When It’s Too Hard to Get Up at 5:30 am

I’m a big believer in getting a head start on your day. And even if you’re not a morning person, there are many advantages to rising early, especially when you have young children.

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?

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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.)

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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.

Are you an early riser? What have you done to secure some time to yourself?

When It's Too Hard to Get Up at 5:30 am

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25 thoughts on “When It’s Too Hard to Get Up at 5:30 am

  1. Whoa! I just looked up Susanna Wesley, she was the youngest of 25 children!!!
    I am not an early riser right now, I do love to get up and get things done before my boys are up but the baby still gets up at least two times each night, and my hubby likes me to stay up with him in the evening. Once the baby starts sleeping longer I would love to get back into the habit of rising earlier.
    At naptimes I nap, so that is out for me…I do have the boys play outside or watch a movie when I am doing my devotions and when the weather is nice in the afternoons I lock them outside and am able to get some things done, writing or blogging. Pinning!!

    1. I nap when my kids nap too and I don’t even have an infant! I just need to take care of me right now 😉 good for you for doing the same!

    2. In the same as you, of course. Baby’s sleep patterns are so out of whack! Haha! I know things will get back to some kind of normal soon. For now, we make do, napping when we can. Making the most of those free moments when we get them. It’s all good!

  2. I have always, ALWAYS loathed waking up early. You constantly hear/read that if you do something for 2 weeks or [X] amount of time it becomes a habit, but no matter how many times for weeks or months on end I would religiously wake up early, I hated it just as much every morning and it never got easier. I’ve tried every trick in the book, but I am just not a morning person. Great tips! I think I lean on evening time and nap time the most to get things done.

    1. My husband had a job that got him up super early. I guess that motivated me to get up with him too. Now he switched his job, so I’m on my own with getting an early start like I want.

  3. I love the idea of a quiet morning, but my daughter loves to snuggle with me first thing in the morning. I know these days are fleeting, so I generally sleep until she comes in and wakes me up. So I do use my evenings or her screen times to get things done. She is six, so I have greater flexibility now than I used to. I would advise that nothing can replace those precious years of young babies – the housework will wait. Hold them longer, snuggle them more, really, eat frozen pizza. You will never wish you had spent more time doing housework.

  4. Great tips! Even when your kids are older (my sons are almost 17 and 19), although you have a lot more “free” time, it still requires a lot of attention and purpose to interact with them and positively influence them (not to mention disagree or work out the inevitable conflicts that are part of life)….so I still cherish those quiet moments of alone time. I tend to be a night owl, which is working less for me as I am in middle age, so I’m working on getting to bed earlier. In the end, we need to pray and plan and be disciplined with our time….a lesson I’m also still working on. We’re never too old to keep learning and growing!

  5. Even though I’ve started working from home, I still work at night and usually sleep during the day. I love early mornings but since I usually finish work at 3am, I usually wake up at noon. Mommy time is very important! I can say I’m blessed I do get an “alone time” every so often because my son is not very needy anymore.

  6. Oh man! That photo of your lil one sitting UP and hanging on to the cot slats? My 7th blessing was THE SAME!!! She would also STAND up with her arms OVER the rail and sleep standing up! So glad those days are behind me!

    About the 5:30am? Yeah. I did that for about 9 months and loved it then I fell sick and am now trying to get back on track. But definitely great advice on doing stuff at night when the kids were younger. Mine had an in-built radar. No matter how quiet I was in the morning, they would wake up. But at night? I could drop the whole baking tray and they sleep on! Go figure that out!

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