January 5, 2012

The 4 o'clock slump

My SAHM mom friends refer to it as the "4 o'clock slump"--the last hour in the long day before their spouse comes home, when they are tiredest and the kids are at their most grumpy and trying.

In my house, it's the 7 o'clock slump. Because James and I both work at home, our day looks a little different. By 7 o'clock, we've both put in a full day at the "office." We're both exhausted. We've read stacks of books, been to the park, given baths, done a craft or activity, and the house is a mess, dinner still needs to be prepared, a forgotten load of cloth diapers is soaking in the washer, waiting to be rinsed and hung up to dry. From 7 to 8 o'clock comes the hour in which we snipe at each other over wet towels left on the floor, when we get resentful about the things in the day we planned to do but aren't going to, now, when Lu is laying on her stomach on the floor at we have no idea what to do with her because we've run out of ideas and there's still an hour to go until bedtime.

It's probably because we still aren't on a schedule, nine months into this parenting thing. WAH gives us the freedom to start our day whenever we want. We wake up when we wake up. We feed the baby when she seems hungry. We bathe her when she's dirty. We put her down for the night whenever she happens to fall asleep. My goal for 2012 is to get on a schedule, and stick to it. Hopefully, that will make things a little easier. (At least more predictable).

Most of the time, we spend our days doing wonderful things. Like taking Lulu to the National Gallery of Art for the first time.

And giving her her first taste of gelato.

She was shocked by the cold...but it didn't stop her from going back for more.

And through it all, I keep thinking of what a difference a year makes:
January 2011 versus January 2012

I hope that during tonight's 7 o'clock slump I'll think back on these happy moments and won't let the one difficult one define my day.

But I could use some tips on how to keep myself from going crazy from 7 to 8 PM every night.

What do you do to get through the slump? Any tips are appreciated.


  1. I think that mid-afternoon tea was invented just for this purpose - to take a break before that slump hits in order to revitalize yourself. A cup of tea, a light snack, even fifteen minutes to read or knit or whatever it is one does to relax, and you've got enough energy to get through the next few hours until bedtime.

    Not that I manage this. Ever. But it's an awesome theory.

  2. That's true...although I think I'd need something stronger than tea to fuel me for the evening rush. Like coffee. Or you know, vodka...

  3. Well.

    A- How did I just now find that you had another blog?

    B - My husband and I work opposite shifts (me day, him evening/night) so that we don't have to put the babies in day care, so at our house, the 7 o'clock slump was all mine. Thankfully, we have kinda grown out of it - now that last part of the day after supper is normally their giggliest and most happy time of the day. But we didn't get on a "schedule" until around 10 months or so - and since we don't go to day care, it's a lot later than most of the rest of the world. Don't worry. You'll get there.