I don't know about you but at my house the hours from about 4pm to 6pm are a total disaster.
No matter where we are or what we are doing, I can pretty much guarantee that our day will go off the rails when the clock strikes 4pm. By then, my girls are getting hungry and tired. They’re likely a little bit bored and, honestly, I am too. They’ve tried my patience again and again and again. And I’m sure I’ve pushed their buttons as well – even if they can’t articulate that yet.
Plus there’s the reality that sometime during that witching hour, we have to fit in dinner.
I’ve seen what happens when I let a crazy afternoon and chaotic dinner carry over into the girls’ bedtime routine. I feel rushed and irritable and short-tempered. They start throwing tantrums or erupting into unexplained tears. And my husband and I sit there watching the clock, just waiting for the moment we can put them to bed.
The problem with this pattern is that I would rather use the evening hours to reconnect with my kids after a long day. And when we let the chaos and craziness of the early evening carry over into their bedtime routine, that time is anything but enjoyable. That’s why I decided we needed to try something new.
So now after dinner, we dance.
When we’ve finished dinner and cleared the table, I ask the girls who’s ready to dance. They chime “me” in unison and make their way to our kitchen’s tiny “dance floor.” Then I crank up the record player and we get our groove on.
My girls dance because they think it’s fun to jump and twirl and spin. I dance because it’s the best way I know to release the stresses from the day. And because it’s a daily opportunity to reconnect with myself and my girls and bring a little carefree spirit back into our night.
I’m not saying that everyone has to dance – though I don’t think it would hurt. What I will say is that it pays to have a ritual to turn to when your day hits a low point.
So ask yourself: What could you do to reconnect with your family and yourself in those moments? What would make you pause and hit the reset button? And what would help you bring a little joy back to your day?
Then go do it – and let me know what you’re trying and how it’s going in the comments below.
P.S. If you’re a mom who is ready to find her way back to herself, I’d love to talk and see if one-on-one coaching would be a good fit for you.