When my husband gets home from work he is pretty tired but our 4yo dd is thrilled to see him. He loves how excited she is to see him when he gets home everyday. She just can't wait to tell him what she did, and wants him to immediately play with her. My husband makes his best efforts to play with her, but I can tell he's really beat. I've tried multiple times to redirect her to an activity with me to let him have even 15 minutes to unwind and decompress, but I've been home with her all day and I'm pretty much "yesterday's leftovers." It pretty much turns into him watching tv with her and then he gets up after a little bit and she continues watching by herself. I just don't like using the tv as a distraction, and this is the part of the day which I've been trying to think of how to change and can't really come up with anything. I want to make sure our dd feels acknowledged, and he's able to have some time to relax and unwind. (Let me just clarify he plays with her later on, he's just really tired when he initially gets home.)
So how does everybody else balance unwinding and spending time with kids when you get home from work?
Can he take the long way home? Get an extra 15 minutes in the car to unwind?
I know when our kids were younger before my husband came home we would "prepare" for his arrival. The kids would get out their "arrival" box and inside would be coloring books, blank paper, legos, craft things that they would make for Dad. When he came home they would be busy for their show time. When my DH arrived he would go into our bedroom and take the time he needed. I'd try to have dinner ready or close to it when he got home so that there wasn't too much down time. After dinner the kids would have their time with dad and it worked out great for our family and schedule. But the arrival box was only out before he came home. And I would change the items in it every few days, so that they wouldn't get bored. I even put things in there to make costumes and they would perform play for us. Great memories!
I've also seen some fun ideas at www.thrivingfamily.com check it out. I'm sure you will find some more creative suggestions. God bless you and your family. Cherish these moments, they go quickly. ((HUGS))
Thanks for all the great suggestions! So I talked to my hubby today and we came up with a good solution actually. I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier but he's going to read her a book. That way she gets the one on one time (and it's more interactive than the tv) and there's a definitive end so he can say "The book is done now Daddy needs to (whatever he wants)." Thanks for the help everybody!