From the title you probably think I’m referring to the early hours of the morning when one of the kids wake from a bad dream or are restless (or need water all of a sudden or the toilet or a hug, or have just thrown up everywhere, yadda yadda…)but nope. I’m talking about those few hours between the moment I leave work to the moment I sit down after the kids have gone to bed. Yep….. those hours.
Exactly what we do as parents in those hours after work, is nothing short of a mini miracle – so much gets done in this short space of time . For me it starts at around 5pm and ends at 7:30pm…ish. In those two and a half hours I’m like a mad woman on a mission!! Literally, I’m running around like a nutter trying to get an invisible list of stuff done. How much stuff can you do in 2 and a half hours I hear you say…? ALOT!
Well, between 5pm and 7:30pm Mon-Fri, term time, (well Thursday really…Friday night is takeaway and DVD night and I refuse to break this tradition) I pick up my two kiddies from nursery and after school club and converse with them on the drive home about school, what they did today, what they enjoyed the most and why sand is not for eating.
When we get home its pandemonium as one is asking for dinner and the other is screaming about her princess pjs not being clean or that she needs chocolate because she not feeling well. Once dinner is cooked (I try to cook fresh 4 times a week, I have a monthly menu that is seasonal but ill get to that in another post), eaten and the mess is cleared up, I pick out their clothes ready for the morning, put on a load of washing which leads to homework time.
This can be difficult as my son is more of a physical being and doesn’t love sitting and writing or doing math but we persevere and get it done, eventually. At around 6:30pm Mr Be comes home and plays with our daughter- well distracts her with an episode of Peppa Pig, while I finish up reading with our son.
Clothes come out and are hung up to dry and then its washing dishes time…YAY…not! No, we don’t have a dishwasher – one day lol. This takes us to around 7pm at which point I usually break up an argument between the kids which usually follows the lines of ‘He called me a poo head baby, I’m not a baby I’m a big girl’ with our son protesting “no I didn’t she lying, she hit me!” Once the shouting match is settled its story time for my daughter then bed. Both of our children are pretty good when it comes to bedtime, as soon as their heads hit the pillow they are pretty much out – especially our son who is the energiser bunny x 1000 so I reckon he needs a good 10/11 hours to recharge! By 7:15pm I’m usually just finishing up putting bits and bobs away, toys, the dreaded LEGO pieces which are always everywhere while our son has some time on his IPad.
Finally, the moment arrives when Mr Be and I sit down to eat our dinner…Phew!.
Although those two and a half hours are highly chaotic and filled with so many things, I am very grateful that I have these hours with my little people. Many other working parents don’t get home from their daily commute until 7:30pm which allows very little or no time for enjoying weekday evenings with their families. Even though by 7:30pm I have been a cook, cleaner, referee, teacher and have almost lost my mind, I don’t know what I’d be doing in the wee small hours without our little people.