I just finished with bedtime. The kids were both sleeping. I walked down the stairs, into the living room, and plopped down on the couch. I wanted to savor this time to myself.
I turned on one of my favorite shows and grabbed my phone to do some mindless scrolling. I felt like I hadn’t accomplished a lot today. I vowed to myself, as I was double-tapping away on Instagram, that I would wake up earlier tomorrow morning to start the day off right.
I checked the time and realized it was 9:15 pm. I told myself, in 15 minutes, I would power down the TV and my phone, and head to bed. When 9:30 pm came, I couldn’t find the energy to stop tapping through Instagram stories.
An hour later, I dragged myself up to bed with grand visions of how my morning would be so productive.
At the first sound of my alarm the next morning, I hit snooze. Just a few more minutes of sleep. After hitting snooze a few more times, a young child appeared next to my bed tapping me on the forehead and demanding breakfast.
“Ugh,” I thought, “another morning wasted…”
I started my morning like this for years after having kids. I would make grandiose promises to myself of how my mornings will go, only to end up sleeping in. I would miss out on that time and feel frustrated in the morning.
Even though I knew on the few occasions I woke up before my kids, I felt like a better person, I just couldn’t get myself to do it. It felt very defeating.
Fast forward to today – I am now waking up at 4 am almost every morning. Even on the weekends because I love this time to myself so much. Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to convince you that you need to wake up this early.
What I am going to share with you is how I went from being dragged out of bed by my kids to waking up super early with motivation and excitement to start my day. I’m also going to tell you about my waking up routine and morning routine.
What Is The Challenge With Waking Before Your Kids
Depending on what season of motherhood you are in, it might feel extremely difficult to wake up before your child.
Here are some challenges you might be facing when it comes to waking up before your kids:
- You have a child that doesn’t sleep through the night.
- You just can’t stop hitting the snooze button.
- You stay up way too late the night before.
- You’re not excited about waking up early to have those minutes to yourself.
I will be addressing most of these challenges in this post.
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The Benefits of Waking Up Before Your Kids
If you really love sleep, then it may take some convincing on my part to help you see the benefits of waking up before your kids. Let me give it a try here:
You Start The Day on Your Terms
Instead of waking up to little ones asking (demanding) that you make them breakfast, turn on the TV, or just get out of bed, you get to wake up with ease and decide your next steps. Time is yours to use however way you would like.
Spend Time Doing Something You Love
Waking up before your kids allows you to spend that time doing something that brings you happiness and joy. Whether it’s reading fiction, working on your family scrapbook, or learning a new language, use this time to work on something that normally get pushed aside in the hustle and bustle of the day.
You Gain Confidence
When you honor that daily commitment to yourself of waking up early, your confidence increases. I know it sounds crazy, but once you start using those quiet morning hours for yourself, you realize you could do anything when you set your mind to it.
The Day Ahead Feels Less Overwhelming
The day starts with intention when you wake up on your own terms and give yourself the time to ease into the day. You focus on what’s ahead with refreshed eyes and get your plan in place. The day will feel more attainable and less chaotic.
Less Rushing Around
There’s so much that needs to be done in the morning, especially if you work and/or you have young kids in school. Waking up before your kids ensures that you will have the time you need to get ready for the day, and therefore you are more patient with helping your kids get ready.
Helps You Stay Sane
If I still haven’t convinced you of the benefits of waking up before your kids, then just remember this – the simple act of getting a head start on your day before the kiddos wake up can be sanity saving. It will help you be more calm and optimistic when your kids do wake up because you had time to mentally prepare for the day.
How to Wake Up Before Your Kids
In this video, I’m sharing with you the process I went through to go from a snooze button addict, to waking up at 4 am.
I’ve included the minute markers so you can learn about what you specifically need help with.
1:13 – What happens when you don’t wake up before your kids? You feel one step behind, more impatient, disappointed in yourself. The day just doesn’t go as well. From my experience, the days I wake up before my kids go soooo much better.
1:48 – When you wake up before your kids, you already feel like you have a win under your belt, and the day just started! You have more patience with them and you have a better attitude.
2:30 – I started waking up at 4 am because I was sick of feeling disappointed in myself for not accomplishing the things that were important to me. I was tired of my own excuses for not waking up early. I was done feeling frustrated with myself. I wanted to start the day feeling better, for myself and for my kids.
3:00 – In order to wake up at 4 am, I had to have a pretty good “why” for doing it. I decided that I wasn’t going to use the time to do things that I really didn’t want to do. No cleaning the house, meditating, or journaling. Not that there’s anything wrong with these things, but they weren’t motivating enough reasons for me to wake up early.
4:00 – What got me out of bed early at first was reading. I realized that I was really missing time to myself to read the books I wanted to read. I decided that I was going to get up early and read. This was actually something I was excited about!
4:20 – Often, my kids would still wake up soon after I did. Sometimes my son would just cuddle with me while I was reading. But I made it clear to my kids that this was my time to read and I gave them options of things they could do. I had to train them to occupy themselves so I could have my alone time, and this worked really well.
5:28 – After spending some time waking up at 5 am to read, I decided that I could probably wake up earlier. I had a deep desire to start this blog, and the best time for me to write is in the morning. I knew that I could get a lot done in the early hours of the day. This is when I started waking up at 4 am.
5:55 + 7:06 – I made a public announcement on Instagram that I was going to write for one hour everyday in 2020. The easiest way for me to obtain this goal is to write as soon as I wake up at 4 am. Sharing my goal on social media, even if nobody remembers, helps me to stay accountable to waking up early.
6:52 – Use your time in the morning to do something that will make you feel good! You get to choose what that is. Think about what you could get done if you spend 30 minutes every morning on it.
7:35 – You will start to crave how great you feel when you spend a little bit of time in the morning for yourself.
7:52 – My step-by-step morning routine
9:10 – Use your frustrations to ignite change in yourself. I was so sick of feeling like I accomplished nothing at the end of the day. I used my frustration with myself to change up my morning.
9:26 – Find something you enjoy and commit to that.
9:50 – My morning routine is so sacred to me that I try to instill it on the weekends also. I’m in a much better head space when I start the day out early.
10:12 – When you say you are going to wake up early, and you do it, you are building trust in yourself. Sticking to your word sends you on a positive trajectory for the rest of the day.
10:40 – Unfortunately, you may have to give up your late night TV watching, or going down the rabbit hole of social media after the kids are in bed. The best foundation for a good morning is getting enough sleep. I go to bed pretty early so that I can wake up early. But it’s worth it!
12:05 – If you are still struggling with waking up before your kids, that’s OK. Just start thinking about how you would want your ideal morning to look. Eventually, you will desire a better morning over your excuses for sleeping in.
12:45 – Your first step to waking up early is to simply think of one thing you want to do in the morning that’s enjoyable for you, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.
Set Your Mind To Waking Up Before Your Kids
As I was writing this post, I was looking for something and came upon this. I wrote this in 2017. I did not start taking action immediately to make this morning routine a reality, but I obviously had visions of how I wanted my ideal morning to go. It’s almost 3 years later and what’s written down here has become my exact morning routine. Goes to show if you set your mind to it, eventually it will happen!
Next Steps You Can Take To Wake Up Before Your Kids
Have I convinced you yet of the value in waking up before your kids? If so, get started now with deciding on how you will spend that time. Make a promise to yourself that you will commit to getting up early for one week to do that thing you enjoy. Even if you wake up 15 minutes before your kids, that’s a start.
What is/will be your motivation to wake up before your kids? If you do wake up before your kids, how do you make the choice to ignore the snooze button? What benefits have you received from waking up early? Let me know it all in the comments below!
Before you go, don’t forget to grab your free Morning Routine Checklists. There’s one for you and one for your kiddo! Once you start waking up before your kids, these checklists will assure you don’t waste precious minutes in the morning.
Want specific help getting your kids to follow their routines? Check out this bundle of kids routine checklists. The bundle includes a Morning, After School, and Bedtime Routine Checklist. Checklists have cute pictures to help your little on who isn’t reading yet. Check them out here!
Interested in changing up your routines? Check these out:
- Take a look at my morning routine step-by-step.
- Are you sick of nagging your kids and dealing with repeated behavior problems? Learn about the reward chart system that has drastically changed our family.
- Learn how to manage your time better so you can make the most of your routines.
- Find out what daily habits you should add into your routines to make motherhood better!