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The exact time of day that mums decide to hide in the bathroom.

What time of day is the toughest when you’re at home with kids? Well, the jury’s in and it’s…

What is the most difficult time of your day

For me, it’s late afternoon. A combination of the end of a long day of running around after my small person, a dropped nap and the prospect of cooking yet another meal that will not be eaten.

Apparently, I’m not the only one. Google suggests that parents feel it the most at 3:53pm. This is when we take to the bathroom with the iPhone for a moment’s peace and a quick check in for solidarity from friends on Facebook.

As it gets closer to 4pm, I stalk the fridge for those final few minutes before the clock strikes the hour and it becomes socially acceptable for me for me to reach for the bottle of chardonnay. Although, at the moment, I’m restricted to a soothing cup of peppermint tea. Thanks, pregnancy.

I will have inevitably spent the day repeating, “take your hand out of your nappy, please” like a broken record. (Seriously, what is it with little boys and their bits?!)

My almost 3 year-old will be throwing his toys around the lounge room and I’ll experience a teeny twinge of mother guilt at the fact that there has been a Thomas the Tank Engine DVD on the telly all afternoon so I could fold the never ending pile of laundry and do the dishes from the night before.

The prospect of 4pm to 5pm, the hardest part of my day, will be looming ahead of me.

I usually spend this time trying to limit my son’s intake of teddy bear biscuits in the vain hope he might actually put a piece of carrot in his mouth at dinner time, and he will be getting gradually more grumpy because he really does still need that recently dropped afternoon nap.

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My resentment will rise at being asked to fetch countless cups of water or cups of milk, while that teeny twinge of mother guilt will strike again at feeling bitterness about my child’s hydration needs.

Our mutual frustration, mine at being at another human’s beck and call, and his at simply not getting what he wants, will bounce off one another in a vicious circle.

And then I’ll remember what is coming.

Dinner. AGAIN.

I’m 3 years into this parenting caper and I’m still astounded by the fact that dinner is a thing that happens absolutely every night.

I used to love cooking. But that was during a time when it didn’t matter that grilled cheese wasn’t a balanced meal and before dinner time became a battle because all the child wants to eat is grilled cheese, somewhat ironically.

So, as the clock on the oven flicks over to 4pm, I open the fridge and pour myself a glass of wine (read: boil the kettle and jiggle a tea bag). I reach for my iPhone and retreat to the bathroom for 10 minutes to myself and my twitter feed.

I console myself that this too shall pass. In the meantime, I’ll be on pinterest looking for hidden vegetable recipes and good ways to keep a toddler occupied.

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