5 Tips for beating the afternoon slump as a mom

As a mom I used to always dread the afternoons!  My kids come home from school with after school let down.  We have homework battles.  Chores need to be done.  And then everyone wants my attention, while I'm usually trying to finish up several projects.  Then come the 'what's for dinner' questions on top of my own afternoon energy slump.  All of that equaled chaos and grumpiness!  After putting in lots of thought, I think I am on the road to beating those struggles.  Here are my 5 Tips for Beating the Afternoon Struggle.

5 tips to beat the Afternoon Slump - 5 tips to help you thrive, not just survive the afternoons with your kids

For years and years, the afternoons in our family were a struggle!  Between busyness, homework, and general grumpiness - the after school hours were an unpleasant time in our house and I figured there was nothing I could do about it.  I mean, I wasn't the only grumpy one.  And since I can only control me, I figured I had to just endure the craziness because I can't control anyone else's attitude, right?

Finally I realized that there is a ton I can control in the afternoons, and that is when I beat the afternoon struggle.  Ok beat would imply that it's done and struggle will never be done.  But these tips have helped our afternoons go much more smoothly!

5 Tips for Beating the Afternoon Struggle

5 tips to beat the Afternoon Slump - take care of yourself first

1.  You have to take care of yourself first.

As a mom, you are no good to anyone in your family if you're running on empty, hungry, tired, or running around like a maniac.  Sure sometimes unexpected things come up that have to be worked around.  But if you're constantly feeling all of those things, you have to do something about it.

  • Nourish your body aka eat real meals.  You need to fuel your body so you have energy to keep up with life.
  • Move your body  I've said it several times, I don't love exercise.  But I have found that when I exercise to take care of my health, I just feel better.  If you exercise, it gets those natural endorphins flying around in your body.  And I don't know about you, but I need all the feel good stuff I can get!
  • Take care of your body.  Shower, groom yourself, and get dressed in real clothes.
  • Take care of your mind.  Read good books, meditate, write in your journal.
  • Rest.  You cannot keep going if you're exhausted.  Evaluate your time and your schedule to figure out how you can get more sleep.  (If you're a mom with young kids, there's not a ton you can do to make your kids sleep more.  Just do the best you can to take care of yourself and know that it doesn't last forever!  Your kids will eventually sleep through the night.)

5 tips to beat the Afternoon Slump - give your kids an unwinding period

2.  Don't plan 80 million things in the afternoon hours.

I get it, life is busy!  But if you are trying to be everywhere and get everything done, your kids will pick up on that chaotic energy.  I have found that my kids are SO much better when our afternoon schedule has some breathing room.  If we aren't crazy busy then I have the chance to talk to my kids and even play with them a little.  My son loves when I play ball with him outside or video games after school!

5 tips to beat the Afternoon Slump - don't have high expectations

3.  Don't bombard kids with all of the things they need to do the second they walk in the door.

Your kids are pooped after school.  They have been on their A game all day, following directions from adults and doing what they are supposed to.  Which makes them come home with after school let down.  I can sometimes see the physical shift in my kids when they get home and can let their hair down.  It's a very touchy time that can turn ugly!

If my expectations of their behavior or attitudes are high it can lead to a rocky night.  I have found that if I give them a period of time to blow off steam by playing video games, taking a nap, or playing outside for a little bit before we start homework/chores they do SO much better.

5 tips to beat the Afternoon Slump - meal plan

4.  Meal Plan

Guys, meal planning is a game changer.  Knowing what's for dinner cuts down on stress, cuts out on last minute grocery runs, and just generally contributes to good vibes in the afternoon.  Every Sunday evening, I write down our meal plan for the week.  I am able to do grocery pick up or delivery on Monday and then I'm set for the week.  It's really makes a HUGE difference!  Recipe for Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon

5 tips to beat the Afternoon Slump - don't try to fix them

5.  You don't need to fix your kids

I saved the best for last - You do NOT need to FIX your kids.  They are humans and are going to be in bad moods and have bad days, and you don't need to fix it.  You just have to be there for them.  I used to think if my kids were unhappy it was because I hadn't done something right.  I would berate myself if my kids complained because "surely a good mom would know how to fix what their kid is going through."  The more they vented, the more I felt like a failure so I would get testy.  My bad attitude just compounded their attitude. It was a mess!

Finally after listening to a lot of podcasts, I realized that I'm not supposed to solve my kids' problems.  I'm just supposed to love them through it.  So that it what I try to do every day now.  Of course, I am a human and have bad moments/days and my kids and I all end up grumpy with each other.  But I remind myself over and over that I do not need to FIX them, I just need to LOVE them!

Remember, you do not have to dread the afternoons every day!  There are plenty of things you can control to make it go smoother!

5 Tips to Beat the Afternoon Slump
1.  Take care of yourself
2.  Don't try to do too much
3.  Give your kids a chance to rest
4.  Meal Plan
5.  Don't try to fix your kids, just love them

With a couple of tweaks to your routine and thoughts, I promise your afternoons can be so much more peaceful.  These 5 Tips can really help to Beat the Afternoon Slump.

linking up to:  Wow Me Wednesday   Your Whims Wednesday   Wonderful Wednesday   Party In Your PJ's   Creatively Crafty   Thursday Favorite Things