Childrearing

STFU Parents: Woe Is Mom: Daylight Saving Time Edition

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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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