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Daylight Saving Time When You Have Kids

Thanks, Daylight Saving Time, For the 5 a.m. Wake-Up

If you're a parent, daylight saving time probably elicits only one response from you, and it's definitely a word you hope your kids don't repeat. While the rest of the country is enjoying that extra hour of sleep gained from the clocks "falling back," you're up at an ungodly hour you haven't seen since your all-nighter days in college. And somehow, finishing a term paper sounds way more fun than dealing with toddlers at 4:45 a.m., which is exactly what time my kids woke me up this morning.

Every year, it's the same. I tell myself I'm going to ease into the time transition by sensibly moving bedtime 15 minutes a night for a few days. Then I forget or my kid decides to pass out early on the couch or, you know, life happens, and suddenly, it's Saturday night, and while my iPhone's clock is going to automatically adjust itself, my children's internal ones still think yesterday's 6 a.m. is a great time to wake up, not caring one little bit that it's now actually 5 a.m. and their mom told herself it was totally cool to stay up an extra hour last night, like a freaking rookie.

I'll admit that the worst of the daylight saving time transitions are in my past now that my kids are older and sleep through the night approximately 30 percent of the time when they're not in my bed. I still remember the horror of realizing I was getting even less sleep thanks to the stupid time change when I had infants who were already waking me up multiple times a night.

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But still, now that I know how sh*tty changing times is for parents and it feels like everyone I know pretty much is a parent, it's hard for me to wrap my head around why we're still working in this antiquated system. Sure, I don't love sending my kid to school when it's still dark out, but I also hate it when the sun starts setting at 4:30 p.m.! Why haven't we all started a Change.org petition to stop this madness? (Answer: we're too damn tired!) If you're like most parents I know, here's how things have gone in your house with the time change.

  • Saturday night: You and your husband decided it was a great idea to continue with that binge-watch of Love is Blind because, hey, you were gaining an hour of sleep in the morning. Under the lure of Netflix, you have conveniently forgotten you have small children.
  • Sunday morning: It's still dark outside, but your children are awake and demanding you make them french toast. Doesn't the time change mean you don't have to get out of bed until it's light out? You check the clock, then rub your eyes and check it again. Yep, it still says 4:50 a.m.
  • Sunday night: It's 6:30 p.m., but everyone in your family feels like it's bedtime. Your kids are acting like their worst selves, overtired, demanding, and mean. You decide that, screw what the clock says, it's time to move them toward an unconscious state ASAP. Everyone's passed out by 7:30 p.m., including you.
  • Monday morning: Guess what time the kids are up again?! That would be 5 a.m., and daylight saving time wins again.
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