The Witching Hours

The Witching Hours 

The hours between 4pm-bedtime. Enough said. I could stop typing for anyone reading who has small children, and to those whose children are grown, I commend you. 

The hours between 4 and bedtime are an odd time to say the least. Some days are very ordinary and my kids (ages 7 down to 1) play quietly and all get along.  I can prep and cook dinner in peace. They come to the table when I announce dinner is ready, the meal is pleasant, they all eat the food on their plate and even help take their dish to the sink. Bath proceeds after dinner, followed by bed and Husby and I can take a breath and look at each other with endearing eyes. Now is the time you hear the sound on a movie when the camera does a screech and rewind.  Who am I kidding? Did I say ordinary days? More like unicorn magical days. I think we can all get a laugh and maybe shed a tear when I mention the words the witching hour, dinner time, or bedtime. Especially this season of life I am in right now the said tasks are daunting at the end of a day when we are all tired and have big emotions.  

The first step is the dinner prep. Preheating the oven, chopping vegetables, opening cans, boiling water, etc.  A typical day involves my baby who is 1.5yr old, standing at my feet pushing me away from the counter with her bum and crying to hold her until I pick her up and set her on the counter to watch me chop. She then proceeds to “help” in her best way she knows how.  Some days she is super cute and I love her “help”, but other days my patience pants are daisy dukes by 4pm and I’m not so enamored by her cuteness. The other three typically are running through the kitchen sneaking into the pantry finding their own snacks. As soon as I begin dinner prep there is like a tractor beam magnet that occurs and all my kids get sucked into the kitchen immediately regardless of the snack they ate around 3:30 after school.  I feel like an old lady with a broom shooing them away and telling them to scat. Kitchen is closed until further notice! Amidst the shrill happy screams of my kids running wild and playing, or the meltdown because someone wasn’t sharing, or the accidental fall and “I got a boo boo” cry, or the “Mom can you help me”, the fairy Godmother waves her magic wand, “bippety, boppity, boo” and I do get dinner on the table by 5:30 most nights. It all becomes a blur and if you ask me how I do it, I won’t remember. I will put in a plug again about my ear plugs. I do tend to wear those most afternoons while I cook just to keep my sanity and keep me from being beyond overstimulated by noise. They are called Engage by the brand Loop and you can get them on Amazon. I’ll link it here.

The next step is to get your kids to the table. Does anyone have any tips for that? The thought in my mind that keeps recirculating is to get a dinner bell. I’ll have to try that and report back. We tend to holler around the house and usually they will come eat depending on how enthralled they are with their play.

The third step is saying the prayer. We say a prayer to bless the food. Who knew prayer could be so controversial? We can’t all agree on the same prayer or someone doesn’t want to hold hands etc. etc. Praise be for grace and mercy and I know our attempted prayers are always heard and our food is blessed! 

Husby and I love all things vegetables and dishes mixed together like soups, bowls, stir-fry etc. Out of 4 kids, we have one who eats like a champ and literally will eat anything. Two are beyond picky and the baby is somewhere in the middle. Nothing can touch and nothing can be mixed together. So my cooking is in vain and purely to feed the mouths that run the household. My husband has this analogy that he speaks to me all the time and honestly this is one of his better ones. 😂 He says like putting oxygen on your own face first before your kids in an airplane, you (meaning Me, the mom) must feed yourself first before your kids and make sure you get enough. Smart right? Just some wisdom from Husby for all of you 😀This pertains mainly to breakfast for me but in light of cooking, I partly cook for me and partly cook for my kids hoping that one day they will become good eaters. As my kids get older they are better at sitting round the table and engaging in conversation. This obviously comes with practice and effort on all of our parts. Just a word to the wise, don’t get your panties in a wad when your kids sit and sit and eat less than 5 min. You and your spouse or if you are alone that night might get a few minutes of solitude after they leave the table. 👏

After dinner is bath and bedtime. Once upon a time we threw all 4 in the tub but we are getting much bigger and now the tub is too tight. Our older two can shower now, so recently we have been splitting them up. Ideally, bath should be quiet and relaxing as imagined in our mom brains. Alert, kids in the bath are  just a whole other ballgame of play time and excitement with shrill screams and imagination. Depending on the amount of energy I have, I will actually clean them, but some nights they just sit in the water and get an airplane bath. Airplane bath = cockpit (face), wings (underarms), and tail (bum). You’re welcome 😀 

Bedtime with 4 kiddos is tiring in itself. Currently the big three share a room and the baby is by herself. Soon to change to 2 and 2. I put my baby to bed while Husby starts the big three. Each kid gets a book, a prayer, and maybe a back scratch. I know it sounds like alot but we all set our routines at an early age and we have just rolled with it. As frustrated as I get by bedtime, I do cherish those moments when I am in a good place to think back on it. I always tell people that I have alot of patience and am a kind person, but by 8pm I turn into a mean mom! 😂I will admit that I am not always the most pleasant at bedtime. Any others out there? 

Cheers to the little years and all the drama and stress it may stir up in the moments. Mindset is everything and some days are always better than others. I pray for you mama and that you keep doing the Lord’s work by feeding, clothing, and loving your kiddos through it all. You were picked to be their mama and even in the witching hour the Lord is still singing over you and quieting you with his Love. Zephaniah 3:17. 



Raising chicks




The Witching Hours

  1. Debra T says:

    And in the blink of an eye you are empty nesters!!!

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