Are you ready for DST Monday?
We know it’s coming. It happens every year. We think we can prepare for it. We can’t.
Daylight Saving Time was invented to save energy. That may be true in the fossil fuel sense of the word, but it doesn’t save mom any energy.
This mom has the morning routine down to a science. But every March, just as the sunrise starts to sync with the alarm clock, “Spring Forward,” slams the morning routine into zombie mode as if to taunt me and say, “Come on. You’ve been doing this since September, what’s an hour?” But I have been doing this since September and so has my teenage daughter. Losing an hour of sleep when we’re this tired and this close to the end of the school year — is just cruel. What’s so urgent that the change can’t wait ‘til spring break?
The experts say to power down any electronics at least a half hour before bedtime. I can only assume this is so the kids will exhaust themselves raging at the injustice of having their phones taken away so mom can follow the next bit of advice.
Go to bed early. This works for me because my kid is already in her room not speaking to me because — no phone. So, I’m free to stare at the ceiling until midnight and stress about the next day’s exhaustion.
Each year, Daylight Saving Time happens at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning to give people a day to adjust before their work week begins. The reminders to change the clock are everywhere — on the radio and on social media. But I still wake up Sunday morning and ask, “What’s the real time?” And then change the clock on the stove to match my smartphone that automatically adjusts.
I like to say it using the acronym. “D-S-T Monday.” It makes it sounds like the championship battle that it really is. It’s the annual testing of morning mom skills.
After brewing coffee, I listen for sounds of life through my daughter’s bedroom door. She’s old enough to set her own alarm and has perfected the roll-out-of-bed-and-out-the-door routine. But D-S-T Monday is different.
Knock. Knock. “You up?”
I give her five more minutes while I do the outside-and-back-in potty routine with the dog.
I knock again.
“Do I really have to go today?” She asks. Her voice muted by a bed pillow.
“Come on, let’s get moving…” I nag.
“Whyyyy?” she wails. I eyeball the coffee and wonder why, myself.
You can carry toddlers kicking and screaming when they don’t want to go somewhere.
You can usually negotiate with a stubborn grade schooler.
But sleep-deprived teenagers are tough. Luckily, I’ve got K-9 back up.
I open her bedroom door and toss dog treats into the bed covers.
“Mom!” She protests while the bloodhound noses in covers and chomps on biscuits.
I nod, satisfied she’s sufficiently alert. Later, when she gives me side-eye in the kitchen and reaches for the coffee, I offer her a sleepy smile and a travel mug for the drive to school.
She’ll get to drink hers. Mine will slide off the roof of the car when we turn out of the drive.
— Bonnie Jean Feldkamp
Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is an award-winning freelance writer, wife and mom of three kids whose ages span two decades. Her essays have published in the New York Times; Brain, Child Magazine; Scary Mommy, USAToday, Medium and many more. She is also the communications director for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and is a Cincinnati Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists member. Find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @writerBonnie or on her website at WriterBonnie.com.