The Complete Hell That Is The Witching Hour


The witching hour—every home with babies and children has it. It’s that time of the day where babies cry endlessly and big kids whine and fight nonstop.

The volume in the house escalates until the windows almost break. It equates to pure torture. And the mothers, we grab our phones and group-text our friends as a call for help.


Only, there is no help because the witching hour occurs in every home at the exact same time every damn day regardless of what you try to do to prevent it.

And it’s exhausting.

I remember when my children were smaller, a baby and a toddler, and they would both lose their shit at the same time every day.

The witching hour—every home with babies and children has it. It’s that time of the day where babies cry endlessly and big kids whine and fight nonstop. #witchinghour #momlife #parenting #toddlers #kids #motherhood

How did they figure out how to do this? It’s like they calculated this plan behind their mother’s back to then execute it to perfection.

I’d try new things to psyche them out of it, but nope, nothing worked. The dueling duo would be back with new ways to frustrate good ‘ole Mom every single evening—always before Dad came home, of course.

When the babies are that small, it always comes down to their neediness during the witching hour. And they need all of the things at the exact same time. They need water, a boob, a bottle, a diaper change, Cheerios, help with their one sock that’s falling off, and anything in-between. It. Is. Frustrating.

And the witching hour doesn’t go away when the babies and toddlers turn into preschoolers and big kids, either.

Sorry to rain on that hopeful parade of yours. But it just doesn’t.

Now that my kids are a tad older, the witching hour in our house occurs every damn weekday starting promptly at 4 o’clock and ending after 5 o’clock. My four-year-old daughter and I park the car to go pick up her big brother, a first grader.

Before entering the gym where we pick Big Brother up, I remind me feisty daughter, “Give Big Brother space. He’s had a long day.” She climbs on him like she’s climbing up the ladder to go down a slide. He immediately pushes her off of him screaming, “Get off of me!”
I don’t blame the kid.

As we try to exit the gym, I spend my time karate-chopping my daughter’s hands off of my son and throwing very fake smiles at all of the stares of the other parents.

Yes, their children seem perfectly behaved while mine are acting like drunk monkeys—hungry drunk monkeys. So, once they get home and strip their clothing off, they push each other to get to the kitchen first.

The witching hour—every home with babies and children has it. It’s that time of the day where babies cry endlessly and big kids whine and fight nonstop. #witchinghour #momlife #parenting #toddlers #kids #motherhood

Next, I let them raid the fridge and cupboards. I don’t not give a flying donkey’s ass what they eat as long as I can hear my own thoughts again. They get their snacks and climb up onto the counter bar stools where they chuck the food down their throats. I can finally breathe again. The stress in my neck and shoulders is very slowly leaving me. Until, of course, they fight over what dumb cartoon they want to watch.

The witching hour is no freaking joke.

Mothers everywhere hate it—during all of the stages.

We hate it when we have newborns, babies, toddlers, preschoolers, big kids, and probably teenagers, too. The witching hour has always been hell and likely always will be. Every damn day, our children are consistent in their outbursts and demands.

While this childhood pastime isn’t going anywhere, we can all hang on together. Yes, sometimes misery truly does enjoy company. And the witching hour is a time that is most certainly miserable.

But, the best part of the witching hour is that after it’s over comes bedtime. And seeing them snuggled up in their beds is a sight to behold. 

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Angela-Anagnost Repke is a writer and writing instructor dedicated to raising two empathetic children. She hopes that her graduate degrees in English and counseling help her do just that. Since the pandemic, Angela and her family have been rejuvenated by nature and moved to northern Michigan to allow the waves of Lake Michigan to calm their spirits. She has been published in Good Housekeeping, Good Morning America, ABC News, Parents, Romper, and many more. She is currently at-work on her nonfiction parenting book, Wild Things by Nature: How an Unscientific Parent Can Give Nature to Their Wild Things.


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