I am not the best mom when it comes to screen time and have occasional guilt about it. The issue in my house is mostly iPad time and my 3rd grader may watch more than his share of Minecraft “how to” videos on YouTube. It’s sometimes just easier to let them sit with the iPads and have their quiet time that way. But with school starting this week, I’m trying to get a little more interaction and non-screen time back into our lives, for all of us (including both mommies).

My goal now is to move away from screen time before bed and into a better unwinding routine for us all. I know that I am usually a human stress ball by bedtime and this isn’t helping my sleep – I’m sure it isn’t helping everyone else’s.

One goal I have is to create a reading nook (i.e. quiet space) in our home – which isn’t exactly easy in a 1300 sq. ft. space with 5 people. Since 1 of the 5 is mostly out of the house and will be gone indefinitely into the Air Force in October, I’m doing some redecorating/redesigning. I hope to have a little alcove late this fall with some bean bag chairs, a little bookshelf and a light. BTW – I’m open to suggestions for our little alcove. It’s probably 6 feet wide and 3-4 ft deep at the top of our stairs. 

To find alternate things to do between dinner and bedtime, we’ve focused again on our family game nights and I also bought myself a present:

I’m going to color alongside of my boys. It’s pretty amazing to sit after a long day of work and color alongside of 2 energetic little boys!

I’m not crafty and I’m not going to be able to spend a ton of time looking for projects to do with my kids. I leave the house at 7 am and return close to 7 pm. My hope is that my time with them is going to be the quiet-unwinding-type of time, insomuch as possible. I want to be less stressed and wound up at bedtime and hopefully do the same for them.

Some nights we read (the new Captain Underpants book will arrive shortly), some nights we play (although game night is not always calming), some nights we color. Hopefully, we will have less nights of YouTube and bickering over who burned whose Minecraft house down.