Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

I love my kids, but by bedtime, I’m just exhausted.

At 8 p.m., my patience shuts off. It’s like I have some sort of glitch in my mommy code, or maybe I just missed the patience upgrade with each kid or something? 

So when I have to jump through so many drinks-of-water hoops, tickle hoops, tuck-in hoops, bedtime-song hoops, pee-pee hoops, and brush-your-freaking-teeth-already hoops, I feel that if they don’t get away from me as soon as possible, I’m going to jump through the I’ve-lost-my-mind hoop and escape into a dimension where only brownies, beaches, and books exist.

RELATED: But Mommy, You Were Too Busy

But that’s not reality. (Oh how I wish it was sometimes though—minus the losing my mind hoop.) The reality is that motherhood doesn’t stop at 8 p.m. And even though some of the hoops I jump through annoy me, there are four hoops I would never miss jumping through no matter how tired or impatient I feel.

The Bedtime Hoops

I started asking my kids these four questions every night and it has changed our relationship. It has brought us closer. It has created a more positive shift in their focus throughout their day and in mine. 

What was your favorite part about your day?

This question allows us to jump through the hoop of positivity together. It helps my children focus on the best parts of their day, and gives us another opportunity to reflect on them, laugh even more about them, and find joy in those special moments one more time before they close their eyes.

What was your least favorite part about your day?

This question allows us to jump through the hoop of reality together. No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, so it’s great to have the opportunity to be real and talk about those things in their day that didn’t go well—bad choices, disrespect, being irresponsible. This question has allowed me to model unconditional love and has given me many second-chance teachable moments. Even if I lost my temper the first time around, I have one more chance to walk them through what they should have done differently. It’s great for kids to be reminded that tomorrow is a new day to try again.

Do you have any questions about your day?

This question allows us to jump through the honesty hoop together. It establishes a habit of always letting them know that they can ask me anything and can trust me to listen and love. It shows them that I’m a “safe” person who isn’t going to judge or get angry or be upset if they want to talk about the tough stuff. 

How did you show kindness or love today?

This question allows us to jump through the integrity hoop together. It encourages them to be kind and loving to others even when no one is watching. It is the most powerful, life-changing question I have asked! My kids have learned just how simple it is and how capable they are of showing kindness or love every single day. When I first started asking this question, my 8-year-old had trouble coming up with an answer, so I would step in to tell what I saw him do—he was thoughtful to take his plate to the sink, he played with his sister nicely, he gave his little brother a turn with his squirt gun, he washed his hands the first time I asked him to. Creating an awareness of the little ways that he can show kindness and love has empowered him to do even more. Plus, I find myself looking for those positive things each child does throughout the day so I can share it with them that night. They love hearing all the great things they’ve done. Kindness and love . . . this is the focus I want my kids to have throughout their day! 

The bedtime hoops have helped me learn more about my kids: baseball game play-by-plays, storm fears, favorite colors, and movies. But I have also taught more to my kids: answering questions about abortion, smoking, appreciating the differences in others and I’ll never forget the night we cried together about a little boy in a wheelchair.

Because of jumping through the bedtime hoops of positivity, reality, honesty, and integrity every night, I have laughed louder, cried more, snuggled closer, and taught lessons about life that I would not have had the opportunity to do in the busyness of the day.

Dear mom at bedtime, won’t you join me in fixing that glitch in your mommy code, upgrading your patience level, bending your knees, and jumping through these four extra hoops with me every night?

I promise that these are the hoops you will never regret jumping through for your kids.

Looking for something other than, “How was your day?” to ask after school? Here are 50 questions to get your kids talking! 

Do your kids suddenly get a boost of energy at bedtime? Help them calm down and settle in with this weighted blanket as you jump through the bedtime hoops together.

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here! 

It's so easy for us to allow our days to pass by - with all the demands of motherhood, we have so many hoops to jump through each day. These 4 questions to ask can make such a different to your relationship with your kids. Try them out tonight and save for later.

Recommendations in this post contain affiliate links. Her View From Home may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase.

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Christine Leeb

Christine Leeb--Speaker and Christian Family Coach specializing in Parenting and Child Discipline.  Founder of Real Life Families--a non-profit organization building better families through free classes and resources.  Mother to three awesome (and exhausting) children from whom she shamefully hides brownies.  Wife to one patient (and polar-opposite) husband with whom she constantly quotes "Friends".  www.RealLifeFamilies.org 

Don’t Fear the Gap

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Baby lying on mother's chest, black-and-white photo

I was afraid of the gap. You know, the one where you have some kids and then wait several years to have another? That gap. When we moved here, we kept all the baby things because we weren’t ready to say we were done but weren’t ready to start over. Moving to the farm brought wayyy more chores than our neighborhood home and adding a tiny human to that mix felt a bit crazy. RELATED: I’ll Always Want Another Baby There were months of back and forth . . . talk of barefoot baby feet stomping all over this place...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, If Something Feels Off, It Probably Is—Trust Your Intuition

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter black and white photo

A few weeks ago, my 7-year-old daughter was playing at a friend’s house when she messaged me on her game tablet to come pick her up. I didn’t ask why I just went to get her. I asked her once she was home how it was, and she told me she had a weird feeling and she was just “trusting her guts,” which I loved hearing her say. Apparently, her friend had a bunch of extended family show up at the house that we were unaware of. She is extremely outgoing, friendly, and confident so she thought nothing of listening...

Keep Reading

10 Lessons I Hope You Learn Playing Youth Sports

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy dribbling down basketball court, black-and-white photo

Last night was my sixth grader’s last basketball game of the season. He played with many of the same gang of boyhood friends he has known since kindergarten. This year, however, they were introduced to a traveling team, older players, and much stiffer competition than they had encountered in the past. They stood the test and played their little boy hearts out. I am proud of my son, his team, his coaches, and all the familiar faces we came to know in the Greenwood Laboratory School cheering section each week, sometimes two to three times in one week!  Here’s to...

Keep Reading

I Love You At Every Stage

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three children at park, color photo

Confession: I love the 1-year-old phase. Our youngest is one and such a joy to be around. He’s still so cuddly, finds such joy in the smallest things, is learning new things every day, and smiles at every little thing his big brother and sister do. I love the 3-year-old phase. Our only girl is three. She has a flair for the dramatic, but she is very forthright with her feelings. “I’m having a hard time.” “I just miss my daddy when he’s at the Fire House.” “I’m a princess.” “God made me beautiful.” She is quick to be a...

Keep Reading

Simple Moments Shape Childhood

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy in shallow water of beach

Sometimes it’s the little things that can turn out to be the biggest things. Motherhood has made me appreciate the everyday moments, the simple moments, differently.  Being outdoors with my boys can be simple in theory, but I absolutely love the adventures we take. Whether we are hiking, biking, swimming, exploring, or checking out a new park, this momma knows it is time well spent.  RELATED: I’m Watching You Grow Up in the Little Moments Because whether they realize it or not, these memories being made are the special ones. The ones my boys will carry with them in their...

Keep Reading

I Promise to Show Up for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter in garden

My child, I hope you know you can count on this: I will show up for you. I will show up when you wake in the middle of the night, when you get up too early or stay up too late. I will be there to make your meals, read you a story, and tuck you into bed. I will show up when you are sick—taking time off work, bringing you to the doctor, cleaning up your throw-up, and sitting up with you. I will show up at every game, sitting in the stands or a camp chair, freezing or...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Growth Is Tangible, and When It Is You Hold On Tight

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom putting bike helmet on child

I never expected my sign to come in the form of a plastic bag. As a parent, you’re told over and over how fast it all goes, to cherish these times because they’re gone in a blink. You see the gradual changes in your kids as they move through milestones. One day, they can hold their own spoon. They begin stringing words into sentences. Their ages are counted in years and no longer months. You watch these things happen every day, but I didn’t realize some transitions would come in tangible ways, like a grocery bag filled with wet swim...

Keep Reading

Some Nights They Need You a Little More

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping, color photo

Some nights they need you a little more, mama. Because of the bad dreams or the bogeyman they are adamant is under the bed. Because firefighter daddy’s schedule leaves him missing goodnight tuck-ins and bedtime stories several times a week, sometimes leaving them a little needier and more emotional. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. RELATED: I’ll Lay With You As Long As You Need, My Child Because they are sick. Because they feel safe in your presence. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. It’s not always easy. It’s not always (okay, hardly ever)...

Keep Reading

Sweet Babies, I’ll Be There

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two children lying in bed, color photo

When your world is calm and peaceful, I’ll be there. When your world is chaotic like an ice cream shop on the hottest day of summer, I’ll be there. When you need a Band-Aid applied and a boo-boo kissed, I’ll be there. When you want to perform in your Frozen microphone like you’re performing for a crowd of 20,000 people, I’ll be there. When you feel lost and alone, I’ll be there. When you feel you have nowhere to go, I’ll be there. RELATED: I Will Always Be There When You Need Me, My Son When you need a pep...

Keep Reading

I’m in the Big Little Years

In: Kids, Motherhood
black and white photo of little boy and little girl standing in a window together

I’m in the big little years. It’s when you’re no longer in the tender season of babies and toddlers—those sweet, smothering, exhausting years of being constantly touched and needed . . . . . . but you’re not yet in the big kid years—navigating boyfriends and driver’s licenses and bracing your heart for the impending ache of an empty nest. I’m somewhere in between. I’m in the years of having littles that aren’t so little anymore, but still need you for so much. They have big feelings. Big ideas. Big dreams. But they have mostly little problems (even though they...

Keep Reading