History Miscellaneous

Day Light Losing Time – The Conspiracy of Time Change

March 16, 2017
Clocks

coffeeeee - time

Monday sent me into a spiral of exhaustion from which I am still reeling.  Day Light Saving Time (DST) (it is singular not plural).

Bah.

time

My husband, who I affectionately refer to as LOML (read why here), travels 90% of the time for his job.  The greatest drawback of his travel, aside from not having any other adult to interact with at home…and regularly being away from the person I chose to spend my entire life with and…

not having anyone to make my coffee in the morning…and only having the option of playing eye spy every night at dinner (which I do love) verses a dinner with a little bit of adult conversation…and no one to mix me a cocktail to help me get through dinner…and no one to help at bedtime…and no one to sit beside on the couch at night and discuss ideas and download from the day…

is that every school day I have to wake up two resistant five-year old children to go with the one resistant seven-year old child who is already up, but is slumbering over his breakfast while wrapped in a blanket at the table as if we live in Siberia.  Outdoors.

This is from Monday morning:

sleeping at the table - time

I must wake these morning resistant monsters because they have to get in the car, so I can drive their older brother to school.  It is kind of miserable.  For them and for me.

Yes.  I could make him ride the bus.  That is an option.  If, let’s say, 6:20 a.m. is a reasonable time to have a seven-year old ready to catch the bus that he will ride for 50 minutes before he arrives at school at 7:10.

I just cannot do it.

Put them to bed earlier you say.  I can do that.  I do do that.  This does not mean I am trained in hypnosis to put my kids to sleep at an earlier time.

Am I alone in lamenting about valuable sleep being violently stolen from our little ones to get them to their learning destinations?  It is ironic…

As a result of waking early for school, they incur a loss of sleep, which likely causes some of their neurons to miss their connections and thus they never succeed at processing what was learned the day before because of being interrupted mid-connection when I lovingly alerted them it was time to get up to take their older brother to school.

Then, I cannot help but wonder if that lost sleep is also impairing their ability to be successful…at preschool that day?

coloring - time

They are learning foundational things people!

How to solve conflicts…the letters of the alphabet…how to count!  These are things they will use for the rest of their lives!  Will they be inadequately prepared to meet their days in the future because of their traveling father?

lost letters - time

Must I write off another ivy league institution from consideration?

I feel this way about the oldest one as well – except in the ways of higher elementary education.

You may think I am kidding.  Do not read this with sarcasm.  This is where my mind has gone on a daily basis for quite some time.  Then, that terrible sleep chart went viral not long ago which calculated for all of the tired parents what time their child should go to bed based upon what time the child will get up the next morning.

It flooded my feed on FaceBook driving my anxiety disorder related to my children’s sleep deprivation through the roof.  Of course I am being dramatic.  Kind of.

In case you missed it, here is one version.  BUT before you look too closely – really think whether it is going to make you feel like Rocky or like an abysmal failure.  If you are unsure, then by all means check it out.  Misery loves company. 😉

sleep chart - time

The mama brain family has failed.  We have FAILED for each age group in our household.  Okay, so that’s only two age groups, but still!  FAILING.

Please tell me there a sleep expert out there to set my mind at ease?

It also does not help me feel better when I caress my ‘middle child by a minute’s’ back and kiss her forehead telling her it is time to get up and she responds with, “Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!,” burying herself under her blankets.  Then, screeching and screaming in between, “No. No. No. No. No.”

I am sure the sound of her shrieks sail right through our paper-thin and barely insulated tiny-house walls.

Dog walkers are debating phoning DSS.

No technique can change that outcome.  Unless it is Saturday and she crawls in our bed at the same time.

Oh my gosh that makes no sense.

So, this resistance to rising goes on intermittently for what seems like forever, which is calculated as such because this runs in parallel to the amount of time I spend encouraging my eldest to eat his breakfast, get dressed, put on his socks AND shoes, brush his teeth and go to the bathroom.

He is part snail like his father.  Remember this image I captured of my LOML? 😉  My oldest is descended from this.snail - time

Somewhere in the midst of forever, the youngest by a minute emerges having quietly exited his slumber.  The middle child, who moments before was wailing, jumps through the doorway screaming, “Boo!” happy as a clam.

What?!

Although, I cannot help but smile.

Then, as we are donning shoes to exit the house I feel badly for feeling miserable and alone and for overthinking the downstream effects of disrupting my children’s sleep.

I think about friends whose husbands have recently passed away.  About how those women walk through decisions affecting their young children, cloaked in complete responsibility as they navigate days alone, solely responsible for facing and fixing the bad days and for relishing in the joy of the good days.

In the end, as I am driving to school, I conclude we are all humans with matters of relativity and that on some days we are doing all that we can to survive living in our capsule without pausing to think of those who are in different capsules.  Some days my capsule is hard for me.  It does not mean my capsule is easier or harder to survive than someone else’s capsule.

Don’t beat yourself up over your sometimes capsule-centric self.  You know there are people who don’t have running water and you do.  That doesn’t make you a bad person for being mad about your leaky faucet.  Your capsule has a leaky faucet and that has an impact on you.

I was in my capsule on Monday morning when I had to wake everyone up an hour earlier because of the cursed Daylight Saving Time.

clocks - time

It did not help me when my oldest informed me, as he staggered out of bed, that I should have started waking him up earlier several days before, so he could get used to the time change in advance.  Sure.  It is my fault.

Trust me.  I have thought of doing this for DST as well as at the end of summer when school is about to start.  Then, the more-reasonably minded me in myself wisely goes against the idea as I squint against the rising sun shining through the curtains on those mornings.

I say! Rip the band-aid off instead!

Daylight Saving Time is my nemesis.  Twice a year we are treated like yo-yos.  We must spring forward.  We must fall back.  We must spring forward.  We must fall back.  I have done this for forty… for plenty of years.  It is the personification of the devil incarnate.  It is archaic.  That is, if you can call something that is only 233 years old archaic.

And, mind you, it hasn’t even been in effect for 233 years.  Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay to the editor of The Journal of Paris in 1784 joking that if they changed the clocks they could conserve candle usage.

candles - time

Thanks Benjamin.  Too bad that kite and key thing didn’t work out differently.

Just kidding!

Even though Mr. One Hundred Dollar Bill suggested the idea over two centuries ago, the concept wasn’t actually adopted until the early 20th century. And, it was not adopted in the United States for the reason many think.

It has nothing to do with our farming friends!

I am all for finding conspiracies.  My friends, this whole Daylight Losing Time has a valid one and ‘Benjamins’ (pun intended) have something to do with it.

Benjamins - time

Here is some basic history:

DST was first used in Canada in 1908, but Germany was the first country to adopt it in 1916.  I find it ironic that my husband is there this week.

The United Kingdom followed in the same year.

Two years later it was introduced in the United States when President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law to support the war effort during WWI.  Energy conservation.  It was repealed with spotty usage by some northern cities and wasn’t actually fully established until President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted full daylight savings time in 1942 for the same reason as Wilson – energy conservation.  It was repealed three years later allowing states to use their own standard time.

There weren’t any rules of adoption for DST in the US until 1966 when Congress established the Uniform Time Act of 1966.  It set DST to six months and established consistent application of DST.  As you can imagine, until then, it caused some challenges especially for public transportation and the broadcasting industry.

In the seventies and early eighties DST boomeranged back and forth on how many months it was in effect.  After the oil embargo of 1973 the time was manipulated to conserve energy for the full year, and while still controversial, proved that it saved the equivalent of 10,000 barrels of oil each day.

oil rig - time

According to Michael Downing, the author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time, 1973 is the only time where, when Congress studied the impact, it was actually shown to save energy.

He explains further in a 2007 NPR interview that, “we tend to want our computers and our televisions and our radios when we want them.”

“More importantly, Daylight Saving really pushes Americans out of the house at the end of the day. And when Americans go out of the house, they may go to the ballpark, they may go to the mall, but they don’t walk there. They get into their cars. Daylight Saving increases gasoline consumption, something the petroleum industry has known since 1930.”

gas pumps - time

In the 1980’s, in large part due to the lobbyist efforts of The Chamber of CommerceDST was extended to seven months.  Department stores loved the extra hour of daylight because they had an increase in business.  Workers heading home after their work day had more time to stop and shop before dark.  Cha-Ching!

Conspiracy.

In the 80’s, two of the biggest supporters of DST in the US were the golf industry and the barbeque industry.  It is quite difficult to light golf courses due to their expanse, so extended daylight helps golfers play longer!  At the time, it was estimated that one extra month of DST was worth $200 million in additional green fees.

golfing - time

Well then!  And that extra time could drive up sales for grills and barbeque necessities to a similar figure.

grilling - time

Fast forward to The Energy Policy Act of 2005, which extended the observation of DST from 7 months to 8.  Ahem.  The same lobbyists came back for another month.  DST now starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

What in the world?

Meanwhile, moms and dads everywhere are suffering.  Children are suffering.  Everyone is sleep-deprived.  People are grumpy.  Except those people who live in Arizona and Hawaii.  They are happy because their states passed an ordinance exempting them from the folly of DST.

DST is now used in over 70 countries with varying beginning and end dates and affects over a billion people every year.

Why can’t we reject this nonsense?  Spring us forward and leave us there!  I am fine with losing the hour forever.  I promise!  Everyone will be a lot happier and healthier!

Maybe I will petition to have it changed.  Perhaps I will start that initiative when I have an extra hour in my day…maybe in November? 😉

Get some rest and journey on!

xo, the mamabrain at mamabrains

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