It’s nearly November now. November of 2020, the longest year in the history of mothering, except for the year 536 AD, which is widely acknowledged by historians to be the worst year of all time.
But now, in addition to covid-schooling our dear, sweet children, plus that Minnesotan October snowstorm, how does our country thank us? Well, they plan to rip away hours and hours of sleep from our grasping little caffeine-stained hands!
I’m talking, of course, about daylight savings time. I know, I know, former childless-self…it used to be, “Fall back! We get an extra hour of sleep!” But now I have children. And these “totes adorbs” littles have, just this month, started prepping for the change by waking up around 4:30 am.
Now, math has never been my strong point, but I’m pretty sure what that means is that my children are going to be WAKING UP AT 3 FROZEN 30 IN THE FROZEN MORNING.
I will survive this, and so will you, but we are going to need a plan, so here it is.
- Stock up on coffee. Good coffee. The ethically sourced, locally roasted, bougie stuff. Just go ahead and prep for increased caffeine needs. Heck, buy some biscotti to go with it. In Costco sizes. No regrets.
- Buy chewable melatonin. Your kids may never use it, but you don’t want to wish you had it at 7 pm when it feels like 10 pm (but is actually 6 pm). I’ve tried it on desperate occasions for years with no success, but 2020 is the year melatonin will finally make a difference to all our lives! So don’t give up. Maybe it’s your year too.
- Check your schedule and eliminate at least one thing every day. Even if you’re like me and have literally nothing on your 2020 daily schedule, plan to do less. I’m thinking of eliminating math for the week.
- Research countries that don’t do daylight savings time or have snow in October. Aruba comes to mind.
Then prepare to regroup.
Regroup: verb: to reorganize (as after a setback) for renewed activity. (Merriam-Webster dictionary)
Some setbacks we can plan for, like daylight savings time or PMS. Other times, a setback to our schedule comes as a surprise, like when we all bought our cute little planners for 2020!
But either way, a setback is a temporary thing, not permanent, and we can reorganize our troops, corral the horses of our minds, and prepare to set forth again! Even big things like my chronic illness and disability, while they are significant setbacks, don’t mean that I’m done. It might take me longer to fall back and regroup than it did last time, but if God hasn’t taken me to heaven, he still has a plan for me here, and I will continue to breathe in and out and lead my children.
A setback is temporary. A setback is not permanent.
So after we plan our setback days well, let’s go ahead and start making a plan to get out of it. Plan a regroup. Even if I don’t feel up to charging forward in a battle today, I can make a plan for that day.
So here’s my plan to get back up again:
- Bougie coffee. This is usually #1 on any list I make. If you don’t drink coffee, you do you — sniff a lemon or drink a LaCroix or something.
- Human contact. I make sure that I am interacting with actual real, live people. All the research shows this is vital for a healthy mind. I’m “high-risk,” and I’m still social distancing, but I’ve set boundaries where I do have contact with people — specifically people I really like.
- Talk to God about it. Maybe he wants you to put your old plan back in action, or maybe he has a new idea. Don’t separate your planning from your prayer life.
- Ask God if he wants you to move somewhere without daylight savings time or snow in October. I ask him this so many times every winter. It’s very important not to miss a moment when God might tell you to move to Aruba!
- Check in with your other team members — in my case, my husband and my children. I see how they’re handling the setback. What affects one affects everyone. We literally can’t move on with life if the kids are waking me up for the day at 3:30 am every day.
- Then take the steps to move forward. You’re still breathing. You still have a purpose. You just had a setback. Life isn’t over yet!
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
(After 8:00 am … and after coffee.)
Anita Matta grew up in Belize as a missionary kid. She has lived in 3 countries and traveled on 5 continents but can’t resist the allure of subzero winters so she now lives in MN with her Egyptian husband and two daughters. She blogs about God, motherhood, disability, and appreciating beauty at anitamatta.com, and pretends to be trendy by posting pictures of coffee as @anitafmatta on Instagram.