Suggestions with the end of the day routine

Jamie - posted on 03/31/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )




Please give me some information about your evening routines on a normal typical day. Let me know what works best for you ladies. I have three children and I my husband worksvery late evenings during this time of the year.. Any suggestions would help. I have to cook and do laundry daily. I usually get home at 5:30 pm then I start supper and tackle the dishes. Thats usually where it all falls apart. I still have clothes and baths and picking up to do. I run around my house like crazy. Then its worse when my husband gets home.


Sylvia - posted on 03/31/2010




I don't think I'm very well qualified to advise someone with 3 kids, since I only have one, but I do have a DH who works VERY late evenings for part of the year (does your DH do tax prep, too??), so I can kind of relate. It's like being a single mum temporarily, and boy does it suck :P

We don't have any kind of end-of-the-day routine, really, except that when we get home someone has to make something for dinner so we can eat LOL. We're a pretty casual family, and we're also pretty untidy; I do at least one load of laundry most evenings, and I do try to get the supper dishes done before bed (because it's depressing to come home to a sinkful of dirty dishes in the afternoon :P) and to empty the dishwasher if DH has run it in the morning, but frankly, the last thing I feel like doing when I get home at 5:30 is cleaning the house.

How old are your kids? Can they not help with some of the chores? My 7-year-old can set the table for dinner, put a load of laundry in the washing machine (with some coaching), help fold laundry, help empty the dishwasher, and help with the cooking (although she doesn't actually help that often -- usually she sits at the table and has a snack and talks to me while I'm washing dishes and getting dinner started, or occasionally she has homework, so she does it then). She also is responsible for unpacking her lunch bag and putting the used containers in the sink, putting away her clean laundry, and busing her own dishes.

Is it absolutely essential for everyone to have a bath every night? Could the kids bathe every other day, or bathe together to save time? (I know that depends a lot on everyone's ages...)

Is it absolutely essential to "pick up" every night? If so, could the kids help out with that?

I'm not sure what you mean by "clothes," but if you mean setting out clothes for the next morning, that seems like something the kids could probably do for themselves without your intervention (again, depending on ages). I certainly don't get involved in my DD's clothing choices, except when she picks something seriously inappropriate (occasionally she'll dig up a skirt that was decent three years ago but now is two inches above her knees, in which case I intervene to make her put on leggings). I think I last picked out clothes for her when she was about two.

Honestly, the only way I survive some days is to have really, really low standards. Sometimes, especially when DH is working late, dinner is cheese and crackers and grapes or something. I don't sweep the kitchen floor every day, or vacuum every day, or make the bed every day, or clean the toilet every day (all of which my mom used to do when I was this age, before she became a single parent and started working full-time). DH and I are at work all day, DD is at school all day ... it's not the end of the world if the beds aren't made and there's shmutz on the floor. Of course, then my mom comes to visit and I feel like the worst housekeeper in the universe, but it passes ;^)


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Maria - posted on 04/07/2010




Hi! You've kids aged 3, 10 and 14 years, you're a working mom and your husband works late evenings during this time of the year. Some moms that I know makes supper half-finished for the next day after kids has fallen asleep. My fourteen-year-old loves to cook and sometimes it's he's turn to make a meal for everyone of us from the groceries that he has chosen. And my nine-year-old is capable to to the dishes and help with other small tasks at home. I must admit that they are scouts :-) and some evenings they have their hobbies so I have to organize these things by myself, too. They help cleaning their own rooms (picking up things) and sometimes other parts of the house too, we usually do the so called big cleaning together (whole family) weekly - and they'll get also some realistic extra-money to paid for those daily tasks at home monthly. They can do something small with clothes, they can bath or take a shower without my presence safely. Luckily one of our hobbies are swimming and diving ;-) My kids are able to take a sauna by themselves - eventhought it's more cosier with company. If your kids are not asleep when your husband gets home - can't him for example read or sing for them or talk about their day together before they fall asleep? Children are joy for their parents - it makes all of your stress at work to vanish in a one second away if you get focused with your children. So - you'll get some time to finish your things to do and get some peace in mind to meet your husband after children has fallen asleep? And if your kids don't see much their father because of his late evenings, he should take part with your morning routines with kids or do something together with kids when it's day-off. Kids misses their parents and their attention. Children need parents to be focused on them when it's about morning or evening routines. If a parent isn't present mentally eventhought he or she is present psychically - everything goes usually upside down and gets worse. I know that a three-year-old needs lots of attention (we had couple of weeks ago over-night-visiting for a few days a lively 4-year-old) - but something easy and fun to do near you, when you're doing your daily tasks after work at home, might help you a little. Lego's, puzzles, modelling clay - depending on what you know better that doesn't mess your home before the bedtime. And I know - it's usually easier to give so called good advises - but I wish that you'll find your way to manage these things in your family. For example - my husband is capable to do any daily tasks at home if I give him some space to do them if he wants to - the only thing that I don't let him to do is doing the laundry :-D

Kimberly - posted on 04/07/2010




I am right there with you! I used to stress and beat myself up because I couldn't get it all done. It took away from quality time with the kids, etc.. Then I lowered my standards and it only stings( like someone else said) when the in-laws drop in. I make sure everyone is fed and I rinse the dishes, finish up homework, ( it was a blessing to get a friend to pick up my boys and bring them home after school until I get home at 530p)pick up odds and ends until shower time at 8pm. I encourage showers as early as your kids can-- it is much less of a drain on my energy. Then a snack before bed at 830pm. I don't sweep every day or vacuum every day, but I make my bed before I get the boys up for school and that somehow makes me feel better. I also bit the bullet and hired a friend from church to do deep cleaning every two weeks(3 hrs) for $120 a month. Now that is a HUGE weight off my back and I highly recommend it if you can a afford it. I sometimes felt like I was drowning before I had the kids home after school and the cleaning help....

Amanda - posted on 04/07/2010




I have two children and my third is on the way. I crock pot cook while I am at work when I can and double cook on the weekends so that I can get dinner together as quick as possible. YOu can also put a load of laundry on as soon as you walk in that way it can be washing while you are getting dinner together. ANother suggestions is to have your children help with the cleaning up. My kids are 3 and 6 and help pick up their things or I get to take them. You may only have to take them away once or twice. I make mine earn them back as well. Kids are never too young to help out. I hope this helps!

Amanda - posted on 04/07/2010




I have twin daughters who are 15 months, my husband and I both have full time jobs where we dont get home until 5pm or closer to 6pm for me. Im lucky that my husband is home earlier than I am and is willing and able to start dinner. after dinner, we try to get dinner and the table picked up. I wouldnt do baths every night. I usually shoot for every other night if they didn't get really dirty (like from being outside or all messy from dinner). If your kids are old enough, could they help out - like say help pick up their toys or help pick up the dinner table? for us our kids aren't old enough yet to help out, so we get all the chores done after they are in bed (after 8pm). There is dishes to be done, toys to pick up, kitchen floor to be swept and cloth diapers that need to be washed every night so they dont' smell. I will usually do only what i really need to get done, and my husband is there to help me out so things get done faster. does laundry have to be done all the time, or maybe just a load every other night and the rest done on the weekends? I would look at everything you are doing each night and find ways to either cut back a few nights, or a way to make it easier and more managable on you. that way maybe you can find sometime to rest and relax and have some "me time"

Lindsey - posted on 04/07/2010




I have an 8 month old as well. Our routine is pretty consistent. Home at 5, and she nurses immediately. Then its playtime, and a walk outside. Some solids at 6, a bath at 6:15 and up to bed at 6:30.

I don't do any housework at all, answer the phone or check email until after she is in bed. After I get her down, I get started on dinner and we typically eat around 7:15. While I'm making dinner my husband, if he's home, will help unload and/or load the dishwasher and get the baby's bottles ready for the next day.
If not, after dinner, while doing the dishes we do the bottles etc. I agree that getting teh dishes done at night is helpful. What we strive to do (but don't always succeed) is to run the dishwasher at night and then I try to unload it in the morning while my daughter plays in her highchair.

Most nights I do some laundry (especially because we have cloth diapers). Most nights I also do something in our office: bill paying, some filing or organization of the family schedules, or office work that I didn't get done.

Until just a week or two ago, we cleaned one area of the house per night, so we didn't have so much to do on the weekends. It was nice to have it all done and just relax on the weekends. We found we were mostly just surface cleaning- picking up clutter, cleaning bathrooms, light dusting and sweeping but it was sufficient. But we hadn't mopped, washed windows, baseboards, scoured the showers etc in months. Finally, we broke down and hired a cleaning person, which has been nice. Now we just try to keep up with the clutter. It is a big luxury, but if you can afford it, I think it is totally worth it.

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I work full-time (and go to grad school part-time) and my husband often works late (sales). I hate getting bogged down with chores because I miss being around my 8 month old all day. So what is keeping me sane is to get us both fed when we get home and let all other chores slide until he's in bed around 8 or 8:30. We have play time for us both to unwind from the day and enjoy each other. However, every other day (or when needed) we get a bath and that is part of our play time. But other than that, we just play or go outside and just take it easy. Now, it gets hard doing chores later at night when i'm exhausted, but I just feel so much better I gave my baby all the time could after work (plus, it's good to give yourself a "destresser" time and just enjoy your beautiful family).

Three kids does sound challenging, but as another mom suggested...getting them involved in the chores may make everyone's job easier. Chores don' thave to be bad, they can be fun and just quality time with your kids. Learning colors, shapes, cooking, chemistry are all great things.

At night, I like all the dishes to be done and everything in it's place. I clean my house once a week (vacuum, scrub, dust) and I do it VERY well. But I would rather spend one day (usually 9-12 on a Saturday or something) doing the fine details than doing it only partially well throughout the week (because I know I would be too tired to keep it up and do it right). I agree with the one mom that said not to shoot for high standards every day at every minute.

One more thing I've learned with the dishes...load your sink up with soapy water and throw them all in. After awhile, run a rag over them, put them in the dishwasher if available, and you're done. Let the water do the hard work for awhile! Plus, you'll save water!

Good luck -- glad to see the posting. I'm so excited to see everyone's ideas.

Nicola - posted on 04/06/2010




My husband doesn't work late, but since he's a final year med student, once he's home he tends to shut himself in the study and stay there until 9pm - thus I have plenty to do between getting home at about 5.30-5.45 and 9. Getting the dinner on and feeding us all is the BIG one - I cook pretty much from scratch most nights, I don't go a bundle on processed foods, so it can be quite time-consuming. However, some evenings, if we've had something quick to eat, I will prep the following night's dinner so that there's less to do then! Then I wash up and tidy the kitchen; I listen to my daughter read most nights; then I take her for her bath. My boys help with the drying up and sort out their own showers. Luckily dh sorts out most of the laundry, so I only have to unload the washer and put it out on the clothes horse a couple of times each week. Then I make the sandwiches for tomorrow. At this point it's usually about 9pm, time for dd to go to bed. Some nights I do a load of ironing whilst watching the TV, and others I just crash onto the sofa and veg until bedtime!

I appreciate that your husband is probably tired (and possibly cranky!) when he gets back late, but you say that "it's worse" when he gets home... does he expect you to wait on him hand and foot? Nip that in the bud, hun!! ;-)

Don't worry, running around like a madwoman is normal, as far as I can tell. We all do it!

Leanne - posted on 04/03/2010




My husband also works late, and although we only have a 13 month old, we have a consistant routine. I plan our meals for the week (saves grocery money and the what to do conumdrum) and then start cooking at 5:30 or 6 - we eat about 7:30 and then play for an hour or so. Then its bath time, story time, and then we are in bed. We started playing the same lullaby songs during bedtime, and stayed for the first song, then left. He cried for a night but then the second night he just went to sleep and has ever since. I usually start a load of wash, and fold the clothes in the dryer before I get him up, that way it can run during the day, and then I do another load after he is in bed. I run the dishwasher daily, and its a never ending battle, but if you can break it up, do a lil in the morning, pick up the room each night, even if you dont deep clean, its a lil more managable.

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