The mornings series {wake up!}

Welcome to a week of blog posts about many people’s nemesis: MORNINGS!  Here in Victoria, the school term starts this week, and there will be collective sighs as mums attempt to get themselves and their kids out the door on time.  But this isn’t just for school mums, or even just for mums.

This is not going to be a series about to to wrangle your kids in the morning.  There is plenty of great advice about that (check out The Organised Housewife or Planning with Kids for lots of resources).  This is going to give some ideas about managing yourself in the morning.

The safety instructions on an airplane always clearly state to apply your own oxygen mask before attempting to help your children with theirs.  Look after yourself so that you are better equipped to help your children.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?

The mornings that go the smoothest in this house, are those where I have been organised and relaxed.  If I’m feeling in control, even if the kids are being little sh*ts challenging, I can get out the door without losing my mind.  I’m no expert on this.  This is my first year as a school mum.  But challenging mornings are not the exclusive domain of the school mum.  Even as a working, childless woman, I could have benefited from some of these ideas.  I hope you get something out of these posts. Please leave your tips and ideas in the comments, or come and chat over at the Facebook page, because I sure don’t know everything and I’m always looking for ways to make my life better!

Let’s start, as Maria says, at the very beginning.

Wake up before your kids not for your kids.

‘Mummy, I HUNGWYYYYY’

It’s fair to say that nine times out of ten, I don’t respond very positively to being woken up by one of my angels demanding breakfast.  This kind of wake up call is usually met with a mumbled response from underneath the doona, and I generally get up about ten minutes later or as long as I can manage to stay in bed while the demands become louder and more annoying.

Those mornings, however, where I have set my alarm a good half an hour before the kids generally get up, and had a quiet breakfast (and coffee!), read my bible, got dressed and my make up on, I can greet them with a smile and a cuddle, and get them breakfast without feeling that I’m already running behind.

I know that it’s hard to get up earlier than what you already do.  I know that kids often get up at six.  But honestly, even if you can get up fifteen minutes before they do, you’ll feel so much better about your morning.

It’s important to use that time to do something that recharges your batteries and prepares you for the day.  For me, that’s a quiet breakfast and a coffee, and time to read my bible and pray.  You might like to get out for a brisk walk, read the newspaper or a book, meditate, do yoga or journal.

As tempting as it is to use this time to catch up on blog reading, Facebook or emails, try to avoid it!  The inherent stress that comes with the need to ‘catch up’ on our social media will creep into your day right from the beginning.  It can wait.  Even if you do it while the kids are having breakfast, at least give yourself the first half hour of your day free from the distraction of technology.

My goal for this year is to consistently get up at least half an hour before my big boys (the baby is a bit more unpredictable with his wake up times).  Ideally, twice a week I’d love to get up an hour early and go for a run, but that’s a bit of a challenge for me!

Is this something you already do?  Is it something you want to do this year?  What can you do with your first half an hour that will recharge you in preparation for the day?

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22 thoughts on “The mornings series {wake up!}

  1. Wow! What a challenge! But you are so right, I would benefit from this ten fold if I actually did it!

    I always told myself that when we had a baby I would get up when my husband did and have breakfast with him… 5 months later I haven’t done it once!

    • Oh, those first few months with a baby are hard – sleep is soooo precious! You’ll appreciate that lovely quiet morning time when C is older though.

  2. I love this idea in theory but as you know my kids are super early risers and hear everyone get out of bed. This could provide a challenge for me – I’ll give it a go though.

    • Sweets, if you could manage to get up before your kids every morning I’d be impressed! You would appreciate the peace and quiet though – we don’t get much of it!

  3. This is one of my goals to sort out – i always get up, get my coffee, check emails, blogs, facebook and hit the ground running (for fear of what? people waiting an extra hour or so for my blog sharing LOL). Need to start thinking about what I want to do even for 15-20 minutes FIRST (am thinking coffee + reading a book in bed purely for pleasure – no non fiction or note taking involved – have done this a handful of times and it makes me feel nourished and unrushed)

    • Yep, that’s what I do – get up and turn the computer on. Not a great start! And not something I want my kids seeing me do every morning, either. Time for change!

  4. Will have to try this. I’m terrible at getting up before the kids but with the new addition thrown into the mix, I haven’t had to get three kids and myself ready by a specific time yet! I imagine the baby going to school in her pjs on many occassions!

    • Oh darls, no one will even notice if Z is in her PJs. Poor J usually has to wait for his breakfast until we get back from the kinder run. I did find I was extra organised because I had to be!

    • Getting dressed is such a key, isn’t it? I am so much more productive if I get dressed when I get up instead of bumming around in my PJs. Another thing to add to my list!

  5. I’ve been getting up at 5am, heading out for a run then coming home to shower, have quiet time and THEN I’m ready for the morning onslaught! I really need that time to myself, to not be rushed and to get into the right head-space to start the day. If I don’t wake up on my terms (ie. if I sleep in and get woken up by the kids), I’m usually wearing cranky pants for the first little while!

    • Wow, Debbie, now that’s something I aspire to! I’d love to be able consistently get up at 5am. Good for you claiming your mornings for yourself!

  6. A few years back I set myself a challenge to cook a hot breakfast a couple of times a week DURING the week not on weekends. When I first decided to do this I was sure it would make for busier more hectic mornings but the reality was the opposite! I was surprised to discover that it gave a completely different feeling and flow to our mornings. That practice has shifted some as my kids’ schedules have changed but I’ve tried to keep it in mind.

  7. I LOVE this post. I am always better off when I get up before the kids. For me I need to use that time to get on top of any work stuff so that I can turn the computer off when the kids are up. We are working on family devotion time in the morning and trying to see how that will work best both for ourselves but also to model it for our children. In fact, reading this post this morning has inspired me to try something new this morning – thanks for that! Will let you know how I go :)

    • I’d love to know how you run your family devotion time – it’s something I’d love to introduce while the kids are small. And I do love the thought of getting the computer stuff out the way and giving the boys my full attention when they’re up – great plan!

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