It's that dreaded weekend again – at 1am on Sunday, 30 March 2014 the clocks go forward in the hope of an extra hour of daylight in the evenings.
We've got a family event the day the clocks go forward.
Throw into the mix that the in-laws and the godparents are staying for the weekend, the inevitable late night on Saturday and I just know it's going to be hell Sunday morning. Nothing remotely heavenly about it.
I am always so grumpy when I have to put the clocks forward, never mind I gained an hour in October – it doesn't feel like that at the other end of the line.
I'm no fan of the notion of daylight-saving hours – a concept dreamed up by one William Willett, a London builder and keen horse-rider - who felt that the summer morning light was wasted while people slept. Hence we've been putting our clocks forward (in Spring) and back (in Autumn) in the UK since 1916.
I for one would rather we just stuck with Greenwich Mean Time all year. And I'm not alone – for instance a poll carried out for London Mayor Boris Johnson revealed that over 60 per cent of the capital city's dwellers would prefer the clocks not to be put back in winter either.
"I hate it," says teacher Cathy. "Many children come into school the Monday after the clocks go forward quite clearly feeling like it's still 8am, not 9am and ever so slightly bewildered. Some who aren't good at eating breakfast first thing in the morning may have skipped breakfast altogether that day – I just can't see any good in it at all."
I remember when my own little darlings were little. That was when I really grew to hate the clocks going backwards and forwards. Being a complete control freak and liking routine, I used to go bonkers when my carefully controlled feeding and sleeping patterns went out of the window as spring and autumn approached.
Babies can't tell the time. Duh.
It's not much better now they're older. Their bodies still seem hard-wired to wake up at the most inconvenient times anyway – clock changing just makes it worse.
But there's nothing to be done about it – this is one thing I can't change.
So instead read our top tips for helping the first school day after the clocks go forward go just that little bit easier
Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. It sounds simple, but don't leave everything until the last minute. Some schools will shift to summer uniform this Monday. Make sure you have it ready the night before.
The clocks going forward is not an optional activity – but a good optional trick is to hide all the clocks in the house if your children are still quite young. Tell the children it's whatever time you want it to be over the weekend. Make it work in your favour.
Pack everyone's school bags, washed PE kits, completed homework on Sunday in plenty of time for Monday. In the event you all over-sleep – check those alarm clocks – having to run about in addition looking for lost items of clothing and school books is a not a good way to start the week for anyone.
Do not become a screaming banshee at your children's lack of enthusiasm on Monday morning. Stay calm. In a few days things will have settled down again. Alternatively throw darts at a picture of William Willett. Then put the dart board away, but somewhere you can find it easily in October.
Do you have any top tips for getting your family up an extra hour early?
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