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Surviving the hours five pm to seven pm should be an olympic event. Discuss.

(26 Posts)
Stefka Sun 24-Aug-08 07:41:19

I feel like it should be anyway! I feel like my whole day is geared towards surviving the make tea/serve tea/clean up tea/clean up everything else from the day/bath/bed/make DH tea routine! It's such a mad couple of hours. I am only a novice however as I have one baby - how those of you with more than one cope I have no idea!

I meant to post this last night but was so exhausted from five -seven stuff that I just lay on the sofa and drank wine instead - I consider this part of my training routine.

chelsygirl Sun 24-Aug-08 07:43:09

wait till your kids are older, you'll say surviving 5 till 9! when they go to bed later

seriously bed time does eventually get a bit easier!smile
just hang in there

posieflump Sun 24-Aug-08 07:43:50

why don't you all eat togther to break the routine
Or today if you're all at home have Sunday lunch?
But I know what you mean - it is the cranky hour in this house! And that's with a 2 year old and a 4 year old, can't wait for a 7 and 9 year old wink

HeadFairy Sun 24-Aug-08 08:12:16

How old is your baby? Mine is nearly one and things are definitely getting easier. He's feeding himself much more, and although he can't dress himself or anything, I can at least put him down on the floor and he'll toddle off and play with a toy while I get some things sorted. I don't have to entertain him continuously and that's taken a big pressure off.

Stefka Sun 24-Aug-08 08:19:23

DH works all the time. He doesn't get home till seven at the earliest and he works weekends too. Me dashing round the house trying too feed DS, hoover, run bath, prepare DH's tea all at the same time must be pretty comical to watch.

Stefka Sun 24-Aug-08 08:20:26

He's ten months. It takes ages to feed him for some reason. He does eat but it takes forever. If I let him eat his own food then he just throws it all on the floor and doesn't eat anything. To get him to eat I need to distract him with random items from the kitchen!

WideWebWitch Sun 24-Aug-08 08:21:29

It's sometimes called the arsenic hour because you either want to take it or give it. It does get easier!

posieflump Sun 24-Aug-08 08:22:06

aw bles you!
don't hoover at that tie, don't try to cook wile doing bath time
Cook once ds is in bed
Don't be to hard on yourself
So what if dh has to wait half an hour for his dinner once he gets home?

lizziemun Sun 24-Aug-08 08:27:58


I try to cook as many meals which can be served at different times.

I also prepare meals when dd2 is having her nap so i only have to finish. Can you hoover after ds has gone to bed.

AbbaFan Sun 24-Aug-08 08:35:26

IKWYM - Those hours in my house are stressful too.

Im a CM as well as a mum of two boys (8 & 4), so I am often feeding between 4 - 6 kids every night, seeing mindees off between 5.30 - 6pm, cleaning up, loading DW, arranging my and DH's tea and it's just so exhausting.

The bath routine is definately easier, as I just hang around upstairs doing more jobs while the kids get on with it. I just pop in and help with hair washing etc.

I dread that time every night!

TrinityRhino Sun 24-Aug-08 08:38:33

I call that time 'arsenic hour'

in our house its about 4.30 till 8

we have 3 dd's 8,3 and 19 months

dh worjs till past 8 almost every night so its me on my own

3 against get the picture

Stefka Sun 24-Aug-08 08:39:58

I worry about the noise - our house is tiny. I obviously don't do anything else while DS is in the bath!! Don't want people to think I leave him in there.

I don't much care if DH has to wait for tea but I am bloody starving by then!!! grin

Stefka Sun 24-Aug-08 08:41:13

3! You get a gold medal for managing that Trinity! As do you Abba fan - bad enough dealing with your own brood!

TrinityRhino Sun 24-Aug-08 09:10:26

thanks stefka but psyochmum has 5

how on earth does she manage that??!!

Poppychick Sun 24-Aug-08 09:23:41

I remember that stage so well. When my two were smaller I used to spend the day dreading it and found it so stressful.

Mine are now 3.5 and 1.5 and I've recently noticed that I don't dread it as much or feel as anxious. Surely this can only be a sigh that things are getting easier.

I agree wait until DS goes to bed till you start cooking and get DH to help a bit more. Cook simpler meals, be as organised as you can the night before doing bits of preparation.

Seuss Sun 24-Aug-08 09:29:56

Mine are 8,5 and 3. We still get the twilight whining because they are tired after school/playgroup, but once they are all bathed and pj-ed they are fine. lol - 'the arsenic hour', that about sums it up! It does get easier when they can feed and dress themselves though. I try and get as much as possible sorted before they go to bed so that I know it isn't all waiting for me when I come down and doesn't impose on my 'wine-time'.

HeadFairy Sun 24-Aug-08 09:37:52

I usually end up eating ds' leftovers, so I don't get too hungry waiting for dinner. We don't usually get to eat until about 8, so I'm always picking at ds' food blush. Mind you, if they throw it on the floor it's fair game.... blush blush at my greed!!!

I usually try and prepare or part prepare dinner earlier on in the day when ds is having a nap or playing. I also leave most of the tidying up until after ds is in bed, just chuck all his dinner bowls/plates/spoons etc in the dishwasher. Put a big plastic mat on the floor when ds is having his tea and just pick the whole thing up and shake it outdoors when we're done.

I have a big toy box in the living room and I can scoop up all his toys and chuck them in there in about a minute flat, I usually get ds to help me put them away before bath time too (for "help", read get more toys out, he doesn't quite get the concept of tidying up yet) so the living room is pretty tidy before we go up for bath.

All his bath toys stay in the bath when we're done so I don't worry about tidying them up, when he's in his pyjamas he'll toddle around his bedroom while I pick up the dirty clothes and stuff lying around and pile it up by his door to take out when he's finally in bed. Then it's sleeping bag on, story, bf and he falls asleep during his bf. Then I take out all his dirty clothes and put them in the laundry basket, the dirty nappy we took off before bath goes in the bin and hey presto, we're done. That's usually about 7.30, when I finish off dinner and sit down to eat. I usually have a shower after dinner so I finally get to sit down at about 9pm for a whole hour! wow!

madcol Sun 24-Aug-08 09:48:21

Personally I find the hours 5-7 am the hardest. 22 mo DS was up at 4.55am today. It was DARK.

cheesychips Sun 24-Aug-08 19:37:01

I have 3 under 5 so really chaotic. We call it the witching hour. Guaranteed number 1 and 2 (usually best of friends) will squabble over a zillion tiny things and wee baby will try and nap and will need to be kept awake with constant entertaining. Perhaps as host nation we could introduce it to the olympics in 2012

Stefka Sun 24-Aug-08 21:14:55

Getting up before five is just wrong. What is it with babies and the whole lets get up at stupid o'clock?

The worst time for me actually is the hour before all this kicks off. At least it is mad busy from five to seven so it passes. The four to five is a pain as DS is always in a grump and I always feel really tired at that time.

I think it should be introduced along with nappy changing a rolling baby and leaving the house with a newborn.

Thomcat Sun 24-Aug-08 21:17:08

LOL! After the girls had ta tonight I said to DP, lets bath them, put them in their pjs and then just take them out somewhere! He said where and I replied, dunno, anywhere, for a drive, let's just kill the last 2 hours of this day as painlessly as possible!

Denny185 Sun 24-Aug-08 21:25:30

Def agree 5-7 r the busiest 2 hours of the day coupled with 3 tierd children often melt downs in this house (usually me). I try and vary routine to give myself a break sometimes ie doing hot meal midday and just sandwiches in the evening or bathing in the am with just a quick hands/face/bum wash b4 bed. Def dont hoover at this time, there are enough other things that need doing, can u hoover during the day? Also as DS gets bigger he can tidy his own toys away B4 bedtime.

mrsmalumbas Sun 24-Aug-08 21:27:20

I agree. And even my in-laws describe 8.00pm as the "thank god" hour. I think no matter how much you love your kids it is great when they have gone to bed! Mine are 7 and 4 by the way!

squeaver Sun 24-Aug-08 21:27:40


minouminou Mon 25-Aug-08 00:17:51

we call the time between 5pm and 7.30pm (or 6pm and 7.30pm on nursery days) the witching hours
i use a combo of cbeebies, stickers (or stickaaaahhhhsssss, as DS calls them, as he plasters them on top of each other on yet another homemade card) and bathtime to get through them
DP and i take turns at cooking, while the other pays attn to DS/does a bit of tidying
it's pretty mix and match, but we get through it every day
it's helped by the fact that DS is a great sleeper, and, once we shut his bedroom door, we have 30 seconds of shouting unadulterated anglo-saxon obscenities at the a treat (and yes we really are that childish)
then we settle down to housework/work/tv/etc

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