Poor fella. I do feel sorry for him.
On the days that we both work there's about an hour - probably less - where he is alone with all 3 kids after my mum has gone home and before I get in. In that hour chaos reigns.
When I got back today, before I had even locked the car up, I could hear him yelling at the kids, and I could hear Tom howling and Georgie screaming....... At least Jack was being quiet. So I go in and find Tom on the Naughty Step, Georgie in his high chair refusing to touch his dinner, Jack quietly playing his DS and my hubby having a melt down in the kitchen trying to cook for everyone else.
I lift Georgie up and go to give him a milk feed since I'm sure that's all he wants before he settles for his dinner, I give Jack a cuddle and kiss and praise him for being quiet and calm, then recovered Tom from the naughty step and give all 3 a love as they start to calm down. But then Jack is told off for having his DS since he'd been put on a technology ban earlier for misbehaving. Damn... Wish I'd known that before I told him he was being good sitting and playing it instead of getting caught up in everyone else's giddiness and squawking! That sets him off on another argument about it being Not Fair!
Around this point Mark announces that he cannot cope with this any more.
It's not made any better by the kids not wanting to eat the dinner he's made (tinned veg, smash, and chicken dippers. I don't blame them! But shhhhh) so I told Mark to take a breather and let me get them sorted for bed.
I took them up to bed half an hour early. Not without event.... Tom had a meltdown in the bathroom and missed out on his bedtime story, but in general it was a lot calmer, and there hasn't been a sound out of any of them since.
So.... A solution is required. He wants to change his hours so he's not home alone with them for that hour (chicken!) but I doubt he'll be allowed to. I think he needs to take less on. Let me cook when I get in. So what if dinner is an hour late? I'll make them quick dinners (but not smash) on the days I'm working and my usual stuff the rest of the time. Chips twice a week (with real meat and veg) won't make them obese. With that 'pressure' off him he should be fine. All he needs to do is heat something up for George and sit with the others so they don't get drunk off imagined freedom (daddy wont be in the kitchen, he'll be in the living room watching them).
I resist the urge to remind him that every day that he works and I am home I am in the same position. In the hour from getting in from the school run and before he gets in I manage to busy the kids, cook a proper dinner, AND do the laundry, sort the dishwasher, etc, all without murdering the kids. Sure, I bark orders at them to get them back in line when they get giddy, and failure to behave gets a time out, but I cope. It's not impossible. I do it over and over and over.
But that's life round here. Mummy copes (most of the time) Daddy doesn't (most of the time).