Wednesday, April 12, 2017

I wish there's cure to jet-lag

Some people are not affected by jet-lag at all, no matter how many time-zones and how many oceans they just passed by. I'm one of those who are severely affected by jet-lag. And so are my children. In this trip to Indonesia, we went from GMT+2 (Zagreb) to GMT+7 (Jakarta).

After 30 hours of flights and layovers, we arrived in Batu, East Java, at around 11pm local time, meaning 6pm in the place of origin (Zagreb). Yup, you guessed it right, the kids were wide awake until 3am when they're finally sleepy enough for bed, so, 10pm Zagreb time, basically, the regular time they go to bed (yes, they go to bed that late, go ahead and judge me). And that means, they would wake up only around 1pm local time, around 8am Zagreb time.

Due to jet-lag we'd start the day quite late, and "lose" half of the day

My toddler would nap naturally around 6pm local time because that's 1pm home time, and would sleep until 9pm when she's fresh again after "afternoon" nap, for the rest of the "day".

She was so confused one day she asked me why she doesn't have to brush her teeth before bed (it was her afternoon nap schedule). I explained to her that she's just going for a short nap, and she doesn't usually brush her teeth for afternoon naps, and she argued with me that it was night, and not afternoon, pointing at the darkness outside the window. It was night local time, indeed, but it was afternoon for her body, biologically. Kill me.

This schedule moved forward a little bit every day, they would be sleepy an hour earlier every evening and get up an hour earlier the next day. It was not until the fifth day they were basically fully functional. Like, wake up and go to bed at normal times, and most importantly, have their appetite back (mostly for the toddler, the newborn only breastfeed so her appetite wasn't affected).

To be fair, my husband and I were also affected severely, but we're old enough to already feel sorry to lose half of sunny and nice day to sleeping, so we kind of forced ourselves to get up at a normal hours. But then, we got too tired to keep up with the kids in the evening when they're not tired yet. What a dilemma.

You know she's jet-lagged when she colors at 2am

Technically we could've waken them up in the morning, yeah. But if you have toddlers you know what it means to wake them up forcefully. Handling a sleepy, tired, moody, aggressive, cranky toddler (and baby) all day long? No, thanks.

I don't know if there's a cure to jet-lag? Living the world we live today, probably there is, who knows. I'd like to know though. For us, who stay longer in this vacation, almost two months, jet-lag is no problem. I don't mind "losing" five days for sleeping. But I think a family who's on vacation for a week or two would be annoyed losing so many days just for their kids (or themselves) to adjust.

I'm no expert but my only tip is to take it easy. On your kids and on yourself. If their bodies are not ready, don't force them. I wouldn't wake my children up at 8am if they're not ready, just because I'd like to do as many museums as I could today, or, I wouldn't fight with them because they refuse to go to bed in the evening because their biological body doesn't tell them that it's bed time. Cranky kids mean nervous parents, nervous parents make a disastrous vacation. Take it easy!

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