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June 8, 2013

Surely I Can't Be the Only Mama Who Feels This Way???

I remember summers as a child…long, sunny days with ample time to play outside.  Those first few days of Daylight Savings Time were especially magical.  I can almost hear myself exclaiming to my mom, “Can you believe it’s still light?!!!

It seemed like such a gift, to have that extra daylight, to be able to play even longer.  And it being during the summer meant that bedtime wasn’t as critical, either.

At least that’s how I remember it.

Now, as a mother myself, I DREAD the time change.  That’s no surprise, though…as schedule-oriented as I have always been with the girls, throwing a 60-minute wrench in the day, twice a year, gives me plenty of anxiety.

[I should note that –KNOCK ON WOOD!!! – I’ve always been pleasantly surprised at how well our girls have done with the time change transition.  I stress about it for at least a full week, but they’ve generally rolled with the punches pretty well.]

What’s struck me this year, though, our girls now four, is that I really don’t like all this extra sunshine.

And that feels decidedly un-American.

Our girls have always gone right to bed, and then right to sleep.  Since Day 1, I’ve been able to put them down in their beds, sing our evening graces, whisper my goodnight wishes, and close the door behind me…and then move on to do something else.

Since April of this year, though, things haven’t gone quite as smoothly.

We have blackout shades in the girls’ bedroom, but they can only do so much against the girls’ westward-facing windows.  At least 50% of the time, I’m still hearing rollovers and sighs – and not the peaceful sounds of slumber – up to an hour after I put the girls to bed.

Thankfully they are relatively content to work themselves to sleep, but I’m still on high alert until I know they’re asleep.

So…this summer…I love the warm weather…the ice cream…the sundresses…the bubbles and sidewalk chalk…the impromptu trips to the park…and so many other things that come with this glorious time of year.

And although once upon a time I never could have imagined feeling this way…I’m ready for the 5pm sunsets of the dead of winter.

Even if it is un-American, surely I can’t be the only mama who feels this way??!!!


Carrie said...

Ha! I feel this way sometimes too, but I always have to remind myself that even though the dark of winter makes it easier for the girls to sleep, the dark of winter also puts me in a mood I despise. Our girls have west facing windows as well and even though we too have black out shades, it can take the girls (especially) Evie, a while to settle down even though I know they are exhausted. It probably doesn't help that they can hear the neighborhood kids outside still. We haven't had much of a summer though this year. The sun hasn't been out since last Sunday, so going to bed this week has been relatively easy and we have even been lucky enough that they have been sleeping past 8.

Anonymous said...

I have not experienced that with my kiddos yet. I truly think it's a catch 22. There are many many many things I do not like about the Winter months.....

Amanda said...

Well you wouldn't do well here! Currently it isn't getting dark until 9:15 pm and it's getting light at 4:30. The middle of summer it's supposed to stay light until 10 and start getting light at 4 am!

Just put those girls in their room and don't stress. We've always done night night kisses and read a chapter at about 7 and then I'm done for the day. If they want to play quietly they can. Up until this move the only toys in their room were books, blankets (all sizes, they'd use them playing with their stuffies) and stuffed animals. Now that they are 5, and we downsized houses all their toys are in their room.

They put themselves to bed. I like that they self regulate. And I've never had a girl stay up past 9:30 on their own at the very, very latest. But I learned not to stress about it, because I still had "my" time of the evening and knew they were safe and sound in their room. Of course if there is a huge fight or upset I can hear them and go to them! :)

Jennie said...

One of my boys in particular has fought sleep since day one, so bed time has always been a time of stress for me, even though we rarely have troubles these days. I know they are lurking! I ended up just ignoring the time change... it works for us to go to bed early in the winter, and have some extra time after dinner for walks and outside adventures in the summer. They have been getting the same amount of sleep, and I'm enjoying not seeing the 6 am hour as frequently!

Johanna at The Baker Twins said...

My poor little girls always lament going to bed while it is 'still daytime'.

I wish there were no daylight savings time... no falling backwards, no springing forwards. Don't they know little children have a schedule to keep?! :)

I do remember LOVING that my birthday was the second longest day of the entire year when I was growing up. Maybe when the twins are 12, I'll let them stay up past 8. Hahaha!

Mandy said...

My card is punched at 8! I am OFF DUTY! Their door is closed and they are on their own. They get up and exchange books, take themselves to the bathroom and back, and generally chat for 30 minutes to well over an hour. If they need me they'll call, but generally it's their time for girl talk and unwinding. I've realized I can't really stop them short of sitting in there, so I just let it be. They still sleep, and wake up, without issue. They just allow themselves some extra time.

Trust them! Relax, you're off duty!

northsidefour said...

I promise, it gets better and those long days are well worth waiting for. We are still in school (aargh!) and they are out at 8pm, even with the light creeping in. Two weeks from now, when we are free from schedules, the evening will be theirs for fireflies and Popsicles!

Deanna said...

My girls typically stay up a little later than many...for one, because I am not home all day, I enjoy having extra time with them in the evenings. Also, they sleep pretty late, which works MUCH better for me than going to bed early and getting up early. : ) You can't ever tell what we are going to be up to in the evenings, so sometimes the extended daylight works well for us. If it needs to be an earlier evening (for them OR me--ha!), I close all the blinds, dim the lights, etc., to send the message that it's getting close to bedtime, even if it's not dark.

Much like Mandy said, I put them in their room at bedtime and I am pretty much done at that point. They are allowed to read books and sometimes chat with one another, but that's it. I like the independence of letting them be responsible for choosing a book, looking at it, and putting it up on their own.

Marcia (123 blog) said...

we don't have daylight savings time here so it's mostly the same year round. In the heart of winter (which is what we're technically in right now) it gets dark at 5:30 and I like to be home by then :) (excuse to leave the office) and in summer, it's dark at 7ish so not much difference.

are yours still in the cots, Mandy? because then the taking books and themselves to and from the bathroom is your duty, isn't it?