Favorite parts of my evening routine

13 May 2022

The title of this post is a bit of a misnomer, because I don’t actually have an evening routine – as in, things I do in the same order every single night. But there are a number of activities that regularly crop up in the hours between dinner and my head hitting the pillow, and I thought it might be fun to share my favorites today. And I’d love to hear yours!

A scenic ride and podcast

I often ride the Peloton after the kids are in bed, but lately (especially on Sundays), I’ve been cueing up a thirty-minute scenic ride, turning down the music, and pushing play on a podcast. Since there’s no instructor or cadence/resistance guidance, these rides feel a bit more relaxed (though I most definitely still break a sweat), and working my body while refreshing my mind feels like a great start to a new week.

An early shower

I mentioned this in my fourth trimester post, but taking an early shower in the evening is one of the best life hacks I discovered after having my first baby. Now, I’ll hop in right after my workout, or even while the big kids are in the bath, which means by the time they’re in bed I’ve already showered, done my skincare routine, and gotten in my jams. It sounds silly, but the specter of “getting reading for bed” looms larger the longer the evening goes on and can cause me to stay up later than I’d like, so it’s nice to get it out of the way early.

Reading with June

When June started kindergarten, she and I started reading chapter books together before bed (John usually pairs up with Shep). She reads lots of easy chapter books on her own (Magic Tree House, Mia Mayhem, and Puppy Place are her current favorites), but reading together allows her to punch above her weight class: so far, we’ve read three Little House books, Charlotte’s Web, and Fantastic Mr. Fox. I get to pick our read alouds, and relish the opportunity to revisit my favorites :) And of course, I don’t need to tell you that snuggling in a cozy, dim bedroom with my best big girl is a highlight of any day.

Feeding Annie

Speaking of cozy – nursing my best little girl is a fleeting and treasured part of my evenings right now. The screeching and acrobatics of older kid bath time/bedtime chaos might be swirling around us, but getting to feed and snuggle my sweet girl in the midst of it and watch her fall asleep, cheek heavy on my arm, is the best. I soak up every session.

Stretching before bed

Before we pull back the covers, John and I like to do a 10-minute Peloton stretch together (Ben is our favorite!). Getting a little hum in my muscles and a chance to let my mind wander is a lovely wind-down.

Reading before bed

Reading before bed has been a part of my evening routine since I could read (actually, even before that!). Whether it’s just a few pages or an hour or more, my day doesn’t feel complete without it. (Here’s my 2022 reading list.)

I’d love to hear: what’s a favorite part of your evening routine? Do you have a routine you follow every night, or do you mix and match like me?

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May 13, 2022 9:27 am

The only constants in my evening routine right now are my daughter’s bedtime routine, taking my own shower/bath, and cleaning the kitchen! So yeah, a little boring, haha But I typically pair “dish duty” with Terri Gross on Fresh Air. I could clean the entire house at night listening to her interviews! haha

May 13, 2022 3:00 pm

I love the idea of showering early and going ahead and doing your skin care routine early in the evening. I way too often delay bedtime because I don’t wanna go wash my face and brush my teeth, so I say to myself “I’ll stay up just a little while longer!”

May 13, 2022 5:20 pm

I also like to shower early! It’s nice to relax in your comfy jimjams and helps me unwind. Love that the big kids read before bed too – we used to love Secret Seven, Famous Five and the Magic Tree ????

May 13, 2022 8:18 pm

My favourite part of my evening routine is going to bed a little early (around 9 pm) to read and have a cup of tea before lights out. I try to read for an hour then do my nighttime skincare routine. I’ve found that reading (and listening to some music, like a film score) really helps me relax before bed.

May 17, 2022 9:39 am

YES to early evening showers! I also started this when Kathleen was a baby and have stuck to it since. Also, reading right before going to sleep is the best – be it for an hour or just 10 minutes. Reading with my kids is also a favorite!! My husband and I take turns taking the kids to bed, but it’s definitely something I love so much! Even my 8y/o (who reads entire Harry Potter books on her own) loves being read to still. We usually read a more difficult German book together, which makes it extra sweet and a great way to expose my kids to my native (their second) language :)
I‘ll have to give stretching before bed a try! Sounds lovely. And healthy!

May 18, 2022 3:06 pm

I also have a Sunday night ritual…I love a good yin yoga class to relax before bed! I’ve been doing Kristen McCarthy Yoga on YouTube lately. I tend to do my longest (60 min) peloton ride on Sunday mornings so this type of yoga is a great part of my recovery. I like your nighttime shower idea, but alas I don’t think it’s for me. With curly hair, I never know if it will look presentable after I sleep on it! But I’ve been meaning to bump up my face washing so I’m doing it right after the kids go down instead of right before I go to bed. It does seem to get more intimidating as the night goes on!