Why is evening drive time called ‘rush hour’, when nothing moves? The real rush hour occurs when we arrive home. Early evening is a time when everyone is hungry and tempers are short. Two working parents usually come home irritable and tired, but their children are unsympathetic and need immediate attention. It’s a setup for conflict. There are some things you can do to help defuse this rush hour time bomb.
First, call your children before you leave work in the afternoon. This can give you a head start in dealing with any troubles that might be brewing at home.
Second, make a conscious effort during the commute home to disengage from the responsibilities of the job and the cares of the day.
Third, concerning the dinner meal, it’s wise to do as much as possible in the morning or the night before. Slow-cooker type dinners that have simmered all day, or those that can go straight from the refrigerator to the oven, will relieve pressure at a time when stress is the greatest. The quicker everyone can eat and raise their blood sugar, the better. Then spend some time with the kids before homework and bath time begins. You might take the dog out on a neighbourhood walk or play football in the garden.
Finally, get the kids in bed and reserve a few moments of tranquillity for yourselves. There’s no easy way to get through rush hour five nights a week, but with a little planning, it can be less stressful. And here’s a rush hour promise: ‘The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.’