working mom routine

How To Create a Successful Working Mom Evening Routine

Do you find that you have a hard time getting through the hours that pass between the time you pick up your child from after-care and the time you put them to bed?

First, you are not alone. I believe it is reasonable to say that the nightly routine of a working mother is fraught with anxiety. So, how do working Moms do it?

with the use of a MOM ROUTINE. Obviously, putting it into practise is not as simple as it seems because, well, life.

The evenings spent working are a complete whirlwind for families, and there are a number of elements that contribute to an environment that is prone to stress.

As a mother who holds a full-time job and who has worked from both inside and outside the home, I would like to provide some straightforward, successful, and practical advice that might significantly improve the way in which you manage your evenings.

I want to share my simple, successful, and realistic tips for positively changing the way you manage your evenings.

This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you use them

A Working Mom’s Evening Routine

In order to improve your routine, you need to begin with the routine that your children follow. When there is some consistency in their environment, children almost always behave better. When you pick up your toddler from daycare, their routine does not end there; you need to find a method to continue a pattern that will assist them in making the transition to your house.

Creating a Routine

It is simple for you to grab a piece of paper, create a daily calendar for a working mother that includes seamless, peaceful, and regulated evenings, and then print it out. The most challenging aspect of creating a routine for your child that he or she can adhere to while still making room for the things that are essential to them:

  • Play
  • Independence
  • A Taste of Adventure

So how do you merge these two worlds?

My best advice is to INVOLVE your child.  Together, build an afternoon routine chart that takes into account the values that are significant to the family as a whole rather than to any one individual member in particular.

Create a chart to provide your child a visual representation of the steps involved in the routine so that they can better comprehend it.
Because you will be giving your kid a role in the household, this uncomplicated activity will not only be an excellent opportunity for the two of you to become closer to one another, but it will also strengthen your child’s confidence because you have given him or her a role in the family.

Pickup Strategy

I have two goals for preschool pickup.  One, give my son a hug.  Two, bring a snack.  It’s that simple and that important.

Even if he doesn’t always want a hug, I make sure to give him one nonetheless as a sign of support and to let him know that he can let go of whatever has been bothering him during the day.

Bringing a snack is huge because it combats the “Hangry-tude”.  Cranky Work Mom + Hangry Child = No fun for anyone.  Plus, it holds him over until we can get home and dinner is prepared.

Implementation

It is not a simple task to put up a meal for the family on each night of the week. This snack will buy you some much-needed extra time. It provides me with some more time to prepare a dinner and gives my husband time to make the commute home.

Your plan for picking up your child from daycare or preschool may look different than mine, but I recommend concentrating on two aspects that you can be consistent with.

It is not a simple task to put up a meal for the family on each night of the week. This snack will buy you some much-needed extra time. It provides me with some more time to prepare a dinner and offers my husband the opportunity to complete his drive home in peace.

Your plan for picking up your child from daycare or preschool may look different than mine, but I recommend concentrating on two aspects that you can be consistent with.

  1. The first component should offer a means of connection and assuage your child’s fears by assuring them that “you’re back and you’re there for them.”
  2. The second component need to be oriented at making it easier to make the transition from daycare to the home environment. This may be a snack or a familiar phrase, such as “how’s life?” This would be especially useful to a child who wants to deconstruct the day by vocally engaging with other people.

Dinner Strategy

The evening meal may be a constant source of contention! Especially when you have a child who is three years old and who, on average, will not sit at the table for more than five minutes and will tell you that he does not like any of the food that is on his plate, right?

mom and daughter eating

First, let’s look at the roadblocks:

  • Time – it’s a mad rush to get home, get something cooked and on the table (Tip: invest in a Crock-Pot – Here are the highest rated and most affordable slow cookers).
  • Picky Eaters – it’s a challenge thinking of one dish that will please the family and the picky eaters
  • “What’s for dinner?” – this thought can be stressing you out every day after 3 PM
  • Clingy Child – on any given day there may be a whiny, clingy child hanging on your every move/leg in the kitchen

Now, for some solutions:

  • Meal Planning – Set up a basic system that gets you planning dinner week by week to eliminate the question, “what’s for dinner?”
  • Consistency – If you allow your toddler to eat something different from the rest of the family during mealtimes, it won’t be long before it becomes a habit, which will result in additional work for you to do. Be consistent. .
  • Screen time – I am definitely guilty of this one, but it does the trick!
    When my kid arrives home, we unload his things, and then he gets to watch somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes of a TV while I make dinner or work out. There are many perceived bad connotations about screen time, but I no longer allow this one bother me as much as it did to since it is a chance for my son and I to reset after a full day of preschool and work.
  • Get Help – Is there a reasonable and realistic person (grandparents, extended family, babysitter or neighbor) that could help you?  It could be a freezer meal or assisting with a pickup.  Even if it’s one day a week, heck I call ordering pizza “help” and I do that once a week, so only 4 days left I have to worry about!

Put it in Perspective

Think of daycare or preschool like work.  Your child may go to a facility for 8-ish hours a day.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s highly structured or not.

child coming to home with his mother

There is still an expectation for a child to keep him or herself composed throughout the day.  Coping with complex thoughts, feelings of being “homesick,” and just developing an emotional and social intelligence for the World around them are all part of the experience. There is a lot of sharing, refraining from just letting it all out, and dealing with these things.

To keep everything in check requires a lot of effort.

Just consider how difficult it is to keep a level head throughout the day while dealing with coworkers, supervisors, or customers that drive you totally nuts.

Recommended Reading: 35 Positive Affirmations for Moms Balancing Work and Family

It Takes Effort!

After a day of effort – we need a release, a break or a moment to collect ourselves before evening expectations, routines and tasks commence.

Commit to finding a way to give your child that time.  Assess their personality and determine what type of release best fits their needs.  Some examples below.

Will your child need comfort?  Do kids need to have a mental and emotional connection with a caregiver for ten to fifteen minutes before continuing with evening activities? Before beginning to tackle to-dos, this may mean cuddling up in a cosy spot with a good book and removing all potential sources of distraction.

Will your child need to exert physical energy?  A child might need to jump on a trampoline for five minutes or find some sort of large body movement that helps them reset, much like adults might need to go to the gym or go for a long run after a long day of work.

My son is the type to exert physical energy and we don’t have an inside area for a mini-trampoline but we’ve found an awesome alternative that is close to a 5-Star rating on Amazon and we’re not the only ones, find out why so many other parents are raving about this product.

Have A Routine

My daily routine as a working mother is something I preach and model for other working mothers. Although not every day is ideal, the days and weeks in which our schedule is steady are the best since life feels more under control during those times.

Our nights no longer include anxiety, and the level of stress has decreased. When we get off track, everyone is on edge because they know that one mistake might lead to an epic meltdown.

We follow an evening routine chart that embodies the three C’s.

  1. Consistency
  2. Calmness
  3. Connectedness

This truly makes all the difference for our family.  It gives our child reliability in the home and it gives us, parents, time to regroup for the next day and connect as a couple.

Recommended Reading: 10 Life Hacks For Being A Successful Stay At Home Mom

Look Forward

When your child attends daycare or preschool, full or part-time, it can be hard to find that quality one-on-one time.  The nights run together and everyone is just hustling through the week.

I schedule a “date” with my kid in order to provide a respite from the monotony of the work week and to give us both something to look forward to. This not only serves to allow us time to interact with one another, but it is also an excellent mom strategy that will help you get through the week.

Routines Take Time

A routine is built in two weeks and can be broken in a day.

I always remember this statement as we go through the phases and growing pains of raising a child under 5.

Just last week we sent my son to a sleepover with a grandparent and days to follow consisted of adamantly fighting bedtime because the comfort of his routine was disrupted.  As parents, we need to have patience and understand that [re]establishing a routine takes time.

This thought is one I want to share with you because it will help you breathe and remain calm during those windows of self-defeat, insecurity or guilt.

As new Moms ending their maternity leave, re-entering the workforce, or sending kids to preschool for the first time, know there will be rough moments where you will power through.  Keep these simple tips at the forefront.

I would love to hear from you, what is your secret to keeping the evenings enjoyable?

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