“Mum, I’m hungweeeee! Mum, I’m hungweeeee! MUM, I’M HUNGWEEEEE!”
It is the anthem of witching hour, arsenic hour, whatever you call that God forsaken time when something other worldly and dark possesses all the world’s children and parents everywhere dream of being anywhere, but here!
Believe it or not, there are things you can do to make this hour more bearable. Here are my tips for a smoother ride through witching hour.
Like 7am early if you can! Don’t begin to think about dinner when the anthem starts. Have it ready, before it starts. Begin with a meal plan on the weekend and make sure you have all the necessary ingredients. Prepare what you can in advance. Peel your vegetables and soak them in water, marinate your meat in the morning, cook a pot of soup the day before or crank that slow cooker. Everything you do before, is one less task when the chaos ensues.
Wear your baby
I’m new to the world of baby wearing, but by goodness it works! Grizzly babies suddenly fall silent and you are left with two empty hands to prepare a meal – winning!
Get your partner to run decoy
Amused children are happy children. Have your partner sit down with the kids and give them his full attention. While ever they’re climbing on him, they’re not climbing under you.
Give your children sharp implements
Nah, just kidding. If they’re not too feral, get them to help. I give mine a blunt butter knife to
massacre chop whatever’s on the menu. A bean, a carrot, a piece of cheese. They feel important, they’re occupied and they will be more open to trying new things if they’ve helped make them.
Keep it simple stupid
Not every night needs to be a gourmet affair. When we were growing up, one night a week we had grilled ham, tomato and cheese. Eggs on toast, toasted sandwiches, pancakes and bowl of cereal can all pass for a meal from time to time.
Pass the buck
It does not always have to be you that makes the meal. Take turns with your partner and older children. I love to cook, but making three meals a day, seven days a week without relief becomes burdensome. Keep the passion alive!
Raise the white flag and surrender
There are times when a long walk off a short pier is a more desirable prospect than cooking another meal. On days like this, the fridge door should only be open long enough to grab a bottle of wine, before kicking back to order take-away online, a task made easy thanks to www.eatnow.com.au. Just enter your post code, find a local restaurant in your area, browse their menu, place your order and away you go!
Witching hour will always be a challenge but it does not need to overwhelm. Plan your A game, you’ve got nothing to lose but your sanity!