Family Bedtime Tips from a Mom of 7 and Bedtime Book Giveaway

bedtime routineHaving a bedtime routine is great way to wind down the day. As mom to 6 kiddos still at home, having a routine for our family is especially important due to the span of ages. From age 17 with special needs down to age 2, each child has their own individualized routine to some degree. Today I wanted to give you the best family bedtime tips I’ve learned from my parenting years. When children know what to expect, they feel secure and empowered.

1. Be consistent on the time to be in bed.

While flexibility is a great asset for any family, being consistent is the best way to establish healthy sleep habits. We try to have the same time range each night that we go through the routines. During the school year, we vary 15 minutes or so either way if needed.

2. Use a checklist for visual assistance.

If you have a child who loves to check off lists, then having a checklist can be just the thing to keep them focused. Using a checklist is also great if you are decide to introduce a new element to the routine or you just simply want to begin establishing a routine for the first time. We don’t have a checklist, but we have a usual order of to-do items.

3. Have a typical order of events.

Wow- that sounds a little formal, huh? Our routine is bath, pajamas, hair, short playtime, snack, teeth, and books. I know for some this may seem rigid, but my children have always been able to follow the routine, even in my absence. They also go to sleep somewhat easily when staying somewhere other than home because we follow the typical order of events, even if we’re staying up later or have some other exception to our environment.

4. Know what comforts your child and provide it.

Use whatever lights, music, or blankets that your child enjoys and loves. We do our best to take the lullaby CD with us on overnight trips. The younger kids have certain stuffed animals, etc. that they love to sleep with and we try to make room for at least one or two comfort items for travelling.

5. Enjoy this time together.

The times I’ve had to rush at bedtime because I waited too late to begin or we had some other exception caused regret later. Some days are too full to take 20 minutes to read at night. But we do whatever we can. Some nights this winter, we started earlier and this gave everyone time to read or look at books alone in bed for a few extra minutes before lights out.

When my children were younger, I often couldn’t wait for them to go to bed because I was simply one.tired.mama. But I’ve found that the older I get, the more I want to soak up this time- since I realize how quickly it will pass. There are many different ways to enjoy bedtime routines as a family, but the tips above are just a few of my favorites, especially number 5.

precious moments giveaway

Speaking of enjoying the time, BOOKS! Yes, books are such a staple in our nighttime routines, especially in winter. Today I wanted to share this adorable Precious Moments Little Book of Bedtime. Perfect for snuggling with ages 1-4, the nostalgic characters win over both children and parents. This particular book holds both traditional and original poems and prayers, as well as Scriptures. I thought you might enjoy a sneak peek:

And I thought you might enjoy a couple coloring pages for artwork earlier in the evening before reading this book or the following morning after reading it. Click HERE or on the graphic below to enjoy 5 Precious Moments coloring pages from Tommy Nelson.

precious moments

Ok, Friends! I know you want to enter the fabulous giveaway for this lovely little book. If you’d like to order one, you can find it right HERE. Follow the rafflecopter to enter the one copy giveaway.

Have a great day!

Rachel

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Product supplied by publisher; all opinions are my own. Site may be compensated if purchase is made. Full disclosure policy here.

Why Every Mom Needs A Chocolate Stash & Giveaway

why every mom needs chocolate

Last week my friend and I texted each other about our day ahead. And each of us had a bit of a crazy haul for the day. Just life with kids. Schedules. Work. So our conversation turned towards chocolate. I thought about it and I believe this is why every mom needs a chocolate stash.

For the morning you crawl out of bed later than intended because you were up all night with a sick child. You ask for just a few moments to take a quick shower before making breakfast and the other kids seem ok with that. But you weren’t as quick as you meant to be and they made breakfast for themselves.

Consisting of pepperoni and  red velvet cupcakes. You only pray they didn’t eat them together.

For those moments when you just finished cleaning up the breakfast dishes, hand your son his lunch and he asks:

What’s for dinner?

For that day when you wait in the drop off line, only to wait in the doctor’s office, and then wait after the ball game. Finally you tuck your daughter into bed late due to all the extenuating circumstances of the day and as you reach the door of her bedroom, you hear…

Mom? Wait, I forgot to do my homework.

For that time the babysitter calls and, after apologizing to you for the scare, asks where to push the button for the garbage disposal. At which time, you reply:

What garbage disposal?

For the moment you hear a yell from downstairs and practically fly down the steps to discover the problem. A tiny toddler is covered in chocolate pudding and you breathe a sigh of relief to see no blood. Only to pause for a moment to take in the stench and realize…

That’s not chocolate pudding.

Yes, every mom needs a private chocolate stash.

And in my opinion, every mom could also use this awesome book:

Saying Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine

My quick overview of this book?

“Crystal Paine writes from her heart and soul, yet makes life doable in the modern age.I love the organizational ideas and time management tips in this book, as well as the occasional inspirational chat. Balancing discipline and grace can be accomplished and Crystal provides guides with flexibility points. As a wife, mom to 7 and woman of many hats, I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs to simplify and manage life.”

If you’d like to find out more on the book, you can check it out right here on Amazon.

And if you’d like to help someone with their chocolate stash, you can do that here. Or here. (A girl needs options, right?)

new whimsical wed

Alright, it’s Whimsical Wednesday and all our fine blogging friends are coming by to link up so we can share each other’s encouraging posts. I’m so grateful for their awesome writing skills and appreciate the beautiful community we join in together here!

Before you check out the link up party, be sure to leave a comment and answer:

In what “Mom moment” could you have used a private chocolate stash?

I’ll randomly choose one comment to send a little private stash. Giveaway ends 12am, 1/24/14. No comments after that time will be considered as entries.

See you tomorrow!

Rachel

This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true;he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30



Disclosure: Site may be compensated if purchase is made. Post includes affiliate links. All opinions are my own. See full disclosure here.

A Prayer of Thanks for My Children

biblereadingchallenge_day217Lord,

Some days this Mama gets tired.
So tired, in fact, that I just
won’t know what to do except…
set my face before You.

When I come to You in prayer,
I must first whisper “Thank You.”
Thank you, Jesus, for my children.
Thank you for their energy…
and their sleep. Well, when they sleep.

Thank you for their open hearts…
and sometimes willing hands.
Thank you for teaching me so much
about You through them
and for teaching me so much about them through You.

To be chosen as “mama” is a gracious gift from you.
May I recognize that gift as much on the high-strung days
as the low-key days.
May the thought flood my mind with joy and
my simple thanks
transform my thoughts
from weak mommy
to empowered mama.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen

a prayer of thanks for my children