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  1. #1
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    Default Nightly routine for working parents??

    So I'm about to go back to work after 3 years (eek!) & as silly as it sounds, what I'm most worried about is our night times....

    Currently I start dinner around 4:30, & me & the kids sit down to eat somewhere between 5 & 5:30. Husband gets home around 5:30 & joins us for dinner, then I clean the kitchen, he baths the kids, they have a little play with Dad, then stories & bed by 7.

    This just won't be possible once I'm back at work, both DP & I will finish work at 5, one of us will have to pick up the kids from care, so realistically we're not all going to be home til 1/4 to 6 or so.

    So I'm keen to hear from other working parents how you structure your evenings, what happens when, who does what, & when are the kids in bed by?

    I have three weeks to start working towards a new routine, & looking for some help on what my new routine might look like

  2. #2
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    TheGooch is offline Winner 2014 - Newbie of the Year
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    Good luck going back to work! I'm curious about this too!
    Subbing for future use!

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    I work full time 5 days. We get home at 6:00, dinner any time between 6:30 and 7:30 depending on who cooks. DP cooks 90% of the time (not a bad effort for a tradie!). I'd be happy to cook but DP knows we would be eating a lot later because I like to get DD (3yo) to bed by 7:30-8:00.

    You have to be a bit flexible when working, things don't always happen at the same time each night.

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    Many years ago, we were in this situation. I prepared a lot of meals in advance, otherwise I found we ate out a lot due to sheer worry about bed times. Our kids also went to bed a bit later than they would have otherwise. I made sure I was always super organised of a night time.. Bags and lunches packed in advance, clothes laid out.

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    It's great that you have DH to help! I do it all myself as DH works late and is rarely home before 7pm which is bedtime.

    I leave work at 4.15pm (negotiated flexible arrangement - I start at 8am) and we are home by 5.15pm most days. Dinner at 5.30pm for DS (usually something pre-made and de-frosted), bath at 6pm, 6.30pm we either skype grandparents or watch a Peppa, and then 6.45pm is story time and bed at 7pm.

    DH and I eat dinner when he gets home. I usually prep this while DS eats.

    Works well for us!

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    I work 3 days a week.

    My partner picks up the kids from oshc and I get home between 5.30 and 6. I do dinner while racing back and forth to the bathroom. Then we eat at 6 to 6.30 then on mondays I take the kids to scouts. Othernights in bed by 7.30pm. I then prep for the next day and do a clean up.

  7. #7
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    I have to say preparing meals in advance is key here. Even if the kids eat leftovers from the night before and you prepare your meal once they are in bed. Here is our routine.
    My husband works out of town so it's just me. I have a 7 month old and a 4 year old.

    Leave work at 4.00
    Pick up kids (I encourage the baby to have a late afternoon nap so they don't fall asleep in the car on the way home as it is about a 20-30 min drive.

    As soon as I get home get meal ready, baby usually as a play and 4 year old helps cook or watches tv.

    I feed baby while dinner is cooking.
    Baby has sits at table and eats finger foods while 4 year old and I have tea.

    After dinner kids in bath. I make sure I have heaps of pyjamas ready to go so I am not scrambling to find the kids something to wear.

    Baby has bottle and gets put to bed (about 6.30) and four year old has dessert/fruit/milk while I am busy with baby.

    I then have some quiet time with 4 year old (tv book puzzle) and then to bed. This is usually 8ish.
    Then I clean kitchen, do a little bit of housework (my favourite is ironing while I catch up on tv). Get kids stuff and my clothes ready for next morning.
    shower and to bed for me.

  8. #8
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    FearlessLeader is offline Winner 2013 - Most Memorable Thread
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    Yes, as others have said pre-preparing meals is the key. I do a big cook up on Sundays and have lots in the freezer to choose from. Then once a week we get take away and another couple of nights I'll give the kids something really simple like ravioli with cheese, baked beans on toast or a really simple stir fry (frozen prawns, bag of frozen stir fry veg and some udon noodles). You could also get a slow cooker.
    The three days I work I finish at 3 but we are almost always out and about till 5.30 so our evenings usually look like this:
    5.30 get home and plonk kids in front of the tv
    5.45 dinner
    While they are eating I run around getting the bath and pjs ready and tidy up a bit or fold some washing
    6.00 DP home and we all sit at the table while the kids eat their yogurt (sometimes we will eat now sometimes after they go to sleep)
    6.15 bath time (DP does while I clean kitchen)
    7.00 stories (we alternate)
    7.30 bed.

    ETA be prepared for your kids to be very, very tired after long days at child care. You may need to cut your routine really short for a while till they adjust. And don't stress too much if they only eat a Vegemite sandwich for dinner the majority of the time, especially if they get a cooked lunch at child care.
    Last edited by FearlessLeader; 21-10-2014 at 20:11.

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    I work three days a week (Tues-Thurs). Mondays I do groceries and cook at least two nights meals for DH, myself and DS who is 1.. I try to use leftovers as much as possible for daycare lunches and also for Wednesday nights dinner for DS. While he eats on Wednesday night I make our dinner and then he has that for dinner on Thursday. It saves time because we get home around 5.45 in the evenings and I try to have DS eating by 6, bath and books between 6.45 and 7.15. DS is asleep by 7.30 most nights. It's a marathon and exhausting but 5 months in I'm feeling less manic on work days. Best of luck to you.

  10. #10
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    Agree with the pre prep of meals. I never cook on my working out of home days. Our evenings

    Home 5pm, dinner 5.15pm, bath 6pm, bed 6.30-45pm. My kids are in daycare by 6.10am so they are pretty tired of an evening. After they've gone to bed I dish up the next nights meal and leave in the fridge with cling wrap on it. That way when I get home I only need to heat and serve.


 

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