I don’t know what it is about 5 p.m., but it seems like most children just seem to fall apart about that time.
Right as I’m trying to get the house picked up and dinner going, those little ones just want to be held, snuggled, or lay on the floor and cry.
Over the years, I’ve learned some tricks to make that hour of the day go a little more smoothly for all of us:
- Turn on some music. My girls love music, so I usually open up a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse station on Pandora and let them dance until they’re worn out.
- Bring a little table into the kitchen. I feel like my girls are extra-clingy at this time of day, so if I bring their little table to the kitchen and let them color or do Play-Doh where they are within arms reach of me, they’re usually happy to play on their own.
- Let them go outside. In our old apartment, we had a little deck I could see from the kitchen sink. In our current house, the back patio is right off the kitchen, so in both instances, I can let them go do bubbles or sidewalk chalk outside and get some fresh air while I cook.
- Prep dinner early. My girls have a snack right after naps and quiet time, so if I can get some early dinner prep going on while they snack, I can spend less time trying to hustle dinner on the table while they are falling apart later in the afternoon.
- Save something new. If we get some stickers or new library books, I try to save them until this time to keep them entertained when all the old stuff is failing.