Why You Should Wake Up Before Your Kids

Why You Should Wake Up Before Your Kids

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Why You Should Wake Up Before Your Kids

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been jarred awake by a high pitched voice demanding breakfast. And I’m the first to tell ya, it’s a terrible way to start the day. 

Before I started to wake up before my kids, my days started generally the same way:

  • I wake up to two little eyes staring back at me, knowing I’ve lost even before I’ve begun. 
  • While my kids are moaning at the side of my bed that they are absolutely starving, I’ve suddenly got to pee.
  • So my kids follow me into the bathroom, their moaning for food intensifying while I am trying to remember what day it is.
  • I then groggily assure them that I will fix them breakfast in just a second. But they become more whiny and upset, convinced I am trying to starve them. 
  • When we finally make it to the kitchen and I get the breakfast, I’m annoyed and already feeling 2 steps behind and my kids are crabby.

While I knew my mornings needed to change, waking up early just sounded like cruel and unusual punishment. I was the consummate night owl and dreaded mornings.

But I finally decided that things really needed to change. So I read this book, and actually started waking up well before my kids.

What happened was miraculous. Suddenly, everyone was so much happier in the mornings. Instead of feeling behind, I felt accomplished and was able to not only serve breakfast, but do breakfast dishes.

Most miraculous of all, we started to getting to school on time. Getting lunches and backpacks ready and 4 little bodies fed, pottied, and into car seats is no small feat!!!

That’s when this girl became a believer in the power of mornings. Especially in waking up before your kids. Almost instantly, I was accomplishing more everyday, happier, and healthier. Which translated into a happier, calmer, more organized home and family.

 

Waking up before your kids will change your life.

 

Starting Out Behind

Think about it for a minute: Once your kids are awake, they’re all about mama.

Whether for your ability to make breakfast, change diapers, or give righteous snuggles, you’re in high demand once those little heads pop off their pillows.

But when you first wake up, you’re not quite poised and ready for action. You’ve gotta take care of business (i.e. pee, brush your teeth, and actually start thinking coherent thoughts) before you can really start to function like human being.

But such business tends to turn hungry kids into supremely cranky kids. And cranky kids plus a tired mama usually equals a cranky mama. And that is no way to start your day!

However, simply setting your alarm for 30 (or even 15!!) minutes earlier has the power to completely transform your day (for tips to wake up earlier, check out my post here). You will be happier, more efficient, and get more done each day. Your personal morning time will center you and set you up for your whole day.

Bare Minimum: Wake up 15 minutes earlier.

Girl, I know waking up is tough sometimes (or all the time). Especially when you’re up with a baby or a sick kid. Or just up late spending time with your husband binge watching Netflix.

Then just shoot for 15 minutes before your kids wake up and see how you feel. Here’s what you should do:

  • Get dressed
  • Brush teeth
  • Set your intentions for the day (e.g. set daily priorities, plan, schedule, pray, journal etc.)

This will get you mentally and physically prepared to start your day before anyone needs something from you. And it will give you a bit of time to be by yourself (which frankly feels like a treat as a mom of 4 little ones).

Ready for a bit more? Try an hour earlier

Your Mama Power Hour

Waking up before your kids and starting your day by giving yourself a whoIe hour to yourself will truly change your life. I’ve found that how you start your day more often than not determines the quality of everything that follows (seriously, changing my mornings has literally changed my whole life).

Spending an hour taking care of yourself will set you up to be the mom you strive to be. And you will get more done everyday! If you can spend an hour before your kids are up taking care of yourself, you will be happier, healthier and more fulfilled. And your whole family will reap the benefits.

Here are some recommendations:

  • Make your bed: Start your day with an accomplishment.
  • Get dressed: Preferably, in workout clothes so you that much closer to getting your sweat on!
  • Exercise: And this 25 minute workout is the perfect. Getting your workout done first thing will give you a blast of endorphins, energy, and a serious sense of accomplishment. Don’t let it hang over your head all day!
  • Determine your daily priorities: This could be writing lists, planning, making a schedule, journaling, meditating..whatever gets you centered and focused for the day.
  • Read something uplifting: This could be parenting books, self-help books (I’m obsessed), scripture, etc. 
  • Spend time/effort on your personal goals:  Part of achieving your goals means making time for them. Spending even a little bit every morning will get you closer to achieving your goals than any sporadic and massive effort. 

And here’s a big giant DON’T for your mornings:

  • Stay away from your phone and any social media.

Nothing will zap your time away faster than “just checking” something. Think of this time a sacred time your YOU. Guard it ferociously. For me, this means no checking any news on my phone. 

Your Morning Transformation

Here’s what happens when you start your day in solitude and preparing yourself for your day:

  • You start the day with incredible momentum and can accomplish more
  • You’re happier and totally ready for the chaos once your kids are up
  • You start achieving your goals faster because you are actually making time every single day to get there.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that waking up before my kids has changed my whole life. It has played a big part in pushing me and helping me achieve my goals (including losing over 35 lbs after having 4 kids).

My mornings are a sacred alone time that I get during the day. That time prepares me to relish my days of chaos, snuggles, and challenges. And I get so much more done that I seriously feel like I have actually more hours in the day.

Get Started Tomorrow

So what are you waiting for!?! Set your alarm a little earlier, wake up before your kids, and transform your mornings. Before you have to throw on your super hero mom cape, taking time for yourself first thing in the morning will do wonders for your happiness and productivity.

Even if it’s just for 15 or 30 minutes, that short time in the morning will have a massive impact on the quality of your day. You will be more able to handle stress and challenges and you will be more likely to achieve your personal goals.

You deserve it, mama.

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This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

A Busy Mom’s Guide to Getting Started With Self-Care

 

“Take time off…the world will not fall apart without you.”  (Malebo Sephodi)

As moms, we often put ourselves last on our list of priorities. With all the balls we juggle daily, we are afraid that if we spend even a little time on ourselves, all the balls will drop and we will fail spectacularly at this whole mothering thing.

And even if we do manage to do something for ourselves (like take a nice bath or go out with friends) we often end up feeling guilty about it.

But taking care of ourselves is not a privilege we must earn.

It’s a human need. And more than that, it’s 100% necessary if we want to be the best moms we can be. We are better equipped to take care of our children, families, and countless duties when we are taking excellent care of ourselves.

But, of course, it took me a looooong time to figure that one out.

I used to feel like I had to “earn” self care.

There are few things I find more relaxing than sitting in a super hot bath (complete with essential oils and epsom salt) and reading a good book.

I find it soooo relaxing. 

But I’ve always felt like I had to “earn” a nice bath. I had to be really really deserving. Like if I’d run a marathon or something.

Once I had kids, that feeling compounded. Suddenly, in under 5 years I went from zero kids to 4 little girls 4 and under. All while working a job.

And it was just as crazy as you’re imagining.

If I had a hard time making time for myself before, how on earth was I going to do it now? I always had more to do than time to do it.

So making time to take care of myself felt like I was taking away from everything else. It felt like it was taking away from taking care of my kids.

But that was completely wrong.

Taking care of myself = taking better care of my kids.

Getting Started With Self-Care: A Mom's Survival Guide

It means leaving survival mode behind.

While it took a huge shift in mindset to actually plan and execute proper self care, it has made such a difference in my life and family..

I’m a better mom. I’m more patient. My body is healthier and I feel more balanced.

Which means I’m so much better prepared to handle the stress and difficult situations that naturally arise in my day.

Getting Started With Self-Care: A Mom's Survival Guide

Rejuvenating Mornings & Evenings

First off, self care will look different for every mom. It all comes down to what rejuvenates YOU physically, mentally, and spiritually. But as our mom days are often packed with non-stop chaos (or is that just me?), I fin mornings and evenings to be the optimal times for quality self-care.

Changing my evenings and mornings has quite literally changed my life. 

Before my kids are up, I almost always read uplifting books, exercise, shower and get ready for the day (hair up, clothes on, and perhaps some mascara). I often meditate and I sometimes write in a journal.

These practices nourish my mind, body, and soul and set me up to be a happy, patient mom ready to tackle the crazy that will inevitably come my way.

In the evening, after I put my 4 small kids to bed, I wind down first by unplugging from technology. This is when my husband and I can finally talk and really connect.

Almost without fail, I take a hot bath with epsom salt and essential oils while I read and relax my mind and body. I breath deeply (this method is pretty fantastic) and will sometimes meditate if I am still having trouble shutting off my brain.  

But that’s me. These practices renew me daily, help me sleep well, and feed my mind, body, and soul.

Self-Care will look different for each of us.

To create your self-care routine, you’ll need to reflect what activities bring YOU peace and relaxation. When can you find time in your day to spend some time on yourself? Before you can do that, there are a few steps you need to take to make room for self-care in your life. 

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GETTING STARTED

Step 1: Create Your “White Space”

Imagine a white piece of paper with writing on it. There are margins on all sides and spaces between the paragraphs. There is clear organization and flow. The white space provide direction and organization.

Okay, now imagine another piece of paper with crammed writing covering the entire surface. Overwhelming, huh? Not sure where to start or end and there are no white spaces to be found.

Which paper best resembles your life? The one with rests and white spaces? Or the one that is so full it’s impossible to make heads or tails of what is going on?

To fit in self care, we need to cut out activities that aren’t important. We need to create the white space in our lives. 

To say yes to self care and better mental and physical health, you may need to say no to other things.

Step back an evaluate what you spend your time on.  Don’t let good things get in the way of doing THE BEST things. Don’t worry about fulfilling anyone’s expectations for you or what other people are doing. Evaluate what will be best for you and your family. 

For me, this meant saying “no” to a lot of outside demands. It also meant not trying to fit in work after my kids went to bed. I used to stay up super late grading papers, cleaning, and working on a host of other things that I could never get to during the day. To get better sleep and make the most of my mornings, I needed to completely change my evening routine.

Step 2: Guard the “White Space” in Your Life

If you’ve cut out the non-essentials, you’ve created the white space in your life. If you are anything like me, your natural inclination is to look at that white space and want to fill it all up.

Instead, guard that white space with ferocity. That white space equals balance and your sanity. That white space allows you to fit in the much needed self-care activities that will improve your mental, physical, and spiritual health. 

Step 3: Build Your Self-Care Routine

Again, your self care routine may look very different from mine. But you want to make sure that you are including activities from the 3 core areas: physical, mental, and spiritual.

Below are just a few ideas to get you started. Pick a few of the following and try them out this week.

Body/Physical

  • Exercise regularly
  • Go for a walk or hike
  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat nutritious food
  • Take a relaxing bath
  • Have a dance party with your kids
  • Ask your partner for a massage
  • Get 15 minutes of sun (with sunscreen)
  • Snuggle with your spouse or children
  • Take a nap
  • Take a hot bath with epsom salts and/or relaxing essential oils
  • Spend time in nature
  • Smell you favorite things

Mind

  • Declutter a problem area
  • Journal
  • Start a file on your computer writing favorite memories of your kids
  • Read
  • Go outside and be in nature
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Go somewhere by yourself
  • Laugh–watch a funny youtube video, read a comic
  • Complete a task that’s been nagging at you
  • Start a book club

Spirit

  • Read something uplifting
  • Go on a date with your husband
  • Try a new type of food
  • Cut out negative people on social media
  • Call/email an old friend you haven’t talked to in ages
  • Unplug from all electronics
  • Meditate
  • Recite Affirmations

Most important: Get started

Mamas, you are so important. So much rides on your capable shoulders. Make sure you give them a break everyday (even it’s a small one). And remember, self care is not a luxury. It is a necessity. Implement your own selfcare routine and let the benefits seep into your life.

You’ve got this, mama!

Getting Started With Self-Care: A Mom's Survival Guide

 

Getting Started With Self-Care: A Mom's Survival Guide

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