“Hurray the clocks have changed”, said no parent ever
The clocks changed last weekend and if you are a parent, you know what that means. It means that you can kiss the routine that took you months to perfect goodbye. For parents, routine is everything and we work hard on making sure our cute little babies do their naps at the same time every day. Let’s be fair, this is as much for us, as for the kids. When the baby sleeps, we get peace and quiet and that is just about the only thing keeping us sane. We have all felt anger and despair when the child dares to sleep for only half an hour and utter bliss when you expected them to be up but they are still fast asleep. These clocks destroy the system and are a nightmare for parents worldwide.
As I was running today, with bags under my eyes because this was the fourth morning I was woken up at half past five instead of at half past six, I started to think about this. Why do we change the clocks forward first and backwards later? Surely, if we just leave time alone, this evens itself out? Why mess with time if the sun is a perfect indicator of when you should be awake and when you should be asleep? Who are we to decide at what time the sun goes under and when it goes up again? At noon it should be at its highest point in the sky and everything else automatically falls into place.
I did not know why they ever decided it would be a good idea to change the clocks. Apparently, it was to make the most of the light on the longest days. It was a means to save energy. Daylight saving time was meant to give people more exposure to the light so that they would not need to use electricity to light their houses. In autumn we move the clocks back, presumably because in the dark and the cold energy saving is impossible anyway, just so that we can do it all again in spring.
There is hope
My mother once told me that the time we use is incorrect because at the noon that we use the sun is not at the highest point in the sky. I noticed that she is right and wondered then already how we can defy time. Why do we keep messing with things that should be natural and fixed? We are sure that the sun will rise in the morning and that it goes down in the evening and we even manage to stick our noses that business. In the US they changed the clocks for the last time and this was supposed to happen in Europe as well, if it was not for – here it comes again – the pandemic (with a side order of Brexit).
Until then all parents (read: mothers) will just have to accept that they miss out on that fantastic extra hour in bed that everyone gets in autumn. And that it will take a while until their kids will go to sleep at a decent time again in spring. But hey, at least we do not have to turn on the light as we sit up with our kids on these way too early autumn mornings.