Do you wake up before your kids? Keep reading to understand how it can change your attitude for the day!
A few years ago I traveled to California with my husband for 5 days. It was our first time being away with no kids. Naturally, I was filled with a million different emotions.
I really missed our kids, but I also couldn’t believe I was getting 5 full, uninterrupted days with my husband.
The trip was amazing and I learned so much about myself in such a short time. This time away forced me to take a look at our daily routines.
When we are in the trenches it can be easy to lose perspective. You may not be able to take a 5 day vacation alone with your husband, but after you read this I challenge you to take a step back and analyze your rhythms and routines.
Is there anything you want to change?
When I had the chance to do this, I realized how important morning time was to me.
I always knew I was a morning person, but I didn’t realize how much I missed this when I become a mother.
Without kids I could wake up, eat breakfast, drink coffee and read. All without interruption!! It felt AMAZING.
Slowly after having kids, I let my morning routine go. If I’m being honest, it no longer existed.
I was using my kids as my alarm clock.
This had to change. I missed my mornings!
Time to myself, the ability to eat a meal without interruption and the peace of preparing for the day by myself.
So when we got home from California I got to work.
I remembered a friend telling me years ago she didn’t get her kids from their cribs until 7:30 AM. It didn’t matter what time they woke up, she made them wait until she was ready to get them.
Since both our kids were toddler age I felt this was a reasonable expectation. Was it going to be easy? Maybe not at first, my kids might not like the change in our routine.
But I decided, that was okay! Is it my job to make their life easy, perfect, comfortable? No.
Sometimes as parents we have to make tough choices, understanding that in the long run it is best for everyone.
Although we did sleep training with my son, he was notorious for waking up early and crying immediately.
How to Reclaim Your Morning and Get “Me” Time In
As I said earlier I was using him as my alarm clock. Waking up to hysterical crying was the complete opposite of the mornings I had in California. There had to be a way to make this better!
So here is what we did….
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Sleep Option for Toddlers in Cribs:
We very slowly transitioned our son into realizing that mommy wasn’t going to get him until 7:30 AM. We did this in 5 to 10 minute increments. Slowly pushing back wake up time until we hit 7:30.
I also told him on the monitor “it’s not time to wake up yet buddy. Rest for a few more minutes.”
Finally, it took patience and prayer. When we set boundaries as parents, it’s not always fun or easy.
I also kept the end goal in my mind. Morning time alone was going to make me a better mom throughout the day.
When I have time to recharge, then I have more to give to my kids later on.
Within a few weeks I had reclaimed my mornings! It felt so good. I felt like I had “me” time again and I wasn’t putting my needs last anymore.
If 7:30 is unreasonable for your family, find a time that works for you! It may also mean you have to wake up earlier than before.
Instead of waking up at 7:15, I started waking up around 6:45 to make sure I had enough time to do everything I wanted before the kids woke up.
Now there were still days where our son moaned, but for the most part he realized mommy will come get him and he will be okay in his crib.
A Wake Up Option for Older Kids
Now our kids wait until the green light comes on (set by you, the parent) to come downstairs. If the kids wake up and the light is yellow, they know they can play in their rooms for a few minutes until it turns green.
This allows me time in the morning to get ready for the day. I’m so glad we made these changes for our family.
It really has transformed my mornings and made me a happier mommy.
It’s okay to take time for yourself! As moms we need encouragement and time to recharge. Don’t feel guilty for taking this time.
A Few Final Thoughts
I am naturally a morning person, well probably a mid morning person. Around 9-9:30 AM I feel my most alert. So waking up before my kids wasn’t a HUGE deal for me.
But I’ll be honest, there are times when it is. This is usually when I’m staying up way too late. If I want to be refreshed and realistically get out of the bed before my kids in the morning I need to go to bed before 10:30 PM.
It takes discipline, but for me it’s worth it.
So I want to encourage you today. What do you need as a mom to feel refreshed? Reenergized? What small steps can you take to get there?
Share in the comments below!
Is setting boundaries difficult for you? I know it’s not easy and no one enjoys conflict, but I truly believe we need to take care of ourselves first. Then we are best suited to take care of others.