For awhile this was my least favorite time of day. I was cranky. My baby was cranky. Everything I was trying to accomplish was being thwarted. I was frustrated, tired, and ready to unload my negativity on my husband as soon as I could.
You can imagine how well that worked out.
Some time over the summer - after I had quit my paying job and was home full time - I decided that the way I was handling this dreaded time of day was detrimental to my marriage, and to our family as a whole. I couldn't fix Claire's attitude or behavior. I couldn't change the fact that I really was exhausted. But I could change my behavior - and I could do a few things to smooth out that time.
I thought about what the hardest part of those hours was - and concluded that it was when I was trying to make dinner, pick up the house, and get everything ready for Mr. SA to come home. Which would be fine, except that Claire often wanted to be held that whole time, didn't want to be "worn" in one of those baby carriers, and just generally needed more of my attention during the one time of day I wasn't prepared to give it to her.
So I changed my schedule. Instead of working out in the morning, that is when we run errands, because she is happiest then and less likely to melt down in the store. I use her naps times to chop vegetables, clean up the house, empty the dishwasher, or do any other tasks that I know will be harder once she is awake. I used to work out in the morning and then was worn out by the afternoon. Now I wait and go for a run after her afternoon nap. She loves being outside, and it is the most consistent way of calming her down - and therefore the perfect activity for the time of day when she is most on edge.
Some of these things may seem obvious to those of you reading, but they weren't to me as a new mom. I'm just glad I was able to find a schedule that works for us so quickly.
Now we have less of this:
And more of this:
The Pampered Bird