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The Dreaded Time Change…Every Parent’s Struggle

The Dreaded Time Change NashvilleMomsBlog

I’m dreaming about something wonderful—like a big vat of chocolate and a gorgeous man feeding me with a spoon. He turns to me to tell me how breathtakingly beautiful (and thin) I am, of course, but all that comes out of his mouth are cricket noises, and suddenly I’m jolted awake in my dark room, cricket sounds blaring furiously from my phone. I’ve set the alarm for 6am, but it’s Monday morning after a blasted time change, so, let’s be real—my body thinks it’s 5 in the morning. The sun thinks it’s 5 in the morning. My children, nestled in their covers and currently still blissfully silent, think it’s 5 in the morning.

My dog yawns and glances at me like I’m crazy before turning in a circle and going back to sleep. I haul myself (am I heavier?) out of bed and fight the urge to openly weep. Okay, I admit it: I’m not a morning person. AT ALL. It’s hard enough for me to wake up on a morning when the sun is shining through my window and the birds are chirping. And now we have to go and set our clocks forward by an hour. Who invented this baloney? I’m pretty sure it was Benjamin Franklin, so I instantly decide to hate him as I stub my toe on the way to the bathroom. I didn’t see the dresser there because MY ROOM IS PITCH BLACK.

At 7am (which feels like 6am), my kids are still fast asleep, and I have had three cups of coffee and accomplished literally not one other thing. My husband is bleary-eyed and currently pouring his fifth cup. He started to say some words to me, but I glared at him with the fire of a thousand late-rising suns, so he stopped. My daughter has preschool at 8, which will feel like—you guessed it—7. I can let them sleep for another 20 minutes, I reason with myself. In 20 minutes, I’ll wake them up.

At 7:28am (yep—feels like 6:28am), there have still been no sounds from the kids’ room, and I’m at the crucial “if I don’t wake at least Violet up right now, she’ll miss school, and I’ll be stuck with her all day long” point, so I shuffle upstairs to wake her. I try to do it without waking my son, who’s asleep in the top bunk, but what happens instead is he pops right off the pillow and leaps to the ground from six feet up, creating a boom that shakes the entire house. My whole body is frozen as I turn to glance at my daughter, sure she is conscious after that and about to be boiling mad at the way she was rudely awakened, but she hasn’t even moved—which is worse than I imagined. Hoo boy. This is going to be fun…

I send my somehow already boisterously energetic son downstairs while I try to gently wake my daughter, but when I finally succeed in rousing her, she is grumpier than a hungry bear. I pick her up and run, flat out, down the stairs and place her in front of a bowl of cereal, but nothing will stop the shrieking. The windows start to shatter, one by one. We have to take turns holding our ears and helping her out of her pajamas and into her clothes while my son happily bounces, flea-like, around the kitchen. My husband, panic-stricken, grabs his coat as I put a piece of toast into our daughter’s hand, and he whisks her out the door. She still hasn’t stopped screaming, but I slam the door, and the sound is beautifully muffled. I watch from the window as my husband wrestles her, open-mouthed, into her car seat, still clutching her toast. With any luck, she’ll have stopped screaming by the time I pick her up from school.

But the worst is yet to come.

At 7pm, which feels like 6pm, we’re finished with dinner, and my husband and I are wondering in furious whispers if we dare begin the bedtime routine. “It’s TIME, though!” he argues. “Don’t you say that horrible word to me,” I hiss. We compromise by letting the kids take a long bath and reading extra stories, and we don’t turn the lights out until 7:45pm…which feels like 6:45pm.

The kids are confused. They don’t feel tired, but they don’t know why. I, on the other hand, do feel tired, but I also don’t know why. They won’t stay in their beds. They need water. Then they need to pee. Then they need to chase each other and shriek and giggle at deafening decibels. My husband and I have given up and are watching Netflix on the couch. Who cares if they don’t go to sleep?

At 9pm, which feels like 8pm, we go in their room and threaten them like any self-respecting parents would. They’re not remotely sleepy. They continue to giggle loudly.

At 9:30pm, which feels like 8:30pm, it’s starting to actually be their actual bedtime, and I go in and rub backs and sing songs. When they won’t stop talking to me because they’re too wound up from being awake in the dark for so long, I lose my temper and leave—which makes the two-year-old cry. My husband takes over in their room, and I watch a girly movie on Netflix that I know he wouldn’t want to see.

At 10pm (still feels like 9pm!) one of them is asleep, but the other one is crying. I’m not sure which is which. I’ve lost my husband to the bleak abyss that is their room. I may never see him again. I feel a vague sense of guilt as I turn up the volume on the TV.

At 11pm, which feels like 10pm, everyone is finally asleep except me. I’m not tired anymore. I lie in bed, staring at the ceiling, wondering how long it will take before a kid comes into our room, but for now all is peaceful. I breathe a sigh of relief. The worst day is over. From here on out, my body’s clock will start to adjust and eventually match the actual clock, and the same goes for my kids.

The next morning, my alarm goes off. It’s 6am, but it feels like…5:02am. Oh yeah, I think, as I struggle to open even just one eye. It’s going to be a long. long. week.

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