Three bites at 3pm:  my experiment on managing the afternoon slump

A couple months ago I attended the Momheart conference with Sally Clarkson, and she made a point that really resonated with me.  As she spoke about moms’ need for quiet and rest during the long day, she mentioned her quiet afternoon cup of tea that gave her the strength to make it through dinner prep, extracurricular activities, and and the busyness of the evening with a joyful heart.

Three o’clock often found me scurrying around trying to finish up a few things and lamenting that I didn’t have time to finish everything on my to-do list before lugging my preschooler out the door and to the school to pick up the “big kids.”  A quiet cup of tea sounded lovely.  But was it reasonable?

Another routine we have generally kept this year is periodically having junk food treats as part of our after school snacks.  The kids have loved getting access to the cookies made on rainy weekends or leftover holiday candy, and they don’t beg all day when there is a designated time. Works well for them when paired with something nutritious. But for me?  I’m usually unpacking backpacks, sorting important school papers, and prepping dinner, so even when I eat a few bites of candy or chocolate something I tend to toss it in my mouth and swallow it and forget.  No savor factor.

So three bites at three.  I get my cup of tea, and/or three bites of something I love.  Toblerone.  chocolate chips and almonds.  One day I just wanted a banana with peanut butter, or if I have been working out hard a favorite protein shake.  The key for me is to sit down and enjoy it.  To be still and thank God for what I have, savor whatever flavors and textures I am enjoying without distraction, and thus to refresh my body and soul a bit before the after school crazies.  Because did I mention swim team just started?

Would you believe it works?  Because I actually taste and enjoy these treats, I don’t crave them as much at night.  Because I know I will treat myself in the afternoon, I can say no throughout the day.  Because it is only three bites of something great for my soul but not necessarily for my body, it doesn’t hijack my healthy eating plan.   Most importantly, I feel refreshed for my kiddos when they come home.

Sally Clarkson was right on with her afternoon tea recommendation for moms.  And adding a little chocolate just makes it that much sweeter.


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