Baby Elma Family Kitty Pip

Stolen hours


Back in the day, in the days when a good night’s sleep consisted of a minimum of a solid eight hours, the days when walking barefoot across the carpet didn’t involve the complex navigation of a minefield of small sharply cornered plastic detritus, the days before the definition of a treat included going to the supermarket without any of the children, the clock changes were merely an entertaining eccentricity in the year.

In the spring loosing an hour meant that summer was on its way, and in the autumn there was the joy of an extra hour in bed, and at least a week of feeling more awake and refreshed in the morning because it felt just that little bit later than it really was.

And to be honest until this year the clock changes have treated us fairly kindly; Kitty has been able to adjust without too much of a problem and Elma’s been too little for it to really have an impact.

But this year. Well so far it’s been brutal.  On the old time everyone woke up between 6 and 7am, and I know it’s only Wednesday but I promise you I’ve seen 5am accompanied by all three very wide awake children enough times to last the rest of the year already.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And then of course we seem to get caught up in a crazy sort of sleep spiral with overtired little girls crashing out mid afternoon.  It’s lovely that they’re getting the sleep they clearly need, and for Kitty it isn’t really a problem, she still goes to bed at the same time quite happily, but my poor little Elma is suffering.

Under the old time Elma napped once during the day; just before lunch if she was at home and just after lunch at nursery, with the promise that they would wake her by 1.30pm if she hadn’t woken before.  It sounds unbelievable written down but we’ve discovered by painful experience that if Elma has even a moment of sleep after 1.30 it seems to completely reset her body clock.  You can think that she’s exhausted and will fall asleep in a heartbeat but suddenly she’s scampering around like it’s morning, and no matter how much running around, fresh air and all the rest of it we factor into the end of the day she still resists sleep with every ounce of her being.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Cue one increasingly exhausted but very awake little lady.

So if you take 1.30 and make it what used to be 2.30, you can see where we’re going with this one.

Early starts. Long bedtime routines that stretch on into the evening.  Let’s just say that I think caffeine is a very wonderful thing right about now.  I’m shattered.  Possibly more so even than when Pip was a teeny tiny newborn who thought that nights were for catching up together.

And aside from making me firmly in favour of anyone who wants to just have one time and stick with it (I really don’t mind whether it’s GMT or BST, it’s basically much of a muchness), it’s also showing me oh so clearly that for me sleep deprivation isn’t entirely about the amount of actual sleep that I’ve had.

I know that if I went to bed the moment that the girls drifted off and slept all the way through the late evening and the night to whatever extent Pip deems appropriate I would definitely be getting more hours of sleep, but I just can’t do it, and I don’t think it would make me feel any less exhausted.

We get everyone settled and sleepy and then even if I’m still nursing or cuddling Pip I can curl up on the sofa next to H, to chat through our days, or watch a film together.  My evenings are the time for planning all the million and one creative projects that whizz round in my head, even if they’re never going to get further than the planning stage; the time for a little knitting, for sewing the buttons on the latest project, or deciding the next colour in a blanket, for writing, or for sorting through the day’s photos.

And it’s those moments that recharge me, that set me up to face the day that’s coming with calmness and patience.  If I skip that down time, that dare I say it, “me time”, then I’m not sure it would matter how many hours sleep I’d had, I just don’t feel quite me without it.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I would love it if the girls could find their routine again, and if you’re a veteran of many clock changes please tell me that they will, but for now, if you’re up at 5am, say hi.  I’ll be the one crocheting for calm. With my eyes closed.


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  • susan @happyhealthymumma 29/10/2014 at 7:48 am

    aww I feel for you, my Thomas is 16 months and too little to really notice the changes- I thought it may be a problems but it turns out his erratic naps stay just as erratic! and he still wakes up at 5am most mornings anyway! I am sure things will get better though….I’ve never heard of anyone saying it lasts very long! lovely photos by the way #sharewithme

    • Carie 29/10/2014 at 1:14 pm

      thank you – fingers crossed it’s short lived – at the moment it feels like we’re getting sucked into a self perpetuating cycle, but I’m sure it will pass eventually!

  • Mandycharlie 29/10/2014 at 8:35 am

    I’m a grown up without small children and I found myself wide wake at four this morning, partly from insomnia, partly from clock changes. If you stay firm to your routine it should get better by next weekend.

    • Carie 29/10/2014 at 1:13 pm

      keep your fingers crossed for all of us 🙂

  • Anna 29/10/2014 at 9:17 am

    I’m so with you on needing that evening downtime, even if it’s already late from long bedtimes. I’m naturally a night owl too so find it really hard to go to bed early even if I know I should. And 5am wakeups are a killer.

    Thankfully, this time round the clock change has been ok but we currently have one very grumpy cold-ridden baby instead who is finding it hard to sleep or feed with a blocked up nose. So I am seeing rather more of the early hours than I’d like but hoping for more sleep tonight and wish the same to you too x

    • Carie 29/10/2014 at 1:12 pm

      Oh poor baby – hopefully we’ll all get more sleep tonight!

  • lily boot 29/10/2014 at 10:09 am

    I’m afraid I have no answers to your clock change dilemma. When my daughter was little, we lived in Queensland which doesn’t have daylight saving so we never had to make the adjustment but you do have my sympathy. Oy! But I had to pop in to visit after seeing that your family are a fan of My Naughty Little Sister! So rare to find someone else who’s read these wonderful tales 🙂 Oh we read them over and over and over – they were especially wanted when my little one was sick in bed – I would sit beside her and read and read for hours. What a lovely, cosy, friendly world they described. And every now and then – 15 years later – I take off my engagement ring and slip it over the button on my shirt and smile 🙂

    • Carie 29/10/2014 at 1:11 pm

      I found a book of all of the My Naughty Little Sister stories in a charity shop when Kitty was small and it had to come home with us. The stories aren’t always politically correct and I occasionally edit as I read but I love the tales behind them; tales of everyday ordinary, but told so beautifully – and it didn’t hurt that my baby sister looked quite like Shirley Hughes’ illustrations too!

  • Louise 29/10/2014 at 10:33 am

    Oh bless you – that sounds so tough. The clocks changing can be such a nightmare with little ones. Hope you all manage to adjust very soon. Gorgeous photos – especially the last one x

    • Carie 29/10/2014 at 1:09 pm

      Oh me too – and thank you, they’re some of my favourite pictures of Elma of late!

  • Brandi 29/10/2014 at 12:09 pm

    Oh no…ours is coming in a few days. I’m already up by 4:30 most days (as the little man has some trouble settling himself between 4-6/7) but the time change…that is gonna hurt.

    • Carie 29/10/2014 at 1:08 pm

      Oh ouch – yep, that’s going to be tough for a few days!

  • Vickie 29/10/2014 at 8:59 pm

    The time change has really knocked me for six this year. Bubs hasn’t adapted to it at all She has started waking at 5:30-6am and being incredibly naughty for the following two hours until we officially ‘get up’. So I’m a walking zombie, which is perfectly timed for Halloween as I won’t need a costume. 🙂

    By the way gorgeous photos of Elma! The last one in particular is beautiful.

    • Carie 30/10/2014 at 8:24 pm

      Thank you 🙂 – and I’m with you on the walking zombie without needing a costume!!

  • Lystra Maisey 29/10/2014 at 10:02 pm

    Hello there, I really enjoyed this post and know exactly where you are coming from! I am awake at 5am, and often 2am as our little man has only slept through the night a handful of times in three and half years! The time change has really messed us up but it seems to be settling, and he is in bed a bit earlier, however the trade off is he was up at 5.30am! Oh well. We will be thinking of you, and hope things settle down for you soon xxx #sharewithme

    • Carie 30/10/2014 at 8:28 pm

      Our poor Elma is really struggling to get to sleep in the evenings too, which makes the early mornings even crazier – I really hope she settles soon and your wee man too!

  • Happy Writer Mama 29/10/2014 at 11:51 pm

    the days are long but the years are oh so short. i’m feeling reminiscent and missing those younger years. <3 hang in there.

    • Carie 30/10/2014 at 8:45 pm

      Oh that’s so very true!!

  • Merlinda Little 30/10/2014 at 4:40 pm

    The change in time is a bit harsh on my son as well. Sleep and eating is a bit of problem. Hopefully before school starts again he is adjusted with the time already. #sharewithme

    • Carie 30/10/2014 at 8:58 pm

      Fingers crossed for all of us!

  • Bex @ The Mummy Adventure 30/10/2014 at 8:52 pm

    I am not getting on well with the change either, but like you, I need time for me in the evenings. I don’t seem to be going to bed any earlier unfortunately, which just means I get one hour less sleep every day!

    • Carie 30/10/2014 at 9:05 pm

      Yep, that’s about the size of it!!

  • Jenny 31/10/2014 at 10:35 pm

    Ohh bless time change can be so tough. I love the photos though so candid and the lighting is beautiful! Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    • Carie 01/11/2014 at 10:56 pm

      I think they’re some of my favourite pictures of Elma – my poor little sleepy girl, she’s still finding it the hardest

  • sally 05/11/2014 at 9:43 pm

    I’m sure by now they already have (fingers crossed!). And I know how you feel with your down time situation, I have frequently had conversations over the years with my husband where he tells me to go to bed earlier if I’m tired, and that I’m trying to do to much. When pushed he then tells me the things I should stop doing – to which I reply crossly, ‘But they’re the things that keep me sane’. I’m also sure that sleep deprivation with a young baby is cumulative in it’s effects, so even if Pip is sleeping so much better now than in his early newborn days, you will still be feeling more tired.