after that is bathtime and then storytime. Then it is time for bed by 8pm. I just do the best I can and that is good enough. That is all you can do. You can't beat yourself up everyday. Just do your best.

April - posted on 11/05/2012

391

77

42

Nicolette,

I so remember those days when I was working a full time job with my first child who is 7 now. He was in day care from the time he was 6 weeks old until he was 5 years old. I used a crock pot to do dinner every day so dinner was ready when we got home. If you are on FB there is a fanpage called Crock Pot Girls that has great recipes. That way we could eat dinner right when we got home. I was strict with Chase's bedtime (still am now even though I work from home now) that he was in the bath by 7 and then in bed by 8. I also cleaned up the kitchen after Chase went to bed so from the time we ate dinner to bath time we just spent time as a family. After he went to bed I focused on cleaning up. Evening time is kind of a fine tuned machine but helps to have everyone on a schedule. Hope this helps ;)

Renee - posted on 11/04/2012

1

5

0

We aim for 8:30 every night , however, some nights are just not possible. Especially the nights our kids have sports after school. We occasionally hit a drive thru or Subway on select nights and my sister and I trade off from time to time and cook dinner for both families. We live close to each other and she has an additional day off during the week so that helps. Homework sometimes does not get done at night and we finish it in the morning, usually while we eat breakfast. Some days are better than others and we just roll with it.

Bonnie - posted on 11/02/2012

81

0

12

I get home about 430-5 and my kids bedtime is 7. I usually do pretty simple dinners. I get takeout or something precooked from the grocery store if I've had a really hard day. Otherwise I like to prepare easy meals like pasta, breakfast for dinner, grilled cheese or tuna sandwiches. I like to use prepared pulled pork from the grocery store. Just heat it up, stick it on a bun with a side of fruit or veggies and it only takes 10m. I have even been known to give my kids yogurt and fruit for dinner and they don't complain. If I can, I use only one pot to cook in-like I boil the spaggetti and broccolli in the same water. I also like to use the fruit cups packed in fruit juice as a side which my kids really enjoy. I keep a stack of paper plates to cut down on dishes.

I make sure we are eating by 530-545 as I have to start bath time at 620 to stay on track. I sometimes just feed the kids something easy and eat myself after they have gone to bed. (My husband works in the evening so I don't have to feed him.) On my days off I cook a real dinner so my kids do get real food too.

If I am running behind sometimes I skip bathtime. This saves me about 40m.

My kids are almost always settled by 715 and that gives me 1-2 hrs for myself in the evening. I work at 530am so I go to bed early.

On nights my parents babysit in the evening I ask them to feed them, bathe them and put them in PJs for when I pick them up at about 630ish. We brush thier teeth before leaving their house so I can just put them in bed when we get home.

Patricia - posted on 10/30/2012

32

11

0

Personally, I only function by preparing in advance. When I cook dinner it is enough for two days worth of meals. For example, one day I may roast a chicken. Lefover chicken is made into tacos the next day. Since I'm a morning person I cook my meal for the day before I get ready for work. If roasting I put in the oven for the hour or two while I get ready for work for example. I may also place ingredients in a crockpot and leave it cooking all day. Simple meals like soups or roasts that have few ingredients and cook on their own are on the weekly menu. The days I don't have to cook, I use the 5 a.m. wake up to wash the bathrooms, fold laundry and such. This has helped tremendously in providing more time in the evening for family time, homework, bathtime and etc. Cooking/Cleaning can easily take an hour or more away in the evening. I use to exercise in the mornings. Now I replaced that hour with cooking/cleaning at 5 a.m. I now walk the dog with the kids in the evening or take brisk walk on my lunch hour whenever possible. Its not the same but with limited time in our day we have to pick whats more important to us and what works consistently. I chose to watch my food intake more carefully since I can't exercise as often as I'd like.

Tonya - posted on 10/30/2012

3

0

1

You're not dysfunctional! We all struggle to get everything done. As soon as we get home from work/school, I tell my kids to get in the shower. Thank goodness for 2 bathrooms! I get their meal ready while they are cleaning up. After mealtime, we finish any necessary homework, brush teeth, and have "holding time". Holding time is a designated time that I sit down with each child, talk, read, and just hold until their time is up. Once the timer goes off, they know it's time for bed. I take turns with who gets holding first so the same person isn't first to bed each time. Meal planning mentioned above by so many is a definite time saver.

Marcie - posted on 10/30/2012

3

0

0

I have trouble with it too and I have no one to help. Meal planning is definitely key. I love the crock pot as well. I always seem to make too much food though, since it's just me and my son, but I've learned that most things can be frozen and then you can just sit them out to thaw while at work and heat them up when you get home. I still have a hard time getting him to eat, shower, read and get to bed by 8:30. Don't feel like a horrible mother, you do the best you can!

Debra - posted on 10/30/2012

9

9

0

If you have a partner/ husband, get them to help, especially if they get home before you. I'm home at least 1 and 1/2 hours after my husband, he cooks cleans etc, a very special person.

If you are on your own, or can't get help, try to cook a double meal several times a week, and freeze the extra. Look at stews, cassaroles, chunky soups. Make a large salad, enough for 2 meals and put in an air tight container till the next meal.

keep this up a few times a week for a few months, you'll find you have meals ready to go and can get you and your child a good meal early and quickly. Remember to do this on a regular basis and meals will be a breeze. Then you can do a big weekend cook, get the children involved, show them the foods and textures and processes of cooking they like. This way the whole meal will be a family affair.

Gabrielle - posted on 10/29/2012

516

14

61

My husband gets off earlier than I do and picks up our daughter, so we all get home by 6 pm. He does the cooking while I review her homework with her and get everything put away and ready for the next day. We eat, then fit in her reading time, and squeeze in a bath every other day. It's tight, but we can usually get her in bed by 8:30. Nicolette, you don't say if you're a single mom or partnered, but if you have another adult in the house, perhaps they can help? We try to plan meals, including crock pots, or take-out for the nights when our daughter has after-school activities. We also save our unwind time for after our daughter is in bed. It's hard, but it's the only way we can get everything done. But you are definitely NOT dysfunctional. :)

Sd - posted on 10/25/2012

6

54

0

Similar problem. I just shoot for 9 & sometimes don't make that. Fortunately, my mom makes dinner but my parents don't touch my daughter's homework. I may not get in until after 8 & my 3yr old can take a while getting back focused to finish her.work. My schedule is temporary though it's been going on this school year. At least you hey to see your l/o as early as 5:30

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms