If you’re anything like me, by the time you’ve got the children into bed, you’re wrung out and more inclined to pour a large glass of wine / watch tv / or even just stare zombie-like into space than get stuck into any creative work. Here’s a few ideas to help you make feel make the most of that precious time:
Earlier in the day, decide what you are going to do with your ‘golden time’ – so you don’t end up (and I speak from extensive personal experience here), frittering it away on non-essential busywork simply because you are Without A Plan. Try to make it something i. easy and ii. fun.
Find ways to make the bed time routine less hectic – We’ve recently introduced Reading In Bed. The Oldest & Middlest are only 5 and 3 so can’t actually read yet but somewhat surprisingly, enjoy being in bed with their side-lights on. At this point in the day, this extra 15-20 minutes makes a huge difference to my energy levels.
Do a 15-20 minute Assault On Mess and Dirt – Somehow, running around around for a short period of time, being utterly focused on my mission to get as much as possible tidied in a short a period of time as humanly possible works for me. I think it’s because when I get tired, I get really indecisive, even about routine things like tidying, so then that final push to get the final household tidying suddenly expands to 45 minutes.
Build in some downtime while the children are still up – I’m a big fan of getting them all in the bath together and having a cup of tea while they splash around. Or watching In The Night Garden with a cup of tea (there’s a tea theme here!) or doing a little knitting instead of trying to get jobs done at the same time.
Once the children are in bed; allow yourself 5 or 10 minutes with your feet up – Read. Knit. Drink Tea. Just take a little time out. Or lie on the bed for 5 minutes and read – slightly dangerous one, this one, because sometimes the urge to sleep is too strong.
Consider moving your shower from the morning to after the children’s bedtime – this makes morning less hectic and also gives you a chance to unwind and refresh before you get on with your creative work.