10 things I do in the first hour after kids’ bedtime

This evening, my fiancee entered the house, climbed the stairs with eager anticipation at seeing his two boisterous girls and serene, loving better half, and was greeted by this:

Zombie Mummy

Scary, isn’t it? Yes – Zombie Mum made an appearance. And this is often the case after a day of dealing with atwo girls aged three and one and their boisterous, unforgiving demands.

Each day is different. Today involved ‘cake gate’,’cat-ornament’ gate and ‘I demand another bedtime story-gate’ for example.

Whilst being a mum is also the most rewarding and uplifting thing I’ve ever done, I do need, nay DEMAND, my own chill out time. Just a bit.

There isn’t much time in a given day to relax, catch your breath and collect your thoughts (in fact there isn’t any!).

However our bedtime routine does leave a bit of room for this. That is, Mr EC gets the lovely job of doing bedtime stories and finally putting them both to bed. This can take some time, particularly if three year old has decided to practice being a ‘bouncerina’ on her bed and one year old is constantly standing up in her cot, banging her milk cup on the side very loudly and shouting “door!”.

Enjoying bedtime
Frivolity, anyone?

Not my problem.

There are 10 things that I do in that hour (ok, sometimes 40 minutes.) after my role in bedtime is OVER.  Here they are:

  1. Mentally detox. During my walk away from the bedroom towards our bedroom and bathroom, where I intend to firmly remain for the next hour, I ask my mind to begin to relax and calm itself.
  2. Decide on book, magazine or phone browsing.
    I don’t have the chance to just read or browse during the day, so I’ll pick something to take into the bath with me. Tonight I just fancied catching up with Twitter, for example. On other nights, I take the Kindle and indulge my current Game of Thrones obsession.
  3. Have a bath. I used to just top up the remnants of the girls’ bath with hot water. I don’t do that anymore after the realisation that they’re probably weeing in it. I have a fresh bath, and add some of my essential oils or my favourite Clarins relaxing bath bubbles.
  4. Have a mental run through of the day. Before I read/browse, I will spend a few moments just mentally taking myself through the day and reviewing what happened. It’s a meditative act and I find it really calming and destressing.
  5. Do something pamper-wise. I love anything spa or beauty-related, so I will try and do one thing during that bathtime which feels as though I’m pampering myself. It might be just using a sample of a new cleanser I picked up somewhere, or using a face mask.
  6. Put warm pjs on. After the bath, it’s a ritual of mine to put my previously-warmed-on-the-radiator-pyjamas on! Geeky, I know – but it just feels nice.
  7. Have a few minutes lie down. I just recover from my bath a little by having a lie down, rather than launching straight into the next task at hand.
  8. Catch up on un-replied to messages. Ok I might lie there a bit longer and catch up on some texts or tweets.
  9. Ignore any child interruption. Throughout all of this, I studiously ignore any child interruption which, despite my intense instruction to the contrary, appears to still take place on occasion. This cannot be allowed. If a child enters the bathroon, for example, I simply shout very loudly, and very indignantly, to Mr EC to come and sort it out.
  10. Finally take my backside downstairs to make dinner. It has to happen eventually. On a good day, I’ve usually prepared most of it beforehand, or at least got something out of the freezer.

I feel another blog post coming on…10 thing I do once I’ve collapsed on the sofa after making dinner!

What do you do once your children have gone to bed? I’d love to hear from you.

Binky Linky
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Working Mum of two, living in Didsbury, Manchester, in a house which breeds washing, mushed up raisins and various toys in the brightest primary colours. Oh, and the odd empty wine glass.

31 thoughts to “10 things I do in the first hour after kids’ bedtime”

  1. My spare time is spent blogging. I also have little chilling time, my boyfriend works long hours so I am with the children all the time. When they watch a film together, that is when I get to relax. When they have gone to bed, I usually catch up with my blog, after making tea, washing up, making packups and putting my pjs on! #binkylinky

  2. This sounds heavenly. My baby is 9 months and still breastfed so unfortunately I’m there until the end. At the moment by the time she has given in and gone to sleep I end up reading blog posts at best or at worse collapsing on a heap on the sofa. Tonight she gave in at 8:30! She learnt how to stand up in the cot, in a grow bag tonight and wanted to practice lots!!

  3. I LOVE this and also… We had cake-gate this week!!!! So glad I’m not alone! Good for you having a bath every night! Once I’ve had one I can’t do anything else but crawl into bed.. Though always a bit hot so have to stick a foot out to cool down!

  4. At the moment I collapse into an exhausted sleep haha! But your routine sounds so much better and I agree pj’s should always be pre warmed on a radiator 🙂 Thanks for linking up #BinkyLinky

  5. Love this, even though it makes me more than a little envious! My hubby lives abroad, so there’s sadly very little down time for me. I do try to make time for a bath now and then, when it looks like Potato is going to settle for the evening. Then, much like you, it’s catching up on a series on iPlayer or reading my much neglected book on my kindle

  6. Warming up pjs what a FABULOUS idea!!! I am so going to start doing that starting tonight!! The hour after bedtime is the busiest hour of my day. Bottle washing, laundry, dinner dishes, clothes for the next day, picking up toys and clutter around the house, then I make myself a hot coffee and attempt to do as much blogging as possible. 🙂 I love your tips thank you for sharing! #sharefriday

  7. I totally agree that us Mums need to recharge, my children are a bit older at 10 and 6, but after a busy day with school runs, work, housework, cooking and spending time with my 2 when they come home from school, I definitely need a few hours to myself in the evening, even if it’s just to sit on the couch in complete silence.


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