My Nana always said that most babies have a ‘witching hour’. A time when nursing, feeding, a binky, rocking, swaddling or standing on your head and singing silly songs will not soothe their cries. For some babies this time is right around dinner, for others it could be the middle of the night, it ultimately depends on the baby. Interestingly enough, I have found that most moms also have a ‘witching hour’.

For me, my ‘witching hour’ is the first few minutes arriving home at the end of the day. During this time I unload three children from the car, all their bags, lunch boxes, toys, art projects, and at least a dozen slips from daycare and school. After unloading everyone it is snack time, followed by nursing the baby. I think that I feel extra pressure during these first moments from coming home because I know that if I am late to get dinner started, it will throw off the entire night; baths will be late, I will not have time to get in a run, I will not have time to make lunches, and I will face a screaming and hysterical baby anxiously waiting to nurse. It is a very stressful time for me, and I find that I am super sensitive and agitated during these moments.

My least favorite task to do during these tense moments is unpacking lunch boxes and washing all the tiny containers, sippy cups and bottles. There have been days when this simple task has brought me to tears! I know, it seems unreasonable, how hard is it to wash some re-useable lunch containers?

Truthfully, it is not at all hard, but there is something about this task that I find daunting, and on some days this task pushes me over the edge. I have tried leaving the lunch boxes packed and waiting till the end of dinner to open them and clean all the containers. This approach actually makes things worse, it is like putting off a dentist appointment when you know you have a cavity. Why delay the inevitable? I have also taken the approach of opening the lunch boxes and washing everything within my first five minutes of being home. It made me feel somewhat better, but still did not alleviate the tension of my ‘witching hour’.

So, in thinking about a solution to my problem at hand, I have decided to let myself cry it out. Why can’t a mom have a ‘witching hour’? I am allowed to be ‘off’ every so often, so why not embrace it? Be forewarned, if you call my house trying to sell something, or ask me to do you a favor during the first few moments when I walk in the door you are not going to get a favorable response. Give me a bit to cry it out, get the GD (as my four-year old has been known to say) dishes washed and let me move on to the real problems that a mother must deal with…like my two-year old’s chronic constipation!

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