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Commuting and evening routine - help please

(7 Posts)
rara67 Thu 08-Sep-11 18:38:49

I am sure that someone has a similar set up... DH leaves home at 6.30am and gets home at 7.15pm if we are lucky although been 8pm this week. So, DS1(8) and DS2(3) never see him in the morning. Boys have tea at 5.30 or earlier so I sit with them and then clear away while they watch TV, play on DS etc (not together, we are lucky enough to have a playroom). I try to get DS2 into bed at 7pm and sometimes DH will be home in time to do a story. Bed time can take til 7.30pm or later so DS1 is often downstairs on his own (feel v guilty but cant see alternative) for 45 mins. Then we have our meal (DS1 on his own again) and then DH reads with DS1 (new routine: TV off at 8pm unless we are still eating). DS1 has trouble getting to sleep so he can be bouncing off walls til 10pm. We never seem to sit down til 10pm, there is always washing up as I do 2 meal sittings every night. DH has just phoned to say problem with trains and wont be home til 8.30, so I will read with DS1, we will eat 8.45 but that means DS1 will not start the going to bed process til 9.15. DS1 is not the easiest child, everthing from getting up, going to bed, cleaning teeth, using cutlery to doing homework is a battle. It feels like every night we are "hitting a moving target" and everything has to be crammed into the weekend .I would just like some reassurance that this is normal for most families with a commuter and some meal suggestions for things that DSs could eat at 5.30 and would be OK to reheat at 8.30 (for a DH who is in his 50's and just done a 14 hour day!) Thanks

BeattieBow Thu 08-Sep-11 18:44:59

I put my children to bed at the same time- even the older ones - they go to their rooms and read.

It sounds to me as though ds1 does need some quiet time and some routine - his bedtime seems to revolve around your dh, when maybe it should be the other way round. I also think he is left alone alot, when he could be with your and your ds2 - they are not too old to bathe together, or for ds1 to read to/listen into stories with ds2. Then you could read with ds1 and leave him in bed for a while with a book maybe. Mine go to bed the same time every night (ish) regardless of what time me or dh get in from work.

rara67 Thu 08-Sep-11 18:54:25

Thanks. I think routine is the key: I was much much firmer with DS2 (long story/ history with DS1) but he is so very very different from DS1. (DS1 showers, DS2 hates water and has a bath twice a week if I can face the crying) They no longer bath together as DS1 caught DS2 weeing in the bather water! I feel like I am raising 2 only children due to extremely different personalities and 5 year gap. I will see if DS1 will come up when DS2 goes to bed although he will be very disruptive and be gagging to get back downstairs.....

Octaviapink Thu 08-Sep-11 20:46:06

It does sound as though your eldest is getting overtired - 10pm is really too late for an 8yo to go to bed. I think he should definitely come upstairs when you take your youngest up at 7ish (to be honest I think 7pm is a perfectly reasonable bedtime for an 8yo). He can get ready for bed, brush teeth etc and get into bed to read a book or whatever then DH can read both of them stories one after the other when he gets home. What you have going at the moment really doesn't seem to be working for him.

An0therName Thu 08-Sep-11 21:16:01

sounds like he is over tired - I would make sure he goes up earlier - say 1/2 hour after his brother - I would fit in meal as and when
re food boys have tea at 5 pm - my DS2 is only 19 mo so gets starving - and I normally eat with them - DH warms it up when he gets in - normally 6ish -but sometimes later
meal ideas pizza, macaroni cheese, fritata (sp), sauages and oven chips, stew, lasagne, spag bol,
Also when ever possible we have play time outside after tea - I would say DS in particular can wind them up quite a bit

rara67 Thu 08-Sep-11 21:21:42

Thanks. DH just pulled up at 9.15. Both boys in bed, dinner ready and reading and homework done. Just waiting for DS1 to creep downstairs....then eat then do my Tesco order...

lechatnoir Thu 08-Sep-11 22:52:52

I'm the commuter in our house & often don't get home til gone 7pm - we eat once the children are in bed so usually at least 8 more like 8:30 by the time we've cooked/reheated and sat down

If I were you, I'd have both boys going up to bed at 6:45/7pm - as others have said DS1 can read/play upstairs with you - get them both ready for bed & DS2 into bed lights out for 7:30 then you (or if he's home DH) have a bit of 1-on-1 time with DS1 reading together/chatting whilst DS2 nods off then bed for 8pm. I think 9pm is late for an 8 yr old on a school night let alone 10pm.
eta if he's not settling I'd try stopping the DS/TV too close to bedtime as screen time generally definitely makes my eldest more wired

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