I’m an early morning convert. I didn’t used to like to wake up early but I have come to love it in recent years.
In my previous life (AKA before kids) I valued my sleep… I still do but it’s seriously lacking these days 🙂 Sleeping-in was my favorite thing ever, never mind the fact it caused the rest of my day to be a hurried pace of trying to play catch up.
My bed was warm and comfortable. It still is… all 9 inches of space I have to sleep on as I cling on to the side for dear life due to a midnight visitor making themselves comfortable in the center.
Why would I want to rise early to tackle my day?
Instead of being a morning person, I was wired at night. All the free hours to get stuff done, to read and relax at the end of the day was my favorite. And since I stayed up late, why would I want to get up early?
Obviously my sleeping in, night-owl tendencies were totally rocked when I became a mom. My new baby was both a night owl AND early riser, with a few midnight parties thrown in. I was grasping at straws to get sleep in whenever I could, my carefree schedule was being replaced by baby’s somewhat unpredictable routine.
Once I got both him and I on a routine that worked I, of course, found out I was pregnant and the cycle of chaos and sleeplessness began… again.
Here I am four years later with a 4 year old, an almost 3 year old and a 7 month old. Life is still crazy (when will it ever not be?), sleep still isn’t consistently happening but I have learned a new important thing about myself…
I’m actually a morning person.
Shocking as it was for me to admit it, I have come to realize I relish the quiet of the early morning hours. I have learned starting my day with a plan is a much better way to start then with frantically hopping out of bed.
Perhaps most importantly, I have learned it is far better to wake up FOR my family not TO them.I want to wake up FOR my family not TO them!Click To Tweet
Waking up FOR my family means I’m taking care of myself and feeding my soul BEFORE I start tackling the daily demands and responsibilities of my family and home. It means I’m starting my day with intention and purpose, carving out a plan and setting myself up for success.
Waking up FOR my family means I’m making it a priority to feed, fuel, focus and preview – I couldn’t think of a fourth f to stand for preview! 🙂
- be in the Word – feeding my soul
- get moving and exercising – fueling and energizing my body
- dressing for the day – focusing on my outward appearance
- reviewing my t0-do list – previewing my day for success
The hard part about this season of motherhood is coming to terms with the reality that it isn’t always realistic to get up early every morning.
Ideally I would love to be able to have a good night sleep, wake early and have an hour or two to myself to prepare for the day. But I’m still in the baby/toddler/preschooler who is trying to potty train at night phase where a full night’s rest is few and far between.
However I don’t let lack of sleep deter me from using my morning hours well.I don't let lack of sleep deter me from using my morning hours well.Click To Tweet
I set my alarm for 5:00 every single morning. When the alarm goes off and I’ve had a decent nights sleep (only being up once or not at all) I will promptly get up. If it’s been a rough night, I give myself grace and go back to sleep until my husband gets up at 6:00.
There will be a day in the near future where I will be able to get up early after a full night’s sleep every morning but for now I’m choosing to embrace the season I’m in which in return means I’m giving myself grace.I'm choosing to embrace the season I'm in which in return means I'm giving myself grace.Click To Tweet
On those mornings when I do get up early, I go through my routine listed above by spending time in the word. I’ve shared how my Bible Book Basket is my sanity-saving tactic but I also love the simple disciple of writing the Word.
After a quick workout to get my blood pumping, I spend some time getting dressed for the day. Finally, I sit down at my desk and look over my to-do list before starting on any writing projects before the troops emerge from slumber.
If it’s a morning where I have given myself the grace to sleep in, I will quickly get dressed then read my Bible while nursing the baby. It’s not an ideal morning but it’s a simple routine that helps prepare me for my day.
Getting dressed and spending time in the Word before the kids get up is what I have deemed as the most important parts of my morning routine for when I need to shorten it.
Regardless of what time I ultimately get up, I am a big believer that my morning routine starts the night before. Each night before I settle in with a good book, or most likely before my eyes become heavy with sleep, I go through a quick evening routine which includes:
- Clearing the sink– washing bottles, putting any remaining dishes in the dishwasher and running it, cleaning the sink to remove any excess food or liquid and throwing the day’s dishrag into the laundry.
- Prepping the coffee pot– there is nothing worse than waking up to a coffee pot that has yesterday’s old coffee in because you forgot to clean and refill it. Trust me… I know.
- Put away anything left out– We make our older kids pick up their toys but occasionally there are still a few things out that need to be put away.
- Set out my work out clothes – It’s nice to have these set-out and ready to go so that I’m not digging through a dark closet in the morning.
- Write my to-do list for the next day– While my brain is still wired from the day, it helps to do a brain dump to get it out all out of my head and on to paper. Plus I look at the calendar and take note of any errands or appointments we might have the next day.
Setting aside a few minutes in the evening to prepare for the next day is one of the biggest components for me to have a successful morning routine, and I’m a big believer now in having a workable morning routine to start my day.
That’s what I love about reclaiming my mornings, there’s grace to take it day by day, season by season.There's grace to take it day by day, season by season when you #makeoveryourmorningsClick To Tweet
Someday I’ll be able to wake early and have plenty of uninterrupted quiet time to start my day but for now I will gladly take the few precious moments I have.
For me it’s about having quality time, not quantity, in the morning hours.