Thanks to different jobs and spurts of motivation I have gotten up around 5am, on and off for about 10 years. Yet it wasn’t until our second winter with Danny that I finally committed to making it a true habit. I fell out of the routine and on most mornings Danny would wake us up between 5.30 and 6am. If you thinking walking up to an alarm is bad its nothing compared to a screaming child who expects full attention right away. During this time I was missing out on critical alone time and didn’t feel my best. When it was Danny who woke me up I couldn’t help but feel resentful. He needed my full attention but I was often frustrated because I hadn’t done anything for myself.
I have always loved a little time to myself in the morning and I needed to find a way to wrestle it back. It wasn’t Danny’s fault, he is an early riser as well, so it was up to me. To make sure I could have time to myself as well as be present to Danny’s needs, Michelle and I would get everything prepared the night before. We had done this in the past but we took it to a new level. Like a restaurant kitchen everything cleaned, dried and put away. All the meals prepared, table set for breakfast, and coffee supplies ready to go. We have nixed movies or shows at night and listen to an audiobook together. It would be great to watch show but for me the time in the morning was a more important indulgence than a show – life is about choices – I can’t expect to be able to have it all.
I now walk up around 5.10 and get downstairs prior to Danny waking. He still sometimes calls out at 5.30 but at least I’ve got a few things done and have usually had a coffee in peace. Sometimes it stretches past 6 and I’ve had a full hour to myself.
As parents you can’t expect to continue to live the life you had prior to children – really you have children to change your life:) Yet there are certain things we don’t want to give up. It’s not easy to get up at 5am but for me the effort and organization is worth it.
So whats the take away? If there is something you value, figure out what you need to get rid of to create time and put a plan in place to make it happen.