I’m usually an absolute disaster in the mornings.
The alarm goes off, I hit ‘snooze’ and lay in bed for as long as possible, waiting for the panic to set in.
“Crap, we’re going to be late!” I yell, running down the hall to wake up Molly and Zoe, tripping over toys in the hallway.
Tucker usually pops his head out from under the sheets at around this time, beelining it for the door to alleviate his slumbering bowels. Sometimes I’m able to get to him in time, but most days I’m not so lucky.
The carpet cleaner is dragged out of the garage and I set to work to remove the stain, which eats away at the already limited time we have to get the girls out the door and to school on time.
Despite my pleads to: “Hurry up and eat your breakfast;”No, you can’t wear flip-flops in the snow;” “Stop taking off your shirt;” and my personal favourite “Leotards aren’t pants,” neither of my wee princesses seem to have any sense of urgency.
But let’s face it, my girls and the dog aren’t to blame when we’re late for just about everything on the planet. And how do I expect to wake up ready to tackle my day and get ahead if I start each morning in such a frazzled frenzy?
Over the winter break, I managed to get a head start on one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2017, which is to start waking up earlier than the rest of the house. Actually, it was Tucker who started getting up at around 4:15 a.m. each morning — totally out of the blue — to go to the bathroom. I was so angry and annoyed at first, but began to realize how much I love having that extra me-time in the day.
I’ve been feeling so productive and more in control of our hectic schedule here on the homefront. When the girls make their way downstairs, groggy eyed and grumpy, they’re met with a chipper, slightly over-caffieneted mom, who isn’t in such a rush or foul mood.
Okay, I bet you’re thinking that there’s no way you’re going to intentionally set your alarm to get up at the crack of dawn. Or, perhaps you just need a little convincing, which is what I’m here to do.
Here are just 5 reasons you should consider waking up at 5 a.m. or earlier
#1- The Productivity Factor
How many times have you complained that there’s not enough time in the day to get stuff done? Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or you leave the house to work, the day just flies by so fast that there’s barely time to just stop and savour any moment.
You’re rushing from point A to B – the only time you get to yourself is crashing in front of the television, binge watching Netflix after the kids go to sleep. How do you squeeze in time to read a book, visit with friends or go to the gym?
I don’t know about you, but my productivity levels drop significantly after 5 p.m. Writing feels like a total chore and the probability that I’ll get changed into workout clothes and hit the gym is pretty low.
Since waking up at 5 a.m. or earlier a few days a week, I’ve been able to chip away at my to-do list. For the first time in years, I leap out of bed, excited to start my day.
#2- Coffee: Drink it Like It’s Hot
Oh coffee, how I love you so. But you know what I don’t love? It’s having to nuke you throughout the morning to be able to enjoy you while you’re piping hot.
I can’t imagine the multiple nuking-process is good for my health. You also taste pretty terrible compared to when you’re a beautiful fresh cup.
However, this is one of those realities that most of us parents complain about. The second we take a sip of you, someone has spilled something, needs help in the bathroom or we’re running out the door like a mad woman/man with a to-go cup in hand, spilling the liquid gold all over the crotch of our new jeans. Yes, this happens to me – a lot.
But guess what? It’s now 6:15 a.m., and here I sit with my laptop and my second HOT cup of coffee, savouring every delicious sip. Heck, I’ll probably even indulge in a third.
#3- There Was no Sound, Not Even a Mouse
Other than the sound of cars splashing through puddles as they pass on route to work, the tick-tock of our kitchen clock and the clicking of my nails on the keyboard, the whole house is as quiet as a mouse. In less than an hour, chaos and whining will ensue. For now, I am savouring this delicious silence.
#4- Easier to Establish a Healthy Routine
Forget waking up and fuelling your body with whatever you have time to shove down your throat on the way to work or school. With a few extra hours in the morning, there’s really no excuse to grab that carb-laden muffin or bagel, washed down with sugary orange juice and a double-double.
Whether it’s home-cooked oatmeal or avocado toast and half a grapefruit, you’ll find yourself with time to prepare a healthy and nutritious breakfast. And once you get into your routine of rising with the roosters, you’ll want to go to bed earlier. I find that an early bedtime is the easiest way to stay on track of my fitness and dietary goals. Rather than cracking open a bottle of chardonnay at 8 pm and a bag of salt & vinegar chips, I’m usually tucked into bed with a good book and a hot cuppa Sleepy Time tea.
There’s also time now to take Tucker for an early morning walk, which has saved our white carpets. It’s also super satisfying to complete your daily workout before the rest of the world has hit their snooze button. And don’t worry; since you’ll actually have time to drink your coffee beforehand, you’ll be hopped up and ready to go.
#5- Mornings are Magical
“I’ll tell you how the sun rose a ribbon at a time, wrote the poet Emily Dickinson as she watched the first light of day.
Call me crazy, but my favourite part of having a newborn was the late-night and early morning feedings. There we were, just the two of us, without any interruption of emails, phone calls or texts – it was like the world stood still.
It’s now 6:51 a.m. and I can hear more traffic on the road and stirring from Tucker upstairs. Before I know it, light will spill into our kitchen and the pitter-patter of little feet will make their way downstairs.
I feel fully nourished, body, mind and soul – I’m ready to welcome whatever challenges or surprises life brings my way.
And there you have it, just 5 reasons to consider waking up at 5 a.m. or earlier. Want to join me on my early-rising challenge? Share your updates on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ValleyMomMakeover2016 and tell us below what time you usually wake up to face your day. I love comments as much as hot coffee!