Four Basics of any Day-Saving Plan with Littles {Whole Together Family}

Today we had easter candy and then took a hike.

It was a normal thing to do, but also a strategic move on my part.

I’m getting crafty and a little more aware with each year of mothering littles.

This is what happened. Last night I had a few hours of writing time at the library and the kids got to stay up a little later than usual watching Star Wars with daddy since they had helped clean up their breakfast area. Wahoo – helpfulness is always worth rewarding!

So they got to bed around 9:30 instead of their usual 8ish. A big difference when you’re 7, 5 and 3. But really not all that late. Just late enough for me to know what to expect for today. I knew we’d have a little struggle bus of a day if we weren’t careful.

The usual results are a little extra crankiness, less patience for the tom-foolery of their siblings, and less ability to find constructive things (i.e more mischief).

But since I knew what to expect I had a plan when that crabbiness made it’s appearance right before lunch.

The basics of any good day-saving plan:

  • Choose a winning lunch. It doesn’t have to be that perfect balance of proteins, veggies, and healthy carbs. Choose something you know they will eat. Fill those tummies. We had PBJ rolled up in a tortilla. It’s a crowd favorite and the 7yo can make his own if he needs more.
  • Strategically planned treats enliven any cranky-pants young person. Thankfully Easter was just a few days ago, so easter candy was employed after their lunch to boost moral and give them a burst of energy to take us on that hike.
  • Outside time with a purpose cures, or at least momentarily quells, short tempers. For our family, I know we have to go somewhere for this to be effective. Playing in the yard is too open ended and there’s too much opportunity to be completely and utterly annoyed to the point of a screaming fit by an errant sibling. No that never happens to us. Today a hike was what we needed.
  • A flexible mindset and a little awareness can go a long way. I was tired today too, but sometimes spending a little extra energy to have a little less screaming is the only way.

It used to be I’d let one short night of sleep really break the next day or two til we all caught up. I’m learning to be a little more proactive. I can pay attention and put in a little effort in to make the day work better for everyone, even or especially when everyone is tired. Tired days happen, it’s part of life. And that’s ok. We just might need to focus on what we can control and change how we arrange the day a little.

It doesn’t always work, but today seemed like it went ok.

In retrospect I know our hike could have used more snacks, but we made it anyway.

And that’s good enough for me.


It’s always nice to notice when I’ve finally sorta figured something out as a mom. What have you figured out lately?

I’d love to hear! :)


day 25/100 of my #100daysofpressingpost as part of #the100dayproject

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