Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The afternoon pick-ups

Even Brad Pitt struggles! Image from here
A couple of years ago I wrote a post about the busiest three hours of my weekNot long after I wrote it, I increased to three days at work and had to repeat the three hour routine twice a week. My days on the afternoon pick-ups are always the most full-on in my week. I don't know how Mum's who work full-time manage this every single day!

The Geege has been doing stock take the past couple of days and I have been alone doing pick-ups and bedtimes. A couple of years ago I wouldn't have been able to manage on my own. I realised that things have gotten a lot better.

I still dread Monday and Tuesday evenings. Who wouldn't? Picking up four completely over tired children and having to squash their night time routine into an hour isn't anyone's idea of fun I bet. I still get completely overwhelmed and overwrought but I seem to get through things more productively, with less screaming and a reasonable bed time for the kids.

So what has changed? Obviously the kids have gotten older, which really helps. But it is a combination of  other little changes we have made that seem to be helping us. Things like: improved organisation; lower standards (i.e. simple dinners); getting the kids to do their homework at after-school care so we only have to check it and have them read to us; and rewarding independent behaviour.

Nothing changes over night, but it is nice to realise that life is getting easier.

What is the busiest time of your week? How do you manage it?


Diminishing Lucy said...

I swear we are on the exact same frequency.

Three or four years ago the love thus and HAD to be home for 6:30 bath time to help me with the bath bed book boob routine.

He has just broached the idea of working interstate 2 days a fortnight. And as I easily agreed it was a good idea for him, I realised, just like you, it has all got easier with time, age and practice.

At one point a few years ago I had a three way pick up: school, kindy and childcare. NIGHTMARE! Now? All three from school. Easy as. Monday nights are a bit chaos: netball training, chess club, pilates and prep for show and tell all between 3 & 7pm. (plus dinner and homework somewhere?!)


Mama of 2 boys said...

Oh you are amazing doing that routine with four littlies MM. Seriously amazing. Sometimes I honestly wonder how Mama's with more than two cope. I find my busiest/craziest time is that dinner/bath/bed rush. Scott gets home after 7 every night, so it's all me. Hence why I can't imagine doing it with four.
But I think I can see your point about the improvement as they get older. Like a little ray of light off in the distance taunting me somewhat. We'll get there xo

Quill and Ink Handmade said...

End of the day is just tricky all round, isn't it?

Dave is about to leave for the mines up north, so all our routines are about to be shaken up. I'll be on my own for two weeks at a time; considering how much I LOVE it when he comes home at the end of the day, I suspect it'll be a period of adjustment (and maybe some wine drinking and chocolate eating on my behalf, to preserve sanity).

I am grateful though, that this big family change didn't happen two years ago when the kids were babes. And even though my two fight a lot, they're independent and willing to help. I'm sure it'll make a difference, even if only very small :)

Great post, MM x

Anonymous said...

Good to hear it's getting easier. I count myself lucky to have a husband who's a teacher & does drop offs & pickups & is home most days by 5 so were doing the bath, dinner, bed thing together.

River said...

It's nice to read that things are going well, that little bit of extra maturity from the kids and less stress over meals...simple dinners were a big thing in my home when the four were small.

Sew Brunswick said...

My husband's in mining and he spends a third of the year away. Thankfully for only a few nights at a time. I work and the kids go to childcare. It is an exercise in extreme organisation. I cook on Sundays so everything is ready. I find I have both boys in bed by 6.30pm when my husband is travelling so I get some peace & quiet! Exhausting but we manage.

emma @ frog, goose and bear said...

It gets so much easie the older they get - thank goodness!!!

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