I realized something last night… As hectic as our evenings are, they are probably the least hectic now than they will be over the next 16 years.
It is a common complaint/issue/frustration of working parents. We only get about 2 hours at home with the kids each night. Granted I do get a couple of extra hours with my reduced schedule, but that time is only with Mason and her friend right now, and I am most likely still working the entire time. So we get home from picking up Cooper at 6pm. The kids’ bedtime is about 7:30pm. That leaves us a quick hour and a half to eat dinner, play, get baths, read stories, etc. The time flies! We try hard to focus our attention on the kids, but between making dinner, working out, doing dishes, and just decompressing from the day, it is hard to fully take advantage of every minute.
My advice to mothers going back into the workforce is always to appreciate the time you have. Do the dishes after they go to bed. Work out in the morning while they are still sleeping. Make family dinner a priority so you can all eat together and catch up on the day. But I don’t always follow my own advice. I get sucked into the madness and just try to get everything done by 8pm so that I can then sit down and relax before my own bedtime. But by doing that, I miss out on the quality time with my kids.
Like I said, this is probably the least hectic time we will have before the kids go off to college. What happens when sports classes get scheduled during the week? What do we do when we have to squeeze in homework? What changes if one of us gets a new job that involves a long commute? (We’re super lucky with the time we do have now since we have only 1-2 mile commutes!) Our world will get turned upside down once they are in elementary school. I need to remind myself again and again to appreciate the time we have. Dishes will have to wait. My alarm clock will continue to be set for 5:30am to squeeze in my workout. The hours of 6pm to 7:30pm are sacred. Time is flying by and will continue to do so.