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Any tips for de-stressing and slowing to a child's pace after a day at work?

(22 Posts)
IsabellaMilborne Sat 07-Sep-13 19:38:15

Thanks Littlecrystal; sounds like you might have a bit more time to play with than me?

Thanks Model Village; I think I definitely need to start thinking buffer zone too.

ModelVillage Sat 07-Sep-13 12:02:07

Lol! Are you an air traffic controller?

Your post sounds lovely though and you must be a great Mum, and I totally relate to your problem, only that I get the kids delivered to the door at 4 pm after working from home.. Quite a shock to the system.

I found to have a buffer zone useful, so not work till the last minute but regroup for 10 minutes and consciously put work out of my head and get into the kids mindset. Doing the school run helps too for refocusing.. This also works the other way round by focussing on the days projects while walking back home after drop off. Not sure if this helps, good luck!

littlecrystal Sat 07-Sep-13 10:41:26

Sometimes I just lie down on the carpet and let my two little ones climb over me and jump off the sofas or make a pillow war. However our normal routine is dinner, bathtime and stories, all very slow and relaxed and that's ok in my opinion.

IsabellaMilborne Fri 06-Sep-13 22:20:05

Thanks Patsy, I'm a sucker for a lullaby request, so this might work

PatsysPyjamas Fri 06-Sep-13 18:23:25

My job is not particularly high pressure, but I still have the same problem. One thing I find helps is singing lots of lullabies together at bedtime. It is almost impossible to be stressy while singing a lullaby!

IsabellaMilborne Fri 06-Sep-13 18:07:41

Thanks, some really good ideas here smile; I like the tree and floor ideas especially

MinimalistMommi Fri 06-Sep-13 17:52:07

And both of you pop your PJ's on so you're cosy together! As it gets darker, try lighting a candle for that hour, there's something magical/soothing about candle light. Also make yourself a dr.Stuarts Tranquility tea so that becomes a trigger for you to wind down with your daughter. It's very comforting to drink.

MinimalistMommi Fri 06-Sep-13 17:49:41

Hey OP, I spend ten minutes massaging my five year old DD and it relaxes her before bed and I find it relaxing too! I just lay a towel on her bed and rub her feet, bottom of her legs, tummy and back and arms with some lavender massage spray in a dimly lit room. She loves it and it calms/slows me down too!

becscertainstar Fri 06-Sep-13 17:23:13

I used to have this problem. I started switching on my 'out of office' auto reply as I left the office, so that I wouldn't be tempted to look at emails on the way home. I started reading a parenting book or looking through pictures of DS on my phone to remind me of my other 'self' before I got home.

And this is a bit nuts but there was a tree on the way to DS nursery and if there was any 'work' stuff hanging around in my head I used to mentally 'hang it up ' on the tree - I'd visualise hanging the annoying colleague on the tree branch by his coat (not around his neck, I was never quite THAT angry!), or I'd imagine putting the email I needed to send onto the tree and leaving it there. After dropping DS off in the morning I'd 'pick it up' again off the tree.

These days I work from home and my job is much less stressful. But occasionally if my head is still full of work I can talk it over with DS who is a very good sounding board and likes hearing all about it, so I don't have that 'gear switch' problem any more.

minipie Fri 06-Sep-13 17:23:08

watching with interest as I will be returning to a similar job soon.

I think anything involving the floor is a good idea. it's hard to be in uber efficient mode if you are sitting or even better lying on the floor. so maybe have a game where you lie on the floor once you've come in, and dd has to come find you... if you dont change clothes, maybe a silly hat which you put on when you come in the door? smile

poocatcherchampion Fri 06-Sep-13 17:12:30

I think you need to use the commute. look at pictures of her, mums net, think of fun activities to do. shut your eyes and count to 100 slowly..

I totally get what you mean.. smile my job is the same and I love that about it, but I have to switch off work me when I get home for the sake of all.

IsabellaMilborne Fri 06-Sep-13 17:12:27

Thanks Antidote, a pinger is a good idea. I'm good at not checking emails when I'm home and with DD, but I'm probably still thinking about them...

Antidote Fri 06-Sep-13 17:08:39

Turn off all electronic gadgets & get on the floor with her!

Also, set a pinger or something for bath time so you don't have to clock watch.

IsabellaMilborne Fri 06-Sep-13 17:05:52

Thanks all for the help offered.

Fabulous, PeterParkerSays, if somewhat nerve-racking for the neighbours; will try something similar!

Changing is also a good idea, although my work clothes are prtty much my home clothes too - maybe PJs is the way forward....

I have a very short commute, and am usually using it to send emails. Maybe I deliberately turn off the electronics on the way home and save this for after she's in bed.

haggisaggis Fri 06-Sep-13 14:34:16

Don't know how long your commute is - but it is a useful time to de-stress if you are able - listen to music / radio etc and try to switch off from work. When you get in, change into non-work clothes (called "softies" in our house!)
You don't seem to get much time with your dd before bed so I can understand how it would be easy to rush through trying to get everything done. Think you should just try to relax - let her come to you and show what she has been doing - let her lead the play. (All easier said than done when you're shattered).
Also - if she does come to you with something, stop and pay her attention rather than following down the schedule. It may be possible to miss something out (ie I'll skip dd's shower sometimes if she wants to watch tv with me or something) and get better "quality" time. It is really hard - I quite often get home after 8 p.m and although my dd is 11, I still find I'm rushing through with "right, dinner now cello, now shower now bed" rather than giving her a chance to chat to me or play. You have to just sit back and let her come to you - and then once you have got her to bed you do the story & cuddle time (and often that's when you'll find more out about her day)

Bearandcub Fri 06-Sep-13 14:04:45

Oh my this is me! Is there something that makes you feel like you? When I was commuting I read a book to detach from work but now I drive 5 mins to nursery I don't get that unwinding phase and am v snappy with my two once they're home.

TheSydenhamSet Fri 06-Sep-13 13:57:32

No need for that lifeis. It's clear OP wants to be with her daughter, that's why she's asked for tips.

Could you maybe make hot chocolate together, make it fun with sprinkles and maybe a cookie and sit and chat x

PeterParkerSays Fri 06-Sep-13 12:18:51

Founds bizarre but do something completely random on your way home, to jolt your brain out of work mode. Sit in the car and yell, run down the garden and back again, flailing your arms as you go etc. Your neighbours will think that you've finally flipped, but it will help to get work stuff to the back of your mind.

Also, get changed, either just before you leave work, or when you get home so you're definitely no longer at work.

Ask her loads of open questions - what have you enjoyed today? etc and see how she replies, rather than asking specific questions "who di you play with" etc so she has chance to ramble.

you could also make a note each time in the day you think about her, and show her at night so she knows that you think about her when you're at work, so she feels more bonded (not that she isn't already) and will want to share things with you.

IsabellaMilborne Fri 06-Sep-13 12:09:41

Thanks for your ideas, TVTonight; will give them a go smile

I love being with her, Lifeisbetter, and want to make the most of this time together, rather than getting someone else to do it for me.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Fri 06-Sep-13 11:25:16

It's only an hour or so, surely you enjoy being with her? May be you could try an au pair / nanny.

TVTonight Fri 06-Sep-13 11:18:01

I think you have to be a little introspective and remember not to treat her like an employee.!

Would it help you to actively notice and note what she does/how she plays/new vocabulary.

Would it help you to always be within arms reach of her so that and distractions are short lived

How about super actively focussing on her through the routine. Maybe ask her some questions every evening.

IsabellaMilborne Fri 06-Sep-13 09:57:07

I have a job which involves making a lot of decisions at top speed, being very organised, and doing lots of things very quickly and at once. It can be pretty high stress, and I work with people who are all very bright, switched on and committed.

When I get home in the evening I usually have 30 mins to 1 hour with 5 year old DD before she goes to bed.

The problem is that I arrive home still very much in work-mode, and find that I'm dealing with her like a work project; I want to hear about her day, read her stories and put her to bed, but I find that I want to do this in an organised manner, and on my terms, whereas DD, being 5, obviously wants to follow her own agenda and do things differently, happily being side-tracked, prevaricating, playing with toys instead of doing her teeth etc, which is all clearly normal 5 year old behaviour.

I'm conscious that I'm not a particularly patient person, and do try to work on this. But when I'm shattered after a frazzling day, I find this very difficult, and start getting snippety.

Help! I want us to enjoy the time we spend together in the evenings more; does anyone have any tips for de-stressing after work and changing pace so we can have a more relaxed and happy time together?

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