Are you thinking about googling how to detox your screaming, writhing, begging, frustrated children after days of endless chocolate meals?
Are you hiding in another room trying your best to eat through the stash yourself?
I hear ya. I feels ya. I am there, with you. Swiftly, nimbly removing sticky foil and chugging back that egg like shots at a bar that you'd rather be at, pivoting round at the sound of approaching children, ready to bark 'NO, you can't have another egg!' before the question has even left their sweet mouths.
Oh Easter, we haven't felt this tired and sick and unmotivated and overwhelmed since last Halloween.
So how do you deal with the 'eggcess' that cheeky invisible bunny brings?
Do you let them go nuts, binging on all their bounty til their belly aches, and tell them at the end of the day when they're crying and moaning - 'this is because of CHOCOLATE kids, live the dream now because tomorrow it's all gone'? Like a bandaid. One swift day of madness. Lesson learned.
Or do you ration each egg out, fielding requests every other minute of the day? Gritting your teeth and trying not to lose your mind when asked the same question for the seven thousandth time.
Do you put out a giant plate of veggies and say no more chocolate til that plate is empty and feel like you've had a small victory, whether the veggies are eaten or not?!
Do you suggest saving some of the eggs to send back to the Easter bunny himself as a gesture of gratitude and thanks?!
I tried all of those methods this easter. There's STILL chocolate left. My will to live/parent is slipping and the house is trashed and my children are squabbling even more than usual. Sigh. But tomorrow is a new day, folks. A fresh new start. We can do this. We can do hard things.
Here's my action plan. I asked google so you don't have to.
1. Level out the blood sugar level spikes.
That means providing three nutritious meals and snacks featuring whole grains, nuts, veggies and protein. Think oats, yogurt and fruit for breakfast. Try boiled eggs, not chocolate ones. Make a plate with fibrous raw chopped carrots and cucumbers and hommus and plonk it next to their lego pile or on the craft table. Sneak some baby spinach and avocado into a banana smoothie. Rehydrate - make sure their water bottles are close by at all times. Their appetites will return eventually and when they do you want to make sure you're re-fueling their engines with the stuff that's going to go the distance.
2. Get outside and burn it off.
Bike/scooter rides, swims, bushwalks. Wash the car. Running races. Trampoline. Skipping rope. Stomp in puddles. Just get outside! Besides, tantrums always seem so much easier on the ears when muffled and muted by the great outdoors. Physical activity might assist with an early night too, which is bound to help moods return to a more happy state of being.
3. Out of sight, out of mind.
Pack away all the remaining chocolate. Shove it at the back of the cupboard if you're not willing to bin it. You'll be less likely to seek it out yourself, or be asked for it as frequently, if they can't see it. Chocolate, what chocolate?!
4. Go easy on yourself, and your kids.
Bingeing on sugary foods tends to make you feel pretty lousy, emotionally. As an adult, I am sometimes able to understand why I am so irritable (clever me right?! I'm so self aware!) but kids just have no idea. They're on a rollercoaster ride and they didn't even realise they were at the fun park! So everyone is feeling less than fabulous, there's more tears and fights than you ever thought possible. Take a deep breath, don't take it personally, try not to react to less than ideal behaviour with a lecture or anger. Try to remember your kids are under the influence of sugar! Repeat steps 1 - 3 and they'll be back on track in no time. You are not a terrible parent. Your kids are not out of control. You got this.
Okay. Four easy steps. It's not rocket science. It's probably common sense. I might have been able to come up with it myself if my brain wasn't so jittery from all the chocolate. I'm going to give it my best shot and set a reminder to re-read in a few months time in preparation for that other sugar-fest favourite kid holiday, oh hello there Halloween….