Bedtime Routines

I am probably the most unorganized mother ever conceived of.

I do things in a whirlwind. I wait until conditions are at their absolute worst and then I decide to do something.

So in the midst of all my FlyLady madness...I added some things to our kids bedtime routine that have made our evenings and mornings infinitely more peaceful.

1.  I started having them pick out and lay out their clothes for the next day...including socks and shoes. Okay, now I've always laid my kids clothes out, if they got laid out...which was a rarity. But I can't even tell you how much easier my life is. Now sure, somedays my five year old son goes to school in camo shorts with one orange and black pumpkin tube sock and one white ankle sock...but between the peace of not having to do it myself and the giggles I get when I see what they've chosen...it's a good situation.

2.  We divvied up the shower...Nathaniel, Lilla and Elisabeth at night and Caleb and Uriah in the morning. It's fast. It's easy. It ensures that everyone takes a shower every day and there's usually some hot water left. When you have a bazillion kids this is a concern.

3.  All of them are required, as part of their homework, to read for 20 minutes at home. So after all the bedtime chaos I've been having them all get their book and go and lay in their beds and read before going to sleep. I time them for 20 minutes and then ask them to find a stopping place and give them a few minutes to get there. Bedtime is so much easier and it's fun to see them getting into the habit. Because it's a good one, I think.

Sometimes I get stuck condemning myself for all of my shortcomings that I fail to see the good things that are happening and I have to stop and really thank God for all of the good things in my life. Because He is Good. And it's amazing and wonderful to stop and witness the evidences of His grace in my life!

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