Answer by Lynn Wright:
I run a preschool. I deal with those three year old children all day long, and I love them. There is not one adult I’ve met that hears what I do and says, “Wow. You get to play all day. I want your job.” Nope. They say something like “Holy Crap. You must have incredible patience. I would never be able to do that!”
Not only do I deal with them all day, I teach them. I’m also very good at what I do. I deal with their parents too. Sometimes they are just as difficult.
The most exciting thing for each and every child that I work with is when their parent arrives. Each and every one. Each and every day. Your child is not naughty. Just a child. You are not a bad parent. Just tired.
Nobody gets to rest, because there is still life to be lived and work to be done.
You need to restructure your evening to accommodate the work and the fact that your children want to be with you. Include them in the conversations and include them in the work. Give them “work,” real work- something that doesn’t need to be perfect, and something that you will appreciate. Setting the table, carrying dishes, peeling carrots. What they want is to be with you. What you want is peace and to get the work done. You have to put them together.
Your three year old child will not disappear and play quietly away from you when they have missed you all day. They need to see you and talk with you.