Routines, Husbands, and an Epiphany…..

My house is crazy at night.  My husband comes in at 2:45 or so and the kids lose their minds.  I have often wondered about the cause.  I have relative calm during the day and my husband doesn't see that part.  He only sees the crazy.  In an effort to make things a bit mor calm and peaceful I have tried to take a good hard look at how we are spending our evenings.  What I discovered surprised me.  During the day we have stucture and routine, at night, there is none.  Ok so now I feel sure I know what the problem is.  I am expecting far too much from my small children and husband.  I need to either lower my expectations or form a better routine for the kids so they can have the tools they need to meet them. 
This is the plan for the 2 –8 pm hours.
When the weather cooperates, I am going to make outside time from 2 to 3.  That way they can run around to their hearts content.  When Daddy comes home, they are all eager to see him, so they will come inside for a bit, but I am betting that they go back out.  I need for them to be occupied while Gary and I talk about his day.  He needs that down time with me.  So if they don’t go back outside, I think I may let them play Webkinz on my computer for a little bit, I hardly ever let them and that always keeps them busy.  That way I can have the time with Gary and coffee, without the distraction of my computer LOL.  When I sit, the laptop is the first thing I want to pick up.  
Then we have the cooking supper hour.  I know what people say, “Let the kids help you.”  I say, “Come get them and let them help YOU.”  I am a realist.  While I can get some lofty ideas in my head, I know what will work long term for me.  That is not going to be having the kids underfoot during the  ‘crabby hour’ (I will not say if it is me or them) while making the biggest meal of the day.  So, I need something to keep them occupied from 3:45 or so to 5 pm while I am cooking.  I am thinking realistically here so I know that asking Gary to entertain them might work for a little bit but would not be a long term solution.  I initially thought maybe they could do their evening chores during this time slot but that requires more intensive supervision than I can give at that point. 
Some ideas to rotate around, depending on time and what I am cooking: 

  • Put Quin in the bathtub and Mike in the shower.  This is me being sneaky, once they are in there, Gary will get them out most times.  If not, it is not that big of a deal to do it myself.   
  • Have them go play in their room for a little bit.
  • Have them go back outside.
  • Allow them to take part in supper prep. (I can sometimes do this, it really does depend on the circumstances.)
  • Let them hook up the game cube.
  • Break out the play dough.
So that is what I have come up with so far.  I can’t just pick one thing and repeat it everyday.  I need this to be very flexible.  So, I am glad for this list.  Now here is my plan for after supper:
  • Clean up after supper
  • Baths for everyone
  • Final chores for the evening
  • Storytime
  • Bed time
I think this will work!  I really want my home to be more peaceful and less chaotic.  I feel so much stress at night, I don’t want to cook, clean, or care for anyone!  Our lack of structure at night surely plays a part in this.  Hopefully, as I am now more aware of the problem, we can make our nights pleasant!

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Kim said...

Yay for having a plan! Our home has an ever-evolving plan as the kids get bigger and as other things change. Good luck!

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