Mornings. I’ve always loathed mornings. Getting up early was not my idea of a good time. I’d rather stay up late and sleep till noon.
Or, so I thought. I thought I was a night owl. That I was my most productive and creative into the wee hours of the morning. Staying up late to accomplish my goals was just what I did. After all, everyone is different. We can’t all be morning people. Right?
Oh, I was wrong. So, so wrong.
Staying up until 1AM trying to get my best work done was a terrible idea. The baby or my oldest would be waking me up by 7AM at the latest and I was worn out. I didn’t want to get out of bed. And only after a gallon of coffee (I am not even exaggerating) could I even remotely function.
I was tired. I was stressed. Overwhelmed became an understatement. I just kept saying there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
While there is no way to add time to the clock. There is a better way to utilize the time we have and actually get stuff done.
Wake up early, before your kids.
Seriously, it’s the best advice you’ll ever hear. I know, I know. I hear you now. Moaning. “But they get up so earrrrrllly.” I totally get it. I feel your pain. I thought the same thing and kept rebelling against the whole idea for years. My oldest is seven. I’ve been where you’re at… for a long while.
But, once I started getting up before my kids came rushing in (or crying for their morning bottle). I felt so much better!
I had more energy. I was able to get my crap started before I had everyone else needing me to get their crap started. Suddenly, I felt more like a human being and less like under-appreciated wait staff. I felt like I had a life and for once… I actually had my stuff together.
6 Amazing Reasons You Need to Get Up Before Your Kids
1. I have time to myself.
When I get up at 530 in the morning. I have time. It’s an hour and a half that I have just for me (and my husband) to sit back, enjoy a cup of coffee and reflect. Even better yet, I have time to chat with my husband before he leaves for work for the day. He gets home late a lot of times and by being up early in the morning. We get to chat for a bit before he gets ready for work.
2. I am happier.
By having that hour and a half in the morning to myself (or mostly to myself) I’m so much more content! I could even say I’m actually happy! It’s amazing. I have time to get things done and spend quiet time alone with my cup of coffee and it helps me feel so much better. What’s more is my kids are in a better mood. After all, mom sets the tone for the whole household.
3. I have time to get things done.
I’ll be the first to admit running a blog takes a ton of work. Not to mention all of my other duties as a stay at home mom and homeschooler. I have laundry and housework. School plans and lessons. My days are beyond full. But, when I get up before the girls, I have time to accomplish those tasks. I can spend time working on creating content for you guys to read and become inspired by. I can start the laundry. Clean up the bathrooms. Start meal prep for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner. Once my kids get up, I have already accomplished a ton of stuff that would have been nagging at me all day long.
4. I get more quality time with my kids.
I’m not rushing around trying to get 101 things done all day long. I’m not distracted and preoccupied with my massive to do list. I get stuff done in the morning before they get up and I have more time to spend enjoying my kids sans distractions. This definitely contributes to them being in a better mood as well.
5. I’m healthier.
That exercise routine I swore up and down I simply didn’t have time for? Guess what? I have time for it now! I also make healthier breakfast decisions, like actually sitting down to eat breakfast. And I’m less stressed to boot. All three of these things are major benefits to overall health and wellbeing. Exercise, healthy food choices and less (or even complete lack of) stress help us all be healthier, weigh less, and….
6. I have more energy
Seriously the most surprising benefit of all is the amount of energy I have! I always thought waking up before dawn was a terrible idea and I would be even more tired than I already was. But, surprise! The exact opposite happened almost immediately! I’m more energized throughout my day! I’m not going through mid morning slump or wanting to take a nap by noon or catching myself wanting to snooze before I even have the kids in bed at night. Once I’m up, I’m up for the day and ready to take on anything that comes my way all day!
But, how could I possibly get up before my kids? They already get up before dawn.
As the winter season approaches, I totally get this. Here in a month or two it won’t be getting daylight until after 8. Like you, I always thought that getting up waaaaay before the sun was just going to make me want to crawl back into bed. It doesn’t though. As long as you take the proper steps to actually want to get out of bed before dawn.
1. Go to bed at a decent time and get adequate rest.
No more staying up past midnight, mama. No more. Get your kids to bed (mine are in bed by 830 or they are absolute bears in the morning. The baby’s routine is a bit different). Spend a bit of time getting yourself ready for the morning ahead, and go to bed! Some of us need 8 hours, some need 10, some need 6. I’ve found my optimal amount of sleep is 6-7 hours. If I sleep more than that, I’m groggy. Less, I hit a slump by mid-afternoon. My goal is to wake at 530 (my oldest and the baby naturally wake around 7AM) so, bed time is no later than 11PM. It makes an amazing difference in my day.
2. Have an awesome nighttime routine.
Get ready for your morning, at night! Humans are creatures of habit and routines are essential to our every day lives. An awesome nighttime routine will ensure you’re ready for the morning as soon as you feet hit the floor. You can get your coffee ready for the AM, lay out your clothes (exercising? lay out those!), make your lunch for tomorrow, whatever you need to to make sure you’re ready for the day.
3. Set an alarm and leave it somewhere other than your bed side.
Put it on your dresser, in your ensuite, wherever you need it to be to make sure you have to stand and walk over to it to shut it off. Once you get in the habit of waking up at the same time, every day, you’ll probably begin waking up naturally, believe it or not. Until then, or even when, set that alarm and….
4. Get up once your alarm goes off.
No snooze button. It doesn’t help. Being woken every 9 minutes when your alarm returns to its incessant ringing is not getting more sleep. Just don’t do it. Just get up, get dressed and get going with your day. You’ll actually feel better than trying to go back to sleep. I know I always thought going back to sleep was helpful, but I always woke up groggy. Waking up and staying up seems to be the most beneficial and I feel the most rested.
7. Avoid screen time before bed.
I already hear the groans. We’ve all gotten in the habit of vegging in front of the TV or laying in bed mindlessly scrolling through facebook. Stop it. Now. Turn off all the screens at least a half hour before bed. An hour is even better. No apps that get rid of blue light will replace the benefit of turning the screens off and finding something else to do. Read a book, spend some time talking to your husband, take a bath, do something, anything that doesn’t involve screens for a half hour or more before you turn in for the night and leave your phone away from your bedside when you do turn in!
So there you have it. Mornings don’t have to be horrible, they can be awesome and amazing. You just have to get up before your kids and get moving! You’ll notice a difference in your day almost instantly, I can bet on it.