How To Survive Daylight Savings With Kids (And Without Coffee)

Surviving daylight savings with kids

Daylight Savings with Kids: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly


I have to admit something that might get me kicked out of the sisterhood of motherhood…

I don’t drink coffee.

Sometimes I even question it myself. Like, do I sleep walk every night and make myself a cup of coffee? Do I black out every time I swing through the Starbucks drive through? I must right?

But the fact of the matter is I just don’t like the taste so I never hopped aboard the coffee train. I’m completely fine with that, with the notable exception of one day each year since having children – Daylight Savings.


The Good Daylight Savings with Kids

The November daylight savings time used to be “the good one.” We fall back, you get an extra hour of sleep. Amazing!

But try explaining that to a small child at 4am when they are under the impression everyone should be getting up to make breakfast. Then the battle of wills drags on for the entire day because you are futilely trying to adjust your babies/toddlers/preschoolers to the new time and they are furious that no one is making mac and cheese right now and that you are making them take a nap.

The actual good daylight savings time now is the one in the spring when you lose an hour. That first morning feels pretty normal even though it’s technically an hour later. Then the NEXT morning is magic because the kids haven’t settled into the new time yet and your house is quiet at 7am. It’s so beautiful.


The Bad Daylight Savings with Kids

So how do you conquer the day after the bad Daylight Savings time when you are raising small humans? Particularly if you aren’t a coffee drinker and you trust those bottles of 48 hour energy about as far you can throw them? Don’t worry, my friend. I’ve got you. Just use these tried and true strategies.



Screen time, screen time, screen time, screeeeeeeen time.

We’re going to start strong the night before daylight savings. Experts say that you should keep your kids up a little later the night before we “fall back” so that they will sleep a little longer in the morning. Okay, sure. We’ll have a movie night. Maybe a classic Disney movie that doesn’t include too much fighting or too much patriarchy.

Don’t hold your breath for a movie suggestion, I love me some Disney but I’ve found that if the girl isn’t waiting on a man then at least one person is wielding a sword and I just don’t know what to do about all that.

But I digress.

Oh and by the way, this movie night plan won’t actually work. It’s a nice idea though.



Oh, you thought I was going to have another suggestion? Not yet. You’re going to be too tired for another suggestion and so am I. It’s fine…

Find something educational on the tube for the morning. May I suggest Dino Dana on Amazon Prime? By noon your kids will know all of the dinosaurs and have a leg up on their college applications.

You’ve been up since 4am, this is literally the best you can do.



Do you still have some Halloween candy left? That’s your secret weapon today.

Kids won’t take a nap? I’m taking away your candy. Kids won’t stop jumping on your face at 4am? I’m taking away your candy. Everyone is whining because everyone is tired and confused? I’m dropping this candy off at the dentist office in exchange for a new toothbrush. And I’m asking for the boring gray one, you aren’t even getting Micky Mouse.

Sometimes you need to play hard ball.

Also, feel free to sneak eat that candy today. If you aren’t a coffee drinker you might need the sugar boost.



You know that toy that plays the “Hot Dog” song over and over and over again? How about that board game that everyone wants to play but it actually makes everyone cry? The glitter/kinetic sand/”washable” markers? HIDE THEM.

Your kids have plenty of other things to do in your house. I’m quite sure of it. You need to make this day easier on your poor tired caffeine-less mind. Don’t feel guilty about it. Your kids will be fine, and you won’t need to refill your migraine medication.



Sometimes you just have to say “meh.”

Did you need to give into demands for pancakes at 5:35am to save your sanity? Fine.

Would the fastest way to clean your house after the children have reeked utter mayhem on it to be just getting out of dodge? Fine.

Is your youngest currently walking around in underwear and snow boots muttering “Whatcha talkin bout, Willis?” It’s fine…



If you have a partner at home, then you have two choices. You can 1) pick a major fight tonight to bait him or her into saying something kind of mean in order to guilt him or her into getting up with the kids tomorrow or 2) you can work together.

Option 2 is better in the long term, and the short term honestly. If you both get up with the kids in the wee hours of the morning then at least you have each other. Then when one parent is staring vacantly off into the distance because #iamsotired, the other parent can find some energy reserves to look for the remote. Just make sure you switch off staring and engaging evenly or things will get dicey.



You made it through day 1. What a champion! Break out the big glass and the heavy pour.

Ideally today will be the worst of the days this week. I can’t promise that, but based on a few years of experience I have found it does get slightly better each day until things eventually even out around Christmas. So cheers to that!


That about does it. You should be prepared for the next 36 hours of daylight savings with kids. Hang in there, it’s going to be okay. And just think, only 6 more months until the good daylight savings. That’s nothing.


With love and solidarity,

Becca Carnahan Blog





Want some more laughs to get you through the day? Let’s talk about being tired some more.

4 Replies to “How To Survive Daylight Savings With Kids (And Without Coffee)”

  • I only drink coffee when I am completely struggling to keep my eyes open. And even then its loaded down with flavored creamer so I might as well have just drank a soda. I don’t know what it was about the time change but I felt more tired than usual. Which is weird because you know we “gained” an hour.

  • I don’t do coffee, either. I tried, but yuck. I was the disgrace of the English majors in college!

    I lucked out with daylight savings time. My kids’ schedule was fine for a change.

  • I remember this horrible struggle with little ones. Now that mine are older and let us sleep on the weekend, Fall Back is amazing. I felt like a got a whole novel written in that one stolen hour this weekend. Hang in there; in 6 years, it’s gonna be great!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *