Our toddler is an early riser. Like, typically no later than 5:30. And I know that, with a newborn due to arrive in just eight short weeks, my house is going to get noisier even earlier than it does now.
As a mom who works at home, a lot of my friends think I have it really easy. “Well, you can get the kids out the door and then go back home and get ready. I have to be in an office every day at 8am. Do you know how hard it is to get everyone out the door, on-time, every day?”
My answer is always the same: “Get up earlier.”
At first, they blanch at the idea of rolling out from under the covers any earlier than they already do, but for most of them, the 5:30 alarm is the only one they know. And of course, it’s tough to get everyone ready; they’re tripping over kids, sharing bathrooms, and trying to attend to both themselves and their kids all at the same time.
But right around this time last year, I started getting Â up at 4am every morning. Now, that might seem early, but here’s what it did for me. It gave me exactly 1.5 hours of peace and quiet. And for any mom, 1.5 hours of total silence is golden. The hubs is still asleep, the kids are slumbering, and even the dogs are still lost in dream land.
I have told every one of my friends that I can get more done in that 1.5 hours than I do the rest of the day. Because there are absolutely zero distractions. Better yet, I’m in a calm state of mind when the kids do get up, and we can all get ready without the normal meltdowns (mine included).
For me, I use the time to get a cup of coffee, take a shower, and maybe even check Facebook. Other friends who have tried the strategy say they use the time to organize their day, pack lunches, and even do a little yoga or meditation before the chaos begins.
The new schedule was hard for me the first few weeks, but after I got used to it and started going to bed a tad earlier, I started to look forward to it. Now, even if I forget to set my alarm, I regularly wake up at 4; sometimes even a little earlier.
What is your strategy for cutting the morning chaos? Do you do everything the night before? Get up early? Or just sacrifice your sanity in the name of a few extra minutes under the covers?