I remember learning about “Arsenic Hour” when I first had my babies. Every day, at about 4 in the afternoon, the baby would get fussy. The hours from 4pm to 6pm were filled with whining and crying and rocking and juggling and all around chaos for everyone in the family.
I don’t have babies anymore, but I still dread the beginning of the end of the day.
Now the crabbiness sets in about 5 or 5:30. Ironically, that’s when I get off work so you’d think I’d be ecstatic. But it doesn’t take me long to switch from work mode to prep mode and my mind is filled with the ever evolving list of things that need to be done.
Child care pick ups, dinner, homework, baths, dishes, maybe some laundry.
And all before the kids have to be tucked into bed.
I notice my husband fading fast at this time of the night, too. He’s tired from working and trying to get dinner on the table and lunches packed for the next day. And all the while I can see him stealing glances at the couch, counting down the minutes when he can flop.
The unfortunate thing is that these are our prime family hours. With school, day care and two working parents, the daily time we have with all of us together is after work and before bed. I hate that we’re wishing those hours away. But our biorhythms seem to be working against us.
Here is where an expert would offer some advice, I suppose. Maybe insert a list of ideas for getting through the afternoon slump. But I haven’t got a clue.
How do you perk up in the late afternoon and early evenings?