They Don't Call it the Witching Hour for Nothing

March 27, 2018

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You know what isn’t easy? The hours of 2-7pm. I mean don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, I just don’t love the constant activity they require after six hours in school. For most parents, these are the hours between school ending and bedtime. For those reading this who still have kids who nap in the afternoon, I bow down to you, and I envy you. And for those parents whose children are old enough to truly entertain themselves, grab their own 50 snacks or enjoy engaging in real conversation with their parents, you're my hero and I'm jealous. For the rest of us, it’s survival mode. It’s thinking ahead about how to allot the time. It’s endless snacking, endless homework, endless questions, endless creative entertainment (see: making slime), endless whining and the culmination of it all is trying to prepare dinner and get the kids bathed amidst the chaos.

For those who knock technology and TV, I say, good for you. You win. For the rest of us, we’re just trying to get through the day. I mean am I the only one who is thankful for tablets? You can judge me, but really tablets aren’t all bad. I mean my kids have a trampoline, basketball hoop, pool, bikes and sometimes playdates, but that only gets us to 5pm. We still have two more hours and my kids actually use apps about geography, Spanish, and let’s not forget watching old school Full House episodes so they can bring back sayings like “You got it dude.”

Photo via quickmeme.com

So I got to thinking. Is it just me? Should I feel guilty that this time slot exhausts me just thinking about it? I asked around and here is what people told me they do to get through the afternoon (names changed to protect the innocent, exhausted parents):

 

“They don’t call it the witching hour for nothing. Stick them in the bath, build with manga tiles, let them play for an hour in the backyard if the weather’s nice, chase each other around the house and wrestle, or when absolutely everything is leading to a fight/breakdown, just let them veg out for a half hour (ish) so I can get done what I need to (work or dinner prep) in relative peace.” -J mom

“Play hide and seek. They hide and I eventually seek.” - R mom

“Homework, some educational TV, art, lego, dinner, bath.” -J2 mom

“Wine.” - M mom

“I set my expectations to a reasonable level.  No vomiting, choking, bleeding?  Awesome!  I keep pre-prepped foods on hand for easy dinners, and I don't feel bad if I have to order out.  Jammies are set out ahead of time.  Big kids help the little ones when possible.  Bed times are strictly enforced most days.  I break out the iPads or a movie if I have to.  I'm happy with good days and I forgive myself for days that aren't as good.  I try my hardest when I can but I take it easy on myself if I have to.  5 kids, aged 10 and under.” - S mom

“We do a “nature walk” in our neighborhood esp this time of year when it isn’t too hot. They bring a magnifying glass and ziplock and they “collect specimens” lol. The walk takes forever. Also long bath and some iPad.” -S2 mom

“One word-aftercare.” - L mom

“Hold my breath. I have no answer for this!!” -V mom

“A$$hole hours?? (As I call them...) Count the minutes until my husband comes home!! Pretend I know how to do the math, meanwhile I’m getting tutored myself from my retired teacher mother in law in Florida (I’m in NY) over the phone... I actually have my boys FaceTime her with their homework and it’s been awesome. “- C mom

“I cook dinner during the day, usually when I eat lunch. Almost every night. Almost have to. Thankfully i work from home so i can. But with kids in multiple sports three to four days a week I have to get them places by 5 or 5:30 almost every day and school ends 3:30. Everything is much smoother and less stressful when I’m not trying to cook and keep them moving for soccer or gymnastics practice.  I have three kids. We also carpool whenever possible. That helps immeasurably.” -B mom

You might find some new ideas above, you'll definitely have a good laugh, and most important, you'll be able to relate to these normal, every day moms. We're all doing the best we can! Have other ideas we can share? Message us