Why, oh why, do we have daylight savings?
As parents, we all dread the shifting of the clocks…just as we have our children in lovely bedtime and morning routines, we have to shift it around again and hope they don’t notice. I’ve heard the advice that you should start shifting the clock 10min’s at a time for 6 days before then the transition will be easier but I always forget to do this. Although admittedly, typically, it hasn’t been a huge issue in our house (which I smugly attribute to our sometimes anally retentive bedtime routines…which I totally know deep down is not the case but I’m going take it anyway).
However…not this time. And you know why. This time, it’s not only the kids that have been affected…it’s me.
You see, morning time had become my happy place. As my kids get older, they have started to sleep a little bit longer. I was starting to be able to rely on the fact that they wouldn’t wake up until at least 7am (Amazing, I know!!). So I started setting my alarm at 6am. This morning time is MY time and I love this time. Usually I try to do some exercise, I can’t leave the house as my husband is typically already heading off to work, but I can test my co-ordination with some aerobics DVD downstairs, or use the rowing machine, or do some lame weights. I never feel like doing it at first, but I always feel awesome afterwards. If I’m lucky I’ll squeeze in a cup of tea, and start to think about the priorities of the day.
I hadn’t realised how much it was helping me to stay less stressed during the day, until I lost it.
My kids have been getting up consistently at 6am since the time change. Today, my son got up at 5.20am. UNACCEPTABLE. Their usual morning routine begins with “I’m hungry”, “can I watch TV”, “what are we doing today?”, “I don’t want to go to school”, “I don’t want to go to school holiday program” or some variation there of.
Bloody day light savings.
Initially, I tried to push through….I would not be deterred… and on the first day of early morning family rising, I pursued my own morning routine. I started in the usual fashion with some exercise downstairs. My son decided to follow me and lie on the couch right next to me, so that he could continue whinging directly into my ear. Not to be out done, my daughter grabbed her drawing (great, she’s keeping herself amused), and proceeded to lie down directly in front of where I was stepping, and then spread her coloured pencils out under my feet. No…stay calm Claire…you can do this, you can reclaim your morning…just zone them out.
But it didn’t work, I wanted to throw something across the room (maybe one of the children).
The next morning was worse. They decided to start fighting with each other and I couldn’t concentrate above the blood curdling screams I could hear from above, which left me running to the rescue to discover my daughter languishing on the floor, rolling, screaming because my son had dared to “touch” the side of her plate.
My morning ritual has been shattered.
I forgot what it was like to start your day with someone elses demands instead of your own. So I’ve given up. Stopped exercising in the morning. Started just getting straight into the usual morning routine, making lunches, cleaning up the kitchen. I intend to do some exercise later in the day but later never comes. And I’m pretty amazed at how much that has seeped into everything else I’m doing. I’m stressed. I’m walking around with a perpetual sinking feeling in my stomach. I’m over it. I’m flat like a pancake (sadly I don’t look like one). I’m eating like a horse. I can’t be bothered doing anything in the evening other than smashing some TV (Netflix…oh how I love thee).
And then today I was reading this blog, about productivity (great tips by the way) and I connected the dots between the loss of my morning ritual and the collapse of my entire world.
It also reminded me that one of the keys to finding balance, is to constantly be re-evaluated and reviewing your system. Sure, I get that you have to have a system…but the key, especially when you have kids, is that you have to be flexible enough to change it when things change around you.
OK…so, I’ve identified the problem, which now means I can find a solution. Yah! But does that mean I have to get up even earlier!?!? Reclaim my morning at 5am (ouch), or do I try to get the kids to bed later (oh no, my TV time)? Do I tell the kids that mornings are Mummy time, and they are allowed to watch TV until I am ready (they are old enough to respect that…right?!).
Anyone got any ideas?