Magical Solutions for the Witching Hour

Dear Debbie, It’s 5pm and my three kids are driving me insane. How can I save my sanity during the “witching hours?”
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

Dear Debbie,

It’s 5pm and my three kids are driving me insane. How can I save my sanity during the “witching hours?”

The Wicked Witch of Missouri

Dear Wicked Witch,

Here are a few magical ideas to make the witching hours--the ones between 4 and 7 pm when they need you and you need a spa--more angelic:

•Indulge yourself. No one’s happy if momma ain’t happy. Late afternoon is the perfect time to savor that fully-leaded coffee, piece of chocolate or other sin of choice.

•Make use of the bathtub. It’s not just for washing anymore. Bubbles, shaving cream, plastic cups, sponges, or water paints buy lots of whine-free time.

•Get outside. A nature walk, sidewalk chalk, a game of catch, or a few minutes on a bike let off cranky energy.

•Skip family dinner; have family dessert. Waiting until Dad comes home can push the limits of kid-sized stomachs. Feed the troupes early, get them ready for bed, and let them eat dessert when you dine later--with everyone in a better mood.

•Read a book. Why save books for bedtime? Reading, either together or alone, slows the pace of a hectic day.

•Put on festive music. Something jumpy, something fun, anything to set a fun mood.

•Do something shocking. Crazy hat afternoon. Inside-out clothing only. No forward walking allowed. Shake things up with a funny rule for the challenging hours of the day.

•Resign yourself to the floor. A few minutes of uninterrupted play with mommy stops their shirt-pulling and lets you feel less guilty when you escape to make dinner, return phone calls, or shut the door to the bathroom.

Related

Preschool Choices

Dear Debbie, How many days/week should my daughter go to preschool? I don’t work full-time. So she could stay home with me. But she loves school, too. What is best for my child? I’m driving myself insane with this decision!

Spring Potty Training

Dear Debbie, I want to potty train my child by this summer. What do you suggest? Strip him down and head outside. Potty training, nakedness, and the great outdoors go hand in hand.

Separation Anxiety

Dear Debbie, My six year old cries when it’s time to go to a birthday party, weekly dance class, anywhere not in her daily routine. She is a little shy. But she loves everything once she gets there. What is going on and how do we get out the door without these meltdowns? —Too many tears

Dear Debbie

"Dear Debbie" is a column dedicated to answering your questions about how to better handle the everyday struggles of life with children. She'll tackle anything-from tantrums and potty training to dealing with playground politics and post partum depression. Send your questions to: mag@todaysmama.com

Chores

Dear Debbie, Help me end the mess in our crazy house! Any ideas? —Drowning in dust bunnies

Ann K

Family Slow-Down Solutions

In fall, a family’s pace of life seems to accelerate dramatically. As we coordinate homework, sports, clubs, practices and appointments, it’s common to feel like slaves to our schedules, leaving us—and our kids—stressed out, frantic and frenzied.

Me Time for Real Life

Trying to find “me time” is giving me high blood pressure and making me cranky. According to the media, and a few delirious friends, I need more focus on ME!

RUSH Hour

What this is in an opportunity. Life grants us opportunities ALL THE TIME to see what is not really working and come up with a new play...a new game plan....a new perspective.