No matter how hectic your day has been, take time out to read with your children each night. Snuggling in bed to read with your children is a terrific way to bond. Plus, it promotes literacy, improves vocabulary and spelling, and encourages a love of reading. You can begin reading to kids as soon as they are born (and even before). When children get older, you can have family reading time. Sit around the living room, each with your own book, and read silently for 30 minutes before bedtime, or take turns reading pages aloud from a single book.
Getting kids dressed is always a struggle — whether they are toddlers or teens. Prepare the night before by laying out clothes for the next day. Each child (and adult) should pick out what they are going to wear the next day — all the way down to the shoes, socks and accessories. This will shave minutes off your morning routine, and also allow you to have time to launder or repair any clothing that needs it.
Do you hate spending your entire Saturday doing the laundry? You won't have to if you do one load of laundry each night before going to bed. Spreading out the laundry throughout the week will free up extra time on the weekend to relax or enjoy something fun.
We don't mean a to-do list (though you can do that too). We are talking about a mini journal or a list of gratitude. Write down all the special little things that happened that day — milestones or accolades of your kids, funny encounters or anecdotes, things for which you are thankful, etc. Writing down all the great things that happen in life every single day can be a great reminder of all the blessings in your life, especially after a hard day.
Make a chore chart to help keep your house clean, organized and clutter-free. Assign age-appropriate chores to each child, and reward them with gold stars, stickers and family movie nights.
You don't want to spend every day cleaning. But by taking 15 minutes to put the dishes in the dishwasher and pick up the clutter, you won't be left with a big mess later. Have your kids pitch in to help or delegate certain chores that need to be done every evening before bedtime.
In order to take care of everyone else in your life, you need to take care of yourself first. Take at least 15 minutes each night before you go to bed to relax and wind down. Small bits of relaxing "me" time can help reduce stress as well as improve your overall mood and attitude. Meditate, do a little yoga, watch TV or do something else you enjoy. You'll see that just a few minutes of relaxation time everyday can make a tremendous difference in your life.
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