It’s the time of the year that half the UK population looks forward to and parents dread – the end of British Summer Time. Why? Because children’s body clocks don’t play along and they get up at the same time as normal.
So this morning as predicted Little B was up at 530am ready to start his Sunday. And judging by social media we weren’t the only ones!
I remember the clocks going back as a fun time pre-toddler. You could risk a slightly later night out knowing you had that extra hour to sleep off the hangover. Or you could plan a bumper film night till 1am – watching two Godfather films perhaps – and still wake up refreshed and ready to do part three over breakfast.
Now we live in fear of any change to Little B’s routine and bedtime. And the clocks changing is a no-win situation. You can try putting your children to bed later, leave toys in the cot for when they wake, but nothing I have heard of stops those cries of ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’ at an unholy hour.
And there they are, wide awake, happy to see your bleary-eyed scowls, up and at the world despite the pitch-black skies as the curtains are drawn back.
So we stagger downstairs and make caffeine and put CBeebies on while we try to stay awake on the sofa so our children don’t start trying to make toast or put the cat in the washing machine.
But then it occurred to me. If we’re up anyway we may as well USE the extra hour that all those losers are wasting to get more sleep!
So as a gift to all parents whose dark circles and sagging faces now make them look like Droopy the cartoon dog, here are the things I’ve thought up that you could do with that extra hour of being awake.
Ten Things Parents Can Do With An Extra Hour
- Cook all the meals for the week! Simply make a MASSIVE spag-bol, lasagne, curry or stew and freeze it in portions. Get the biggest pan – a cauldron would be ideal and you can then use it for Halloween too! Winning! Ignore other family members’ requests for breakfast. If they enter the kitchen they help chop or they end up in the cauldron.
- Finish painting the nursery! It’s no good feigning ignorance or saying ‘We finished the nursery months/years ago’. Even if it is now the guest room or your teenager’s bedroom there is still that patch near the ceiling you never quite got to. You know. It’s behind the wardrobe. Just do it, quietly. You don’t have to tell anyone.
- Cut the lawn. I know it’s October but just give it a trim. Admit it – you haven’t done it since the end of August and every day it gets longer but you say “Oh it’s too wet’ or ‘It’s nearly autumn now, it’ll stop growing soon’. Err, hello climate change! October where we live is so balmy the crocuses are up and birds are building nests. Swallows are flying in and taking up positions in deck chairs on the lawn, That grass will be growing till Christmas. So get the mower out, yes, at 5am. Wake up the child-free dozing neighbours.
- Start watching the box set you never get round to. You know. The tricky one that people insist on telling you about at afternoon birthday parties and soft play. Borgen. Fortitude. One of the snowy ones. Get you in the mood for Christmas. You’ll only do one episode but you’ll have started and there won’t be any going back. You’ll do some more on the Sunday and be done by the following weekend. You won’t have to blag your way through another TV conversation over mouthfuls of cheese puffs and fairy cakes.
- Read a book. OK. Read the first couple of chapters. Leave someone else in charge of the little ones and disappear into the shed or the snug or that cupboard under the stairs where you hide when being a parent gets too much. Read that book you started reading when you were still pregnant and enjoying sitting down with a cup of tea and a biscuit, planning your perfect nursery/baby outfits/all the things you were going to get done while you’re at home with the baby. Don’t think about the lists you wrote. Unless, you want to…
- Make a list. This will easily kill the hour until you were meant to wake up and it will leave your mind free to embrace what’s left of the weekend. If you can’t sit still you could audit the freezer and stick the list to the door. Or go though all the baby clothes you still haven’t got rid off and list them on Ebay. Or just give in to the melancholia and depression and list all the dreams you had before you had children.
- Sort out your photos. OK, maybe not all 5 billion of them. But you could make a start on the last few months worth of new shoes, sunsets, cakes, children in a variety of outfits, pets being cute, evening meals, and selfies. There are some great tools online. I think Google Photo is a close rival to Iphoto. You can even ask it to recognise what’s in the photo and help categorise subjects. Bit creepy but if it sorts out the horrendous list of things called 76234634666.jpg I don’t care! If you really have, like me, let your photo files go to shit you need Tidy. It does what it says on the tin and helps you sort uncategorised photos into categories so they are no longer ‘untidy’ You can also say ‘Tidy’ when you’ve finished like you’re in Gavin and Stacey.
- Go for a run.…pfft ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! I’m only kidding.
- Get cosy with your little ones. I think this is the best one. Give in to it. Make a hot chocolate, put some music on, light a candle, get the duvet downstairs and all cuddle up together until it gets light. Don’t look at your phone. Don’t turn the TV on. Chat. Sing a song. Tell a story. Be more Hygge.
- Write a blog post! TICK! And then join all those linkies you never get round to – like Sunday Stars! TICK!
So what did you do with your extra hour today?!