Waking up before the kids… this used to sound like my worst nightmare. I was tired, why would I want to wake up earlier in the morning? I needed more sleep not less!
I first tried it years ago. When I was a single mum to my eldest daughter, I used to get up in the morning at least half an hour before my daughter woke and do yoga before getting us ready for childcare and University. It made such a difference to my day. Unfortunately, this only lasted for six months before the weather got cold and I wanted to stay in bed as long as possible. I forgot all of the benefits of getting up early for the next 15 years.
Last year, I began getting up early again. Initially it was because we had a tradesman coming for a few weeks and I liked to be showered and dressed before he came. He was kind of sexy…. Ok, a lot. I felt so organised and prepared for the day that I continued to do this until Winter when I stopped again. A few months later I found the Rise and Shine Challenge that The Abundant Mama runs. It is a 10 day free email course and it is amazing. It made me think about, plan and implement the way I wanted my mornings to go. It helped me to think about how to create better night time rituals, and how to plan my mornings so that the rest of my day ran smoother and calmer.
Waking up early has given me time to myself, time to wake up before the kids get up, time for some quiet time before the chaos of the morning begins. It has meant that instead of being woken up by the children (which always left me feeling grumpy all morning) I get time to wake up gently. I feel calmer and more organised. I get time alone in silence.
Sure, some days they wake early too and I don’t get any time to myself before they wake, but because I regularly get that time, the days that they are up early I have learnt to just go with. Even a few days a week of having that early morning alone time makes a big difference to me.
What I use this time for has changed over the past year depending on what is going on in my life, what times my children are getting up, what I feel I need or want to do. Currently I get up at 6 am. I sneak out to the lounge and do a short meditation before setting my intentions for the day. I think about what I want to achieve, how I want feel and act. For example I might want to feel calm, connected to my family and productive.
For the last few months I have been using the Daily Greatness Yoga Journal and I am loving it. I can write my daily goals and plan my day. In the evening I fill in the things that I am grateful for and some of the daily prompts such as what I learnt today and any ideas or thoughts I had on the day. It is a really easy way of planning and reflecting on my day. Most days I follow this with catching up on social media, writing in my journal or reading.
I would love to have a cup of tea but every time I have tried my children hear the kettle and wake up. I would also love to get up and do yoga every morning but so far I haven’t made that happen. Maybe as the weather gets warmer.
What you use your morning time for is really up to what you feel you need. Some people make a set ritual that they do each morning, others have a range of things they do and just do what they feel like at the time.
Some ideas are:
- Shower and get dressed before the children get up.
- Plan your day
- Have a coffee or tea and relax before your family wake.
- Sit outside and breathe in the morning air.
- Go for a walk or do some form of exercise.
- Eat your breakfast uninterrupted
It may be that you only have a 10 minutes alone before your children get up. Find something that makes you feel good that can be done in those 10 minutes. I know that it might feel impossible, it once did to me, but I really encourage you to give it a go. It made a big difference to my happiness, the way my entire day runs and to finding me again in my motherhood journey.
I know some of you reading will be saying that there is no way you can get up earlier, or no way you can get up without the kids do. I get that. Some people are not morning people. Some are not getting enough sleep due to babies, small children or a variety of other reasons. Some kids wake at the sound of a feather dropping. If you are not getting enough sleep right now, waking early is probably not right for you right now. If you are not a morning person I would really encourage you to give it a go but if it doesn’t work for you, can you put aside time in your evenings to have some time for yourself? Time to look after you. Time to reset after a busy day of kids, work, housework, giving all of your energy to other people and tasks. It makes a huge difference I promise.
Let me know if you get up early. How do you use the time? What difference has it made to you and your day?