Despite the fact that we work at home, we are not immune to the demands of life when children return from school. Just because we are home doesn’t mean we’ve tended to the household (you should see the dust that piles up, normally until Dave can’t stand it anymore and he grabs the dust cloth).

But it’s the children who are most important, and we don’t want to ignore their demands – especially after they’ve been so patient with us finishing up our work. Even after a tough day, you can’t simply ignore their pleas for both dinner and attention.

Most times, you’ll be able to find enough energy to play a game or spend time doing something with your kids for a while, but some days you just don’t have it in you. Some days, our brains are so frazzled it’s all we can do to pick up the phone, order the pizza, and get out the paper plates.

And that’s ok.

Kids will notice your lack of interest and attention, so admit to your child that you have had a bad or long or tiring day. They’ve had bad days too and can definitely relate. Give them credit.

You might be surprised at their response, whether it is playing quietly by themselves or helping to clean up the house.

When your kids really need you and you don’t have a lot of energy, choose a relaxing activity that you all can enjoy together. Let your child know you would really like to sit and read, or perhaps watch a favorite show together. You can share time together without devoting your full attention, and it will show your child that even on your worst days they can still make you happy. Just do them a favor and disconnect. Nothing sends the message to your kids that they aren’t important than you choosing your phone and Facebook friends over them.

As much as we want to be heroes for our children, sometimes they are our heroes.