Everyday, it happens without fail.
After loading the last dish from lunch in the dishwasher and running a dripping rag along the counter (which happens literally after I’ve finally finished cleaning the breakfast and mid-morning snack up. I’m not even kidding) I stand behind the island and stare at the kids on the other side.
They blink at me.
I blink back at them.
Because it’s that time of day.
Time for the dreaded afternoon slump.
Please tell me you know what I’m talking about here. That time of day when you feel fried and frazzled and kids are getting tired but refuse naps and the afternoon sun is relentless, beating down on you in a mockery of your motherhood? When the afternoon seems to stretch on forever and endlessly? When you find yourself frantically counting down the hours until your significant other will come home and you fling a small child his way with that crazed look in your eyes?
I can handle the mommy gig in the mornings. In fact, I like the mornings. I wake up before six, have my little cup of coffee, do some writing and then when the kids get up, the morning passes quickly by in a flurry of breakfast, laundry, chores, baby nap time, returning phone calls.
It’s a nice, busy pace that keeps me feeling productive without panic. (Usually.)
But then, before I know it, the afternoon hits.
And I run out of steam.
I’m ready for a break at the same time the kids are ready for me to entertain them, provide them with a new exciting project, fix their 10th snack of the day. Seriously, do your kids snack all day long? Mine are literally hungry.all.the.time. It drives me nuts and makes me wish I was a French parent with little patient French children who wouldn’t demand snacks all day long.
The hours from around 2-5 pm seem to drag by in my house. I hate the listless, cotton-on-the-brain feeling I have. I hate that I find myself watching for my husband’s truck even when I know he’s 45 minutes from home.
I feel like I need to be a peppier, more fun-filled mom, but some days, like yesterday, it’s all I can do to just plop down on the basement floor in the cool and half-heartedly play with the baby and watch the older ones compete for my attention.
I’m already fearful of the summer, when the days will seem to drag on even longer, the heat become more oppressive, the complete lack of routine or structure threatening to undo me.
I’m thinking that those countries where everyone takes afternoon naps are really on to something.
Tell me I’m not alone here–does anyone else hate the afternoon slump with small children as much as I do?