How to Wake up BEFORE Your Kids (and Why it will Change Your Life!)
I know, I know… having kids in general is already exhausting enough… (am I right?) and here I am telling you to wake up BEFORE their little eyeballs spring open.
But I am asking you to just entertain the idea for a few minutes while you read this post, and keep an open mind, because waking up before my kids has been one of the biggest game changers in my daily schedule.
AND… It didn’t even kill me!
You might be thinking… Ok, who are you and what are you EVEN talking about?
Well, I am a mom of two, (a four-year old and a two-year old) I run this blog as my full-time business, my husband and I own rental properties that we have to keep track of, (on top of his full-time job) and I also went to school for cosmetology, so I still do a few clients in my home on the side.
Needless to say, we’ve got a fairly busy lifestyle, which can become downright exhausting, and getting up any earlier than we have to sometimes sounds like torture…
BUT! Good news guys… It’s really not. In fact, it is actually quite lovely!
Well, lets be real… the first 5-10 minutes sucks the big one, Ha! But after that, it really is amazing. I promise… So amazing, that I have come to LOVE getting up an hour before my kids make a peep.
With that being said, let’s talk about why this horrific sounding idea is actually super beneficial to your mind, body, and soul, and why it can completely change your life. Sounds dramatic right??
Maybe… but it’s true.
1. Silence is good for your mind
This is not me just blowing hot air here. This is a scientific fact. Have you ever heard of the amygdala?? I talk about it in a few different posts here, as I am so fascinated by it and it’s function. If you don’t like science, I’m sorry… gunna get a little boring for just a hot second, k?
Bear with me.
The amygdala is a set of neurons shaped like an almond, (yum) which can be found deep in the brain’s medial temporal lobe. It is part of the limbic system, and it plays a large part in processing emotions.
SO when we are exposed to loud noises, especially ones we don’t love hearing (cue screaming children) it actually activates the amygdala in a negative way, and causes the release of the hormone cortisol. You know what the hormone cortisol causes??
Lord KNOWS we don’t need more of that!
On the contrary, research has shown that silence has the opposite effect on the brain. It can actually lower blood pressure, and improve blood flow to the brain. There have even been studies done showing how silence can help regenerate brain cells… Silence can literally make your BRAIN fricken GROW.
If that’s not cool, I don’t know what is…
So now that we have established that silence really is GOLDEN… We must find time to give our brains some peace and quiet.
What better time to do this then in the morning, before those wonderful kiddos wake up and start wreaking all kinds of havoc on your poor little amygdala.
Spending Just 5 minutes in silence every morning before the craziness of the day takes hold, is imperative for starting your day on the right foot.
This brings me to my next reason…
2. It will decrease stress and better your mood.
Not only will you be less stressed because you gave yourself some time to just enjoy the simple pleasure of silence, but you can also use this time in the morning to do something that brings you joy. Read a few pages of a book, do some scrap-booking or sewing, write in a journal, draw or paint something awesome, whatever you love to do that you NEVER seem to find the time for, DO IT.
I love to read the Bible, and a few pages of a different book as well, pray, and then write down something I am thankful for.
Even if it is only for 15 minutes, I promise that doing this will lower your stress levels, set you up to better handle difficult situations throughout the day, and will overall make you a pleasant human being.
I know that for me personally, I am a way happier mama when my kids wake up, if I have taken some time in the morning for myself, and spent some time with God.
Happier parents = happier kids… just sayin’.
3. It can give you more energy, by allowing time for exercise.
Ha… This might not be something you actually want to wake up early for, and to be honest, this is the one that I struggle with being consistent on, but every time I make myself do it, I feel incredible.
Working out creates an amazing energy boost! It raises oxygen levels, and nutrients, and increases mental clarity for HOURS. The benefits of exercising will be evident through the entire day, and you will be so happy you took the time to do it.
Not to mention there is a very desirable bonus here, of getting in better shape and shedding some extra pounds! Who doesn’t want that!?
I definitely notice a difference in my energy with my kids when I exercise, I am much more willing to roll around on the floor and wrestle or turn on some good music and rock out in the kitchen. Giving yourself that boost in the morning creates a domino effect of being more active during the rest of your day.
It is just SO good, and the many benefits are worth the pain!
4. It will improve your patience, and ability to parent in love. (It’s good for your soooul)
Being a parent requires a great deal of love, patience, kindness, guidance, and SO much more of all that good stuff. In order for us to be able to give these things to our children and fill their cups, our cups must first be filled. If you try to pour into your children’s lives from a half full or empty cup, you will run dry, and your day will flip upside down. Fast.
I spend time in prayer and meditation, then speak words of affirmation over myself each morning to prepare and fill my heart, so that I can then pour out into my kids. I ask God to give me the right tools to be the parent my kids need, and thank Him for giving me another day. I sit in silence and then meditate on the things that are good, and finally I speak words of affirmations over myself.
That is crazy stuff guys. Words are SO powerful. You believe what you say about yourself, so be kind to yourself, and remind yourself who you are, Every. Single. Day. Speak things over yourself that you are hopeful for as well…
Example – “I have the determination and willpower to get out of bed an hour before my children.”
Or – “I have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.”
Or – “I am patient and kind, and will not raise my voice at my children.”
Tell yourself the beautiful things about you, and then tell yourself the beautiful things you want to become.
EVEN IF I accidentally (or purposefully) sleep in until the kids wake up for one reason or another. I still make sure that I find time to do all of this because I feel it is THAT important, and truly sets the tone for our day.
5. You will be AMAZED how much more productive your days will be!
As parents, it can be incredibly hard to get everything done in a day that NEEDS to be done, much less find the time to chase after passions, goals, or dreams.
Well, I am here to tell you, the majority of the reason I am chasing my dream by creating this blog, and doing it full-time, is because I started getting my butt out of bed and getting things done in the morning so that I could work on my blog every chance I could get.
Here are a few tips for feeling productive after waking up before the kids:
- Make your bed. Every day. Doing this simple act always makes me feel so stinken good. If my bed is a mess, I feel like the day is going to be a mess.
- Plan a few chores to knock out. Like laundry, taking the dog out, or cleaning a bathroom.
- Get yourself feeling fresh and ready for the day. Jump in the shower, or throw some dry shampoo in your hair and call it good… (come on moms, we all do it.) Put your face on if you wear makeup, and GET DRESSED into something you love. If you stay in your cozy Jam-Jams… you are more likely to have an unproductive, “lazy day.” Every now and again you have to have a good ol’ lazy pajama day with your kids. It’s kinda fun actually… but the majority of your days can’t realistically be spent like that!
For me this usually looks like unloading the dishwasher from the night before, throwing in a load of laundry, and folding clothes if there were any in the dryer. I also use the time to get my shower in, (or dry shampoo) and if necessary, I pay some bills.
If I don’t get up and do these things before the kids are up, they usually just don’t get done. Or if they do get done, I have kids hanging off me, asking me a million questions, or whining about wanting a 5th snack, while I am trying to accomplish said task, and I can feel my little amygdala starting to lose his almond-shaped cool, and it just ends up being a whole heap of BAD NEWS.
This is when yelling can happen, and we’re trying to avoid all that. Yes? …I know I am.
If you have all of this done ahead of time, you won’t feel so stressed about other things you may not get to, because at least a few things did get done, and you had some peace and quiet while you did it!
But the really cool part is when you focus on being productive right in the beginning of your day, you will most likely be more productive for the rest of your day! You will feel so great about everything you got done, that you will be more driven to get even more done. Here’s that domino effect again! I mean, an object in motion stays in motion right?
Get up and get yourself MOVING!
6. You can enjoy a hot meal and a steaming cup of coffee in peace.
I actually don’t drink a lot of coffee (GASP!!! How do I survive!?!?) Actually, I love coffee, but I don’t like the way it makes my body feel. I get super jittery and it actually gives me anxiety! SOOO it kind of doesn’t help me manage my day at all.
However, I know a lot of you parents out there basically live and breath coffee to get through your days, so why not get up, make a healthy meal, and truly enjoy every sip of that coffee before your house becomes a hectic barrage of noise!?
Being up early also helps encourage me to eat healthier throughout the day, believe it or not.
You’re probably like, “Ok, Sarae…. I think you’re stretching it a bit with that one…”
But, No really!! It does encourage me. Once again, when you start your day off with discipline and healthy habits, you will have more desire and willpower to continue healthy habits all day long.
Yes, you’ll have times where you still want that cinnamon bun for breakfast and a cookie after dinner. It is not a magical solution, but I am telling you. IT HELPS.
7. It Allows time for you to accomplish goals, and work on your dream.
Do you have something you LOVE to do on the side that you’d really like to become your full-time job? Maybe an Etsy shop you’d love to get off the ground, refinishing furniture, investing into the stock market, or maybe even starting a blog and earning a living online?
Maybe you love to work out and you have crazy body goals you’d like to achieve, or maybe your dream is to write a book, or to start your own business of sorts.
These are all things that are incredibly difficult to accomplish when you have small children. In fact, it can be hard to even know where to begin.
Begin with the mornings guys.
You have to start somewhere, and you will feel so much better about your own life if you are striving to reach your own goals. It is very hard to balance work/family life. I know! But if you give up completely on your dreams, you will lose yourself, and your ambition to kick life in the face every day. YA GOTTA DO IT!
Set realistic goals, and work on them. Chip away at them even if it’s only 20 minutes a day spent working towards it.
So there you have it!
Seven reasons why you should get up before your kids in the morning… Pretty darn good reasons if you ask me!! Imagine if you started every day by doing all of these things!? You’d feel like you could conquer the world, and that is kind of the whole point!
You don’t have to start right off with getting up an hour before your kids either. (although I recommend building up to this)
Start by just getting up 15 minutes before them. Use 5 minutes to have some silence, 5 minutes to do some prayer/meditation/words of affirmation, and 5 minutes starting a chore.
Work your way up to 30 minutes and then to an hour. I’m telling you, you will not regret this decision. You are reading the blog post of a girl who HATED mornings, and who used to legit attack anyone who tried to wake me up before I needed to.
Once I had my second child, I began to realize that I could pretty much kiss an organized life, and my goals and dreams goodbye, unless I started waking up before the sun, and better planning my days.
Are you still wondering how in the world you’re going to actually force yourself out of those cozy warm sheets every day?
Let me give you some tips that helped me.
- Plan your morning the night before. Oh, how I love my planner. I am a planner addict. I will admit it, but I don’t even mind. If you plan your morning (and the rest of your day) the night before, you will be able to stay focused through the day, and accomplish A LOT more. If I don’t do this, I run around my own home like a chicken with my head cut off, and my priorities are way out of whack.
- Put Your Alarm clock across the room and DO NOT HIT SNOOZE! I’m sure you have heard this one before, but it is super helpful. Get up, turn that alarm clock off and whatever you do, resist that oh so tempting urge to crawl back into bed… I know in that very moment after you turn of that dang clock you will be singing the Moana tune in your head…. “It caaaalllsss me!!” While staring longingly at your bed… STOP IT! Snap out of it! Go straight into the bathroom and wash yo’ face and get on with it!
- Get things around for the morning the night before. Get the clothes set out that you are going to wear, get your favorite book ready for you to read, get your journal out, or your sketch book out, or whatever you are going to do and work on during your special quite morning time, have it out and ready to go so that those precious minutes are not wasted fumbling around in the dark looking for a pen to write with. (Learned that one from experience…)
- Get yourself excited!! Get psyched about the morning that lies ahead! You will wake up easier if you are excited for everything you have planned for yourself the next morning. (and you’ll be more likely to make it a habit.)