But what if even your best attempts at waking up early are always thwarted by your kids, who seem to make it their aim to always be up when you’re up … no matter what time.
Or perhaps, you may be in a season of round-the-clock nursing or sleep-training the baby, where the lines between wakefulness and dream state are blurred.
What do you do when this goal of getting up at the crack of dawn seems perpetually out of reach?
Use Your Evenings
I can’t underestimate the benefits of making the most of your evenings. Even if, by some miracle, your children decide to sleep in, and you actually enjoy a hot cup of coffee in your quiet kitchen, you would’ve already tackled things from your to do list the night before, giving you more time to do other things. (Need some ideas for a more productive evening? Check this out.)
Work in Small Chunks
You may not get a big block of uninterrupted time in the mornings, but your day likely contains smaller chunks that would remain idle unless you fill it with productive activity. Have you ever mapped out your day hour by hour? Just use a spreadsheet and mark off all the hours that you typically have something planned. Even the busiest person will find small pockets of time throughout the day.
Make the Most of Nap Times
To be honest with you, I probably put more value in nap times than in waking at daybreak. And I mean the kids’ nap time, not mine. Although it would be nice to have my own regularly scheduled afternoon naps, it’s not a luxury I can afford right now.
On most days, the kids take about an hour to nap … longer for the younger ones who actually sleep. My older children don’t really nap; they rest or read. So even if I don’t get any early morning time, I’ll have an hour to myself in the afternoon. (To know more about how we implemented this important part of our day, read here.)
Designate “Mommy’s Time”
For me, one of the things I cherish most about waking up early is being able to have my quiet time with God, reading my Bible, praying, and journaling.
But when my baby was waking up at all hours of the night, I just couldn’t do it. Rather than giving up this precious time, I designated a certain part of my morning as “Mommy’s Time with God”. After the kids had finished breakfast and their morning duties, they were allowed to play but not disturb me unless it was an emergency. It took a few tries to define what an actual emergency was, but for the most part, they let me be.
You Can Do This
Does it sound impossible to actually get some time to yourself while the children are awake? Well have you ever heard of Susanna Wesley? She was an 18th century mom, who had 10 children under her care.
She’s known to have thrown an apron over her head whenever she needed to pray. I thought, I would do that too if I had 10 children running around or hanging on my legs. But I think it was a much more peaceful scene than that. She had trained her children to be quiet when she veiled her head with the apron; they knew this meant her time with God.