The Magic of Mornings
I have never been a morning person. I am at my best when I can roll out of bed on my own time and take down 3 or 4 cups of coffee before having any human interaction. As moms everywhere know, when you have littles... there is no such thing as sleeping in.
Since having my boys, I’ve allowed my oldest to be my alarm clock in the morning. He will come bouncing in, full of energy and scare me half to death out of a dead sleep. I usually grumble something at him about “playing in his room for 5 more minutes,” before finally giving in and rolling myself out of bed.
Once I’m up, it sure is difficult to claw my way out of the mom fog that follows. Usually, I will fix my oldest breakfast and get him settled before going to get the baby. We go through our breakfast routine, and I’m usually already short on patience with my 4-year-old at this point. Having to tell him repeatedly to “sit down,” “stop climbing,” & “finish your breakfast.” He is an amazing kid, but like any 4-year-old from sun up to sun down, he doesn’t stop. The rest of our day is spent playing catch up and putting out fires.
I realized one evening that I wasn’t making time anymore to sit alone with myself, or with God. I’d allowed getting caught up in the tornado that is motherhood become an excuse to put myself and my Faith on a back-burner. I also realized that this was most likely the reason I was on the struggle bus so much.
When I’m not where I need to be with my Faith, I’m not where I need to be with anything...
I made the decision to get one of those daylight simulation clocks. They’re supposed to help people who have a difficult time waking up when it’s dark by simulating the sunrise and start of a new day. I set the clock for about 45 min to an hour before my oldest wakes up and comes in to get me.
Now I’m not going to say that this has been a flawless victory. There have been days that my stubborn self will get OUT of bed, turn the alarm off, and go back to bed because the idea of facing the world that early is more than I can take. However, it has REALLY helped most days with getting me out of bed in the morning.
My schedule on those days goes something like this:
I wake up, and the house is completely quiet and dark. I put a calming playlist on low (usually acoustic stuff or worship music), and I put on a pot of coffee. I open the blinds in my living room (it’s still dark at this point). I get on my knees and I talk to God for a bit. I ask him to help me be my best as a mother and a wife. I ask for patience and opportunities to pour love into my kids. I thank Him for a new day and for his many blessings and I hand over the keys to Him.
Then, I sit with my coffee and watch the sunrise. During this time, I also study my Bible for a bit...highlighting important parts that stick out to me. Writing notes or thoughts in the margins.
You guys, this feeds my introvert SOUL.
Obviously, everyone who reads my blog doesn’t believe the same things I do, but I think the key here is coming up with whatever routine makes you feel recharged and ready... Be it exercise, being mindful, or even just enjoying time with a good book.
Pretty soon, I hear the little pitter patter of tiny feet across my hardwood floor.
By this time, I am SO ready for him.
A few mornings ago, there were thunderstorms outside, so I left the lights and music off. He joined me on our couch, snuggled under blankets, watching the lightening and counting the seconds between the light streaking across the sky and the boom of the thunder.
I wasn’t rushed or tired.
I wasn’t grumbly.
I was able to be present in the moment with him because I’d prepared myself for the day.
A little later, he asked to go outside. Usually, I would have told him no. It was raining and a bit chilly, and I didn’t particularly feel like scrubbing mud off my floor. However, this day, my mood was different.
We put on our rain clothes and boots and spent a good 20 minutes chasing each other through the rain in the backyard. Jumping and splashing in ALL the puddles.
I’m telling you, mamas, it was exactly what I needed.
I have found when I wake up earlier than my boys...
I am more grounded.
I am a better mom.
I am a better wife.
I just FEEL better all around.
I wake up and am able to find myself and get my feet planted before my two little hurricanes come blowing through.
I’m certain this isn’t a schedule that would work for every stay at home parent, and in my four whole years (and some change) of experience being a parent, trust me when I say I am NO expert.
However, if you are frustrated and overwhelmed,
if you’re an introverted parent who never gets enough time to recharge,
if you're wanting to try something new... I highly recommend giving it a shot.
It will take some getting used to, as I said, some days I just can’t. On the days I can, though, it becomes clear to me how much of an impact just this one change makes on my entire day.
There is something about waking up before the dawn.
When the world is quiet, and my family is tucked safe and warm in their beds.
Everything is still, minus the steam rising from my hot cup of coffee.
There’s magic in it.
Magic that seems to transform me from a mombie into a calm, Grace filled, intentional parent. (so obviously it’s potent.)
And trust me, I’ll use ALL the help I can get.