Last week we talked all about our morning schedule. I was thrilled to read your Facebook questions and your comments here on the blog! I LOVE that some of this info is actually helping people and I’m super stoked to connect. Today I want to delve into our afternoon schedule and how I cope with “The Witching Hour”.
Now you may remember that term from when you had a wee newborn and think it only applies to that time in a babies life. I have news for you! It applies to the hours of 4pm to 6pm everyday for years! I don’t know what happens when the clock strikes 4 but I swear all craziness ensues.
Let me back up to where we left off last time though…
After Buggy wakes from his nap we throw in a load of laundry and then head downstairs for lunch. Hubby is an incredible guy. He gets T$’s lunch ready every day and puts it in his Bynto Box. I make Buggy and I lunch (normally the same thing) then we all eat. I try to reserve at least 20-30 minutes each lunch (which I normally take about 60-70 minutes) to really play with the boys. We play rough or go outside or build a structure with blocks. The important part here is that they get devoted one on one time with me. I do not answer calls during lunch, I try not to check my personal email or Facebook. I just hang with the boys.
Normally at this time its about 1pm. Buggy is not quite ready for a nap yet but both boys are getting there. Once again we all head upstairs and I insist on no tv and that they play in their playroom quietly. Again BFF Suri sets a timer and they are off. Once in a while they will come out to talk to me but because they are both getting sleepy this is normally a good hour or so where they are off quietly playing.I try to fold a load of laundry at this time or wipe down the upstairs bathroom or dust upstairs. This is part of how I keep the house up. A little each day.
Then Buggy goes down for nap and T$ goes downstairs for “rest time”. I had a hard time with this for a while but T$ really would not rest unless him and I were separated. He doesn’t normally nap anymore but he SO needs that quiet time. My office is the loft so I can hear every.single.noise downstairs so I’m not too worried about him. Plus our house is totally kid proof. He gets to pick a movie and grab a blankie and hang on the couch. It works great.
This is a dedicated two hours where I can work straight. If I have to make any calls this is normally when I try and do it. It flies by but I find I can get more done in these two hours at home then I would in 4 at the office. Part of being a good WAHM is learning how to power through things and when you know you have a block of time you just have to jam!
Now it hits…. the witching hour.
I’m technically off work at 4pm. I’m almost never done with what I need to get done by then. SO when the movie is over and Buggy wakes up both boys are DYING for my attention. They are also totally done upstairs. So I do what any amazing mom would do… I bribe and stall. Repeat it with me, bribe and stall.
I normally bribe with the idea that if they give me just 5 more minutes we will go downstairs and eat a delicious snack. This normally works. When T$ stars asking why Suri hasn’t talked to him yet I tell him, “OH she must have fallen asleep.” Whatever I need to say to get things done. This is the time of day where things get messy. A piece of paper gets stollen off my desk and ripped up, somehow a highlighter ends up in little hands and now baby brother has a hot pink tattoo. To be honest with you I just roll with it. It gets my work done and no one gets hurt, usually.
We don’t normally clean up before going downstairs. The boys are just so done and to be honest so am I. So we go downstairs and they are perfectly content to play in their playroom for about 10 minutes. 10 minutes is totally enough time to do a chore, cook dinner, have all the dishes done from the day, etc.
This is reality people, not some fantasy. So in the 10 minutes they are quiet I can normally devise a plan for what is most important to get done. Normally I try and get all the days dishes done ( I don’t do sippie cups and kids plates, etc. during the day. I let them pile up in a sink of hot soapy water and then do them all at once. We hand wash our sippies so it would take too much valuable time during working hours). Then if we know when hubby will be home (his schedule is different from day to day) we start dinner. T$ has this awesome tower, similar to this,that allows him to safely be at the counter with me helping. And I just pull Buggy’s high chair right up to the counter too. I give them stuff to do while I cook. Mostly they just play with food, whatever it works!
Hubby gets home and then all hell really breaks loose but that is an entirely different story for a different day.
The basic idea during the witching hour for me is really just to survive. I let a lot of rules go, I let them be messier than normal and I just try to get every one laughing. I try to be as empathetic as possible. I’m totally exhausted and done working so I can only imagine how they feel.
I’m interested to hear from you all, what are some of your best bribe and stall techniques? Does the witching hour hit at your house? Please please tell me I’m not alone!