STFU Parents: Woe Is Mom: Daylight Saving Time Edition

Twice a year, I receive a variety of “woe is mom”-like submissions about DST (daylight saving time / daylight standard time). But unlike the other two occasions a year that parents complain about a temporary annoyance (fireworks during the Fourth of July and/or New Year’s Eve), I can actually sympathize with parents who think that daylight saving time is a tired old tradition that makes everyone cranky. Most people seem to agree on this sentiment, especially considering the original purpose of DST was to reduce energy usage, and today “the actual effect on overall energy use is heavily disputed.” It’s helpful to get an extension of daylight, of course, but sleep disruptions can be a nuisance, and shifting just one hour can cause a surprising amount of frustration.

That said, the one way in which I don’t agree with certain parents who hate DST is that those parents tend to take the shift personally. Rather than consider all of the people whose lives are affected by the time change (in ways both big and small), parents see the bi-annual clock adjustments as targeted affronts. They know that DST has been around for nearly 100 years, but that doesn’t stop them from angrily lashing out or whining as though the time change affects them and their kids more than any other “type” of person. Technically, this is because kids already get up so goddamn early, it’s hard to imagine losing even more sleep because little Trexton suddenly wants to kick it at 4am or 5am, but hey, that doesn’t mean it’s much easier for anyone else. How about the people who travel for work and regularly hop around various time zones? Or people who work night shifts or early morning shifts and have to make yet another sleep adjustment in their bizarrely off-kilter schedules? Everyone is affected by our archaic DST system — not just parents and their energetic, wakeful children. And yet every five or six months when we all dutifully abide by the time change, some parents take their online complaining to woe is mom heights as if the change only truly impacts them. I’m here to tell them that they are, in fact, wrong. Let’s check out some examples.
1. DST Screws Over Event-Goers And Moms

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Rachel’s got a point, but there IS a relatively easy solution to solving the DST Parenting Crisis, which is to put kids to bed ten minutes later than usual (or earlier, for standard time) each night for about a week before DST kicks in. OR, try to extend the kid’s nap times. Whatever works! Ultimately, something will. In the grand scheme of things it’s a hell of a lot better to lose an hour of sleep due to daylight saving time than it is to lose sleep over riots or bombs outside your window. I’m not usually a “Count your blessings!” type, but let’s get real. It’s a freaking hour.

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    • J

      Well, I have an infant, a preschooler, and a standard poodle and my son is more impacted than the other two. He needs a certain amount of sleep to be happy and adjusting to daylight savings means him being over tired while he adjusts and this does make our lives much more difficult. My infant and dog are oblivious to it, my husband and I are grown ups capable of managing being a bit more tired, but my preschooler is happier with the extra hour of sleep he lost. I didn’t bother putting it on Facebook, but I guess I understand other parents’ frustrations. Why is it awful to mention to your supposed friends that your child’s lack of sleep due to day light savings is making life temporarily more challenging? You’re all sort of harsh…

    • hannaugh

      Question for the parents, because I don’t have kids and I don’t know. This is something I used to wonder when I babysat all the time. If you put your kid to bed at 7:30, and they wake up at 6:30 or whatever, and you don’t like getting up that early, is there some reason why you can’t put them to bed at 8:30 and shift it to a 7:30 wake up time? I’m not trying to make fun, I honestly want to know if there is some sort of health reason they have to go to bed so freaking early or if it’s just a “Go to bed, dammit! Breaking Bad is on!” thing.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        THIS. I’m assuming everyone would be happier if the Spawn went to bed at a reasonable time (9:00) and got up at a reasonable time (8:00).

        (Also, what’s the deal with small children being all super-perky morning people? That ain’t natural…)

      • Allyson_et_al

        It’s more that that last hour can be sheer hell if you have a young child who doesn’t handle tiredness well. My kids are big now, so I have to drag their butts out of bed for school no matter what the clock does, but it can be hard if you have babies or toddlers.

      • Erica

        Unfortunately, for most kids, it just doesn’t work that way. You put them to bed at 8:30, and they STILL wake up at 6:30, and now they’re overtired.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        I don’t get how that works, though.

      • hannaugh

        Thanks for the answers. I guess everyone is different. I used to babysit this kid who went to bed at like 6:30 at age 4 – and he did NOT want to go to sleep at that time. It was still light outside. I remember telling my mom when he went to bed, and she got this horrified expression on her face and said “When does he get up? 4?”.

    • JLH1986

      my husband tells me stories about the town he grew up in, where half is in Central TZ and half is Eastern, then…DST. For about 2 weeks the WHOLE DAMN TOWN is all screwed up because one part does DST and one doesn’t. So the hubs would leave work at 5 and get home at 5.

    • DanielCraigForevah

      If a one-hour time change that’s cyclical and predictable is the worst thing going on in your life, you should count yourself damn lucky and seriously STFU.

    • Sparkles

      And this is why it’s important to (if possible) avoid living on such a detailed schedule. Make no schedule for life and the schedule won’t get thrown off. I’ve always felt that people should be more adaptable and less whiny. I get that babies may have a hard time getting it, but grown ass adults should not cry all over social media about it. Just my opinion!

    • Courtney Lynn

      It’s an hour. Get over it.

    • RW

      I’m just chiming in to gloat and say my province does not observe DST and is it the sole redeeming quality of this province. One cannot truly appreciate the awesomeness of not having it until you have experienced it. It truly does need to be abolished everywhere. It’s only an hour, but its amazing the effect it has.

    • guest

      “…a literal bright side that means we can all enjoy an extra hour of sunlight from now until the fall.” I don’t get DST. Why isn’t it better to enjoy the sunshine in the morning? I like morning sun, and it helps me drag my ass out of bed. And enjoying twilight is nicer than real 7pm sun at DST 8pm, especially in hot global-warming summers. I agree that these moms are mostly nuts. But it’s weird to me that DST sucks, yet it keeps getting longer!

    • Madwoman

      Sorry, I love DST and always have. Love having extra time when I get off work. Loved it when I was a kid, loved it when my kids were young. I never did see a downside except when it went back to standard and it was dark an hour after I got home from work or school.