Ups and downs

I'm having a struggle and I wonder if anyone else has felt this.
I usually get home from picking up all kids at school around 4 pm.  From 4 to 4:30 is one of the GRUMPIEST times in our house!  It's as if we all cannot stand each other. 
I'm trying to get to the bottom of why this is a hard time.  Here are my thoughts:
1.  Some of us have just been in the car for about 1.5 hours (Lucy and me) by the time all is said and done.  That makes me crabby.
2.  When we all get home, it's like we're ALL having to adjust to each other again.  If our kids just walked home from the public school, I could have myself all ready for their arrival -- snack, a nice welcome, etc.  As it is, we all scramble for snack and I'm immediately irritable.  Hrumph.
3.  After having spent the day apart, we require a time of re-entry into the life of the home.  This takes time and care.  Care is something in short supply when I just came in the door at a tired time of day.

So, what I'm thinking is that I need to come up with ways to make the coming home better.  There is no way around the driving for now.  But I could, with much effort, have a snack ready to set out when we come in.  What are the ways I can make our late afternoons more peaceful and loving?  I welcome your ideas.  And prayers!


  1. Hardest time of day! Bulk of ours still homeschooled for this reason-- i *couldn't stand* all the end of day irritability + coming home to making supper + coming home to much homework. We could find no way to navigate all that craziness {and still be pleasant & have leftover margin} We did this one semester, years ago, and failed MISERABLY. (esp as they get older.) Boy, do i understand your dilemma!

    Praise music in the car?
    Making extreme use of a crock pot for the bulk of your meal? (or at least the meat)
    Have snacks in car to eat on way home?
    maybe a half- hour of a show on TV to make the re-entry friction less, immediately? Like a Cosby DVD or an I Love Lucy DVD? (while you get unpacked/ stuff put up in {relative} quiet.

    OR, (maybe) institute a "half hour room time" for each kid immediately when walking in door. For 30 minutes (use timer) every body "chill"-- do what you want in your room.

    OR you could ask your kids-- what would help this?? They have thoughts, i'm sure.
    That being said-- we found this impossible to navigate, in it's entirely-- esp with the homework craziness, to boot. there was just not enough of me to go around, and the stork could not be guaranteed to be home (for dinner, for homework, for the evening ?---so we bailed. I just knew my days were numbered and that they would have a schrew for a momma instead, if we did not do something.

    Oh-- and *fiercely guard* your evenings-- in terms of commitments.

    I will be praying that God will grant clarity here.
    He will!

    Much love to you Kit

  2. Oh dear, Kit. 1.5 hours in the car is a long time. I'd make that "homecoming" special. Like you said, have a snack ready (a fun one!) and have it on the couch together for a snuggle, or give the kids the option some alone time, even snacking in their rooms. I'm guessing that you each need something different by the end of the day - some want to be together others alone. I'm sure the kids notice the crazy too. I like your friend's idea of talking with the kids about it and "solving" the problem as a family with some prayer, eh? Sounds like a little space would work best, for all of you, that there would be joy in coming together and not strife.

    I've been thinking about 1 Ptr 5:8 and the devil waiting for someone to devour. Declare war together as a family that he may not have a foothold! We'll pray. :)

  3. Tab,
    I KNEW you would have some wisdom for me. This is so so helpful. Homeschooling has crossed my mind for these reasons...
    Yes, with pastor husband, I have to guard the eveings. They're usually not too bad.
    Thanks for your suggestions. I am going to pray over all this.
    Love to you all!


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