{late} afternoon delight

I used to be so scared of the night-time. When I had a first time new-born baby in the shape of Daisy living in our little terrace house in Newtown I used to physically feel sick when it started to get dark. It meant that the night was coming. That sleeplessness was coming. Unpredictability. Stress. Tears. Fights with Rob.  EVERYTHING seemed so much worse in the night, and I suppose it still does. Fears and troubles that seem as big as a whale at 3am disappear with the first signs of morning light. You can start again. It’s over for another day.

I don’t know when things started to change. I guess when I got more confident and felt like I knew what I was doing. Or when I stopped to worry about not doing the right things, and just go with the things that were happening, and accept that THAT was actually OK. Or maybe just when the little buggers stopped waking up so much and we started to get some sleep.

Now, my VERY favourite time of the day is late afternoon. When the girls are fed, and in the bath, when dinner has been cleaned up and there is a lull before the squeals and fights and screams of running out from the bath and getting into pyjamas. The end is in sight. Things are about to slow right down. Just like the day and that beautiful light.

S1 S2

I usually stop and watch it change – every second it changes, and then it’s gone. The day is done. The night is here.


Did you used to be scared of the night when you had little ones?
If you have a little one, don’t worry about the nights, as long and endless as they are for you right now, they will get better they just will. Promise x

It’s not the first time I have taken photos in this exact spot, in this exact light and written a post about it.


  1. I’d actually forgotten how anxious I used to feel at night time when my oldest son was a baby. I didn’t get like that with the next two babies. Now, 6 and 1/2 years later, that feeling has gone and like you it’s my absolute favourite time of day.

  2. MotherDownUnder says

    Yup…I agree…the evening used to bring with it the uncertainty of what sort of night was to come. Now that my nights mostly involve sleeping, I love the evening. The light, the sounds and the smell of my beautiful, freshly bathed boy.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      YES. Freshly bathed children are my very favourite kind of children. Except for sleeping ones. THEY are my best.

  3. Kate Royal says

    totally agree – it was such a lonely time – hated it!! Now, I can’t wait for the quiet (apart from the snoring from the master bedroom!)

  4. Library girl says

    God,I remember that with my first baby, I would start feeling sick at about 4 p.m. Because she was terrible from then until morning….
    Now the kids are nearly 16 and 19 every night is like a dinner party and they help cook, might go for a walk or watch a DVD. And I often go to bed before they do.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Well that sounds a bit fun! It’s funny how things change and you just forget about the other stuff isn’t it?

      • Agreed Library Girl, with a now 19 & 17 yo & their partners, it’s almost like a party at night when they’re home for dinner. But funny, it’s back to late nights & little sleep on those nights they are out late. Waiting up for them to safely get home from work or a night out. Then the fun really begins. When your teens creep in to your bedroom to say goodnight (knowing we are never asleep) & the blessed midnight conversations begin. I don’t know why these conversations (that happen a couple of nights per week) can’t operate during daylight hours. They just don’t. Although I get a bit shifty after a good hour of conversation, I will never shoo them away. Not while they’re willing to chat. The brain finally slows & I give in to old age & tiredness & tell them I must get some rest before getting up in five or six hours for work. They then kiss me goodnight as I roll over & they walk out & probably enjoy some solitude at this quiet time of night (how the circle of life evolves, ha)

  5. YES! And I’ve discussed this with other mothers to universal agreement. I have two boys (3 and 1) and felt the same with both, even though with number two son I knew it would end! We are getting better nights (mostly) and, I’m with you… the late afternoon is becoming my favourite time of day. I tend to relax once the littles have been fed, and my husband and I tag-team with the bathing and book duties. It sounds selfish, but it’s largely the anticipation of ‘just me/us’ time which usually involves wine and choc 😉 But there’s also the satisfaction of making it safely through another day!

  6. OMG yes. My little one is now 1 but when she was a newborn I was full of anxiety. I even saw a naturopath to help control it! And when 5am would hit and I was pacing the hallway or living room, humming or feeding her, everything seemed a bit easier. 5am was the magic time… cars started driving on the roads again, the birds started tweeting and I knew I wasn’t alone anymore.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      That’s it! If only we realised just how much other Mums are awake at the same time too. Social media has been great for my middle of the night loneliness when I’ve been in hospital with Harps or awake with a kid…twitter has saved my mind plenty of times!

  7. I have hated the dark since I can remember. I’m okay when my husband is here – but if he works late or is away for work I feel sick to my stomach. Sometimes I think a 3 hour drive to my parents in Sydney is worth feeling safe rather than being home alone in the dark with a baby.

  8. OHHHH Beth, I’m afraid (for myself) to say that I’m not there yet! My anxiety (and I mean really anxiety, like I’ve considered taking a pill for it) starts when I’m picking the kids up from school. What will they want for afternoon tea, will they like what I’ve prepared for afternoon tea? Which 3.5year old will fall asleep in the car on the way home and then meltdown when I wake them up, what time will Lucy need a feed?, will that coincide with preparing dinner?, who will eat it without complaining?, then bath time…how much water will be thrown about my bathroom?, Pyjamas! Every night there are fights about who wears what ( i don’t know why i don’t just throw the rejected pi’s out). Fuck, I’m exhausted just reading this! Home readers, homework, Screaming twins who refuse to stay in their beds until they get ANOTHER KISS, then they are thirsty, then they need to pee, Lucy STILL in her rocker being a little champion waiting patiently for Mummy, 8 year old has something on his mind, must make time to sit on his bed and chat, 6 year old “Mum, why don’t you ever sit in MY room at night and chat” (hello Mother Guilt AGAIN)…..It goes on and bloody on and my anxiety is always there STILL. BUT my very favorite time of the week is Friday night when all 5 are fed, watered, bathed and ready for bed. Bloody hell Beth, I’ve just written a blog post in response to yours!! THIS JOB. THIS JOB. BLOODY MOTHERING.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Love it! I SERIOUSLY do not know how you do it. Day in, day out. They are all fed, and happy and you look great. You deserve a bloody medal, you do x

  9. Lisa Mckenzie says

    No I was never scared of the night ,but have lain awake so many nights being in pain and worrying and having a daughter that did not sleep at all , I probably should of been afraid but for some reason I wasn’t xx

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