My girls started back to school this week, which means it is time to prepare for busy, frantic, stressful evenings. Unless it’s not. Imagine if there was a way working moms could get home from work and actually enjoy their evenings with their little ones without feeling rushed and panicky. Recently, I stumbled upon some advice that I believe I can shape to fit my family that will make all the difference in the world.
Introducing Prime-Time Parenting for Working Moms
In the article, The Nightly Routine that Helps Working Moms Get All Their Parenting Done in Two Hours, the author writes, “It’s called Prime-Time Parenting. It starts around 6 p.m. and ends around 8 p.m. In between, parents put away cell phones and screens of all kinds. The kids put them away too (unless they’re needed for homework). During that two-hour window, parents focus exclusively on their children.”
It sounds so simple in theory, but those of us who work know that it is harder than it sounds. But, I think we can actually do it – if we plan and have solid routines in place for the following 30-minute chunks of time every weekday evening.
While I am cooking (or ordering takeout), the kids should be working on their homework. This will give me time to hop back and forth between the kids and the kitchen. And, hopefully, by the time dinner is ready (or has arrived), the girls will be finishing up homework. At this point, we will pause on school stuff for dinner.
Since I have already meal planned for the week, I know in advance what we are going to be eating, so I can factor the time into our homework routine. When it is time to eat, we will eat together and catch up on the day.
Instead of doing the dinner clean-up myself, the family will take part in a mini clean-up routine each night by clearing their dishes as soon as dinner is over and helping me straight up whatever mess we made cooking.
Quality Family Time
Finally, with the remaining time, I will keep my phone off and stay focused on my people. I will look over my girl’s homework to make sure they did it correctly. I will help them pack their bookbags and lunch boxes, so they are ready the next morning. Then, we will spend time together as a family watching a family-friendly show we all love or playing a game. Then, I will help them get ready for bed following our regular bedtime routine.
It may be wishful thinking, but I’m going to try. And, I realize that not every day will be the same – especially when dance classes start – but I believe I can make the necessary adjustments. By doing a little Prime-Time Parenting, I have a feeling this school year is going to be the best one ever!
What can you do to improve your evening hours and make life a little less frantic?