How to Manage the Midseason Meltdown

I have always found October to be a challenging month during football season.  Regardless of the scoreboard each weekend, October is usually the month where our bodies start to push back against the football season marathon.

When our kids were younger October was especially difficult for them.  I think they start to feel impatient with the routine where everyone seemed to take priority over them. Additionally, we “fall back” with the time change in October and the time change always messes with our sleep schedule for a few weeks.  We haven’t always weathered the “Midseason meltdown” well, but if we rely on the following tips things usually run smoothly for those last few weeks of the season.

Ideas to Avoid the Midseason Meltdown

1) Protect date night like a mama bear protects a cub. Usually, by October, our date nights consist of dinner or lunch at our favorite restaurant. We are both too tired to focus on a thought-provoking movie and we are both dealing with decision fatigue. Rather than put pressure on each other to plan something we focus on quality time. We know we’ll have a great meal if we go to a favorite restaurant. Sometimes we wander the farmer’s market and grab breakfast. The point is to simply have uninterrupted time alone.

2) Help your coach pursue the kids.  For our family, this has looked different on different campuses. Many years we packed dinner up and brought it to the office so Ordell could see the boys between practice and meetings. Other times we said no to commitments so the boys would be home the few times Ordell was around.

One year he committed to picking the boys up from school a few days a week so that he could spend the 20 minutes in the car with them each day. Sundays, when he was breaking down film, were a good time to have breakfast with the boys when they were very small. This let me sleep in a bit as well. Remember, your goal is quality over quantity. At previous schools, this meant packing up the boys and heading to practice even if there was a sink full of dishes and piles of laundry waiting. Chores will always exist.

3) Just say no. It’s tempting to want to start to plan for the holidays toward the end of the season. Don’t get too ahead of yourself. Hearing about traveling to see family or friends, holiday parties, or extra commitments can feel overwhelming for an over traveled “in the thick of it” coach.

Even if you are thinking about dates after the season that may be too far out for firm commitments. Especially if your coach is naturally introverted. Keep that schedule with a few “as clear as possible” days on it, those white squares will become a beacon of hope.

4) Find something fun to focus on.  Did you finish that craft project you started in August?  Hop on Pinterest and start thinking about Christmas gifts. There are teacher gifts, staff gifts, family gifts and likely a birthday party or two to be planning for in the new few months.

Are you in need of a wardrobe update? Purge that closet! Think you have a move coming soon? Organize your garage, clean out the drawers, clean off the bookshelves, you get the idea.

5) Plan a special outing. Is there an away game coming up? This is the perfect weekend to check out the pumpkin patch, pick apples, and pick out Halloween costumes. Is there a movie the kids have wanted to see? Make a special night of it and let them watch the movie with popcorn and candy.

6) If you start the countdown until the end of the season, do it privately.  We have had seasons where we have begun the days until Daddy is around more countdown only to have the season extended. It’s exciting for the team but tough for the kids.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on February 14, 2015, and has been updated in October 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and completeness.