So, have you heard about this study from Uniroyal Tyre in the UK? Apparently they did a survey of working moms and found that 8:25 AM is the most stressful time of the day. At 8:25, they have been wrangling kids out of beds and into clothes, making lunches and packing backpacks and trying to get them off to school on time.
I heard about the study at 8:25 this morning, in my car, as I was sipping the coffee my 9-year-old handed to me in a travel mug as I walked out the door (love that kid).
Mornings are not too bad for me, actually. I do most of the lunches the night before and just pop any thermos items in each morning. Backpacks are organized and ready the night before. The kids lay out their clothes before they go to bed. My kids are all wake up fairly easily, usually between 6:30 and 7:00. I’m an early riser myself, hopping out of bed at 6:00 to cycle the wash, unload the dishwasher, start breakfast and get myself ready for work.
I aim to leave the house between 8:00 and 8:15 each morning, at which point Homer takes over. By the time I leave, the kids have eaten, brushed their teeth and washed their faces, are dressed, have their hair done and have their snowpants and boots on. Lisa sets the timer to go off at 8:25 to signal that it’s time to put on the rest of their outdoor gear.
Evenings? Not so smooth.
I pick the kids up from the sitter anywhere between 5:00 and 6:00, usually about 5:30. At the sitters they are usually “in the middle of something”, like playing Wii, doing a craft or just playing, leaving me at the small entranceway begging them to please come and get their coats on. On average, it takes at least 10 minutes to get out of the sitter’s house.
In the 5-minute car ride home, they All! Want to tell me! About their day! Which is fine, but there is much fussing and pouting about who is getting more airtime.
When we get in the door, everyone knows what they’re supposed to do (hang coats, put away hats, etc., remove lunch bags and homework from backpacks), but it’s often only with nagging that it actually gets done (except for Lisa, who is very orderly).
I plan my weekday dinners, so I know exactly what we’re having, but I usually need to do a few minutes of prep to get the meal going so that it’s on the table at a decent time. I always ask the kids to give me these few minutes, uninterrupted, and then I’ll help them with homework while the dinner is cooking. They use this time that they’re not bugging me to harass each other. There is a lot of fussing, whining and shouting in these few minutes that leads to time outs, removal of privileges and frayed nerves.
Once dinner is served, the rest of the evening is fairly calm. Homework is done and we usually have time for a board game, some reading or maybe a quick Wii game.
When the kids were babies, the hour right around dinnertime was called “The Witching Hour” where all babies seemed to fuss and complain. Isn’t it nice to know that not much changes when they’re no longer babies?