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Bedtime routine for 8 and 10 yo - how do I squeeze dinner in for me and DH before 10pm?

(22 Posts)
mellymell Wed 14-Sep-16 17:33:37

Apologies - long post with lots of timings ;)

I've always made sure we've had a good routine for our DS - upstairs by 7.30pm, bath, play in rooms/reading till lights out for the 8yo by 9pm and the 10yo by 9.30pm.

However, me and my DH work full time, therefore, don't tend to get home until 7pm/7.30pm, so by the time we've re-introduced ourselves to our sons, talked through the day, read books, played lego etc etc, it's often 9-ish before we get to have dinner ourselves.

It's lovely to chat away, but as a result, DH and I often end up having dinner together around 9.30pm/9.45pm which is way too late for digestion, and fall into bed by 10.30pm.

For those of you with kids of a similar age, how do you split your evenings - are you keeping the kids up to have dinner with you (currently mine eat at 6.30pm)?

Thoughts welcome.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Wed 14-Sep-16 17:38:34

Can you cook dinner whilst chatting to the boys and as soon as it's ready then it's time for them to go up to bed?

Ineedmorelemonpledge Wed 14-Sep-16 17:42:44

Isn't dinner together as a family an option at 8pm some evenings? When do the DC eat?

FuzzyOwl Wed 14-Sep-16 17:42:53

Could you meal plan and use a slow cooker so you all eat together when you get home at 7?

MrsJayy Wed 14-Sep-16 17:43:07

I'd get your dinner ready while the boys are. Still up and give them a snack while you are are eating dinner and chat then I'm assuming the boys have eaten and at 8 and 10 they don't need supervision at bath time do they?

MrsJayy Wed 14-Sep-16 17:44:54

Oh they eat at 6.30

Bin85 Wed 14-Sep-16 17:48:44

Give them tea or snack earlier and all eat together and chat , maybe some nights all watch a particular programme , they can learn a lot from this .

HereIAm20 Wed 14-Sep-16 17:49:02

To be fair the boys bedtimes seem very late for their ages but I suspect as you are not home until that late then it may be a case of not fitting everything in that you want to do with them. Are they not tired though?

sunnydayinmay Wed 14-Sep-16 17:52:49

Can they do their own showers quickly whilst you cook, and then come down and chat with you can whilst you eat? I think you'll find it changes anyway when your older one hits 11/12.

FortyFacedFuckers Wed 14-Sep-16 17:53:10

3 days a week I get in at 7.30/7.45 DH & DS get in at 8, i shower & put dinner on for 8.00 (cook lean in 15 meals) we eat at 8 & chat until 8.50 then DS gets showered & in bed for 9.

wobblywonderwoman Wed 14-Sep-16 17:53:47

I would agree with the slow cooker idea and dinner as soon as you get in with you all around the table and they could have fruit or something

Or batch cook so take the frozen meal out of the freezer first thing and have a pre baked jacket potato

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Wed 14-Sep-16 17:56:48

Move their meal time - they're old enough now I think. Either have the dreaded slow cooker, or easy/quick meals. Chat to them while meals are being made, get them involved in the cooking. Eat at 730/8, squash the playing time a bit (they'll have some before dinner) and they'll still be in bed by 9.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Wed 14-Sep-16 17:58:05

Who is cooking for the DCs at 630 now? Could they start or even make a meal for everyone?

SirChenjin Wed 14-Sep-16 17:58:11

Could you cut back on the playing after bath - so a hello and catch up, then upstairs for bath while one of you cooks, then into rooms at 8ish, you both eat then while they are reading, and then lights out at 9ish?

I don't think 9/9.30 is that late for that age tbh, I'm guessing they don't have a 6am start or they are fine with that amount of sleep.

atticusclaw2 Wed 14-Sep-16 17:58:43

I think your children go to bed late.

DS1 is 11 and goes to bed at 8.30pm to read, lights by 9
DS2 is 9 and goes to bed at 8 to read, lights out by 8.30. He'll stick to this until he's in year 7.

So by 8 we are cooking dinner for us (if we haven't all eaten together) and we eat at 8.30 (sometimes at 8.15 once DS1 has gone up and we've had a cuddle with him)

Tanaqui Wed 14-Sep-16 17:59:16

Cool most of your meal when you cook theirs so you only need to hear up/ do veggies. Then save their pudding/ fruit/ a hot drink and they have that while you eat uour dinner and chat about everyone's day then.

LilCamper Wed 14-Sep-16 18:03:29

Family meal from slow cooker when you get in?

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Wed 14-Sep-16 18:05:55

I assumed they had a nanny as they eat at 6.30 and are home before their parents, if that's the case get the nanny to send them up for showers so all you have to do when you get in is cook your dinner and catch up with the boys.

sunnydayinmay Wed 14-Sep-16 18:13:20

Bedtime does depend on the child, though. DS2 is 9, and twice a week has clubs that finish between 8pm and 8.30pm. He's not bothered by that at all, as he rarely goes to sleep before 9pm, even in he is bed by 8pm.

It is your involvement in the bedtime routine that changes. Now I just say "shower time", and they do that bit all on their own.

By 11 years, ds1 was in the middle of puberty, and the last thing he wanted was me hovering around the bathroom.

mellymell Thu 15-Sep-16 15:13:37

Thanks all for your input - really interesting.

I would love to say that they go and do baths/showers on their own, but it's mostly me nagging them to get in and out, brush teeth etc. Perhaps more responsibility for them would be a good move.

Eldest is pretty independent, but youngest likes some attention and cuddles still, so don't want to completely leave them to their own devices.

The various suggestions to cook dinner on my arrival while they're still down stairs, with a fruit option to keep them occupied, then send them up a little later is the way forward.

Thanks all

[I love this forum - it's so helpful] smile

Wallywobbles Thu 15-Sep-16 15:35:57

4 kids between 7-11.
All get in at 7. One hour commute, which is tablet, talk time, reciting poems etc.
Dinner on the table at 7.30 for everyone (6 or 8 of us).
7-7.30 kids all shower. If not in shower they lay table help etc. one of us signs forms etc one or both of us cooks (everything cooked from scratch).
All eat together. All clear up.
All up to bed at 8.30.
They can read etc until we say our good nights. Clothes, bags, sports stuff and breakfast all ready to go in the morning for a 6.50 departure. I wake them at 6.30. They dress and get in the car.

Weekends are for the connecting, playing etc. and food prep if possible. Aren't your kids knackered?

SirChenjin Fri 16-Sep-16 22:13:50

I imagine that if her kids were 'knackered' the OP would make sure her DC were in bed earlier. Children vary in the amount of sleep they need.

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