If your life is anything like ours, at the end of the day there’s a pile of dishes in the sink, toothpaste smeared on the bathroom mirror, and what feels like an entire sandbox to be swept up around the house. Yes, these things need to be dealt with. As mothers of small people, do we have the energy to tackle this mess? Nope! But, even though we may be a little weary and worn when it comes to housekeeping, there are some things we do almost every night and the difference it makes is clutch.
Here are our top 3 things to do before collapsing into an exhausted slumber:
1. The Examen Prayer
This prayer is so important that St. Ignatius of Loyola said if a person were to neglect every other form of prayer that day, this brief exercise should never be omitted! It’s the big picture of how God has been in your life during the day in obvious or obscure ways, how you’ve responded to or refused His grace, a purpose of amendment and a practical plan to avoid the sins you most often fall into. The Examen Prayer is a sure way to never lose sight of God’s intimate presence in your life–even in the small stuff–and to stay on track in growing in holiness. For a quick rundown, check out this adaptation at IgnatianSpirituality.com.
*Pro Tip* Do NOT do the Examen while lying in bed! Even though it doesn’t take long, it’s too easy to fall asleep before you complete the exercise! (Lots of personal experience with this…)
2. Use Holy Water
Another great practice before hitting the pillow is to bless yourself and your children with holy water. The use of sacramentals in your daily life and at home brings extra grace and blessing. If you have children living at home, keep a small bottle in their bedrooms and use it as you are saying their prayers with them at night. Typically the bottles can be filled at any font in church, but while parishes are taking extra precautions because of COVID-19, it’s necessary to ask your priest for some until the fonts are filled again. Check out this article to learn even more uses for holy water!
*Bonus* Keep a small font by your front door and bless yourself every time you leave the house too!
Obviously, bedtime prayer has to be on the list, but besides the usual night prayers, also include a prayer that entrusts your home and the people living in it to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. This particular prayer, especially when prayed before going to sleep, is the perfect way to end your day. It gives a sense of completion and closure to your day and entrusts everything to Our Lord and the Blessed Mother- not a bad way to say goodnight to them either! Check out this printable prayer to keep on your bedside table!
So, that’s our list of things we always try to do before bed each night! What do you do every night? Is there particular scripture that you always read? A book of evening meditations? We’d love to hear about it! Leave your suggestions in the comments below for us and other readers!