Best of Both Worlds podcast: Evening routines with Sarah Powers

Best of Both World podcast with Laura Vanderkam

Evenings with little kids can be tough. Evenings with big kids can be tough! Everyone’s tired. With little kids you might be trying to get through to bedtime; with big kids you’re dealing with activities and homework and people who might wish to stay up later than you.

In any case, Sarah and I were thrilled to welcome Sarah Powers to the Best of Both Worlds podcast this week to talk about this topic. Sarah is the co-host (with Meagan Francis) of The Mom Hour, a podcast that has a lot of overlap with our listener base. She is the mother of three school aged kids. She took some time off from work when they were littler, and has come back in a more entrepreneurial fashion over the years.

She and Sarah (Hart-Unger) talked about evening routines and logistics. Both of them have used an evening playlist at times. This playlist signals when it’s time to do different things associated with the evening routine. (This is not something I have done — just not my style, plus I’m pretty sure that programming any home sound system is beyond my capabilities — but it can definitely work!)

They talked about taking the “168 hours” approach to evenings. You’re not going to do everything every single day. Some days there might be more time for reading. Other days there might be baths or somedays it doesn’t fit (which is fine; most kids do not need to be bathed daily). Dinner might be more involved some nights than others. And there’s something to be said for busting the routine too! Over on Sarah (Hart-Unger)’s blog today she talks about having little adventures in the evenings, and how that can be fun. Over the course of a week, everything can get done.

Finally, they talked about the “me time” or “couple time” that can happen after kids go to bed. A lot of people opt to watch TV, and if that’s you, I endorse Sarah (Power)’s approach of doing it mindfully. Consciously work your way through a series you love, and make it something you and your partner can do together. This beats the sort of mindless surfing or puttering that can consume this time.

In the Q&A section, we tackle one of our most common questions — how, exactly, do you go about hiring a nanny? Please give the episode a listen, and also check out The Mom Hour!

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