The routine in our house in the late afternoon/evening looks a little something like this:

5.00pm Dinner
5.30pm Bath
6.00pm QP
6.15pm Harper to bed
6.30pm Daisy to bed
6.31pm Mummy pours herself a glass o’ wine

It rarely changes {sure weekends and when we have people over is a different story} and I need it as much as the kids do. We know what is going to happen when and we like it that way. I am not very strict about many things as a parent but the dinner/bath/bed routine has always been something I have stuck to as past experience has shown me that you miss one bit, stay up a little later and it will bite you in the arse. The girls also go to bed early and that’s because no matter what time they get to bed, they will be up at 5.30-6.00am. Could be 10pm bedtime and they will still wake at 6am. It’s taken me years to work out that they have to be in bed to try and make up some of the minimum of 10-12 hours a sleep a night that I think they need to function without losing their shit every 4 minutes. I have only been able to do it since I haven’t been working too – a luxury not many people have. It also means that we have to get the dinner wagon on early which can be restrictive, and sometimes we even have dinner at 4.30pm(!) but it’s what works for us.

When we were going through a particularly tough time with Daisy getting her to bed, and to sleep my Mother in law suggested to me that we might like to do some “quiet pursuits” before bedtime. Doesn’t that sound like something a mother in law would say? Hi Kathryn! Love you! So, I said to Daisy (maybe taking the piss a little bit) ” Tonight, my darling, we are going to do quiet pursuits before bedtime.” And after I explained what that meant she TOTALLY got it. And she loved it. And years later, if we try and skip those quiet pursuits, she will scream at me like the world is going to end “But MUM! We haven’t done QUIET PURSUITS!” It’s quite hilarious isn’t it? SO Victorian sounding! It has since been shortened (by me) to QP. We LOVE QP. We need QP. I cannot recommend QP highly enough.

So what does QP entail? Well lots of things really. Quick 5-10 minute things that are well, quiet. Der. Puzzles. Boardgames. Drawing. Sometimes if she is lucky some time on the computer on this website. Have you ever been on there? I cannot recommend it highly enough. This is the ONE thing Daisy is allowed to do on my computer and she has been doing it for years picking up new things all the time. It’s amazing. And French so of course it’s amazing. QP is my favourite time of the day. It’s ever so close to no kids time which comes in a close second, but just enjoying that very last part of the day together is something that I hope we can always do.

Now to just start taking up some kind of stitching or darning hobby of an evening instead of guzzling wine and watching the Real Housewives of whatever and my Domestic Mothering Goddessness will be complete!


  1. OMG you have so got your shit together 🙂 Hope the QP joy continues for many years to come!!

  2. I kind of fell into the strict dinner bath bed routine. It was never really my plan, but when Alex was bourn premature she was put into a strict routine for beeding and sleeping any way. Mine is almost identical to yours with the times except now at nearly 7 she has a 7pm bedtime.

    QP is a great idea. For us we always read @ 6:45, usually its a home reader, if its the weekend it will be a library book.

    QP would be a great idea for holidays etc for us!

  3. Yep.
    The bath/bed routine has been a sanity saver here.
    As with the glass of wine.
    You’re very disciplined to wait til 6.31 every day, Beth.
    Me? Not so much.
    I love the term ‘Quiet Pursuits’.
    And thanks to your great vlogs, I can hear you introducing to the girls, dripping in sarcasm.
    Very English Nanny-ish.

  4. I totally agree about the QP but ours is called quiet time. Now ours are 12 ten and eight and they still go downstairs and do lego and mod things till they fall asleep. It never gets old.

  5. We are very similiar. Your QP cracked me up. SO Victorian! Unfortunately any QP activities in our home seem to end up VNP (very noisy), with three year old undermining five year old ALL THE TIME. It’s so loud in this house, and Miss three has a sick sense of humour, delighting in causing mayhem. Thank goodness for routine. Bed. Wine.

  6. The wine time here starts at 5pm. It makes the other stuff go by more easily x

  7. hahahaha LOVE IT! It reminds me of when my nan would say after dinner ‘have you had an elegant sufficiency?’ I still can’t work out if she was joking or serious! Unfortunately we have NP in our house – Noisy Pursuits…..which usually involves an incredibly long and loud game of UNO. But then again I have 4 boys so everything in our house is loud and noisy.

  8. So necessary! My kids are a bit older, 9 & 11, but they have quiet time where they read a half hour before bed..or whatever so long as it is quiet! That way I am not waiting until 9:15 (the oldest’s bedtime) to get grown-up time with my husband.

  9. Haha! I am going to start calling our story time “quiet pursuits”!!!

    For us, it’s not so much the order or the time that the dinner and bath occur in, but the ritual of:
    – make some warm milk
    – sit on the couch and read 3 stories while the milk is drunk
    – brush teeth
    – bed
    that matters the most.

    Our bedtime is usually 7.30pm but I have a question for you Mums out there:

    I always feel slightly guilty that I choose the bedtime – 7.30pm – but that bedtime pretty much precludes any chance of my husband seeing my daughter. He’s barely ever home by 7.30pm and if he is he gets home right on 7.30pm and the whole bedtime routine is ruined! But he’s happy & my daughter is happy because they get to see each other (even if it means I have to do the whole bedtime routine again at 10pm!!!)

    Does anyone else have this issue and what do you do about it?

  10. Our routine after dinner and bath is similar to Margot’s above. Lately however, things have been dragging on later and later and with our little miss protesting and procrastinating as much as she can to avoid bedtime. I’m tempted to move the bedtime routine back although not so keen on an early tea so perhaps that would be better for us adults once bedtime has happened? I know what Margot above means about daddy/kiddo time as I feel as though my husband barely gets time to play with our little girl after work but I am quite insistent that any playing that is done is quiet time, otherwise she gets all hyped up.

    As for the earlier bedtime Beth, do your kids still have daytime naps? I’m wondering if I dropped that, perhaps I could move bedtime back?

  11. So glad you explained what QP was. I was going to ask. Good thing I kept reading!

    We have reading because my lads are HOPELESS at board games, or colouring in. Or crafts. Just basically reading.

    But it works for us too. (Kids in bed by 7:30pm, and up by 7pm.) The boys are too kind. xx

  12. My kids love waking at 6am aswell … little buggers!

    I am loving QP – we do reading but think I may just give some of these other QP ideas a go – thanks!

  13. Oh and I meant that my kids were little buggers … I wasnt saying yours were – Sorry!

  14. I’m diggin’ QP…..need me some of that!

  15. Quiet pursuits, I love it!! You are SO disciplined, I don’t think I have ever had dinner, bath and bed sorted in that kind of fashion. I am in awe! *bows*

  16. I am the BIGGEST fan of early bedtimes. And routines. I cart those kids of to bed pronto so mum and dad get some solo time going. Mine are normally in bed by 7 or even 7.30.

    We’re big book lovers here, so we read a pile of books before bed to the 1 and 4 year olds. I highly rate reading anything Peppa Pig because it means you can do everyone’s accents … my 1 yo digs Daddy Pig quite a lot.

    Oh, and if Mr P23 gets home late from work, he misses out on kid time. Sorry, but I’m a bit of a ballbreaker. It’s a veeery long day otherwise!

  17. Look at all those board games!! Fabulous. Sadly, my hubbie hates board games and I can’t quite call them a quiet pursuit given my competitive nature, but I love the idea of settling down to a civilised game of Monopoly in the drawing room with a glass of wine of an evening.

  18. QP, love it! x

  19. Love a bit of QP. How good are you holding out on wine time until the kids are in bed? I pour myself a glass while cooking dinner. It takes the edge off.
    Too funny.

  20. 6.31pm wine! I wish! Although bed time around her is getting earlier and earlier and I’m pretty happy with between 7pm and 8pm at the moment. The closer to 7pm the better!

    QP – love it!

    I have a secret. I don’t bath my kid every day (GASP!). The shame of it. Mostly this is because she is an absolute screaming, sobbing wreck during bath time and I am always on my own for it. I hate it. She hates it.

    We read books before bed every night for quiet time. Love the look of that website.

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