7 ways to avoid the 5 to 9 melt down

You know that time of day…

When it’s been hours since the kids have napped….

The house needs ‘tidying’ before hubby gets home so he doesn’t think you’ve been doing nothing all day….

You’re deciding what to feed everyone for dinner when really all you want to do is order pizza….

And you wonder how on earth you’ll ever got your toddler to JUST GET OFF your leg!

The 5 to 9 melt down……… it happens to us all.

The kids are running feral and you are on task number 5 of the 99 things you need to do before midnight.


Being a work at home Mama has lots of benefits.

Quality time with the kids, saving on travel costs, saving on expensive day care costs and not to mention work related costs.

But one downside is that ungodly time of day when you are at the end of your tether and your kids all of a sudden experience an increased surge of energy.

Here are some things that I have found that help during that time of day….

1) Prepare a weekly menu

Sit down with the other half and the kids and discuss what you’ll be cooking for each day of the week. Make sure everyone agrees with the menu at the time so that you don’t have any ‘last minute changes.’

Look them straight in the eye and tell him ‘you agreed to this a week ago.’

Have all the ingredients in your pantry and fridge at the beginning of the week- so that when 5pm rolls around you’re not having to duck to the grocery store to get last minute ingredients.

2) Cook whilst having breakfast

This might sound strange- but I make dinner whilst I eat my breakfast.

Don’t knock it till you try it.

My kids are usually on their best behaviour first thing in the morning. They have had a full nights rest and they are eating their own breakfast.

Whilst I sip my coffee and eat away at my cereal or toast- I am chopping up vegetables and browning meat so that I avoid cooking altogether between the hours of 5-9.

It won’t work for everyone, but for me it works a treat.

I can prepare a thoughtfully planned, healthy meal for my kids and it saves me later on when I am tempted to order take out. Not good for the family budget and not so great either on the health front either.

3) Order your groceries online

Supermarkets between the hours of 5-9?

Bad idea.

That’s when everyone and their dog heads to the supermarket, it is chaos!

Instead, order your groceries for the full week (or fortnight if you’re that organised) online.

Most major supermarket chains offer this service and best of all it is usually free if you spend over a certain amount.

This will save you time and money- no more impulse buys and no more car park wars- winning!

4) Do something physical

When that time of hour hits I try my best to be active with the kids.

We spend as much time outdoors so that they burn off as much energy as possible and fall asleep sooner rather than later.

Enough said.

Personally I challenge the kids to do as many star jumps, bunny hops, sprints and dodge ball activities as possible.

Going for a walk or playing with the dogs work just as well too.

5) Give small children an afternoon snack

Not enough to make them too full that they won’t eat their dinner- but just enough to keep their energy levels levelled so that when dinner rolls around they’re not too hungry, too tired or too grumpy to eat at all.

Some suggestions? Rice crackers with hummus dips, carrot sticks and celery work a treat too.

If you’re kids don’t eat the stuff opt for fruit instead.

6) Enlist some help

Us Mama’s are way too hard on ourselves.

If you’re lucky enough to have family and friends close by, ask for just an hour or two every now and then to get things done.

Call on a neighbour, your older children or someone you trust so that you can finish that article, take that well deserved bath or simply’ wind down.’

This will guarantee a ‘Mama meltdown free’ zone.

7) Know that some days are going to be better than others.

The kids aren’t cooperating, you feel a slight resentment to the other half because they aren’t covered in peanut butter and you think to yourself ‘why did I think working from home with three kids (two of which are under the age of three) was a good idea?’

Remind yourself to ‘be kind to yourself.’

Remind yourself that your children will only be small for a short time, tell yourself that one day you will look back and think of these days as the best times of your life.

Being a Mama isn’t easy, but it is enjoyable- if you let it be.


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