First, let me preface this by saying – I’m sure many of you get up at 5am every day as part of your routine, because of work or because your kids get up early. Props to YOU! It’s hard and you are awesome for doing it. Prior to my ‘wake up early’ challenge I was rolling out of bed whenever I heard cries from the monitor on my nightstands. Typically these days that’s around 6:30 or 7:00am – a luxury, I realize!
Before I had kids I was always a morning person – doing my most productive work (from home) when I could pop out of bed, grab my laptop, a large cup of black coffee and plug away for 2-3 hours before even having breakfast. Sometimes I would get up and work 6-10am clocking in 4 hours of work before lunch and it felt GREAT! It also meant I was usually not getting ready for the day and by noon decided I should put on something other than my PJs. After I had kids, of course that all changed and since having Flora a year ago, my routine & philosophy has been to sleep whenever and how long I can. My girls are both great sleepers, that’s not to say there’s at least one night a week one of them is up in the night or more recently, requiring us to cuddle up in bed in the early (early) morning hours before going back to sleep. I also typically stay up until 11pm working, shopping online, browsing Pinterest or watching TV with my husband.
Starting your day dictated by the time your kids wake up lets you sleep as long as possible, but in my opinion also provides a set of challenges. It doesn’t allow you any time to mentally prepare for the day before stepping into mom-mode. You go from resting your head on your pillow to serving your children their morning needs (and my kids are needy in the morning). It doesn’t allow you to brush your teeth, wash your face, have a cup of coffee, journal, meditate, slow down and appreciate what the day has in store, exercise or catch up on your inbox before the work day starts. In other words, it doesn’t give you anytime for YOURSELF!
I’ve found in the 4 years of being a mom, I’m the best, most patient and fun mom (and wife) when I’m also taking care of myself. For some of you, that may mean SLEEPING – but I’ve found for me, it means giving myself some ALONE time before the day starts.
Waking up at 5am was surprisingly easy. By Wednesday I was a little tired and new I needed to work on moving my bedtime earlier (the biggest challenge for me)- I think 10pm is ideal. I stopped getting on my phone before bed, and started READING a book in bed instead, which was so refreshing and such a nice way to fall asleep. And – I didn’t have any trouble falling asleep this week (bedtime anxiety has been plaguing me recently).
Most mornings I did find myself spending my solo time working- but I loved the routine of having my coffee (and giant glass of water), watching the early morning news and setting my goals and to-dos for the day in a quiet living room to be the best. I started singing my morning song to the girls when they woke up for the first time in a year, and felt this positive mood lasting throughout the day.
It seems silly to say that getting up 1.5 hours earlier was life changing, but in the current season I’m in it’s been a game changer for me and I 100% plan to keep it up. Next week I hope to start meditating every morning for a few minutes and doing yoga or pilates at least 3 days a week for 20-30 minutes in the morning. I’ll report back and let you know how that goes :)