Alarm clock to help wake up before your kids

How to Wake Up Before Your Kids + My Very Early Wake Up Routine

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.

How I Became a 4 am Morning Person

What Is The Challenge With Waking Before Your Kids?

Depending on what season of motherhood you’re 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.

How to Wake Up Before Your Kids

Ok. so let’s get into it…you’ll read below the steps you can take to become someone who wakes up before their kids!

#1 – Recognize How You Feel When You Aren’t Getting Up Before Your Kids

This may not seem to make sense, but sometimes we have to really acknowledge how crappy we feel for not doing something we want to do, in order to make change. Personally, I was sick and tired of feeling frustrated with myself everyday when I didn’t wake up early. I was pretty much over my excuses and I wanted MORE the feeling of having a productive day versus the extra hour(s) of sleep in the morning.

#2 – Determine Your Reason for Waking Up Early

You HAVE to define your “why” for wanting to get out of bed before your kids, even if you miss out on some sleep. I highly recommend that you’re “why” includes motivating reasons…don’t decide you’re going to wake up early to do things you really don’t WANT to do. I started with just reading for a half hour – somedays it was more, somedays it was less. So my “why” was so I could enjoy some quiet time with my coffee and a book. I really looked forward to getting out of bed for this!

#3 – Start With a Small Goal

In order to make waking up early a consistent habit, start with a small goal in mind. If you’re kids still wake up early, then I recommend trying to wake up 20 minutes before them, unless you think you can wake up a lot earlier. By creating this small achievable goal, you’re setting yourself up for success, instead of aiming to wake up 2 hours earlier and failing to do it. Make sure to take your season of life into consideration. Believe me, it may not seem like it now, but as your kids get older, they’ll sleep in giving you more and more time to yourself. Also, the idea right now is to get in the habit of waking up before them.

#4 – Use a Morning Routine Checklist

It can be hard to get out of bed if you don’t have a plan for what will come next…the less decisions you have to make in the morning, the better. That’s why I highly recommend that you use a “Morning Routine Checklist” so you know exactly what you need to do when your feet hit the ground. I’ve got you covered here! You can grab a FREE Morning Routine Checklist (one’s blank and one’s filled out) inside the Quick Guide to Lessen Overwhelm and Enjoy Motherhood More (pictured below). Click here to grab your checklists!

#5 – Have a Plan for If You’re Little One’s Wake Up Before or During Your Morning Routine

You can decide ahead of time how you’ll handle this situation.

If you’re kids wake up before you, you can choose to forgo your morning routine and go into mom-mode. If you choose this, make sure you remind yourself that this doesn’t mean you’ve failed to wake up early, or that your kids are a hinderance. All it means is that life happened…kids are unpredictable.

Or you can choose to keep them occupied so you still have “me time”.

If my boys woke up and came downstairs while I was reading in the morning, I shared with them that it was my reading time and when I was done, I would make them breakfast. Then I would try to have something set out for them to do, like a puzzle or coloring.

They didn’t like this at first and would argue with me or complain, but I stuck to my word and didn’t forsake my reading time to assist them. After a few weeks, they would wake up and do whatever activity was set out for them, or they would sit with me and snuggle while I read. My younger son even started getting the bible out and looking through it, which was a win-win for me!

#6 – Don’t Give Up and Give Yourself Grace

Even if you’re not as consistent as you want to be, keep trying everyday. Someday you’ll look back with amazement at how consistently you’ve woken up early. And as time goes on, it will be easier and easier to add to your morning routine because you already have the waking up early part down.

My Very Early Morning Routine

4 am – alarm goes off – out of bed around 4:15 am

4:15 am – drink water and grab a cup of coffee

4:20 am – sit down to computer and write for one hour

5:20 am – exercise (3x week) or work longer on blog

6 am – make breakfast for kids and myself, empty dishwasher, make lunches

7 am – shower and get ready for the day

8 am – get son on bus

8:15 am – one load of laundry and cleaning task for day

8:45 am – leave house for preschool drop-off

How to Wake Up Before Your Kids

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.

If you are struggling to find something that brings you happiness and joy, check out 35 Hobbies for Mom’s That You Can Do At Home.

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.

{If you’re feeling REALLY overwhelmed, check out the {free} Quick Guide To Lessen Overwhelm + Enjoy Motherhood More. You will find it here. }

Less Rushing Around

There’s so much that needs to be done in the morning, especially if you work and/or have young kids in school. Waking up before your kids ensures that you’ll have the time you need to get ready for the day, and therefore you’re 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.

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!

A list I created that helped me wake up before my kids.

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!

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  1. Hello! First time reader here, I am pretty convinced I have to start getting up early. I am so disappointed in myself on how our morning routine is and an even worse one at night. One thing I am trying to figure out, do I get ready for work first or do I start to sip on the coffee or tea I enjoy…I’m afraid if I don’t get ready first, I will struggle on finding a stopping point on the things I enjoy. Also a little TMI, if your married when do you find the time to…. my husband likes to go to bed late so its usually after that but if I want a good nights sleep and get up early its hard to do if he keeps me awake at night 😉

    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by! I hope you look around and can grab some ideas for getting your routines in place. As far as when you should get ready for the day, test out both ideas and see what works for you right now. In the past, I would do things like write, read, and exercise before I showered in the morning. Currently, I exercise first thing then shower and get ready for the day right after. Once I’m showered, I then spend time writing and reading. Like you mentioned, I found that I was spending so much time reading and writing, that I ran out of time to get ready in the morning. And as for your question about time with your husband – I’m a big believer in planning ahead…I’ll leave it at that. 😉

    2. Ha! I just wrote the same about my husband! Mornings BEFORE I actually get up are a great time to meet 😉

  2. I wake up early too and I identified with the benefits you enumerated but I hadn’t quite labeled the one about confidence. As I read that, I realized that yes, that is a very powerful reinforcer and I hadn’t even been overtly aware. Ha! Indeed if a certain hour creeps on and I haven’t gotten a move on, I get disappointed. My husband does the same thing but he does it at night. It means that we don’t really have much time to just be together but hey, at least we are less grumpy. LOL

    1. Yes, the confidence boosting is a huge way to get some momentum to accomplish even more for yourself through out the day! 🙂

      1. Hie
        Great post. My child sleeps around 11 and gets up around
        8. If I get up earlier, how will I get the minimum sleep required for my well being. How will I get my rest to take on the day as a SAHM.

        1. Hi Anuja! Great question! From my own experience, when my kids were very young and bedtime/wake-up time wasn’t always consistent, I usually couldn’t wake up more than 15 to 20 minutes before them, if that. I would never recommend sacrificing your sleep, but this is a personal preference. There were days when I was OK sacrificing a little bit of sleep in order to get some quiet time and feel more prepared for the day.

  3. Hey, am one of those “hit the snooze button” like 20times from 5am till 7am then I feel bad about it after I’ve failed to wake up.
    This article is going to help me change.
    Thank you


    1. Hi! I get in bed around 8:30pm and try to have lights out at 9pm. Around 7 hours of sleep works for me.

  4. Hey! I just came across this post. I’ve been trying to get up early for YEARS. Not nursing anymore should help. but my (almost) 4-year-old still bed shares. I’m just SO tired bc she won’t go to bed before 9:30. Just doesn’t seem to need as much sleep as they say.

    Anyway, I’m actually commenting because I’m also a blogger and wondering what your strategy to making actual money is. Maybe you could mentor me. I want to get up early so I can accomplish this and also have time for the kids. Especially, during summer break when I don’t have childcare! & working out again sounds so wonderful. I feel amazing when I do.

    Thank You <3

    1. Hi Shannon! I love that you are interested in getting into blogging also. The best advice I can offer is to check out I’ve taken a majority of the classes Suzi has offered, and it was her classes that taught me how to create this blog and how to monetize it. She offers an awesome free blog plan to start. Best of luck to you!

  5. Hi,
    I was super relate of your topic. I used to wake up before my kids but still, I will always feel disappointed because I still have to rushed things. I really need this kind of topic. Thank you.

    1. Hi Diana! I’m glad you find this topic helpful! I hope you found some tips you can implement and use to help make your morning less rushed.:-)

  6. Just found your blog and I have 3 kids and pregnant with 4th so that’s gonna throw off my routine soon too but plan is to start getting up early at least for next few months since my 2 year old finally sleeps through the night. Thank you for all the great tips. I’ll focus on rotating doing memory keeping , paint by number and reading 📖 🤗

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for sharing your plan. I love the idea of rotating out what you are going to do in the morning! What a great way to motivate yourself to wake up early. Best of luck to you! 🙂

    1. Hi Pamela! I’m so glad the post inspired you! Failing while trying to achieve goals is what makes meeting your feel so good! If you weren’t trying, you wouldn’t be failing…

  7. Great post! Thank you!!
    I have a question though…
    What exactly is your bedtime routine, and how early do you actually go to bed to make this a reality?
    Thanks once again for the motivating post!!

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