Work Life Balance

The Most Stressful Time Of Mom’s Day Is 5:55 P.M.

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Mornings in my house are difficult as my husband and I – quite possibly the world’s two worst morning people — scramble to get the kids (and ourselves) dressed, fed and out the door. But that’s all a walk in the park compared to the dinnertime rush, as we like to call it. It’s when the kids are hungry for dinner, tired from the day’s activities and in desperate need of a bath.

Most households are in a similar state of disarray around this time. In fact, a team of researchers surveyed 2,000 moms to pinpoint the precise time of day that’s most stressful. The study, commissioned by, found that exact moment to be 5:55 p.m. That’s when most mothers are attempting to get dinner on the table and, in many instances, get their kids back out the door to after-school programs like soccer or dance. (Bath time, or 7:15 p.m., was the second most stressful time in a mom’s day, while bedtime and the morning school run ranked third and fourth respectively.)

Half the mothers surveyed said that their kids refuse to eat their dinners or complain about what’s on offer (gee, that sounds familiar). A similar number also admitted they served unhealthy dinners because they didn’t have time to cook from scratch.

Here’s a tip: next time you hire a sitter, ask her to come early (like at, say, 5:55 p.m.) so that you can catch an early flick followed by dinner. Friends of mine have been doing this for years and they swear by it. The best part? You miss the witching hour altogether. Plus, you get a whole night out while still making it home by 10 p.m.!

(Photo: P. León)