Life as a mom is wonderful. It can also be very hard. I’ve had days where I love it and days where I was dying to find a job, any job that would save me from all of this. And I think that’s normal. I am however trying to minimize those days. Because this is a pretty good gig. And I’ve found that the way I choose to spend my mornings is one of the best ways to control how my day goes. Nine times out of ten, your day can be great if you start it the right way. The one thing that can make the difference is simply when you choose to wake up. So, do yourself a favor and read on.
Set an Alarm
Alright, you’re probably not going to love this but you’re going to need to set an alarm and make sure you’re awake at least a few minutes before the rest of your family. This may sound like torture, but it’s actually your chance to set the tone for the day.
So picture this: it’s Monday morning and your alarm goes off at the time you set. You quietly slip downstairs and settle into your armchair with the lamp turned on. You take ten minutes to write in your journal and think about three things you’re most grateful for. You reflect on what went well yesterday and what you hope for the day ahead of you.
You make a loose outline for your day and perhaps jot down a meal plan for the week with a shopping list to go along. You can then spend some time in prayer, scripture study or meditation. A quick breakfast is next and you check out the latest news headlines while you eat.
You then notice the sun has started to rise outside and go finish your breakfast as you sit on the back patio and enjoy the sunrise. A quick glance at your watch tells you it’s time to wake the kids so they can get ready for school. You walk upstars and gently wake your sweet children (because sleeping children are always sweet children, am i right?) and tell them to get dressed while you make breakfast.
Here’s the alternative which you get when you try to squeeze every last bit of sleep out of the day and wake up when your children get up and start raining down terrorism on the house:
You groggily wake up on your own, but as soon as you notice the amount of sun peeking through the blinds, you get a little worrried. You quickly sit up in bed and look at your phone, to see that you actually only have 11 minutes until the bus comes. Jumping out of bed, you instantly start running to find the kids to tell them to quickly get dressed.
You quickly strip off your pj’s and throw on some yoga pants so you don’t embarass yourself at the bustop. Your morning madness has just begun here – you still have to pack lunches and get breakfast into the kids.
You run, squeeze as many simple carbohydrates into kids’ lunchboxes as will fit and throw cold cereal down their little gullets, all the while screaming at them to get their shoes on (heaven help you if their shoes weren’t put away yesterday and are now nowhere to be found). You open the garage door, stuff their lunches into their backpacks and rush them down to the bus stop.
The bus is there waiting for you (I mean, hopefully it’s waiting). Your kids, out of breath, get on the bus while you meekly wave to them and hope they somehow have a good day after that whirlwind of a morning.
You walk back home, feeling mostly like a failure and spend the next ninety minutes scrolling through facebook and instagram to get your mind off of that train wreck of a morning. Not your finest parenting moment.
We can so do better than this scenario, as I’m sure I don’t have to tell you. I’m going to suggest that everyone start with trying this out for just a couple of weeks. Set that alarm, perhaps turn off netflix the night before an hour or thirty minutes earlier than you usually do so you can get enough sleep, and just see what happens. I’m certain you’ll find a much nicer start to your morning and much nicer days as a result.