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Finding “Me” Time in the Quiet Morning Hours

Let me tell you a little something about myself. I HATE when my kids wake up before me. Most of the time, anyway. There is just nothing peaceful to me about having a small person full of energy waking me up with loud requests for food, or paint, or something that requires me to be fully awake and alert.

We have our occasional mornings when my sweet children peacefully climb into my bed and we snuggle for a bit. Those are the mornings I envisioned before they were born as being the start of our life every day.

Because everything about motherhood was easier before my kids were actually born.

The truth is that most of the time, if they are awake before me, it makes me wish I could pull the covers over my head and hide from them for the rest of the morning (or the whole day, depending on their level of chipperness compared to my level of tiredness).

I have learned a trick, though. That is to simply wake up a little while before them and have a little me time, so that I can be prepared for their energetic little selves before they get up. Let me tell you, as basic as that sounds, it is a TOTAL game changer in the life of mommy-hood!

Creating a morning routine that works for you.

Recently, I finished Crystal Paine’s Makeover Your Mornings course. You don’t need to go through any kind of course to figure out a morning routine that works for you, but it can be a great tool. I bought it a few years ago and it was helpful to go through again because I have been in need of reevaluating my routine. There will always be times where you need to step back and take a look at what you’re doing and what needs to change. Change is the only constant variable in life, so go with it when it happens.

I’ll be completely honest, my mornings often do not go the way I would like them to. Either I don’t get to bed early enough to get up at the time I would like to, or one of my kids wakes up earlier than I had planned. It’s a constant challenge, but every effort is worth it.

My ideal morning routine.

Here’s an example of what my current ideal morning routine looks like:

  • Wake up at least 2 hours before everyone else
  • Drink some coffee or all natural energy drink to wake me up for my workout
  • Read my Bible
  • Workout/run
  • Shower
  • Study (currently studying for my Personal Training Certification)
  • Start breakfast

But here’s what my mornings actually often look like these days (this is still an improvement):

  • Wake up about 30 mins – 1 hour before everyone else
  • Drink some coffee
  • Read my Bible
  • Study/read/write
  • Start breakfast

On mornings like these, the workout still happens, it just often happens later in the day while I’m hanging out with my kids. And many times my daughter joins me, so it turns into a fun time together. (My daily dose of endorphins is so very necessary, I can’t leave that out!)

The ONE biggest thing that matters MOST.

The KEY to being able to get up early and be a fully functioning human being is pretty simple. Getting enough SLEEP! This was so hard for me, for a long time. I have sacrificed sleep for the sake of productivity more than I would like to admit. Funny thing about that is, sleep deprivation actually slows brain activity, making you less productive. So there’s that.

When it feels like there’s no room for more sleep in your life.

There are definitely seasons in life when sleep comes easier than others. I had a full-time job outside of the home for over 7 years of my kids’ lives. So between when they were nursing babies or just not sleeping through the night, and having to wake up to my alarm for work, sometimes sleep took a backseat to life’s demands. Even still, there were definitely times that I should have focused more on sleeping than I did back then.

Nowadays, although my schedule is still full as a homeschooling mom who is working part-time outside of the home, I have more flexibility to rearrange things and keep my priorities in check… including sleep. When I do not get enough sleep, even when I wake up before my kids and have my morning “me” time, I am just not myself. I am grumpy, short-tempered, usually end up with a headache, and we all lose as a result. Quite frankly, it stinks.

We are not machines. Our bodies need rest. So when possible, I encourage you to schedule your life priorities around your sleep needs, rather than squeeze a few hours of sleep into an over-scheduled life.

Ready to give it a try?

If you’re interested in trying out a new morning routine, a great place to start is by just waking up a little earlier and picking 1 or 2 things to do. Make sure they are things that you are excited about doing, though. Not dishes and laundry (unless those things really excite you… to each their own). If you love coffee, make sure you have your coffee pot set up the night before. Make a cup and go sit outside if the weather is nice. If you love reading, grab that book you’ve been waiting to find the time to read. Run in the beautiful morning sunrise or do a quick workout at home to get your endorphins pumping.

What are some things that would make you excited to wake up early? I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions for an effective morning routine!

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