Parenting is hard. And sometimes, curveballs come flying at us that make it just that much harder. One of those curveballs comes twice a year (unless you live in Arizona you lucky ducks) and that is the dreaded time change. Here are some tips to surviving the time change with kids.
Arguably one of the worst things about kids is that many of them have an irrational hatred for sleep. I have a six year old that has literally never slept through the night. Not on the long days at the beach where someone says, “Whooo! She’s gonna sleep good tonight!” Not on Christmas Eve when she needs to sleep so Santa will come. Not when I bribed her with a kitten or a trip to Paris.
So believe me when I say that all of you with sleeping drama. I feel you.
I also have a kid that slept through the night by 6 weeks old. So if you are one of the blessed ones? I’ve been there too.
But naturally blessed or parenting the spawn of satan, Daylight Saving Time is coming for you and yours. We here at The Salty Mamas firmly believe in keeping it real, so we won’t lie to you. Dealing with the time change is going to SUCK.
BUT, there are a few things you might be able to do to help cope with the double trouble of kids and Daylight Saving Time.
Good luck, and we’re pulling for you.
Nifty Gadgets for Convincing Kids to Sleep Longer
One of the best things about the Amazon era is that you can buy just about anything in the mniddle of the night. So if sitting in your kid’s room at 4am praying they go back to sleep isn’t working, one of these might. With relief only a click away, anything is worth a shot.
Okay to Wake Clock
Some of our friends SWEAR by this clock. So if you have the kind of kids that are really into listening and following rules, this might be the magic bullet for you. Or, if you’re so tired you’re willing to try anything, this might be something to try.
All you have to do is program the clock with what time is acceptable for your child to get up. When the clock strikes that time o’clock, it will turn green letting your kids know that it’s okay to get up. While the light is red, they – theoretically – stay in bed.
They’re not just for babies y’all! While some of my kids refuse to submit to the darkness, my three year old is more in tune with the sun – or at least the light. And since having any kid sleep later/better is a win you bet your butt I put these curtains in everyone’s room and prayed. (And darned if they didn’t work for a couple of them!)
Related Post: Get Better Sleep in 5 Easy Steps
Stock Up on Coffee
My husband decided a few weeks ago he was quitting coffee. I didn’t get it, but I’m generally a live and let live gal, so I let him suffer without questions. Sunday morning he was back on the good stuff. Because the kids were up all night and thought morning meant 3:15am. And no one should have to deal with that alone.
Stock up on your good friend coffee, and if you’re like me, their life partner, creamer. Not a coffee person? Cool. Grab your Coke or Mountain Dew or Monster or whatever it’s gonna take. Because getting to bedtime isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon followed by a triathlon and finished with an Iron Man.
I’m usually pretty optimistic, but I can’t lie. This one’s gonna be a struggle.
Related Post: Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Coffee?
Treat it Like a Sick Day
You know how on sick days we watch all the TV and eat the junk and don’t care because our kid is sick? Daylight Saving is like that but there’s absolutely no cure. It’s just something you need to ride out. Maybe for six months until the time changes back. So kick up your feet, relax, watch whatever movie is on repeat in your house right now four times in a row, and eat mac and cheese.
This is about survival.
Repeat until all symptoms have gone away (read: until the kids sleep like normal humans again).
Related Post: Activities to Fill Up a Stay at Home Day
Have ALL the Snacks Ready
I don’t know why, but my kids eat about 275% more food during the time change. Maybe their tummies are confused about what time it is. Maybe they sense a cosmic shift and are eating like they don’t know when their next meal is coming. Or maybe they take after their Mommy and are comforting themselves with food while they figure out what the heck is going on.
Three breakfasts, two lunches, eight snacks and a two hour all you can eat dinner buffet has become the new normal, and my grocery budget and I will be thrilled when they go back to their normal 6 meals a day.
Take the Chaos as an Opportunity to Get Organized
If you REALLY want to take the high road, you can try to turn this exhaustion filled lemon into lemonade. Or maybe a lemon drop martini? Either way, you can lean into the chaos and use it as an opportunity to regroup.
Old routines may be wildly out the window, which can feel awful. Getting on a routine that works even better than before can feel amazing.
You don’t have to go it alone. Grab one of our No Stress Toddler Schedule packs to help you get on a routine that works for you and your family.
For less than a cup of coffee, you’ll get activity ideas, trackers and sample schedules that will help you survive the time change – and beyond!
Hahaha, sorry, that one was just a joke. But tragically, that’s most of the information you can find out there. If you’re like us, you didn’t search Pinterest for handy dandy ways to deal with the time change until AFTER you were in the middle of a sleepless hellscape.
At which point, Karen’s twelve step plan to put your kids to bed 4 and a half minutes earlier every day for the 11 days leading up to Daylight Saving Time change are less than helpful.
And if anyone asks why you didn’t prep ahead, you need to walk away. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
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