After the first week of quarantine, I realized our family desperately needed to find a new routine to help us thrive in this season. We are already a homeschooling family, and I work from home full-time, so while it may sound like COVID-19 doesn’t have a direct affect on our family dynamics, the truth is, it really does. Immediately after experiencing a week of not being able to leave home, I set out to create new routines and uncovered 3 reasons why you should wake up before your kids.
It’s crazy to think it took a quarantine to instill routines, such as waking up an hour before my kids, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Typically, I’d wake around 7:00 am with the children, and we’d start out our day together. While this seemed to be working most of this school year, I always felt like I was a step behind. Together, we’d get ready. Together, we’d make breakfast (the kids are responsible for making their own breakfast and dressing themselves while I feed and dress the baby), but the reality always ended up being three kids dressed and fed and a starving mom teaching in pajamas.
3 Reasons Why You Should Wake Up Before Your Kids
1. YOU get to set the tone for the day.
Each morning, I set my alarm an hour and a half before the baby wakes. I take 20-30 minutes to slowly toss, turn, and ease out of bed. Crying, tantrums, and t-shirt yanks are no longer pulling me out of bed. It’s just me, moving at my own pace, in my own space.
Photo By: Lacey Irving
From my bed, I move to the couch and cozy up under a dim table lamp and a warm throw blanket and journal using the First 5 App. This is something I have always longed to do but it wasn’t until two of my friends challenged me to journal for 21 days during quarantine. Journaling first thing in the morning is so refreshing. It allows me to release any worries I’m carrying and set the tone for the day. I take some time to pray over our schedule and ask God to guide our next steps. This step alone has helped me release some of my anxiety and set a peaceful and energizing tone for everyone in our home.
2. SELF-CARE becomes a priority.
I’ve always thought of self-care as pampering but the truth is, jeans, a favorite t-shirt, and a full belly are forms of self-care and they should be a priority. Before having our third child, I always made a point to get ready for the day. The thought of staying home and working in pajamas sounds enticing but reality reveals this is not the best way to achieve goals and maintain a healthy mental state of well-being. When we feel good on the outside, we feel good on the inside. If we’re looking lazy and ready for bed, our brains will feel lazy and ready for bed.
Take 5-10 minutes to get dressed, apply everyday neutral makeup, and fuel your body and mind with a hearty meal. We cannot pour from an empty cup. Rather than grabbing a quick bite because you’re too busy hustling and caring for the little ones, choose self-care and in turn help become a better mother because you’ve filled your cup to overflow into theirs.
3. You become PROACTIVE rather than reactive.
Have you ever heard yourself say, “Today – 100, Me – 0?” Sometimes our days tend to take control of us, and we choose to react. The third reason why you should wake up before your kids is to become proactive rather than reactive.
As I enjoy my hot cup of coffee, I write in my planner the schedule for our day, our top 3 priorities, and a list of to-do’s I’d like to tackle (whether it’s for work, school, or home.) I printed Emily Ley’s Free Daily Routines Printable, as well as our Homeschool Printable Planner (click on that link to print your own FREE copy to use during COVID-19), and fill those in as well. This helps me stay focused throughout our day. It’s my way of telling the day how it’s going to go rather than reacting to things that “pop up,” and “going with the flow.”
Prior to waking up before the kids, I found myself scrambling, wondering what we should be doing next, and I was always left feeling unsatisfied at the end of the day. By waking up before the kids, you’ll be giving yourself a moment of clarity and quiet to plan with purpose and intention.
All in all, it’s never too late to start something new to better yourself and those you love the most. This season may feel uneasy, overwhelming, and uncertain but you don’t have to let it get the best of you. You matter. Your mental health and well-being matter. Those reasons alone will help you discover why you should wake up before you kids and use this season to instill new routines, choose self-care, and fill your cup. After all, you’re worthy of living a life that’s full, good, and driven by purpose.