If you have a kid, chances are you've heard people talk about "the witching hour" or you've experienced it yourself! Fortunately, recognizing that these hours can be difficult is half your battle! Formulate a plan but don't expect every day to be perfect. The reason for the witching hour is usually because everyone is hungry and/or tired (and that's sometimes impossible to avoid!). However, there are a few things you can do to avoid meltdowns...
1. Provide a snack. If possible, have snacks ready to go so they can be given to your toddler while you are trying to get dinner ready.
2. Rethink your routine. Take a moment to think about what you are doing doing this time. If you are rushing in the door and opening up all your mail, perhaps that's one thing you can set aside until later.
3. Make dinner simple. I have recently been freezing a lot of meals so they are easy to thaw and make for an easy dinner. Also, crock pot meals are awesome and can be made ahead of time!
4. Communicate. If your spouse asks if they can make dinner or bring something home, take them up on their offer (for God's sake!). Children are often acting up because they want attention. If your spouse wants to chat with you, let them know you really want to hear about their day but the kid(s) really want their attention too! Offer another time in the evening when you can give them your undivided attention!
5. Utilize any distractions possible. Put away a special toy that your child loves and take it out only during the eveing hours (while your making dinner and getting things together). Save a special show or cartoon just for that time so your child will be excited and looking forward to it. Finally, if your toddler is really little, have some Tupperware or bowls that they can play with in the bottom cupboards which is accessible for them (this was a lifesaver for me when Sienna was 12 months old!)