What time do you tuck your kids in each night?
My answer to this question seems to shock a lot of people, because most of my kids go to bed early–between 7 and 7:30 most nights. The oldest, our teenager, gets to stay up until 9 pm.
Bedtime around here hasn’t always been this early, but I’m so thankful we decided to experiment with times. There are definite benefits to tucking the kids in early.
Benefits for the Kids
My kids all seem to stop taking naps between the ages of two and three. But, they still need a lot of sleep to keep them from breaking down in tears.
No matter what time they go to bed at night, the majority of my kids seem to wake up between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. By putting them to bed earlier, they’re getting the recommended 12-13 hours of sleep. Happier kids equals more productive days!
They didn’t like going to bed earlier at first, but we kept working on it, until it became a routine. Now everyone knows what to expect, and they don’t fight bedtime nearly as much. They’ve realized they feel better when they get enough sleep!
Benefit for You
In addition to benefiting the kids, you also benefit from tucking them in early.
Time for Work
If the kids are in bed by 7:30, I can work for an hour and still have time with my husband. When I was writing curriculum, this work period was essential. It’s also when I do work for my VA clients when I need to pay close attention (such as bookkeeping tasks.)
Knowing I have at least an hour to use at night also helps when life gets crazy!
Time to Prepare for Tomorrow
Before I relax for the evening, I take time to do five tasks. These help get the next day off to a solid start.
- Take care of any dishes in the sink, and ensure the dishwasher is set on delay.
- Throw a load of laundry in on delay.
- Check the calendar for any appointments and deadlines.
- Make a quick note of my priorities for tomorrow based on my calendar. I use this to shape our Plan of the Day during our morning meetings.
- Glance at the meal plan to see if I need to take meat out of the freezer.
A good, productive day really does start the night before! Taking care of these five things has tremendously helped our mornings run more smoothly.
Time to Relax
If I aim to be in bed by 10:00 p.m. each night, I still have about an hour for relaxing after working for a bit. This time to decompress and be offline has been greatly beneficial!
Self-care is essential, and evenings are a great time to make it happen. After spending all day with the kids, it’s been such a blessing to have some time when they’re sleeping each night!
Ability to Get to Bed at a Decent Hour
You’ve got to sleep to remain productive. When you get to bed at a decent hour, it’s much earlier to get up early and work your morning routine.
What Time Do You Tuck Your Kids In?
Do you tuck your kids in early too, or do they stay up late? Would an earlier bedtime help you find more time to grow your business?
Need fresh ideas for freelancing with kids?
Subscribe to get a downloadable copy of my idea book: 30 Quick Ideas for Freelancing with Kids.