The fourth of July this year was SO. Much. Fun!
Our neighbors rented a bounce house and we had a large neighborhood gathering with water, fun and food. Kids in swim suits were running freely between backyards.
It was a day of giggles, sun, water and all. the. FUN.
An amazing day ended with bug spray, glow bracelets and fireworks.
Our kids were exhausted at 10:30 and fell asleep quickly despite more fireworks just outside their windows.
I’m telling you – NOTHING could wake them.
A fun-filled day is a wonderful thing, but some times it leaves its mark on the next day – in a not-so-wonderful way.
The morning went fine, but as the day continues…it becomes very evident that everyone is still very tired.
Even this mama.
The next day melt-downs, pouting faces and complaining make one thing very clear – the fun is over.
We knew it was going to be this way. We chose to have a non-stop fun day and make all the memories we could. We chose to encourage and celebrate the joy of being a kid in the summer in a neighborhood filled with kids.
You know what? It was worth it. No matter how hard today becomes.
We expected that today might hold challenges. And it has.
So, we established a game-plan to make the most of the Day-After-Fun Blues.
When the Fun Is Over – Strategies For Day-After-Fun Blues
1. Sleep As Long As Possible
This is a no-brainer for older kids who love to sleep in. But for those of us with younger kids and babies…a late bedtime does NOT mean small children will sleep in. You can’t guarantee they will recoup any missed sleep but you can try.
Older Kids – If your child can read the clock, tell them they need to go back to sleep until a time of your choosing. Our son is always awake early but stays in bed until 7. Last night we told him to stay in bed until 8:30. I had no idea if he would go back to sleep or not but HE DID! He slept until 8:45.
Preschoolers and Toddlers – tell them they need to try to sleep until you come get them. Our middle child stayed in bed so they both slept 2 hours later than their normal wake up time. This doesn’t always work but if they are tired enough, it just might.
Baby – No plan will make the baby sleep longer, but you can do your best to set conditions conducive for sleep. Blackout curtains, noise machine and plenty of food/water before bed. Pray they sleep as long as possible and don’t wake the big kids up.
2. Get Out Of The House
Tired siblings seem to get on each other’s nerves and seem prone to boredom. If possible, plan a low-key activity to get out of the house. This morning we got up and went to the Minnesota Zoo using our zoo pass. I know, this might not sound relaxing, but for us it is. We’re there often so are comfortable leaving as soon as the kids seem tired or uninterested. Not up for the Zoo? Head to the park, a walk, the library or even just out to lunch or dinner.
3. REST Time
Older kids may not nap, but ALL kids can take a rest. All of the kids lay down and try to sleep – sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Older kids can get up and play quietly in their rooms – Legos and cars for our son, a doll house and dress up clothes for our daughter. The baby sleeps and this mama takes some time to write.
may will experience cranky moments. When it happens, if possible, take time to recall the fun. Reflection promotes gratitude, and gratitude promotes an attitude change. Discuss the best parts of the day – fireworks, food or fun. Laugh about the funniest and weirdest things that happened. Try asking the kids to journal about or draw their favorite memories from the day before. Then praise their creativity and listen to them tell you about it.
Plan A Quiet Evening
No matter how the next day goes, tiredness increases as the day goes on. Plan a low-key evening – an easy meal, movie, puzzle or reading a big stack of library books together can help keep calm until that glorious moment of bedtime.
When in doubt, remind yourself of how tired you are. Extend grace. Soft words, distraction and prayer will go a long way to overcoming the day-after-fun blues.
When the going gets rough, keep looking ahead to today’s early bedtime. Each of our children will hit their pillows at 7pm tonight. Set the time and stick to it!
How does your family handle the day-after-fun blues?