Monday, September 16, 2013

morning glory

I have blogged before about my difficulty with mornings, and I must be really desperate for blogging material here because I really don't think there is anything less interesting than reading about other people's morning routines or how they deal with mornings. I will write a formally apologetic post later in response to this one. For now I am just going for it.

Up until this point in motherhood I have almost entirely woken up in the morning to kids as my alarm clocks, and for the most part I have felt like they have defeated me before I even walked out my bedroom door.

It's also been the case that at least one kid has woken up by 6:30 every morning for the last 4 years- until now. Naomi is mostly done with naps which means that she FINALLY sleeps until 7ish, or if she wakes up earlier she is old enough to obey the cow clock and stay in her room until 7:15. This is monumental for me because now I can finally start getting up before the them and not feel like a corpse all day. Sure, I could have woken up before them even when one was getting up before 6:30, I just never had it in me, or whenever I would try I would be a jerk to them for the rest of the day because I was just so freaking tired. I still am not totally sold on the whole thing, but after several days of successfully rising before them, and a couple of those days even getting a workout and shower in before they were awake, I have gathered a host of observations to blog about for my future self. Because I am well aware that there are seasons for everything and that before I know it, one of the kids will be deciding to wake up at 5:15 each morning and then this resolve will go flying out the window. Then when they're finally sleeping like Godly children again, I will revisit it  and wonder if it is worth it, and on will go the cycle of nothing being consistent in the business of raising kids.

Anyways, I have currently decided to try to get on an early morning, up before the kids type of routine and here are some observations on waking up before the kids.

Waking up before the kids does:

-make me feel on top of things, even if I haven't gotten enough sleep that night.
-make me feel like an adult.
-help me to check of to-do list items before there are little people around to sabotage my to-do list.
-make the girls want to get dressed when they wake up because I am dressed (they are weird).
-help with getting to "pre-school lessons" instead of just skipping them because I wanted to shower and workout at that time.
-helps with daily scheduling and staying on task.
-necessitate brewing extra coffee.
-make me feel like it is 1 o'clock int he afternoon when it is only in fact 10 o'clock in the morning.
-helps us get out of the house faster because I am already ready. You know, to do things like hit up the mall play place by 10 a.m.
^^Lucy learns to say "cheeeese!" and then tries to crawl off into the wonderful world of mall merchandising.

^^And the other little ladies demonstrate that they are too big for the equipment by climbing illicitly all over it and almost falling on smaller kids.

-help eliminate tantrums that happen fist thing in the morning because I am much better equipped to handle bad morning attitudes after 2 cups of coffee and a shower than with bleary eyes and pajamas still on.
-make me feel desperate for a nap by 11 a.m.

Waking up before the kids doesn't:

-make me feel more rested but rather has the opposite effect. I just figured there was some magic that happened when you got up before your kids that gave you secret infused energy.
-make the morning move faster, but makes it draaaaaaag. Like crazy.
-always help eliminate morning tantrums, sometimes kids are resolved to behave like asylum inmates and are going to throw insane tantrums even if you've had 2 cups of coffee, a shower and are responding in all the right ways.
-always help with my own attitude because I am more tired than I would be if I had gotten the extra hour of sleep.
-always need to happen in order for me to be the best wife and mother: if the baby has been up several times because she is sick, the more important thing is to get the sleep I need and put a movie on for the girls in the morning to get some things done.

And so after one week of getting up before my kids, and being dressed and ready for the day before they come out of their rooms, I have not come to a definitely conclusion as to whether I think this is a necessary thing for me currently. However, I am going to keep on doing it because on the days that I have it has helped me to do a more formal and scheduled "pre-school" with Naomi, which she is really loving.

It has also helped me feel less like a sleeping gazelle about to be pounced on by hungry lions, but rather like an awake gazelle who is ready for the attack, which is always a good thing.

Because I'm dressed and they're not.


  1. Ana, I laughed out loud... Because I've been having this exact same inner conversation with myself over the past few months. It's been crazy with 3 under 3 and with our move. Hope you are well, God bless you and keep the good work up!

  2. Very nice breakdown, I can relate. I like that you put the section about what it does *not* do, as that has been my experience as well. But now that my son is in school, I have a much bigger motivator to be on time, so that helps me get up. (Tho my problem has always been the minute my kids hear me up, they are up, no matter how early, so I've always used that as my excuse to wait for that cry/moan/"mommy.mommy.mommy"/book banging/crib kicking....)

  3. There's maybe just a little chance I should adopt the wake-before-the-children lifestyle. I only just got to shower at 1:30 this afternoon...haven't quite eaten a real meal yet...the living room looks like Hurricane Jordan traipsed through...

    Good for you with the stamina. I need to get me some of that.

  4. I LOVE hearing about morning routines. I am seriously not a morning people. I force myself to get up before the littles so they are not facing a bitter, screaming monster (me) first thing in the morning.

  5. I love hearing about people's morning routines too.
    I am NOT a morning person, and our toddler is up for good at 6- later if she's gracious. The baby still gets up around 4 or 5, so I'm hoping that the insane earliness is decreasing purgatory time?
    I know some (young!) kids sleep until 7:30 or 8. That must be heavenly!

  6. I'm impressed that you the use time up earlier to work-out and get dressed. When I'm up earlier, I tend to get on the computer, check my email, check my blogs, etc....and then I'm just as far behind as I would be if I didn't get up earlier.

  7. Thanks for giving us the pros and the cons. Getting up before the girls always sounds appealing in my head, but I have no discipline so it obviously never happens.

  8. I have yet to figure out a way to routinely wake myself up earlier without waking the baby up earlier (despite her being across the hall). At least that's the excuse I'm going with for now....although I agree, being dressed and caffeinated before she wakes up feels almost like being on top of the world!

  9. The same as Emily, if we try to wake up before the toddler, she just gets up earlier! I dream of getting dressed and having breakfast ready before her one of these days. Although I know the working out part is definitely not going to happen!