Who here has heard of this term? The “witching hour”? Sounds crazy. I never heard of this term until I had my first baby. “Oh, it’s the witching hour.” Started hearing that all the time, especially as he was crying (and maybe I was too!). Maybe something to do with Halloween? Maybe a time when all the witches come out?
Well actually, it is in a way, the time all the witches come out, at least with my experience. Now these witches have taken on many different aspects over the years: crying, yelling, refusal to eat, arguing, etc.
So let’s first define the witching hour for those new moms among us… Now this is an original definition. The witching hour is the time of the day that can span anywhere from 3pm til 9pm in which children and babies seem to be taken over by monsters (or witches…hehe). That seems pretty basic, right? Not too complicated.
Honestly, everyone hates this time. People have rationalized it as the kids are just tired and hungry so it kinda is the perfect storm. But have they ever had a baby? They are the worst with the witching hour. They cry for absolutely no reason at all. You feed them, they won’t eat. You rock them, they won’t sleep. You play with toys, they won’t be distracted. Nothing can stop them from the screaming and crying. It is like a nightmare that you experience daily. It drives everyone in the house crazy leading to more screaming and crying. Ya, not fun at all.
What about toddlers? It must get better, right? Ha! I currently have one and can assure you, the witching hour is alive and well. From the minute my husband comes home from work, we are already plotting his bedtime. “Oh, it needs to be early. He’ll be lucky if we wait til 6.” He is grabbing at my legs, whining that he’s hungry, he’s thirsty, he wants to watch Jungle Book, he wants to be held. But the thing is, nothing works. I feed him, he doesn’t want to eat. I give him a drink, nope. I hold him, he wants to be put down. And the cycle just begins again with all the whining. I have read a study once of what is more irritating for people- a baby crying or a toddler whining. Guess which one is more irritating? The toddler. Yup, worse than a crying baby.
As the kids get older, it really must get better right? Yes and no. I don’t hear as much whining or crying, but you know what it turns in to? Fighting and annoying each other. Just as soon as one is playing quietly with their toys, the other one walks over and knocks them over or claims that those are “my” toys. Then the crying and screaming begins again.
So how do I handle the witching hour? Let me tell you how….Horribly! To be honest, the witching hour just doesn’t end in childhood. I think I suffer from it too. I could be a great A+ mom all day until it is time to make dinner. Then I start yelling (working on that) and huffing and puffing and think I just might blow the house down. I am tired, I am hungry, I am thinking of all that needs to be done before my beloved bedtime is here- dinner, baths, cleaning, devotions, preparing for tomorrow. It just doesn’t end.
But then, bedtime comes… and I think “today wasn’t so bad.”
Tell me about some tried and true “witching hour” tricks. Would love some help around here.
Til Next Times,