I Dread Coming Home To My Kids After Work I take the local train.

By Babe | Illustration by Ana Hard

You banished the thought when you found yourself stopping in at the grocery store to pick up a single lemon. But then, when you chose to stay in gridlock when Waze could’ve saved you 15 minutes, you couldn’t help but ask yourself the dreaded question, am I purposely delaying reentry into my home after work? And worse, am I a horrible human? 

The answer is yes, you are horrible. Just kidding. You are like the rest of us. Taxed, stretched, and not a saint. In our series “Is it Normal,” we will remind you just how normal these seemingly dark thoughts are in your new role as mother. So we invited Jean Fitzpatrick, a relationship therapist + New York-based psychotherapist to help answer your questions and guide you on a path that will no doubt be filled with these VERY real, very “normal” experiences, and how you can cope moving forward.

So, if you do dread coming home after a long day of work, Jean recommends the following:

“Giving yourself some transition time between work and home is basic self-care,” Jean says. “It gives you a chance to pause, shake off the day’s stress, and feel prepared for home life. 

Hitting reset in this way is not only normal, it’s essential because the work world runs on clock time but babies draw you into “event time.” Instead of scheduling meetings and living by your calendar as you do in the office, at home you shift to pacing the evening by activity: feeding time, bathtime, bedtime. Over time you and baby get into a rhythm, but it’s never quite as punctual as your office, right? Instead, you prioritize the connection with baby. 

Many women also find showering and changing clothes, listening to music, a podcast, or an audio book during the commute, or taking a few minutes for some stretches can be helpful in easing the transition before taking over from a caregiver.”