So, let’s talk about that dirty word swirling around your brain; overtired. Wait, don’t run and hide! We can do this.
On an average day, overtired is U G L Y. It’s whiney, it’s tantrummy, it’s freaking cringy! And we want to avoid it at all costs, because who wants to walk themselves right into the emotional wreck that is an overtired toddler. Not me, sister. Not. Me.
But here’s the thing, being overtired is actually a naturally occurring mechanism in the brain that is designed to protect us. During times of fun, it can actually work to our benefit and help the good times stay good!
When there are no sleep-signals on the horizon, and sleepy-cues get missed, the brain secretes regulatory levels of cortisol and adrenaline to keep the body awake longer. Because the body wants sleep, but doesn’t think it’s going to access sleep any time soon, we are able to stay awake and alert much longer.
It’s the college-effect, where we get tired, but suddenly feel like we could, uh, “study” all night!
For little ones, it means more fun with grandparents and cousins, instead of tantrums and tears. You’ll be able to sit back and enjoy your little one running around with glee, leaving you thinking “gosh, they don’t even seem tired!”
Of course, they’ll eventually run out of steam, because eventually the brain tells our bodies enough-is-enough. They’ll fall asleep in the car on the way home, or in grandma’s arms, or under the tree, but it will be a delicious, deep slumber that will help you easily transfer them if needed.
Remember to enjoy yourself. Indulge in the warmth of family and friends with the goal of pure delight! Your happiness, and the happiness everyone gets from your beautiful children, is so worth a little bit of a schedule-bump. Spending time connecting, especially in a time of so much DIS-connection, is even more important than your routine.