Updated: May 15, 2019
I wouldn't consider myself a morning person. I've never really enjoyed waking up before the sun does. As a matter of fact, when I was in college, I opted for the classes that started after 9:00 because I loved staying up late and sleeping in late. Then entered my children...
Sleeping in was no longer a luxury. Instead, early morning wakeup calls became the norm. The kind of early morning wakeup calls that summon you out of bed with ear piercing cries. All while your eyes are still shut as you navigate past the legos on the floor, just praying you don't step on one while you try to remain asleep (like a good ole game of minesweeper).
Now that my children *mostly* sleep through the night, and we have a bedtime and morning rhythm, it is so much easier to create an early morning routine for myself. Mornings are when I am most productive. Mornings are when I have a chance to catch my breath before the day even begins and I can start off on the right foot. Mornings are when I have the chance to do things that I cannot do other times of the day while the kids are awake (and THAT alone is my motivation to wake up earlier). I know all of the excuses we mutter under our morning breath as to why we should hit the snooze, so I'm taking this chance to lay them all out and give you the solution against them! 1. If I wake up early the kids will wake up earlier too. That may be true. It is for me. If I wake up earlier, the kids hear me and then want to get out of bed too. It's inevitable unless your children are super hard sleepers (or you can levitate). When I first started waking up early, I would treat each morning as if I was Emily Blunt in 'The Quiet Place'. I didn't want the monsters to hear me and come after me. Now, I've come to realize it is likely they will wake up anyways, so why not make the most of the time I have. That doesn't mean I play loud music in the morning, or bang pots and pans loading the dishwasher, but I WILL brush my teeth, or brew a cup of coffee. I don't avoid things that make noise.
If your kids are like mine and wake up easily there are some things you can do to still maintain time alone in the morning. Luckily, my youngest will lull back to sleep if I fix him a bottle (which it what I normally do). My oldest however is usually ready to wake up once he hears me. I typically give him a few options.
Option 1 is to join me in whatever I am doing. If I am folding laundry, I ask if he wants to help sort the socks. If I am reading my Bible, I ask if he wants to grab a book and sit with me. If I am working on a project for work, I usually ask him if he wants to grab a quick breakfast and play quietly with some toys on the rug. If I am needing to take a shower, I give him something to do in the bathroom while I get ready for the day (coloring, blocks, etc.).
Or if all else fails and I have something I really need to get done—Paw Patrol works 100% of the time (no shame).
2. I am just way too tired to get up any earlier
I get it. Night time is our one chance to spend with our husbands. After a long day it is nice to spend some quality time together and take advantage of every minute as possible—even if that means going to bed at midnight.
My encouragement to you is to make the most of the time you do have together. Instead of binge watching 10 episodes of Parks and Recreation, why don't you play a game together? Pick a task that has an end instead of one that could keep going and going and going (or until Netflix asks if you are still there).
Maybe you have a little one that doesn't sleep through the night (believe me mama, I've been there). There are definitely seasons to take advantage of all the rest you can get, but maybe these tips will help you too!
Create a nighttime routine that winds you down for the night. Turn off all of your screens, wash your face and brush your teeth. Do some stretches or diffuse some lavender, or do a little light reading before bed (that ALWAYS makes me fall asleep). Try your best to stay off of your phone before bed (again, pick a task that has an end instead of one that can keep going). Having a nighttime routine will help calm you down and get the rest you need to be able to handle those early morning wakeup calls.
Create a motivation to get up early. Do you have something specific you want to do when you wake up? Do you want to go to the gym and morning is your only chance? Use that as motivation to get up! Do you want to spend some time in God's Word and know that the kids will be a distraction during your quiet time? Wake up with the motivation to open your Bible.
3. It is too tempting to hit snooze and my bed is too cozy
It is WAY too tempting!
That's why you need to put your alarm clock/phone on the other side of the room. Once I moved my phone from my bedside table to the dresser I noticed I was a lot more efficient in waking up early. For 1, my feet actually have to hit the floor and 2, I am always so scared my alarm will wake up my husband or the kids that I rush to turn it off. Having your phone away from the bed also helps the temptation to lay in bed and scroll on Facebook before you start your day!
Create something exciting waiting for you when you wake up! If you are a coffee drinker, set out your favorite mug, or set your timer on your coffee pot to start brewing as soon as your alarm goes off (nothing wakes you up better than the smell of fresh coffee!). If you go to the gym in the morning, have your workout clothes and shoes laid out the night before and a water bottle and granola bar waiting for you on the counter near your keys.
Bed too cozy? Buy a pretty robe and warm slippers that you are exited to slide on in the morning. Put them next to your alarm clock.
Two things that wake me up an extra level in the morning are washing my face and brushing my teeth. If you are like me you have to pee as soon as you wake up anyways, so go ahead and start your day by freshening up while you are in there. It will make you feel a little more energized and ready to start the day.
4. If I wake up early I will have a midday crash
This is my biggest excuse if I'm being honest. Midday crashes are a real thing. A second cup of coffee isn't always an option for me either. I tell my husband that 2 cups of coffee turns me into mama Hulk. Everything sets me off and I become super agitated. So, I've had to find another option for those mid day drags.
Go for a mid-day walk
Spend a little time outside
Stretch and get moving
Create a wakeup playlist with some of your favorite upbeat songs to play on shuffle when you are starting to lull a bit
Make a smoothie, cup of coffee, or shake to help reenergize you
Change your scenery. If you have been sitting at your desk all day, or been playing with the kids in the living room, why not switch things up. Take a trip to a coffee shop to work or take the kids to the park or library. Switching the scenery will help get your mind off feeling a little sleepy
Everyone could use a little morning pep-talk! I've created a guide of morning affirmations to help motivate you to rise up and start your day confidently! Get yours HERE