Brutal Monday

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Black Friday signals the beginning of the retail holiday shopping season. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is a day of feasting and celebrating, followed by Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday, both steeped in religious significance.

A few years ago in the spirit of giving meaningful days a special name, I coined the term Brutal Monday. Referring of course, to the first weekday we observe Daylight Savings Time each year.

While I love the longer days, more light and warmer weather, it does come with a small price tag each year. Brutal Monday is upon us again as we prepare to set our clocks ahead this weekend.  Losing that measly hour in the morning really throws my family off its fragile orbit.


The typical weekday morning in our house is already a frenzied race against the clock.  Jockeying for the next shower, making and eating breakfast, packing lunches, doing hair, searching through the clean laundry pile for a certain article of clothing, or printing out homework assignments at the last minute will be even more stressful next week as we stay in bed longer than we should.

On Brutal Monday, my internal clock is not synchronized with what the cell phones, computers, car, oven or microwave clocks say. A morning person I have never been, so losing an hour that first Monday is brutal indeed.

The good news is that the benefits of Daylight Savings Time are so numerous, we quickly forget about the challenges. Regardless of the actual first day of spring on the calendar, putting our clocks ahead is the true signal that winter is over.

When we begin to save daylight each March it means two-thirds of the school year is behind us and it is beginning to show. Notebooks are tearing at the fold. Thermoses and lids to containers have gone missing, clothes are getting too small. But talk of Spring Break, and summer plans, begin to creep into my conversations with other moms. Our cul de sac will once again become a bustling fairway for the kids on our street to ride bikes and scooters, and play games even after dinner.

Brutal Monday is a rite of passage each year, like birthing ourselves into the summer countdown.  While we may feel a bit tired Monday morning, or be late somewhere, it will be worth it. We are all energized by more of the sun’s light and warmth. It is our half of the year to travel on the sunnier tilt of the Earth’s axis and an opportunity to show the world a sunnier tilt of our own.

Jill Fales is the mother of four and author of “My Laundry Museum & Other Messy Gifts of Motherhood.” Visit her at

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