Once you go through the bedtime routine with your kids, it’s your time. So what do you do? We asked real moms what happens once they cart their kids off to bed.
The house is quiet. What draws you first? The mess on the floor? The dirty dishes? Your partner? Your hobby? Or your own bed? As different as we all are, no two moms spend their free time the same way.
Off to bed
Some moms just hop in the sack themselves. “I clean, then go to bed too,” shares Hurley, who is expecting her second baby. “She goes to bed later because I value sleeping in the next morning more than getting her to bed early.” Jana, mom of one, does something similar. “Most of the time I end up falling asleep with him,” she explains. “He goes to bed late-ish so we head up around 8:30 and he’s asleep some time between 9-9:30. By then I’m warm and in bed, so I just end up falling asleep.”
Do you clean up at night? Many moms do. Once the dust settles, it can seem like the natural thing to do, at least some nights. As Jo says, “Some days it’s dishes and laundry once they are bed.”
Work-at-home moms often wait until their kids go to bed to get crackin’ on their work. Becky works until 11 p.m., Liz sometimes works on her custom cake business after hours and Carrie says that during her busy photography season, she stays up late editing her work. And nursing student Brittney says, “Homework. So, so much homework. I literally cannot wait until the day that I can actually do something not related to school or my children without feeling like I’m neglecting something.”
After the kids go off to dreamland, moms often use that time to engage in hobbies — one of my friends uses that time to knit and another tackles sewing projects. “It’s easier to concentrate on a task when you don’t have to worry about your toddler picking up needles, for sure,” says Amanda, mom of four.
All the snacks
Other moms take that time to nom on some of their favorite snacks. Jessica, mom of two, says, “I eat all the munchies the kids aren’t allowed to have!”
One of the more popular things that moms do is zone out — watch TV, go online or play with their tablets. “Clean up a bit, zone out on our iPads or catch up on TV like The Walking Dead, sex and sleep,” explains Jenna, who does a little bit of everything before she crashes. Same with Shelly, who says, “I eat a pastry, have a cup of tea and watch a show on Netflix.”
Sometimes sex is part of the picture, too, but it depends on a few factors. “Sometimes he falls asleep on the couch and I play games on the Kindle, or he doesn’t fall asleep and we have sex,” shares a mom. And nighttime isn’t always when people have sex, either, as Jo explains. “What it almost never includes is sex though,” she says. “That goes down in the morning!”