You should probably know that it took me a very long time to get to the point of loving bedtime. Before “sleep training” my kids, I dreaded it. By the time my kids were finally asleep I was exhausted and usually went straight to sleep myself. But now that they are in bed and asleep usually by eight o’clock that means I have HOURS to do whatever I want to do or whatever I need to do without interruptions from kids.
A few things I typically spend my time doing during these golden hours:
I sometimes catch up on some writing or cross a few things off of my to-do list from work while it is quiet and calm. I tend to avoid these tasks at night as much as possible though, because I’ve discovered that my brain is a little more exhausted and less creative the later it gets. Typically I use naptime to accomplish work assignments.
For about two months I consistently exercised every single night before showering
and going to bed. This was back before I was able to squeeze in time in the mornings, and honestly, it wasn’t as horrible as it sounds! It helped motivate me to eat healthy all day long and not snack
as much in the evenings, and I liked unwinding my day with a good spike to the heart rate to help me de-stress when necessary.
This typically manifests as scheduled monthly Bunco or Book Club but occasionally there is a spontaneous outing with friends after the kids are sleeping! These nights are always so good for the soul and I just don’t know if it gets more rejuvenating than some good girl talk and lots of carefree laughs.
Probably once a month or so I indulge in a nice relaxing bubble bath. I pull out all of the good bubble bath
, bath bombs, etc. and pretend for a while that there is not a care in the world as I soak in real warm water. Unlike my rushed morning showers and getting ready routine, I take my time on these nights and just focus on me! Sometimes a facemask comes out, often lotion is involved, and I truly believe it is so good to just sit and do nothing sometimes.
Guilt-free social media
Every time I pull up Instagram
during the day I have a slight twinge of guilt. It’s nice at night when I can sit on my phone for longer than a couple of minutes and really just get lost in the world of everyone else for a time. Plus I don’t have to worry about my kids coming up and grabbing my phone out of my hands for themselves!
You know how most times it takes some legitimate effort to get into a book
? Like you have to plow through at least three chapters (sometimes more) to decide you like it? Well I used to read a whole lot. But ever since I had my second baby I’ve lost my drive to put in the effort it takes to get to that point and it makes me so sad! So until that day comes back I’ll continue loving the idea of reading. And maybe I’ll be stricter about setting timers every day to try and read for at least fifteen minutes.
So we live in the 21st
century, of course I’m going to bring up Netflix
. Actually, Hulu
is my go-to, but that’s beside the point. Unlike reading, it doesn’t take much to get lost in a good show. A perfect escape for the end of the day! Sometimes I watch my own show and other times I watch a show with my husband, depending on the night!
Speaking of my husband, don’t think I’ve forgotten about him! Babies and sleep are rough on a marriage; maybe I’ll get into that more later. But for now I’ll say that having my kids sleeping on their own at a decent time has been a fantastic revamp to our marriage! Sometimes he just helps me fold laundry and we hit the sack. Other times we pull out some board games or watch a movie. Of course, our intimate life is a large portion here too. Or often we’re sitting in bed with laptops or phones out, happy to have one another’s company but not necessarily focused on each other. Overall, I’d say my favorite is pillow talk until one of us crashes, something that isn’t quite practical when there’s a kid or two in the bed with you!
I’m not a child sleep expert, so I can only speak for myself. But the excruciating weeks it took to sleep train my kids was well worth it to have the golden hours be my outcome! I can honestly say I wish I‘d done it sooner because I had no idea the freedom and tranquility I was missing out on! Hopefully you’ve been able to get to a point in your life as well that you’re able to enjoy your golden hours. If so, how do you most often spend your free time each night?