My last client ends at 5:20 many days. That gives me 10 minutes to get out of the house and pick up my son. His baseball practices are at 6pm. My frisbee games are at 6:30. If I have to pick up both kids, it can be an hour round trip. All of this makes me crazy… and then I get used to being crazy. I had a chance last week to not have an evening commitment, not have to pick up my daughter, and I didn’t have a late client. I worked hard until about 5 and then I sat in a lawn chair in my garden, took some deep breaths, and relaxed. I found that I was a much more effective parent that night.
Obviously, we can’t always have that time. But, I suggest finding it where you can, even if it’s sitting in your car by yourself in silence before you go in to pick up the kids. I think it makes a difference.