Ah, the inevitable return to work. I actually started a week early, going in for a few days to do a handover with the girl whose job I'm going to be doing for a year, while she goes on maternity leave. I'm not officially starting until this week. So not only am I going to have to juggle the nighttime routine after work for two children now, but I'm also going into a new job. Funnily enough, after all I've experienced with my two different births and now looking after my two boys, a new job seems so much less daunting than it would have several years ago!
Still, I did struggle with those two days I did last week. With the first day, I finished work at 5 and picked up both kids, but with the extra pickup (2 diff daycares) there was an extra 15 mins of time added on to my journey. Got home after 6, hubby was working that evening and so that left me to settle a tired baby, cook dinner, feed both of them, shower one and bath the other and get the first to bed, breastfeed the second, tell the first off several times for sneaking down the stairs, and get the second to bed, then eat dinner myself. This did not leave much time for anything else before bed and yet I still had nappies to fold, daycare bags to repack, bottles to wash etc plus the usual day's chores that I would normally have done during the day, all crammed into the evening.
I decided I'm going to have to get to work earlier, so I can leave earlier and not be so rushed with the kids' bedtime routines. It was a good idea, and I tried it on my second day, getting to work at 8:30am, but on the return journey there was a breakdown causing heavy traffic on one of the roads I take so it took us an hour and a half to get home. Still that won't be the case every evening so I'll keep preparing everything the night before and get up early so I can make it to work by 8am.
I'm going to try prepping the meals on the weekend, ready for the week ahead. This will mean washing and cutting the veggies and sealing them in containers on the weekend, and getting the next night's meat out of the freezer the night before, so I can start the meal as soon as I've got home. If this helps smooth the evening rush it'll be worth all the preparation.