If you’re a working mom, we can almost guarantee you’ve heard the phrase, “How do you do it all?!” at least once in your parenting lifetime. But the truth is, we simply can’t do it all. There is no “clocking out” for any mom, ever. It’s incredibly difficult to find a balance between your professional and personal life when you’re expected to give 100 percent at all times. Whether you’re commuting home from the workplace or walking out of your office and into your living room, there are tiny people eager and ready for your attention. What does a successful evening routine for working moms even look like?
Our editors have been perfecting the art of juggling careers and motherhood for half a decade now. The hours between the sound of their laptops closing and their kid’s bedroom doors shutting are few—yet they feel like an eternity. We’ve all quickly learned that there is no perfecting an evening routine with littles, but there are ways we can ask for help and make our lives easier. These three editors have found the hack for a simplified 5-9 schedule after their 9-5s, and its kids meal delivery with Nurture Life.
Nurture Life meals are specially designed by their in-house pediatric-dietitians to ensure that they are nutritionally balanced with veggies and protein. Their meals have the perfect nutrition for any child’s age & stage, and are only made with real, clean ingredients. They have over 50+ meals for your babies to choose from with delicious flavors that even picky eaters are bound to love. Our editors have kids of all ages ranging from 12-months-old to 11-years-old and each of their evening routines have one thing in common: a kid that thoroughly enjoys dinnertime.
Steph: Toddler Mom of Two
I have two little ones, a 2.5-year-old and a freshly turned 1-year-old (RIP the baby stage). They both have early bedtimes because I require at least two hours of alone time before I fall asleep each evening or else I won’t be able to survive the next day. Our routine starts early with me logging off work around 4:00 p.m. By then my husband is already home and has begun the circus that is entertaining two small children while mom cooks dinner.
There are two different dinners happening in our home: one for the adults and one for the children. Today, the adults are getting burrito bowls with ground turkey and rice, which takes me about 30 minutes to make. The children get their favorite meal to eat and mom’s favorite meal to prepare: Nurture Life.
It’s such a win-win for both mom and babe and one less thing my mom brain has to worry about during the week.
My 1-year-old is new to the eating game in comparison to her brother, so I love using Nurture Life’s Baby Finger Foods. They’re cut small enough for her to work on her pincer grasp and prevent choking. They’re also cooked soft for her gummy mouth to mash on and explore flavors safely. She has such a blast getting her hands dirty with these finger foods and she has not yet met a flavor combo she doesn’t like. Plus, the portions are insanely good! Since they’re made fresh and delivered weekly, all I have to do is pour out the food into a microwave safe bowl, plop them in for 40 seconds, and serve. It’s such a win-win for both mom and babe and one less thing my mom brain has to worry about during the week.
Once dinner has been devoured around 5:45 p.m., we clean up the tornado that is our kitchen, and resume our evening play activities. We usually give the kids a thirty-minute countdown to bedtime so it’s an easier transition out of playtime. In those thirty minutes, they help clean their messes (mostly), take joint baths, then mom and dad take each little into their rooms for jammies and story time. Our daughter is usually in her crib around 7:00 p.m. and her brother is in his 30 minutes later. And now, FINALLY, mom and dad can relax (only to do it all again tomorrow). Somehow we find ourselves scrolling through adorable photos of them every night before bed regardless of how exhausting these tiny humans can be. Sigh, mom life.
Ally: Mom to a Toddler & Preschooler
The dash to bedtime is equal parts the highlight of my day and a race that I feel like I am always losing. When I sign off from work and relieve our childcare, it is full-on kiddo playtime. Refreshed in play clothes, we typically head outside to savor any nice weather we have in New England—the muddier the better. With 2.5-year-old and 4.5-year-old boys, our evenings are busy, loud, and full of laughter and mess.
Family dinner is a staple in our house and we typically eat after my husband gets home from work around 6 p.m. Around age 2, both of my boys went from adventurous eaters (think babies eating sushi) to card-carrying members of the anti-protein league. That often makes the balance of healthy and nutritious family meals more headache than heartwarming family memories around the table. On weeknights, when I am short on both patience and time, I lean on Nurture Life, a meal delivery service for the boys, and stick to easy sheet pan or protein and veggie meals for the adults. Not only has this cut down on the parent-child meal time negotiations but it gives me more time to focus on being present and playing with my boys in the evenings.
It is amazing how this change has reduced so much stress from my life! Not only have I stopped worrying about whether they are getting anything nutritious but I no longer dread fighting to get them to eat each and every bite of dinner. With combos they know and love (think mac n cheese and taco pockets) full of both hidden protein and veggies, we all leave the table feeling happy. Signing up for kiddo meal delivery was one of those ideas I debated for months worrying about how it would impact our food budget. When I finally placed my first order I was kicking myself for not doing it sooner! The change to our budget was nominal and it is simply an incredible time and stress saving hack for our family.
It is simply an incredible time and stress saving hack for moms of picky eaters.
While my kids have a “special treat” we clean up the kitchen and then head into the family room for an episode of their favorite show on Noggin (hello Paw Patrol and Blaze) and have some milk. Next up is bath, teeth, books, songs, snuggles, and bed. This simple enough process can often leave my husband and I appearing to have aged 5 years in the hour it takes to accomplish this daunting task. Despite the challenges of the 5-9 routine, kid snuggles are simply the best and I cherish our evening routine as a family.
Nyla: Mom to Elementary School Kids
I am always on the go between sports, family events, work, or just simply trying to squeeze in that euphoric hour called “me time.” Trying to juggle all of this and prioritize health for the kiddos can be a daily struggle. I have two growing children and that means big appetites, but not everyone can make nutritious, gourmet meals every night. To be completely honest, fast food has made its way on the menu once or twice a week in the past, and that’s understandable but definitely not ideal.
After a long day of work and getting home late from all the things, making dinner can become a daunting task at times or depending on the mood. However, if you’re anything like me—convenience is key. Because more than anything, I want my kids to eat well and be completely satisfied with their meal.
My kiddos devour these meals in minutes and kept begging for more—seriously, they’re that good.
My kids get HANGRY (definitely got that from their momma) after a long day and they want dinner at the speed of light. Thankfully our problems are solved because we have Nurture Life in the fridge now. These meals are healthy, nutritious, perfectly portioned, tasty, and super easy to heat up in the microwave! With convenience like this, bath time to bedtime is easy peasy.
I can go on and on about Nurture Life, but the empty plates say enough. My kiddos devour these meals in minutes and keep begging for more. It’s seriously that good. Trust me, for all the mamas who are always on the go—you’re going to want in on this.
This post is sponsored by Nurture Life, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board. We only recommend brands we genuinely love.