Dinner at 3:30pm Instead of 6pm?

  Hal Gatewood via    Unsplash

Hal Gatewood via Unsplash

A friend of mine read an article from a mom who feeds her kids dinner when they get home from school. Since I work from home and my hours are flexible, I tried it.

After a week or two, we love it. It works SO well for us.

Here's why:

1. I'm not shelling out tons of snacks and then making a dinner nobody wants to eat. That is morally deflating and it does not encourage me to cook. My kids are also more likely to try new foods when they're hungry. (fyi, if they need a snack later, they can have one. But they usually don't.)

2. That 3-5pm time block was uber awkward for me. I was too tired to really work productively and the kids were in various states of bouncing off the walls. But, I hated leaving such a big block of time without purpose. Now, it has purpose and I don't dread this time of day.

3. I usually invite my first grader to help me make dinner. He feels SO IMPORTANT (his love language  is quality time) and it's such a better time for us to connect meaningfully than at the end of the day, when I'm just DONE. Also, I've noticed he's so much calmer and quicker to share what happened during the day when his hands are busy doing something meaningful (I'm the same way!).

4. Evenings are just more pleasant! There's time--to do the dishes, to go for a walk, to take baths, to go to bed early. It sounds blasphemous to have dinner at 3:30 or 4 instead of 6, but it's been a great hack for our family!

What are your best dinner hacks?