Sharing and Caring Week: Evening Routines

Since we shared morning routines yesterday, let's move on to evening routines today. (Share your morning routine here, if you didn't already.)

Start at whatever point you'd like, and take it on through bedtime.

I'll start:

I usually get off the subway from work between 6:30 and 6:45 pm, and walk 8 blocks to pick up my kids at their dad's apartment. He relieves the babysitter at 5 and plays with them for that time. The kids and I walk back to my apartment (right by the subway).

If I'm lucky, I have food for supper in the house. If not, we have to stop at the grocery store to buy food to cook.

Come home, check mail, walk up to the fourth floor, dump burdens, remove shoes, wash hands.

I go into the kitchen to start supper and the kids start playing or fighting or play-fighting. Favorites include Legos, Wii, or watching DVR'd kids shows (Fetch with Ruff Ruffman, The Penguins of Madagascar, Word Girl, etc.). Some cat-chasing may be involved.

We eat, then hang out and play, do some homework, and I run a bath for the little one. He takes a bath, then the big one takes a shower (new development) while I'm getting the little one in his pajamas. They brush teeth, then we read a book or two, and they go to bed.

I tell myself I'm going to exercise, but usually just wash some dishes and fall asleep. If I'm lucky, it's in my bed. If not, I peel myself off the couch in the middle of the night and stumble into bed.

Wow. Now that I read over it, my life is kind of depressing and small. But my bedtime routine is remarkably easier than it was when the kids were little, and they sleep all night, so I can't complain.

Your turn!

62 thoughts on “Sharing and Caring Week: Evening Routines”

  1. Moxie– with that schedule what time do your kids go to bed? Do you have a ‘go to bed’ routine? Ours is pretty loooooong. I’d love to just tuck in and go!

  2. SAHM, 1st grader, 3yo, 20 month old4:00-1st grader arrives home via carpool. HW (about 5 minutes), snack, and the kids play outside or with neighborhood friends
    I either finish making dinner, or if I’ve been organized the night beforemorning, superviseread books, etc.
    5:005:30, depending on if it’s bath night, when it’s ready, when my husband shows up at home(his job is close to home, he almost always goes back out in the evening, but we try to time dinner for a point that he can be at home for) Dinner
    5:306:00 depending if dinner started on time, how long it took for the kids to eat, etc.-baths or just getting cleaned up, cream, medicines (my kids have asthmaeczema),nebulizing, if we are both home we do assembly line, one bathes and hands off to the other to get dressed
    till 7:00-books or occasionally a movie if they are ready pretty early
    7:00-tuck in, lights off, nightime prayer, water, etc. etc.
    Ideally, i get a little downtime then clean kitchenplayroom, make lunches, lay out clothes, fold laundry, etc…
    or not.
    Somehow written out it all seems so organized and doable, really, they are almost never ever in bed lights out by 7:00, there is a lot of dilly dallying and getting distracted and prodding along the way. If there is anything that takes us out of the house in that stretch, especially if we aren’t home and starting the process at 5:00, it gets way more chaotic, because the whole process is studded my various meltdowns. But it works out ok. Must say it’s much easier than when I had a nursing baby (who wanted at least 20 minutes) to work into the schedule (she weaned 2 months ago)

  3. I’ll start at about the 5pm mark, since I’m usually home from work by 4pm and my husband by 5pm on the 2 days a week that he works.5pm – I’m washed up from work and changed into yoga pants and a t-shirt. On a nice day, I’ll take my son (20 months) down for a walk with me and the dog. We linger outside for about an hourish so that my husband can finish cooking dinner.
    6pm – Eat dinner. My husband has made a bad habit of playing videos for my son during lunch so the child now expects them during dinner. We’re working him out of that habit. Child eats for about 15 minutes. We want to sit and relax and eat for at least a half hour, but at the 15 minute mark, the child starts pulling us into the other room. One of us usually acquiesces. Then dishes and cleanup.
    7pm – Invariably there will be playing with toy trains some time in this hour. We probably play for about 45 minutes with various toys. Some running about the apartment.
    7:45pm – If there is going to be a bath, it will happen about now. Otherwise I’ll start reading books aloud while my son and husband play in the living room.
    8:30ish – The child starts to get tired and my husband attempts to feed him a little yogurt while they wind down watching videos of trains.
    8:45ish – I warm up the milk and my husband gets the child ready for bed. Then we all lay in bed and I read a story while the child drinks warm milk. Then we turn off the lights, turn on the nightlight and relax together on the bed until the child falls asleep. Sometimes there is silliness and it takes awhile. Most nights, he’s out in 20ish minutes.
    9:15ish – Husband and I sneak out and usually lay together on the couch and watch a video or chat. Probably both.
    2ish – Having passed out on the couch earlier in the evening, I make my way back to the bedroom in the middle of the night and join the child and husband in bed to start the whole thing over again at 5am.
    Rinse and repeat with minor variations.

  4. 1 4 yo, two WOHPs. :)Somewhere between 5:15 and 5:30 – pick up my son at daycare with a snack in the car. Woe betide she who forgets the granola bar.
    The rest of the routine assumes he napped at school. If he skipped the nap, it accelerates for an earlier bedtime.
    5:45 – arrive home. Outside play for 15 minutes or so if we have sensibly used the crockpot; otherwise it’s indoor/sink/playdough play while dinner gets made.
    Somewhere around 6-6:15, we have dinner. 2-3 times a week this ends up being a “picnic” either on the porch or downstairs in front of a DVD and I don’t entirely apologize for that.
    6:30-7 pm is dishes and playtime.
    7 we start the bedtime routine which either involves the insane primate-male-wrestling ritual our family calls “dub-dubs” and during which I tidy up and cringe multiple times as I hear thumps, or, if Alpha Male is not available, we have a bath or read extra books.
    At 7:30 we watch one thing on YouTube while having a snack; these days this is usually dolphins. Then we brush teeth, cuddle in, read a book, and then my verbal processor of a son talks. And talks. And talks. Around 8 I get stern and he rolls over and goes to sleep.
    Then around 8:30 I usually do an hour of work, fuss around with chores or reading or whatever, and end up in bed sometime around 10:30.

  5. I’ll start at 5pm also. I have a 7month old son and I am a married SAHM.5pm – first bottle of formula (nurses all day)
    5:30pm – usually fussy around this time, baby einstein or exersaucer while I make dinner
    6pm Daddy gets home and takes over with Oscar while I finish dinner
    6:30ish – eat together/play
    7pm – bath or wind down in nursery
    7:15 one more formula bottle
    7:30ish bed – we sing twinkle twinkle and pray and he pretty much just goes down (thank GOD)
    the rest of the evening is spent doing leftover chores from the day and watching biggest loser or some other such time wasting zone-out show 🙂

  6. Your life isn’t depressing and small! The “hang out and play” moments are the ones you and your kids will remember fondly later.

  7. 28 weeks pregnant with twins and a 9 month old.I WOTH, so I pick up from daycare and get home around 5. Drop him straight in the highchair for dinner. That usually takes about 15 – 20 minutes.
    Depending on my hunger level (the whole pregnant with twins things makes this a large variable) we either play in the kitchen while I cook, move into the living room and play, or go outside and practice walking and watching the world go by. Sometimes if Dh is home early we’ll go for a stroll around the block with the dogs.
    Between 6 – 6:45 it becomes obvious that it’s bedtime. Hubby usually gets home between 5 – 6, so we’ve all been playing at this point, or I’ve moved into the kitchen to finish up our dinner (barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, HAHA). DH will take him upstairs for his bath, bottle and bed. I make the bottle while DH does the cleaning and PJs, I feed him, and DH does the final drop into the crib and belly patting. The bedtime routine is quick – maybe 15 minutes? He is usually sound asleep by 7.
    Then hubby and I will have dinner, watch some TV, if I’m inspired, I’ll get DS’s food ready for daycare the next day (which is mostly just putting the frozen food from the freezer to the frig – god save me if I’ve run out of baby food and need to make more by this time at night) or cutting up melon which he loves for a snack – and I’m usually upstairs in bed with a book by 8:30 – 9. I must admit to looking forward to not being so tired so I can spend more time with DH in the evening. I don’t think that is going to occur anytime in the next year, though.

  8. 2.30: DD (32 months) wakes up from her nap.2.30-3.30: It’s still warm so we might go for a walk or a bike ride or if there is nothing left in the fridge, the grocery shopping.
    3.30-4.00 Pick my son at kindergarten and walk home.
    4.15 Walk in the door, kids have a snack
    4.15 to 5.30 ish. Depending on the weather and my energy level, we either go to the park, play in the yard, stay at home and play. New game: ‘you be the baby’. I’m the baby and make demands of my ‘parents’ like my daughter does of me, every friggin night. They are terribly devoted to my every whim. My daughter brings me coutless glasses or water and always with a smile (I feel like such a bitch).
    5.30. an hour of DVDs. Kids must negotiate what they want to watch. They are very good at negotiating:
    4.5 y.o: ‘How ’bout The Great Discovery
    2.5 y.o: ‘No, too long. Woddabout Bear’?
    4.5 y.o. ‘Ok, let’s choose a Bear’.
    I finish up preparing dinner ( which I have cooked the bulk of in the morning). Nothing taxing, usually a soup of some kind, some vegetables followed by cheese and deli meats.
    6.30: Kids eat, while I sit with them and we talk about the day. Immediately after dinner, brush teeth.
    After dinner, kids play till 7.30 when it’s time for pj’s. Stories follow till 7.45 and then some milk/one last sip of water and toilet. Both kids are in bed by 7.50. If all goes well and both kids are exhausted, I simply close the door and they fall asleep in a flash. DD ( did I mention she is 2.5) may stall somewhat with requests for everything and anything, but this has been happenieng less and less recently.
    7.30 to 8.30: hubby walks in the door. If kids are already in bed ( and awake), he’ll go in and give them a kiss. We have dinner the moment hubby changes out of work clothes.
    After dinner: It depends. Sometimes DH studies for the Management course he is doing and I watch season 4 of Sex and the City (Finally got my hands on the box set so am watching it in English) or, we watch a bit of tv together, or I keep him company with a book while he works in the study.
    P.s: 2.5 y.o will wake up at least once before we go to bed at around 11.00. Then possibly again ( and again) throughout the night. 4.5 year old rides his sister’s wake ups and doesn’t even flinch.
    p.p.s sorry this is so long!

  9. I forgot stats for the morning routine: 5 yo twins, a 2 yo, a full-time WOTH husband, a part-time WOTH me.Our evening routine – when I’m not working – typically starts when my husband gets home, around 6:15 or 6:30. We eat dinner together (I have it all ready b/c we are hungry and crabby by then) and then he takes over most childcare while I clean up. I CANNOT relax when my kitchen is messy. It’s a compulsion. I also find it very discouraging to come downstairs from the bedtime routine and discover a messy kitchen waiting for me.
    Anyway, we used to have a lot more play time in the evenings, but since my 5 yos have started school, they need to be in bed between 7:30 and 8. On bath night, they all disappear upstairs to take a bath in our big tub and I often pour a second glass of wine while I do the dishes, prep lunch boxes for the next day, and pick up the house. It’s SO MUCH EASIER to pick up when my older kids have been in school all day. There’s only so much damage they can do in a few hours. (If it’s not bath night, they play for a while and then we ALL pick up the house.)
    My husband guides the washing and I wander up there when I’m done and usually take over the 2 yo – diaper, pjs, books, bed. He spends time reading comic books or chapter books with the twins and puts them to bed.
    We make sure the house is picked up and sit on the couch together and talk about our days. Then we break out our laptops, side-by-side on the couch (nerds!), and have some computer time. I’m usually exhausted by 10 and go upstairs to read in bed, falling asleep by 11. My husband joins me sometime in there, depending on if he’s winning at online poker. 🙂

  10. I get back from work between 4:30 and 5:00 PM to filthy house and sick, depressed SAHD spouse. I nurse, and then play with 18-month old baby till dinner (usually made by aforementioned spouse) at 5:30 or 6:00.Alternate nights (when spouse is not sick) I say good night to baby at 6:30 and then walk dog and clean kitchen.
    The other nights, or every night when spouse is sick, I take baby up for bath at 6:30. Tooth brushing, toilet, then bed by 7:10 or so. Up to three books read aloud, then lights out. I tell stories till baby falls asleep, hopefully by 7:30.
    Then I either work for an hour and get to bed by 8:30, or head straight to bed, ready to deal with two night wakings on the baby’s part, my regular wakings due to severe back pain, and the knowledge that baby almost never sleeps later than 5:00 AM.

  11. On days when I don’t teach, I go get the Little Man at about 4:15. That puts me at daycare at 4:30, in time for him to have his afternoon snack, change, and outside time before I get there.We drive home, calling Grandmother on the way for The Daycare Report. She likes to know whether he napped, what he ate, and if he made any art.
    At home, he takes off his shoes and socks, greets the dogs and his dad, and plays while we make supper for him.
    Usually, supper is noodles and cheese and veggies, plus fruit and sometimes an additional food (like cheese or yogurt or a bit of bread), plus milk and dilute juice if it’s hot.
    Then he plays until about 6, takes a bath, and gets in his jammies. We play with him in his room until he brings over his favorite bedtime book.Then we read the book, tell him night-night, turn on his music (the Blade Runner soundtrack followed my Mozart, all on a small MP3 player), and put him to bed.
    We walk out, close the door and then go make our own dinner, followed by one hour of work followed by watching a video in bed, followed by sleep.

  12. 2 adults, one 2 year old, one almost 9 year old.I pick up the toddler from daycare. My partner picks up the 9 year old from his afterschool program. We meet at home around 4:30 or 5. That’s the only predictable part of this story.
    I have class two or three nights a week and leave around 5:30. The 9 year old has baseball practice twice a week at 5:00. I really have no idea about dinner because it is so varied from night to night and half the time I’m not around. I know we order pizza on Wednesday nights.
    Bedtime is pretty routine finally. Baths starting at 7. Teeth brushing and pjs for both boys. A little more playing then toddler taken to room to read books. Six of them now I think. Then lights out to snuggle and then he is put in bed hopefully at 8:00. Just got a big boy bed because he climbed out of the crib over the weekend. The transition hasn’t been as painful as I thought it would be.
    8:00 older boy gets in bed to read, listen to ipod. He will probably get up at least twice – once for water and once to go to the bathroom. If I am at home, we watch tv, fold laundry, clean up living room and kitchen. I try and get in bed by 10 since LO gets me up between 5 and 5:30. If I have class, I may not be home until 10 and then I typically stay awake an extra 30 minutes or hour just to catch up on the day before we go to sleep.

  13. One 2 yo, 40 weeks PG with #2, WFHM & D, and DS goes to daycare.5:15 – finish up work
    5:30 – pick up DS from daycare
    6:00 – start dinner. If we’re lucky we know what we are making ahead of time. Even luckier is if we have all the ingredients and / or have started prep before picking up DS.
    6:30 – eat
    7:00 – playtime, dinner clean-up
    7:30 – DS in the bath, then teeth, PJs, 3 books
    8:15 – lights out for DS
    8:30 – hit the couch
    10:30 – bedtime for me
    midnight – bedtime for DH
    So there’s potential for 2 hours of productivity every night that is spent in front of the TV instead.

  14. Working mom with 80% schedule; husband is college prof; one kindergartnerMon/Wed: 3:40 pm, husband meets daughter’s bus
    Tues/Thurs: 3:40 pm, I meet daughter’s bus
    Fri: 1:40 pm, I meet bus
    After that: play, perhaps on playground that’s a block away; errands (grocery, etc.); whatever
    Spouse that isn’t already home shows up at 5:00 or 5:30
    Husband makes dinner — we eat at 6:00 or 6:30
    Bath for daughter, roughly 7:00.
    Games, books, and other together time until her bedtime, 8:30.
    Moxie, I hear ya, that she sleeps through the night makes a big difference! Occasionally she will wake up with a need — bad dream, growing pain and needs ibuprofen, or whatever, and goes right back down — and I think *that’s* rough. How quickly we forget.
    Shandra, interesting about YouTube — we YouTube some too, when she gets interested in some random topic (lava flow from a volcano, octopus, you name it) and we can go see what one looks like in action. The Internet is amazing!

  15. From 5:30 (when I get home) until I fall into bed at night, I feel like I am running downhill.Around 4:30-ish (if the stars align), my husband picks the 4-yo and 10-month old up from day care. I have no idea what they do until I get home at 5:30, but sometimes, the baby is in the high chair eating Cheerios and whatnot and the 4-yo is crawling around on the kitchen floor under the high chair eating the Uh-Oh Cheerios.
    As soon as I walk in the door, I slip off my shoes, dump my four black bags on the front hall floor, walk to the kitchen sink, wash my hands, and jump into the evening.
    I either start dinner for all of us (which usually involves heating up the leftovers I made over the weekend or heating up an entree from Trader Joe’s and making a steamfresh bag of frozen veggies) or nurse the baby.
    20 minutes of telling the 4-yo to wash his hands and come to dinner ensues (I figure if he was actually hungry he would do it). Sometimes threats are issued, sometimes a time out, last night I started a star chart to somewhat good success. 4-yo doesn’t like what we are having and eats one noodle and one pea and pronounces it a “good dinner” (or he likes it very much and eats everything, asks for more, and there is none). Baby pulls everything off of the front of the refrigerator.
    The dishes are left where they are, but the leftovers are put in the fridge. It’s now 6:15.
    Alpha Male does that wrestling thing with the boys until 6:30 unless Alpha Male is suffering from Man-Flu, in which case he sits on the couch flipping between Simpsons and Star Trek while I do laundry, balance the check book, draw a bath for the kids, and cure cancer. At 6:30, children get vitamins, get naked, and get baths. Teeth are brushed (Star Chart has been instituted here as well because laying on top of him and forcing his mouth open was growing old…as was tricking him into brushing his teeth or whatever).
    Baby is overnight diapered and jammified. Meanwhile, 4-yo has decided he needs to exit the bath RIGHTNOW and needs help. Ask husband to help, please. 4-yo can’t wait and gets out by self, possibly slipping with wet feet on the floor on his way to the toilet. Crying ensues.
    Usually around 7:20. I nurse the baby and plop (gingerly set) him into his crib partially awake with a binky and a blankie and a fan running to block out the noise of the house.
    7:30 to 8:00, 4-yo goes to his bed with a story read by mom. Mom goes downstairs to discover that Dad has not cleaned up anything while she was upstairs wrangling and beeding children and starts to clean up from dinner, make bottles for tomorrow, wash pump parts, etc. Dad comes down from kissing good night and starts helping and feeling guilty.
    At 9, I go upstairs and lay out my clothes for tomorrow (in freakish detail) and take a shower. I read in bed and lights out by 9:45. Husband now realizes that it’s an hour later than he thought and comes upstairs for a shower set to LOUD (now with 80% more nose blowing and coughing). He comes to bed at 10:00 for the real lights out.
    Last night, my husband made the observation that we’re living the Portrait of Dorian Grey except he gets sick, and I stay well, he gets grey hair, and I just keeping getting hotter, he is getting pudgier in the middle, and I am shrinking away (ok, not really but the nursing). He really does get sick an awful lot and blames the kids bringing home illness from day care. I have no idea why I don’t get sick (I can’t…who would take care of us?).

  16. My evening routine has some problems. Hopefully you can figure out where they are… Personnel: self, husband, daughter 6 and son 3.4:45 husband leaves work to get son at day care. They pick me up at 5:05, son and I walk in to pick up daughter from afterschool at 5:15, and we’re all home by about 5:20.
    Kids start watching PBS kids. I unpack bags from the day and think about dinner. We try to do a weekly menu plan before we shop on Sundays, but don’t always follow it very well. Recently got a crockpot and I’m hoping that will help make dinner more timely some days. Husband and I mostly alternate cooking, not on a strict schedule.
    My goal is TV off and dinner on the table at 6. But sometimes the kids eat dinner on trays in the living room and the TV continues, and sometimes, especially when my very methodical husband is cooking, dinner is closer to 6:45. Let’s assume this was a good day, shall we?
    At say 6:30, daughter starts homework at the dinner table with me helping. Although she often starts it at afterschool, there is a fair amount to do, and what she has done often needs corrections as she rushes through and does it pro forma. Takes about half an hour to do it right, with lots of keeping her on task by me (yes, she is in first grade). Husband and son are playing, sometimes outside if it’s not pouring rain as it has for 10 days now.
    We bath every other night, around 7/7:30. Generally husband supervises baths (daughter has just started showering and needs some help still) while I work on the dishes. Then playing.
    Bedtime starts at 8pm. We split the kids. I read to daughter, she brushes teeth, drinks a cup of milk (yes I know this is the wrong order) and then goes to bed. Lights are on in her room; she often looks at Calvin and Hobbes or plays with small dolls in her bed for half an hour, but is usually asleep by 8:45-9. Husband reads to son, often gets him a snack (he is a crappy dinner eater), brushes his teeth, then spends at least an hour lying with him trying to get him to sleep, usually falling asleep before son. Son generally out by 9:30-10. The problem here is, son often takes a long nap at day care which he doesn’t really need any more.
    I am at my lowest energy point in the day between 4 and 7pm, and that’s the reason for a lot of our evening problems. My husband is a laissez-faire sort of individual and while he knows that enforced routines are good for everyone, he’s really bad at actually enforcing them. Thus we have way too much TV and too-late bedtimes.

  17. WOHM mother, WAH father, 2 kids: 1 year, 5 years.I pick up infant at 3:40 from daycare, drive to school to pick up 5 year old. We’re home by 4:20. Immediately upon coming home I put the laundry that I started in the morning in the dryer.
    We usually play together or walk to the library for books or do an art project for an hour to allow my husband to finish his day.
    Then we fix dinner together/eat/clean up/start the dishwasher (to be unloaded in the AM), usually finishing that process by 6:30. At that point we head upstairs for baths and pj’s and teeth brushing. I bring up the finished load of laundry and put it away.
    At 7 we play with the boys until 7:45, when we start reading books and then I rock the baby to sleep in his room while my husband reads one more book to our 5 year old and lights are out by 8:15.
    After that we either watch a Netflix movie/tv episode or read. I try to get something done creatively each night, so I knit while I watch television or forgoe the tv for using my sewing machine. Sometimes, though, I just sit. In bed at 10 PM.

  18. 3 yo boy, 4 yo girl, 1 SAHM 1 WOHDI pick DS up from preschool at 1:00 on MWF. At 3:00 we walk over to DDs school to pick her up at 3:15. We either stay and play for an hour or so, or do something else like the pool or library. I try to be home by 5:00 unless we go to the pool. If we go to the pool, we don’t need baths so dinner can be a little later.
    Kids watch PBS until dinner is ready between 5:30 and 6:00. Ideally we’re headed upstairs for a bath at 6:30.
    DH comes in from work around 7, helps finish getting ready for bed, gives daddy/animal ride of choice and reads a picture book chosen by DS. I lie down with them and read a chapter or two from DD’s current book. All asleep between 7:30 and 8:00.
    The adults have dinner by 9. One of us works on dinner, the other on lunches and other prep for next day. Clean up. Eat. Start dishwasher. Stage a load of laundry for next day. Sit and do computer stuff or watch something from netflix. In bed between 11 and 11:30.

  19. Generally my husband is home at 4:30ish. I take the baby upstairs and put him in his high chair so he can see me while I cook dinner which I start at 5:00. The older kids are downstairs watching Curious George after having done any writing practice and homework that needed to be done after school. After dinner we have family time with parents playing/reading/ect. to the older kids. Around 7:00 we start the bed process which involved changing into pjs, potty time and all that fun stuff. After everyone is ready we then say family prayer, brush teeth and then put the kids in bed. Tuck everyone in, turn in the moon (the night light) and the kids are in bed and hopefully going to sleep at 7:30. Sometimes they like to goof off in the bedroom but with school they seem to go to bed a lot faster and easier.

  20. Evening RoutineSuburban New England
    Two WOH parents (we both work in the next town)
    One almost 4-yr-old son in full-time daycare
    I leave work at 4:45ish and drive 5 miles to get son from daycare. We’re home by 5:30. Sometimes we play with neighbor kid if it’s nice out, or watch a video if it’s not. I attempt to make dinner if we are not having leftovers. I use the subscribe to the Six O’Clock Scramble (LOVE) so meals are always planned out ahead of time and I try to have at least one or two nights of leftovers so I don’t have to cook every night.
    Husband gets home between 5:30 and 6:30 depending on whether it’s a leftover night. He works later if I don’t have to cook.
    We all sit down to dinner together at 6:30, usually. After dinner, we all watch TV (usually a cooking show) for 15 minutes or so until it’s time to start the bedtime routine. We usually only do a bath twice a week, so on bath nights we start the routine earlier. We all go upstairs. Husband sits in bathroom while boy does his business on the potty. I get next day’s clothes laid out and fold laundry, straighten up, etc. One of us helps boy wash up, brush teeth, and put PJ’s on. We all read three books together and then one of us (usually husband) cuddles in bed with boy for 20 minutes or so. While he’s doing that, I make my lunch for the next day and wash my face, etc. Boy is officially in bed by 8:30. Husband comes downstairs and either vegges out at the computer or listens to music on the couch. I veg out in front of the TV. I go to bed around 10:00 and maybe read for ½ hour, if I didn’t fall asleep on the couch. Husband falls asleep on couch and then wakes up at 11:00ish to wash the dishes, then crawls into bed.
    Again, this is working pretty well for us now, but can so easily be thrown off kilter…

  21. I pick up the girls (aged 5 and 3) from daycare at 4:30. About one night a week we go directly to the library, and then another night a week we go to the gym. Or we may do something fun, depending on the weather, or do some errands. Most nights, though, we go home. I get all our stuff inside (for some reason, this little chore always seems like a huge pain in the ass to me—the whole clearing the car out of backpacks and lunchbags and coats and papers and children and hauling or herding everyone and everything into the house.) I should mention (see yesterday’s post) that I’ve been up since 5:15 and would really appreciate a chance to sit down. Instead, I empty lunchbags and Eldest’s backpack, sorting whatever I find there, get the mail and sort that, start washing whatever dishes may be in my way, clearing the dining table, changing out of work clothes and just generally picking crap up off the floor. Yesterday I cleaned the bathroom. The girls will be playing or maybe watching some tv, which I allow before dinner. They’re pretty good about not bothering to turn on the tv, which is nice. Once everything is sorted and the kitchen and dining table are clear, I start cooking dinner. Chances are, I have not had a chance to sit down yet. DH comes home around 6:00. He plays with the children, I set the table and put dinner out. Everyone sits and I serve, cutting food as necessary. Then I finally sit down. TV, if on, is off and now stays off unless it is Friday, which is movie night. We have a nice dinner. The girls are cute. After dinner, the table gets cleared or maybe not. Family time. We start the bedtime routine around 7:00, which usually means a bath for the girls. Pajamas, a snack (usually cheese and crackers, or apple and peanut butter, milk) and storytime on the couch. Brush teeth, potty. Into their room. It’s now usually almost 8:00. We are trying to get Younger adjusted to my leaving the room, as she wants me to stay with her. We have a song we sing. Cuddle time. Often (like last night) I will leave their room and get cleaned up and get into my own bed and hopefully get some reading done, or DH and I will talk. I’m usually asleep by 9:30. Another day done. Rinse, repeat.

  22. I forgot my stats yesterday, too. E-man is 5 and in kindergarten. Bug is 3 and in full-day preschool four days a week. DH works full-time with a 45 minute commute each way. I work from home part-time, four days a week.4:00 – Pick up E-man at school (he attends an extended day program). We stop at the bathroom on the way out. We hurry to the car and drive 20+ minutes to pick up Bug.
    4:30 – Arrive at preschool to pick up Bug. E-man usually runs into some of his old friends here — they are all recent graduates who have younger siblings at the school. I chat with teachers and parents. I love this school! It is always tough to get everyone back in the car.
    5:00 – Arrive home. In good weather, we eat snack outside and play for a few minutes.
    5:30 – Go inside. Remove shoes and jackets, try to get kids to remember to put away their things. E-man shows me his school clipboard with notes, work, etc. On Wednesdays, we head up to take a bath. They play in the bath while I read beside the tub. On other days, they play while I pick up or we read books.
    6:00 – DH calls to say he is leaving work. Kids sit on the couch and choose an episode of Curious George to watch. (Thank you, PBS Kids!) I start dinner, put away laundry, and pick up.
    6:30 – CG is over. The kids wander into the kitchen and wait for Daddy to arrive.
    6:45 – DH comes home. After a quick greeting, it is time for wrestle-mania. He and the kids play while I get dinner on the table.
    7:00 – Dinner. We all talk about our day while dinner music plays in the background. If the kids like what we are eating, dinner is smooth.
    7:45(ish) – DH takes the kids up to bed. He does PJs, bathroom stuff, reads two books, then sits for a few minutes with Bug until she is settled. I start cleaning up the kitchen while listening to NPR.
    8:15 – Kids are in bed. E-man falls asleep almost immediately. Bug tosses and turns and may come down for water or ask someone to rock with her. I finish cleaning up the kitchen and make E-man’s lunch.
    8:30 – Kitchen is clean. DH and I check email, work from home, or do small projects around the house.
    9:30 – Time to relax! We sit down to watch something previously recorded on TV. On a good night, I do a little sewing. Other nights I fold laundry.
    10:15 – Up to bed. DH checks on the kids while I turn off lights and lock up. We read for a few minutes.
    10:45 – Lights out.
    For the most part, I like the routine. I feel a little guilt about the kids watching TV, but CG is such a cute show, and sometimes I watch it with them. DH and I are looking to incorporate work-out time into the routine, but we’re not sure how yet.

  23. Wow – people have evening routines??? Ours is more a list of things that need to be done that changes on a daily basis. (Should note WOHM mom with SAHD, 4 kids newborn to 7 years). Our main consistencies are dinner around 6 (hubby typically cooks) and kids in bed at 8. My 7 year old needs to read 1/2 hour every night, so we work that in somewhere. Also, I should say we are in Wisconsin where it will be cold very soon, so we really have no routine right now because we are enjoying the weather and trying to work in walks and bike rides in the evening before it turns too cold/dark/snowy. We’ve been eating dinner really late!

  24. Cabber, they’re in bed around 9. The routine is washing, pajamas, brushing teeth, a book or two for the little one, then bed. Then 10 minutes later I come in and force the older one to turn off his reading lamp and stop reading. But that’s it.

  25. This stuff is so fascinating… We are: 1 work-at-home parent (moi), 1 high school teacher parent (him), a three-year-old daughter and two crazy small dogs.4 pm: Husband walks over to daycare to pick up the girl. I either scurry to finish last bits of work, start prepping dinner or bag both of those and walk over with him.
    4:30ish: The girl gets home and has a snack. We try to get her back outside for a bit – need to take advantage of the opportunity, since it’s gonna be cooold here in Maine pretty soon – but lately she’s been into playing inside with her dolls and imaginary friends instead. We like to foster the independent play (aka benign neglect!), so that’s fine by us.
    5:-5:15ish I start prepping dinner if I haven’t already. Husband is on primary kid duty, but if she’s indoors then I am typically involved as well (her choice, not his).
    6 pm: Eat dinner. She clears the table and helps put dishes in the dishwasher. I put away leftovers and load everything that can go in the dishwasher. My husband will do the dishes later… or tomorrow. Ugh.
    Outside playtime, quiet playing in the house, maybe a short walk.
    7 pm (if she hasn’t napped) or 7:30 (if she has): one parent does potty and teeth. The other parent takes her upstairs for pj’s and 3 stories. First story is in the chair, then there’s a trip downstairs to go to the bathroom and give the downstairs parent one more hug. Then back upstairs for two stories in bed. We turn on the CD player – either soft music or an audio book – and the white noise machine, then head downstairs with a promise to check on her in five minutes. Usually, that’s it. (We swap off on the jobs each night.)
    7:30 or 8: Bedtime for her is done. Hang out on the couch, read blogs (me), watch sports (him), have a glass of wine and occasionally watch a movie together.
    10-ish: Let the crazy dogs out, head up to bed.

  26. Ours varies day by day (generally predictably by day of the week), but most days looks something like this …DH picks DS (2.5) up from daycare between 4:30 and 5:00. May run some errands or takes DS home and plays outside ’til I get there around 6/6:30. Enthusiastic and wonderful greetings (mostly from DS) follow. DH goes inside and settles in recliner from which he will not move until dinner is served unless exhorted to do so and then only with much grumbling (ugh). DS also comes inside as front yard isn’t fenced, and I start trying to deal with fixing dinner (hopefully with something already 3/4 prepped), getting dogs (one must be walked on leash) out, getting my stuff in, etc. DH provides no help at all (except occasionally I do come home to the pleasant surprise that he has fixed dinner, which is wonderful. But rare).
    How have we fallen into this role of me fixing dinner even though I get home later and DH never helps with any aspect of this part of the evening? G-d only knows. Did I forget to mention that at this point in our day DS is often riding his spring-mounted SQUEAKY “rocking” horse, with DH turning the TV up louder and louder to drown out the noise? Ack! I am starting to remember to give DH specific instructions about what I need help with, i.e., “Can you please thaw/prep the frozen broccoli for dinner while I walk the dog?” but the underlying pattern is ridiculous. Disclaimer: that fact notwithstanding, our overall division of household labor is fair.
    Right. Somehow dinner comes together and we sit down and eat it between 6 & 7. Somewhere in there the dogs get fed. Then over the summer DS and I have been enjoying these late sunsets by going out for a walk from roughly 7 to roughly 8. Upon our return, I get DS to bed (we rarely do baths … oh the horror … but we swim 3-4 times/week and I figure the washing/soaking that accompanies that is enough), which involves … cup/bottle of milk (until recently a bottle, DS is now making changeover to cup entirely of his own initiative) … good night kiss for Daddy, again ensconced in recliner(!) … back to bedroom, diaper change, into jammies, brush teeth, read book, placed in crib with books. Removed from crib, allowed to come out and have one more drink of milk, returned to crib, small series of steps that must be followed (cover DS with blanket, turn radio on, hug/kiss DS, review something in a book, discuss leaving light ON and door CLOSED. Exit. That’s usually it for DS and he usually sleeps through the night (knock on wood) with perhaps one wake-up to find his pacifier or his snuggle. He wakes between 7 & 8 and is actually pretty patient about being fished out of crib … and doesn’t exit solo, though it’s a safe bet he could.
    I love our walks and am considering how to extend them into the shorter days of winter; we’re already staying out into the dark (as it now gets dark here around 7:30). I’m considering attaching 1 or more small lights to DS as we live in a pretty low-traffic area and I let him walk largely unfettered and not too close to me but obviously need to make sure I can find/grab him if I need to. Oh … very few streetlights in our area.
    Once DS is in bed, some chores get done; sometimes one or both of us is working on work-related stuff, often I’m catching up on my blog reading while DH watches TV and gets aggravated that even though I’m sitting in the same room I have no idea what’s being broadcast and thus cannot discuss it with him.
    Overall it’s a decent routine except for the 1/2 hour when I’m dealing with everything, and the part about getting DS in bed, though pretty minimalist, does wear me down if it stretches out too long.

  27. 2 WOH parents, one 1 3-1/2 y.o. son, one 5 m.o. daughter.4pm: I leave the city for long drive to DH’s work.
    5pm: Pick up DH. Start 2nd part of commute home.
    5:30-5:45pm: Drop DH off at DS’ preschool, continue on to DD’s daycare.
    6:15pm: Everyone meets up at home. If weather is nice, we change clothes and head out to playground or DS rides bike and DD sits in Ergo for walk.
    7:00pm: Ideally, previous thought has been put into dinner. I start dinner while DH plays with DS or watches TV with him. DD sits in bumbo/rolls around on blanket/cries for me. Depends.
    7:30pm: Dinner on table. I nurse DD and eat with one hand. DS complains that he’s not hungry, or cries that he doesn’t want dinner (he has enough “power”), etc. Much cajoling/playful parenting to get him to eat something.
    8:00pm: I take DD up, rock her and sing a few songs, then lay her down in her co-sleeper. It sometimes takes a few tries, but she will fuss herself to sleep. THANK GOD.
    8:30-9pm: DS finishes playing, brushes teeth, complains some more about how he’s not tired, then eventually goes upstairs with DH. They read a book and DH usually lays down with him until he falls asleep.
    9-10:30pm: Collapse in front of TV until I realize I’d better get lunches ready before I fall asleep. Clean kitchen, pack lunches, etc. DH joins me unless he’s fallen asleep with DS.
    10:30-11pm: Stumble upstairs, trying not to wake sleeping DD in our room. Often she wakes up just as I’m going to bed. Happy, happy, joy, joy!
    DD wakes up 2-3 times during the night to nurse. DS often wakes up at least once, yelling, “DADDY!!!!”

  28. Thinking about it I realized the “routine” I described above applies actually only to Tuesday evenings though the after dinner through bedtime bit applies to most. Mondays are DH’s night out and he picks DS up from daycare but then we do a handoff at my gym and I take DS home, prepare our dinner (often just leftovers or cheese, bread, fruit when it’s just him & me). Tuesdays look as described. Weds. I’m home from work (and we have no childcare) in the afternoons and can do dinner prep during naptime. Thurs. night is my night out and I don’t see family until I get home around 10 or 11 and see DS (asleep) and DH. Fridays I pick DS up from daycare and DH is home later and some of the craziness of Tuesdays recurs.I’m not sure whether having the “routine” different every night makes it more or less tolerable, but I think it’s the former.

  29. @Moxie, I actually try to make my life ‘small’ on purpose. The fewer complications/options there are, the more consistently serene we can be. I focus on what works for us and don’t deviate much from that tight circle. I find it very predictable and regularly satisfying, which is how we function best. There will be plenty of time for worldliness later. ‘Small’ can be a good thing!Anyway, PM routine:
    SAHM to 2.5 y/o girl & 1 y/o boy in the PA ‘burbs:
    I start dinner (defrost, assemble ingredients, chop & prep) while they nap (DS 11/11:30-2 @ DD 12-2/2:30) …
    DH home @ 4:15
    DH & DD play outside while DS & I finish dinner 4:15-5
    5pm dinner
    5:45 DS & I upstairs for bath & bed while DH & DD clean up dinner dishes & kitchen (AMEN AND THANK YOU GOD FOR MY HUSBAND)
    DS bath & PJs 5:45-6:15
    DS books & nursing 6:15-6:45
    DS asleep by 6:45
    I’m back downstairs by 7 to bring DD up for her bath until 7:30
    DH upstairs by 7:30 for books & prayers for DD — lights out for her between 7:45 & 8pm
    DH & I work/relax downstairs until 8:46ish and lights out by 10.
    If I have to go out in the evening, (book group, meetings) I leave after DS is asleep and DH puts DD down, but then she usually does not get a bath on those nights.

  30. Single mom, three-year-old twinsWork outside the home
    Portland, OR
    5:30–by this time, I’m home if it’s a nanny day or we’re all home if it was a pick up the kids from preschool day.
    5:30 to 6:00–Kids entertain selves w/varying degrees of success. Mostly, they look at books. I make dinner for them.
    6:00–Kids eat. I sit with them, but don’t usually eat at this time. I’m trying to make it so that we all eat together at this time, but that requires a lot of planning.
    6:30-ish–Dinner is over. We play or do bath/shower.
    7:00–We watch a show together, usually Dora. Kids drink milk.
    7:30–Stories, then brush teeth/make one last wee, into bed for lots of kisses and snuggles and some songs.
    8:00–Lights out. I do 1,969 chores: cleaning, prep for the next day, paying bills, etc. I try to be done with that kind of work by 9:00.
    9:00–My relax time. I usually watch shows from Netflix, read, spend too much time on the computer, eat junk food, berate self for eating junk food, blah.
    10:30–In bed for some reading time.
    11:00–Lights out. It all starts again at 6:30 a.m.

  31. Papa works a flex job about 30-45 minutes away.Mama stays home.
    Girl is 11 months old and still nursing.
    We try to do dinner around 6pm. Hopefully if all goes well hubby can be there, too. We live in a condo downtown near plenty of restaurants so I have to say (especially when hubby doesn’t come home) we eat out for dinner a lot. I wasn’t really a cook before baby, and I had to realize that expecting myself to learn now was probably being too hard on myself. We’re still working on it, though.
    After dinner is a walk in the park (no, literally, we walk in the park). We try to be home between 7 and 7:30pm to start the bedtime routine which is…
    Dad gives baby a bath (she is filthy from feeding herself) while Mama showers.
    Mama nurses baby then puts her to bed while Papa showers. This involves changing into jammies, turning off her light, being put in crib and getting read to (while she merrily plays about and looks completely untired). Then I turn out the hallway light, kiss her and lay her back down (which she does without complaint), close the curtain (she doesn’t have a full wall and door) and that’s it. Hopefully that is all completed by 8pm.
    We parents then check email and just do our own thing until about 9pm when we close down the house and get into bed to talk, try to read the Bible and pray before we’re hopefully asleep by 10pm.

  32. 1 5-year-old in kindergarten, 2 WOH parents, but dad works more hours than mom. Central SF.(all this is assuming the usual, which is that I don’t have to work late–if I do, then Mr. C does the routine up until I get home.)
    -5:15-5:30ish: leave work, catch train
    -between 5:30 & 6: pick up Mouse from onsite afterschool program
    -grab a snack near school if she’s hungry (usually)
    -at this point in the process we have 3 choices of neighborhoods in which to run any necessary errands: the Castro where Mouse goes to school, the upper Haight which is a short bus ride from school and a short walk from home, or Cole Valley which is also a short bus ride from school and an even shorter walk from home. Depending on what errands need running, we do some combination of buses, walking, and doing them. If no errands need running, we can take a bus straight to our corner. Usually we’re home by 6:30 or 6:45.
    -unload workbag, school bag, errand stuff
    -if Mr. C will be home at a decent hour, Mouse and I cook together; she sets the table
    7:30ish: dinner
    (if Mr. C won’t be home at a decent hour then I feed Mouse something basic and cook again after Mouse goes to bed)
    8ish: Mouse gets to watch a DVD while we tidy up and get the bath ready
    8:30: bath
    9:00: book reading, talking, etc. until she’s actually sleepy
    9:30 or 9:45: Mouse in bed, quick snuggle with the lights out and then (OMG, this has just started this week!! I hope it keeps up!!) she says she’s ready and tosses me out
    10:15: catch up, talk, TV, laundry, extra work, etc.
    12:30ish: bed for parents

  33. I also forgot to put stats up yesterday. Two WOH parents with DS age 2 – my job is a fixed schedule (generally 8 – 4:30) and husband is self-employed who travels a lot. When he’s home, he’s home a lot, but then he might be gone for 1 – 2 weeks at a time.When husband is home….
    4:30 Leave work
    4:50 Arrive home, debrief nanny/sister on the day. DH is usually already home making dinner
    5:00 Nanny leaves, I head upstairs with DS. I change into comfy clothes, and DS plays on my bed reading books or watching In the Night Garden
    5:20 DH yells dinner warning. We wash hands and head downstairs
    5:30 Dinner.
    After dinner we all hang together until 6 p.m (on a bath night), or 6:30 p.m. on a non-bath night.
    I take DS upstairs for bath (if necessary), teeth brushing, jammies, into sleep sac (I love that he is still in this, it prevents him from climbing out of crib), we read three books, sing a song, “talk” about our day and then into bed with lights out between 7 – 7:15.
    I head downstairs – DH has usually cleaned kitchen and we veg on the couch, usually with our respective laptops.
    Upstairs to bed at 9:30 for me (DH really varies on bedtime), read for half hour and then lights out.
    When DH is away the timing of the schedule is the same but I have to make dinner so I rely on a lot of take out of frozen meals that I can pop in the oven before I head upstairs to change out of my work clothes.

  34. WOH me (mom), WOH dad, twin 3.5 year old boys. Half day preschool and then nanny until 6 pm .Well, everything’s just changed since the boys started preschool for the first time 2 weeks ago. I’m still ambivalent about the changes to the dinner schedule, but here goes:
    6 pm: I arrive home & husband follows within the next 1.5 hours, depending on the day and his workload. If it’s Mon – Thurs, I play, play, play for a whole hour with the boys. It’s BLISSFUL, stress-free, quality time. BUT! They’ve eaten dinner with their nanny. Dinner I prepared on the weekend, but still… I HATE that I don’t eat with them. But otherwise, because I get home at 6, by the time I could get dinner on the table it would be 6:45 and they have to go to bed by 7:30 otherwise they’re DEAD the next morning for school. So, it really wouldn’t work the other way — they’d be going to bed with very full tummies and no play time with me, which would kinda suck.
    7:00 bath, brush teeth, pjs, 2 books, song.
    7:30 lights out and they’re konked out literally 2 min later since they dropped their naps recently.
    Fridays, I work from home so I can prepare dinner throughout the day, bake some bread, basically make up for the mommy guilt and cook up a storm so that by 6pm, the whole family can sit to a fun, long-ish dinner.
    Yeah, CLEARLY I’m still conflicted about this schedule, now that I read it back to myself.

  35. 2 WOH parents, 1 3 year old boy, 1 dog. Husband travels quite a bit (M-F).Husband out of town:
    4-5: My mom or my mother-in-law picks up the boy from daycare, and takes him to either their house or my house. They usually do 2 days each. Husband picks up on Fridays if his return flight is in early enough (it usually is).
    5: I leave work and pick up son. One night a week we eat dinner at my in law’s, so I drive to my house to pick up the dog, then to their house.
    5:45: arrive home, change clothes, start dinner. My son plays with cars or his train table or watches some Noggin.
    6-7: cook and eat dinner
    7: more playing. Sometimes we take the dog for a walk around the neighborhood and my son rides his trike.
    7:30: bath time on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or if he is especially filthy
    8: story and lights out
    I try and motivate myself to do something off of my To Do list, but I usually end up taking advantage of having the TV to myself and watch something I have DVR’ed.
    10:30: bed
    Husband in town:
    5: Husband picks up son from daycare.
    5:45: I get home and change clothes and start dinner
    6:30-7:30: I usually do the cooking unless we grill, but he will help if I need it. Son plays or watches Noggin. We all eat together.
    7:30: Bath on bath nights
    8: story and lights out
    The rest of the evening we usually veg out and watch TV together, or I will try and work on some house projects.
    10:30: bed

  36. SAHM, 2yo, 6mo. Our schedule just changed because WOHD just took a new job that requires much longer hours, at least for now.When dad is not home:
    Around 5pm, we head home usually from the park or from a walk.
    Try to have dinner on the table around 5:30/5:45pm. 2yo eats, 6mo eats/chews on spoon, and if I’m really lucky I get to eat also.
    Around 6:15pm, both kids get a bath.
    6:30pm out of bath for diapers and jammies.
    7pm 6mo nurses and goes down for the night while 2yo watches a DVD.
    7:55pm 2yo brushes teeth.
    8pm 2yo down for the night.
    9:30/10pm 6mo wakes to nurse again, after which I go to bed.
    If dad is home at a reasonable hour:
    5:30pm start on more elaborate dinner.
    6:30pm dad arrives home and we eat. If I’m lucky, I get to eat half my dinner.
    6:45pm 6mo gets bath, 2yo can hop in if he wants.
    7pm nurse 6mo to bed.
    7-8pm both parents play with 2yo and he may watch a little bit of a DVD after he brushes his teeth and picks up toys before bed at 8pm.
    8-10pm hubby and I watch tv or chat or play on computers together.
    10pm 6mo nurses and I fall asleep.

  37. 1 work-at-home dad, 1 WOHM, 1 4yo, 1 2 yo.5pm pick up both kids from day care.
    5:15 arrive home and immediately start fixing dinner. None of my dinner recipes take longer than 30 minutes to fix, and often less, because this is the witching hour and everyone’s grumpy. Daddy entertains the kids, reads books, and starts homework or other projects with the kindergartner.
    5:45-6:00 dinnertime! I always swore I would absolutely NOT fix two different dinners for parents/kids, but now I do that about half the time. How to avoid this? I hate doing this but I HAVE to fix myself a salad sometimes and my kids won’t eat it. Anyway.
    6:30 clear the table and play with the kids or read to them until…
    7:00 bedtime routine begins. 4yo can get in her own pjs and brush her teeth. 2yo bedtime routine is short and sweet, and I usually take it: pjs, teeth, prayers, story, popped in the crib. Daddy takes the 4yo, who has a more elaborate version of the same thing and is reading chapter books now. We don’t do baths most nights.
    7:30-8:00 (ish) kids are in bed. Some stab at doing the dishes and tidying the living room is attempted most nights, sometimes laundry. Usually I spend an hour reading while my husband works in his woodshop, then we watch an hour of TV, then read in bed together for a while. I exercise if I didn’t do that earlier in the day.
    10:30 lights out! No exceptions!

  38. SAH mom, WOH dad4 yo girl, 21 mo boy
    Suburban midwest
    4:15: Bill gets home, which is just after the kids get up from their rest and nap times, unless of course they decide they don’t really NEED rest and nap times, in which case we are out in the driveway making chalk pictures or riding trikes.
    4:30 After a brief run-down of each others days, I tag him. HE IS IT.
    4:45 If I am lucky I am in a warm bath, drinking something with vodka in it, eating olives and reading The Week. If I am not so lucky I am hiding out trying to catch a quick break. The kids have a hard time switching over from just mom mode to mom and dad mode so we’ve found it helpful for me to just go away for 15-30 minutes. I am very OK with this arrangement.
    5:30 Eat dinner which husband cooks. (Don’t hate me for this. I’ve tried to cook. I just can’t. I think there is something wrong with my genetic code. I’m OK with this also, and so is Bill as he doesn’t mind cooking.)
    6:00 One of us cleans up dinner and general house messiness while the other one entertains the monsters.
    6:15 If it’s bath night, we both go up and bathe them, trying to talk over the screeching and various yellow ducks being thrown at our heads. If not we go for a walk or to the park.
    7:00ish We settle in for story time, which we split up. I take my daughter downstairs and read to her out of an anthology or chapter book. My husband keeps our son upstairs and says he is reading him Wild Things but the thumps from above sound suspiciously like a wrestling match. Or a monster truck rally.
    7:20 We come together for payers so they can bless all the ants they may have stepped on, the worms they saw dried up on the sidewalk and that poor fat caterpillar that my son accidentally stepped on when going in for a closer look. Then we sing 4-5 songs and we are done for the night. Hopefully.
    7:35 We race each other to the TV as we are in the middle of the last season of Battlestar Galactica (and also watching season 3 of Dexter) and here we sit for 2-3 hours because we are addicts. When we have to actually be adults, my husband works from home all evening (which happens quite often as it ensures that he can be home every day by 4ish.) and I write or research fun activities for the next day or other parenting crap.
    Lights out somewhere between 10:30 and 11:30.

  39. Hmm, I really need to see the morning routines paired with the evening routines. I’m don’t quite understand all these people who are picking their kids up at daycare at 4 pm – I’ve still got another 90 minutes of work ahead of me at 4 pm! Anyway…Cast of characters: mom and dad, both working fulltime outside of the home; 18-month old daughter
    5:45 Mom picks up daughter at daycare
    6:00 Mom picks up dad at work
    6:45 – 7:00 Arrive home after $@%& commute
    7:00 – 7:15 Pick up mail, change daughter out of school clothes, put away work and school bags
    7:15 – 7:45 Sit down to dinner as a family. This is usually some casserole or soup that we made on the weekend, or takeout or something simple like burritos.
    7:45 – 8:15 Play with daughter, read books, bathtime if she’s really dirty.
    8:15 – 8:30 Brush teeth, daughter to bed
    8:30 – 9:30 Mom and Dad TV time
    9:30 – 10:00 Mom gets ready for bed and 5:30 am wakeup call.

  40. Megan – I hear you…I didn’t understand all the people dropping kids off a school and day care at 9 am and getting to work by 10. If I consistently showed up at 9, I’d probably lose my job. As it is, getting in at 8 is pushing the late train a little around here. I work 8-5, husband 7-4 to stagger our days to minimize the number of hours the kids are in day care (because I have some guilt, but that’s my issue).

  41. I am a SAHM and my husband WAH. (nearly 3 yr old son and a newborn daughter)Around 5pm “Curious George” comes on, so it allows me to attend to dinner while my son can kind of relax. Usually I am finishing up the prep while my daughter is in the sling or the bouncy chair. Sometimes there is an attempt to tidy up things. Three days a week my husband will come up stairs from work around 5:15 and go running or ride his bike. (gives him time to work out and shower before dinner) The rest of the time he comes up about 6pm Around 6:15 we eat together. Truth be told, I scarf down food so I can then nurse my daughter. After dinner my husband cleans up our son and there might be a bit of play-time. My husband handles bath nights with our son. (we handle bathing duty for the baby together after our son has gone to bed) Then it is potty-time/pajamas/teeth-brushing. Everyone relaxes in the living room, usually listening to music. 7pm my husband handles bedtime. Reads some stories, talks about the day & hugs goodnight.
    I am nursing, tidying up various messes, checking my email.
    Usually my son falls asleep by 8. Though there are the nights when he decides to play with his toys or look at books in bed. He is usually pretty quiet.
    Our daughter might go to sleep for awhile. We will usually watch something on the tv/listen to the radio/talk. My husband will likely work on something on his lap-top and we end up going to bed by 10-11pm.
    It is kind of rigid but it has made our son’s sleeping patterns much more consistent. He sleeps longer and better.
    Of course I am up in the night with the baby, but that isn’t too bad.

  42. The cast: WOH mom, currently-unemployed dad, 21-month-old son.6:00 – Leave work.
    6:45 to 7:00 – Arrive at home. If it’s a daycare day, husband has picked up the kidlet at 6:30. They may be at the playground across the street or inside the house.
    7:15ish – I get dinner on the table for me and the toddler. Often it’s leftovers I’ve heated up, or mac-n-cheese. If I’ve been organized enough to make something more elaborate (dinner a la crockpot), then my husband has some too. Otherwise he prefers to eat salad later.
    7:30 – Either bath with me or “tee-tee” (TV) with dad. They watch 30 minutes of “Cars”, “Madagascar 2”, or “Bolt”.
    8:00 – Bedtime. I change our son’s diaper and get him into pajamas. Then we go into his room and turn the light off and the white-noise machine on, and he nurses while I sing him three songs. Then I say to him, “Okay, it’s time to go sleepies in your bed now,” and usually he yells “NOOO!” and runs to the baby gate in the doorway, and starts crying. I leave quickly by stepping over the gate, and basically hide elsewhere in the house for the 5-10 minutes it takes him to stop crying and climb into his bed.
    8:30 – Clean up debris from dinner, have a chance to take my bath or else prep tomorrow’s dinner while husband cleans our 4 cats’ litterboxes, waters houseplants, and gives food and medicine to the cat with digestive and thyroid issues.
    9:00ish – Sit down to watch a pre-recorded TV show with husband while he eats his salad.
    10:00ish – Start getting myself ready for bed. Brush teeth, wash face, take asthma meds. Give medicine and treats to the cat with cancer and the cat with arthritis.
    10:30ish – In bed if I’m smart. If anything took longer than planned, bedtime may be closer to midnight.
    1:30 am – Son’s first wakeup of the night. If husband is still awake, he deals with it. Otherwise I’m up for a half-hour.
    4:30 am – Son’s second wakeup. Husband is fast asleep by now, so I go in and hold my son, sing him a song and rock him. When he seems calm and sleepy, I put him back in bed. 50-50 chance he will again scramble out of bed and yell for a few minutes.

  43. Us: WOH parents, 20 month old son-Somewhere between 4:15 and 4:30 (4:00 if I can swing it) – leave work and arrive at daycare (just a few blocks from the office). Monkey usually wants to play at daycare a bit, show me toys, etc.
    -Arrive home by 5. Nurse if Monkey is interested (he seems to be dropping that in the last couple of weeks).
    -Monkey either runs around playing or watches Dora while I get dinner together (involves little effort as it’s been planned the night before – quick salad of pre-washed greens and whatever veggies I have around, rice in the rice-cooker and either a slow cooker dish or something I’ve previously made and frozen, or a bbq chicken we’ve stopped and picked up on the way home if I’ve slacked off on meal planning that week)
    -Monkey ready to eat between 5:30 and 6. If husband is home (not usually) we’ll all eat together. Otherwise, Monkey eats while I chat with him and putter around kitchen and check email.
    -After dinner Monkey and I play and Skype with grandparents. Husband almost always home by 7, and takes over play-time while I get bath ready. Husband bathes monkey (it’s quick, monkey hates it).
    -Brush teeth (keep meaning to remember to do this right after dinner but always forget), into pj’s and night diaper, kiss dad goodnight and settle into rocker with mom to nurse and I sing to him. Used to then put monkey down in crib where he’d easily fall asleep on his own with a blankie and soother. Since 18 months life has been turned upside-down on the sleep front and it now takes lots of rocking, cuddling, back rubbing etc and several attempts at it to get him to settle to sleep. It seems like forever at the time but he is usually asleep by 8 so in reality it’s never more than a half hour of that.
    Can’t wait for things to get back to normal on the sleep front. Life will be much better then. 21 months, right? I just have to make it until then??
    After monkey is asleep I either settle down to work for a couple of hours, by 9:30 wrap that up and shower, lay out clothes for the next day, take meal out of freezer or set up slow cooker, prepare fruit for monkey for breakfast the next day, and go to bed. It is usually pretty seamless and stress-free, mostly because dinner is largely taken care beforehand. We do a lot of mass-cooking and freezing into meal-sized portions on the weekends (our deep freeze gets a lot of use!). We love curries and they freeze really well, so we have a lot of go-to curry meals in the freezer, and some chilis, pasta sauces and casseroles. I NEVER cook anything without at least doubling it (and usually tripling or even quadrupling it) – doesn’t take much more work and it means my freezer is always well-stocked with healthy meals. Not having to think about dinner during the week is priceless.

  44. I meant to say, I don’t work every evening! Often evenings are spent tackling minor projects around the house, watching a pvr’d show, sometimes even spending some time with husband for a minute or two! Pilates class one night a week but other than that exercise is pretty low on the priority list, which is something that I really need to change.

  45. between 4:30-5:00 leave work, pick up DD2 from preschool, then DD1 from the afterschool program (or DH picks up DD1)5:45 throw together a dinner. Feed cats. DD1 does whatever homework was not done during afterschool program.
    then eat dinner
    around 6:30/6:45 bathtime — while DH bathes the kids (teeth brushed in bath), I clean up after dinner & hopefully make lunches for the kids as well. Kids pick out clothes for the next day.
    after baths, I brush the kids’ hair, read bedtime story geared to DD2 and hopefully put DD2 in bed between 7 & 7:30.
    read bedtime story to DD1/work on her reading, she’s in bed between 7:30 and 8. during DD2’s reading time, DD2 comes out of the bedroom multiple times to see what is going on.
    after 8 — paperwork, getting ready for the next day, checking email, and TV time. clean cat box & deal with old cats’ meds, etc.
    9:30/10 wash face/brush teeth/bedtime!

  46. I’ll do both morning and night:Both dh and myself work out of the home. 4 yr old dd.
    6:15 alarm goes off
    6:45 get dd and bring in bed for morning cuddle time
    7:15 get out of bed
    7:15-8 DH gets dd ready for preK while I get showered and dressed and my lunch made
    8 leave for preK – walk or take the streetcar the 5 blocks to her school
    8:15-8:25 hang out at preK until dd gets settled in for breakfast
    arrive at work by 9.
    5:00 leave work
    Mon- I head to my second job and dh takes care of the evening – I arrive home about 9:30pm and sit in front of the tv until 11 or so.
    Tues-Thurs Most days DH picks up dd from prek and comes home and cooks dinner while I play with dd/get minor chores done.
    6:15ish dinner
    6:45ish I get kitchen to some semblance of clean
    7:15 start bedtime routine (DH gets dd in her pjs, brush teeth, etc and reads one story; then I read the second story and spend some time cuddling in the rocking chair)
    DD in bed by 8 latest; 7:45 hopefully
    Fri- meet dh and dd at a restaurant and then go to synagogue. Home by 9:30pm and dd goes straight to bed.

  47. I’m so impressed by what everyone has shared. Folks have a ton on their plates. I wish I could cook & enjoyed crafting, but alas my talents are definitely not in those areas. We really don’t have any per se routines to speak of – the goal is always “early to bed.” For everyone. Which we accomplish at the expense of things like TV and cleaning. Some nights, DH and I are even asleep before our 22 month old and the dog. 😉

  48. At about 4:30, I leave the office and run to the subway 2 blocks away for the 40 minute commute. The day care is two blocks from the house and 4 blocks from the subway, so I stop there and get older son (3.5 years), and then we run home. We get home at 5:30 or so when the 8-month baby lunges for us and the babysitter leaves. (sometimes I reverse the order, with getting the baby and then the older one)Play, giggle, roll around on the floor until about 5:50. Give both kids dinner from leftovers the night before. Baby is in bath at 6:10, out of bath at 6:20, in bed by 6:30
    Older son finishes eating around 6:20, brush teeth, potty, and bath, until 6:50. Story, song, bed.
    We collapse on the couch, watch a bit of Jeopardy, and then I start cooking dinner.

  49. A typical evening:I leave work at 4:30, drive ~45 minutes toward home & pickup twin 26-month-old twins from daycare.
    Arrive home 5:40, DH has just arrived home himself and helps unload the ladies from the van. We all troop in and one of us gets dinner started (often cooked the night before & just reheated). Dinner together at the table, with some playing and preliminary face/hands cleanup, usually done by 6:30. A little bit of playtime while DH and I catch a few minutes of the evening news, then bathtime ~6:45. Upstairs by 7:10 or so, followed by ~20 minutes of crazy playtime with all of us in their room. Lately I’m lucky if I can get 5 minutes of quiet laptime with both girls while they finish a cup of milk each.
    BabyB gets to turn off the light, then there are cuddles and they’re plunked into cribs. Most nights it’s about 5 minutes of arranging of dollies, animals and blankies, with various tucking-ins and goodnights. We turn on the fan (white noise) and the soft music, close the door and go into our room to change into walking clothes. Most nights someone calls out for a hug and a re-tucking-in, then we head downstairs to clean up the kitchen and trade turns taking a walk. It’s been nearly 8 lately when we get to this point. We’ll putter around (laundry, TV, internet, misc.) until 9:30-10, then go read in bed til about 11 and lights out.
    We haven’t been using the baby monitor for a few weeks now. They sleep soundly and can settle themselves well, but there were random midnight cries and fusses that were waking ME up, but not them — they’d be quiet by the time I stood up to go in their room. So, I just turned the darn thing off and no one is any worse for the wear.
    Also, I’ve played the exact same music every night of their lives — started in hopes of setting a consistent bedtime/sleepytime background. I think I do it now more for me, but I love it and the CD isn’t worn out yet. (Rostropovich — Bach cello suites)

  50. Moxie: you walk – if I remember right – 24 blocks in the am to get kids to schools and yourself to work. Then 8 more after work, and 5? more to get home. Who needs exercise?? You could use it for destressing, but you don’t need it for cardio and bone health! Lugging backpacks and lunches and briefcases and pulling preschoolers … you’ve got the weight training, the heart-rate acceleration … stairs …:)
    Just one way you can give yourself a pass, I’d say.
    Our evening routine sucks right now purely because of our 2.5 yr old who doesn’t believe he needs to close his eyes at night and won’t.absolutely.refuses. to let go and fall asleep.
    I need to let go of the emotional manipulation of “mommy don’t leave though I won’t lie still or be quiet for ANYTHING and am exhausted and will fall asleep 3 minutes after you walk out but I will sound so pitiful weeping when you leave that you can’t stand it” rigamarole …
    I know it will get better. Our 6 yr old was awful for years at bedtime and now he is a dream – eager for sleep, grateful for lights out … as am I now so I’ll stop rambling!!

  51. We are both WOH parents to twin boys, 2.5We’ve been struggling lately with the post-bath routine, maybe someone here has suggestions. Anyway, here it is:
    3:55 I leave work on my bike
    4:00 I arrive home to relieve the nanny, and play with them, maybe go for a run with them in the stroller, and maybe do some dinner prep
    5:00 husband gets home, and one of us makes dinner for real, we both play with the boys, do chores
    6:00 dinner
    6:30 I do bath, husband cleans up
    ~6:50 out of bath and dry. In theory they’re now supposed to get jammies on and then feed cats, read stories/quiet play in the living room. Lately this time has evolved into crazy naked time. I tell them they can’t have stories or feed the cats until they get jammies on, and they’ve been choosing to just be crazy up until
    7:25 enough! Jammies now! No time for stories in living room! Here I insist that they get jammies on, ‘helping’ them if necessary. this has been getting better recently, but can be ugly
    7:30 brush teeth, potty
    then we go in their room, dad says good night, and we read 2 stories on the big former nursing chair. Then lights off, they hop into bed, and I sing two lullabies. I wish wish wish I could leave at this point, or at least sit quietly in the room while they fell asleep. Most often there are multiple requests for changes of blankets, or for dad to come in, etc. Sometimes it gets really ugly with one wanting dad, the other not wanting me to leave. For some reason it really bugs me when we’re both in there. If all seems relatively calm I stick around for a few minutes, kiss them each goodnight, then leave. Then boy A starts calling my name, or runs out of bed, etc. I’ve cured the running out of bed by silently returning him each time, so now he mostly just cries out for me to stay. And I wouldn’t mind staying, except he’s not the type to quietly drift off, he squirms and talks to himself and is just kind of annoying. Ugh, I can’t believe I am calling my dear sweet boy annoying. Anyway, it’s not until 8:30-8:45 that they are actually both asleep. Meanwhile DH is cleaning up, or doing work.
    8:45-9:00 I catch up on email, review papers, buy stuff online, pay bills. On weekends we watch a movie.
    11:00 time for bed

  52. I should add that while boy A is doing his squirming, and ‘mum snuggle loo’, and panting and so on, boy B is usually actually calmly lying there, going to sleep. At least there’s that.

  53. Characters: Me (work part-time), Spouse (work full-time), 20-month daughter L.On the days I work away from home, the routine is something like this:
    4:30-ish: I arrive home. Take advantage of the time to work out. At least in theory.
    5:00: Spouse arrives home. Depending on just when he gets home and whether I’m done working out, one or both of us walks (10 min) to Grandma’s house to fetch L. Sometimes Grandma walks with L down to us instead.
    Sometime between 5:30 and 6, we’re all home and we start fixing dinner. On the days I work, Spouse generally does most of the cooking, while I play with L. Fridays (when I don’t work) are always pizza night, which is mostly my job (and which I started around 4 since I make my own dough. Yum.)
    Hopefully by 6:30, we’re all eating dinner. On a good night, L is sufficiently interested in eating that she stays in her chair until we’re mostly done, then walks around and around and around the dining room table giggling. On a less good night, she’s not very interested in eating, and the laps around the table don’t hold her attention long enough to let us finish, and she gets whiny.
    When we’re done with dinner (around 7) we might do a little bit of clean up with L (“Can you put your crayons in this box? No, sweetie, let’s not get out more blocks right now…”) but as often as not, it’s straight to bath-time. Spouse handles the bath and its accompanying rituals (of which there are many, as I learn every time I try to do the bath instead). I work on cleaning up the kitchen.
    By around 7:45, L is hopefully out of the bath and spouse is getting her diaper and jammies on. These days, she is very particular that she wants her bedtime books read by Mama, so I go upstairs and do that. Then it’s time for milkies — yes, she still nurses to sleep. Spouse kisses her goodnight and goes downstairs to take over kitchen cleanup, litterbox cleaning, and whatever other chores need doing. On a good night, she’s asleep and in her crib by 8:30. Recently that has tended to be more like 9:00 or even 9:30, though — a late start to dinner throws off the whole routine, or L just won’t settle down and nurse, or something.
    In theory, spouse and I have time for ourselves between 9 and 10, and then go to bed at 10. In practice, bedtime has been creeping towards 10:30 — but with a 5:30 wakeup, that’s really doing me in.
    On which note … it appears to be 9:59.

  54. One of the pick kid up at 4:30 moms to explain:I don’t work 40 hours a week. I am in school part-time at night and my employers know that I’m in a job right now, not a career and they are okay with that. My schedule is 8-4:30 but there are days when I need to leave at 4 and there are days when I don’t get in until 8:30. I’m paid hourly so if I’m not there, they aren’t paying me. And the daycare is less than ten minutes away from where I work.
    My partner has a career and full-time job and 37.5 hour work week. But she also works from home after the kids go to bed most weeknights. So she can leave and be home by 5 a couple of times a week without it being a problem.
    That’s how we do it.

  55. 2 3/4 son, SAHM me, WOHD.Times can differ, but generally:
    I try to start cooking dinner around 6pm, if not before.
    On a good day, we’ll be eating by 6:30pm. But it’s usually more like 7pm.
    After dinner, my son plays while I tidy up a bit and/or catch up with husband if he’s been able to make it home in time to eat with us (he has variable start/finish times at his job).
    Toy pack-up and bathtime for son around 7:45pm or so. If husband is home he does this & gets son into pj’s, teeth brushed, etc while I do dishes & finish cleaning the kitchen (okay, so I usually sneak in some Internet time instead, but you know…).
    I jump into my son’s bed and we read stories, sing songs, talk about the day, pray. He then likes “five minutes” to read by himself, then we say goodnight. Lights out somewhere between 8:30pm – 9pm.
    Occasionally he’ll have trouble getting to sleep, but usually I don’t hear from him again til morning. He sometimes wakes during the night, but goes straight back to sleep after I get him a drink/help him find Teddy/put his blanket back on/whatever.
    I then spend the rest of the evening finishing cleaning up the kitchen, watching tv, wasting way too much time online (*grin*), spending time with my husband, etc. I am a night owl and a chronic insomniac and am rarely asleep before 2am.
    My son has a fairly late bedtime compared to many kids his age, but he gets 10+ hours sleep a night and naps 1.5+ hours most days. It works for us :o)

  56. I used to work 7:30-4, with 1/2 hour unpaid lunch. Loved that schedule. Usually picked up my kid at daycare by 4:15, home by 4:30.Now I work 8-5 with a required hour unpaid lunch. I have no car at work so can’t run errands, and I never spend an hour eating. Grrr.

  57. Two working parents with two kids and expecting #3. I work out of a home office and my husband often travels. This schdedule gets modified a bit from 4:30-7pm on the two weekdays we have soccer or CCD after school.2:45pm–Outlook alarm goes off to pick up sone at preschool by 3pm. Wrap-up whatever and race out of the house to get him in time.
    3:00ish–Get home, get him a snack and let him watch 1/2 hour of Dinosaur train while I continue to work.
    3:30–Distracted by finishing work and forget to extract him from the tv when Dinosaur train is over an engage him in some type of constructive activity and he begins watching whatever is next on PBS. Feel guilty but usually let him keep watching.
    3:50–Pry him away from TV screaming his show is not done and rush down to the corner to meet M’s bus.
    4:00–5:ish-Sort out school bags, make M a snack, start her homework, B does some type of craft project, plays in the palyroom or plays in back yard, often continue to finish up work projects even though I am technically done at 4pm via BB.
    5:00ish–Start getting dinner ready, usually with two helpers and continue on with what is going on above. Kids set table, feed pets, pick up the mess they have made since arriving home from school.
    6:00ish–D comes home from work and we have a family dinner.
    6:30ish–One of us cleans up dinner and the other one plays with the kids and heads up stairs to get the bath process started.
    7:00-8:00–Kids upstairs showering (M) an bathing (B) and playing in their rooms or snuggling with D on our bed. If I am the one cleaning tthen children go the kitchen, I also usually running around trying to talk to D, getting things ready for the next day, etc. at this time. Depending on weather and who is on bath duty, D may do something like mow the lawn now, or we might do a two-person household chore/project.
    8:00–Family snuggle with stories and children go to sleep by 8:15ish, hopefully in their own beds!
    After kids are asleep I may go downstairs and finish work/get the house ready for the next day or work on my laptop in bed or watch tv with D before sleep. D almost never gets up from the family shuggle and is in bed with his laptop or tv till we go to sleep.

  58. @Megan and SarcastiCarrie:Our company (non-profit) has 7.5-hour days (9-5, with a 1/2 hour lunch). The moved our offices a few years ago from a location that was 30 minutes from my house to one that is 90 minutes+ from my house. When I said I would have to quit, my boss agreed to allow me to have unusual hours (in at 10, leave at 4), and work the remainder of it at night after the kiddos are in bed. So that’s my situation.
    Another question for everyone…no one has mentioned sex. When do you have time for it? We’re having a devil of a time finding the time/energy for sex. And my DH is starting to whine.

  59. Stats: WOHM, SAHD (in between contracts), 15 month DS, dog, cat.4:30pm I leave work to pick up DS at Daycare down the street.
    5:15pm Arrive home. Call up to DH to get him to help us upstairs. We live on the 3rd & 4th floor of a walk up and I’m grateful for the help when he’s around. DS’ backpack + DS + my big purse + pumping backpack = too much for one trip upstairs (though I do manage it if DH is not home).
    5:25 DS plays in living room while I dispose of dirty (cloth) diapers, unpack bottles & food containers for washing later, throw dirty clothes in laundry, prep his room for bedtime (close curtains, clean snot suction thingy, get pj’s out). While I do this DH is playing with &/or supervising DS.
    5:40 I make DS’ dinner (usually leftovers of our meal from the night before – protein & veggie & starch) & DH often walks the dog for her evening walk at this time.
    6:10 DS plays in living room while I clean up from dinner & prep for bath.
    6:20 DS gets naked (which he protests – hates getting undressed & diaper changed right now) while we listen to music in his room (his new favorite thing).
    6:25 Bathtime. Usually goes pretty smoothly and DS expends those last energy reserves by splashing & playing or asking (with hand gestures) me to do something funny for the umpteenth time. We brush his teeth. OK, well he tries to brush mine more but he’ll usually let me get a few brushes in on his own set of teeth. DH & dog usually return home during bathtime. Dog barges in to the bathroom to see what’s what. When DS sees DH, he wants out of tub to go into Papa’s arms.
    6:45 Back into bedroom for more screaming and resisting of changing & new diapering. On good days, there is no screaming & no resisting. DH is usually on hand to help DS-wrangle. Kiss papa goodnight. I suction the snot / salinex, BF (one side) and read 2-3 books to DS (on occasion DH will read the books). Then BF (other side) with lights out so DS can fall asleep. Mostly out within 5-10 minutes. 30 minutes on hard days. Gingerly place DS in crib, turn on humidifier & /or fan. All this process finishes up by around 7:30 usually.
    7:30pm Stumble out to living room where DH is usually watching Jeopardy while preparing dinner. I take a 1/2 hour break in front of the TV or computer as I’m most exhausted at that point.
    8:00pm Help prepare dinner, or clean up, or do laundry or some other chore. Or call my mother. Or watch TV on lazy/tired nights.
    8:30pm Lately DH & I have been eating this early (yes early). We’ve been known to often eat at 9:30pm or even 10pm (not so great for digestion). What can I say. We find it hard to give up our love for food and preparing new & interesting dinners. Even if we’re exhausted, and have no time.
    9:00pm Usually watch some TV & / or clean up. I wish I had been able to accomplish something on my to do list.
    10:00 pm DS has often fallen asleep on sofa. I wake him to tell him to keep an ear open for DS as I walk the dog for her late night pee.
    10:10 pm My bedtime routine (brush teeth, wash face, moisturize, check doors are locked, check in on DS, turn out most lights, try to wake up DH again from sofa to remind him to take his medication & to go to bed), then I head upstairs to read before falling asleep around 10:30. DH stumbles upstairs anywhere around 10:30 – midnight, reads (sometimes) & falls asleep.
    11:00pm DS usually wakes up anywhere from 10:30 – 11:30. I BF and he goes back to bed in about 5 mins. Then the overnight routine starts (DS wakes up at 2 & 4pm. argh.)

  60. 4 1/2 yr old twin boys, 2 WOH parents (both with pretty early hours). I work NY hours but live in CA so I’m in early but out early.Home by 3:45/4 – boys typically are getting up from their nap right as I am coming home but they may sleep as late as 4:30.
    Boys play with Lego’s while I putter in kitchen and figure out what needs to go into the oven for dinner later. Play Lego’s with boys or our new routine is to attempt to get them out of the house and run them around a bit at the park.
    Dad comes home by 5. He plays with boys while I finish up dinner. We try to have dinner by 6, it is usually sometime between 6 and 6:30. Dinner lasts about 1/2 hour.
    Sometimes the boys do shower or bath with dad while I clean up. Otherwise I get the boys ready for bed (no bath, just PJs, brush teeth etc.) while DH cleans up from dinner.
    May take a quick bike ride/walk with the boys if they didn’t go to the park or do something active that evening. Or if we had an early dinner and we have the time.
    7ish Boys watch a portion of a movie each night. They alternate nights as to who picks out the movie and the scenes for that night. We are on a Wall-E kick right now.
    7:30 really trying to have the movie over at this time. We’ve tried to teach the boys that if they have time outs, dilly-dally getting ready for bed or at dinner then that eats into their movie time.
    DH takes one boy to bed and I take the other. We read one or 2 stories to the child and then switch so we’ve each read one story to both children. Say goodnight. Each child can call us into their room one time. So they do. They then have this routine with their dad where they sneak out of their room, he catches them and then they go back to bed. Ideally that’s it.
    In the real world, they call us again. We’ve instituted a rule that if they call us more than once they get one of their books from their basket (by their bed that they can read with their flashlight) taken from them that night. It seems to help some. Typically it is 8:30 by the time the boys are officially in bed.
    DH and I putter a little, watch TV or read the paper. We’ve been trying to go to sleep by 9:30 since we have to get up so early.

  61. This is so interesting. I forgot to begin yesterday that I am a WOHM, an airline pilot husband (gone about 15 days a month), 4 month old son.Finish work around 5 and drive the 5 minutes to pick up baby at daycare. (sometimes this 5 minutes turns into 15 or 20 b/c I work on a college campus and traffic can be crazy!) Leave daycare around 5:15 – 5:20 and begin commute home. Arrive home around 6:00. Depending on when baby last ate at daycare, I either nurse or pump. I then prepare dinner, eat, clean up dinner, wash and prepare bottles for next day, pack lunch (usually leftovers) for next day. Finish up with this around 7-7:15 (depends on what baby needs as far as snuggling/entertaining). Then try to leave the house for a walk/visit with the neighbors. (I don’t know what we’re going to do when it gets dark early and the temp drops, we all really like this outside time). Around 8:00, come back home to begin bed routine. Nurse baby, then bath, read story, rock… Hopefully he’s asleep (or almost asleep) in his crib by 8:45 – 9:00. At 9:00 I finish up any chores around the house (general tidying, finish kithcen and bottle/lunch prep for next day), lay out my clothes for work. I try to be in bed by 9:30, it’s usually 9:45. Depending on how tired I am, I will throw in some reading and/or tv watching before sleep. I then pray that the baby only wants to wake up once to nurse so that I can maximize my sleep before the alarm at 5:30am.
    I should note that the above schedule changes slightly on the weeknights that my husband is home. He tries to pick the baby up early from daycare so they can have bonding time and/or start dinner so we can eat a little earlier. I also very rarely have to do any grocery shopping and/or laundry on weeknights. If my husband is home during the week when I’m at work, we’ll send the baby to daycare for a few hours (we pay for a FT slot anyway) and my wonderful husband will try to do all of those chores so I’m not left with them when I’m by myself. It’s not perfect, but we try to make it work.
    On an exciting note, we finished the night routine early last night and actually had some adult bonding/quiet time before bed. It was awesome!

  62. I will start with our stats. I work FT 1st shift, DH works FT 2nd shift. Our kids are 4 and 2 yrs old. My mom watches them for the 2-3 hours between our shifts.I pick up the kids around 5 pm from my mom’s house, and spend some time talking, admiring her garden (and receiving from the plenty…), etc. We’re usually home by 6 pm and I serve the kids something quick for dinner. Since DH has gone to 2nd shift, my diet plans have been going great! I usually eat leftovers, or pick at the kids plates as I clean up from dinner. While I’m cooking, if I’m lucky the kids will watch some Discovery Channel while they play, if I’m not lucky, they’ll demand SpongeBob (gag…).
    After dinner I usually do some laundry, lay out my clothing for tomorrow, prepare my lunch for tomorrow, tidy up the living area, etc., while the kids play around me. I don’t do the dishes, DH does those the next morning (in return, I clean up the debris of the kids playing all day—he does not clean as they go). Some nights DS does some kindergarten preparation “homework”, but we don’t stress it.
    If it’s bath night, I bathe them together around 7:00 (clean the little one first, wrap her in a towel to dry, clean the big one, wrap him in a towel to dry and then lotion, PJs, detangler, hair brushed, and finally teeth brushed for both).
    If it’s not bath night, around 7:30, I get them in their PJs, brush teeth, and do a last minute clean up of the bedrooms with their help. Around 8:00 DH calls to wish everyone a good night, and I start the first round of putting them to bed. Usually a drink and a potty break later my 4yo will fall asleep, but I am usually dealing with my 2yo until around 10:00 when she finally falls asleep. She also wakes up around midnight, and I don’t bother to get up—she just comes and sleeps with me. Sometimes DH puts her back in her bed when he gets home around 2:00, sometimes he doesn’t bother.
    So that’s our routine. Right now things are kind of weird because due to the time my DH has to be at work, he usually has to wake one or both of the kids from their nap to go to grandma’s house. This sets them up to be in a foul mood the rest of the day. Conversely, he sometimes doesn’t give them a nap at all, and they fall asleep at grandma’s house, and I have to wake them up to take them home—then they’re wired for sound until at least 10:00. I count it a good night if we make it to bed time with only one meltdown per person. Usually we have several per child, and at least one for me (hate to admit it, but it’s true). I think we need to work in some planned book reading time (maybe right after baths…) as right now, it usually ends up not happening, or we end up reading the same 3 books over and over.
    @meggimoo: we’re lucky to get sex once a week, on the weekend. I have suggested getting several rounds in on the weekend, but DH doesn’t seem interested in any more than once. I suspect he’s doing what I am, and “taking care of business” for himself during the week, but we have not discussed it. When we were both working 1st shift, he would often wake me up in the middle of the night. Usually I ignored him until I didn’t want to ignore him anymore (he could be very persuasive…*wink*).

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