Mom Monday – Becoming a Morning Person

At the beginning of the new year, I talked about my resolutions and goals for 2019. It helps me stay motivated and focused when I start to sway off track – which also usually happens like 2 weeks into January. But I also blame that on January lasting FOREVER.

One of my biggest goals has always been to become a morning person. I have, throughout my entire life, always always been a night owl. My mom tells stories of me as a baby, wide awake at 12, 1, 2 AM just screaming to come out of my crib. She didn’t know there was two 10 o’clocks in the day because I didn’t sleep at night, but then slept all morning. The typical sleep training that we all strive to use on our babies today, didn’t happen in our family back then, and thus started my lifelong attribute of being someone who stays awake all night and sleeps all morning.

As we moved into the professional world, my friends started feeling frustrated with the fact that it was no longer possible to sleep in on the weekends. Even more so now that we all have kids. Guess what? I have never in my life had a problem with sleeping in when I’m allowed to. The nicest thing my husband does for me, is allow me to sleep in on Saturday mornings by taking William and spending the morning with him. It also gives them some time together to go get donuts, play with his toys, take the dog for a walk, etc. and I feel like William actually looks forward to his Saturday mornings with Alex now that he is getting older and understanding more.

Over time, my wake times have decreased and now, sleeping in is more like 8:30 – 9, but I swear if someone let me, I would be able to sleep until noon just like I used to do in high school. With that said, I also tend to stay up late. When I’m not pregnant, it is pretty normal for me to go to sleep at 11 or 12 at night. I have always felt most productive at night and feel myself get a second wind to get stuff done. However, as you can imagine, night isn’t the best time to feel productive. You have to be quiet, you can’t have the lights on and no one else is awake, so it’s a little lonely and weird. My anxiety also tends to be highest at night. It is probably no surprise that over time, I have felt worse and worse about my ability to sleep the day away. All of a sudden my day is half over and I feel like I have done nothing with my life until I start feeling motivated again at night. And then for the most part, I end up spending that time binge watching some show on Netflix that will make me feel like everyone is a serial killer or out to take my babies. Thus, my decision to become a morning person. Or at least attempt it.

First, I have always done better with less sleep. If I get a full 8-9 hours I feel lethargic. However, if you read anything from somewhat of a scientific source, a person needs 7-8 hours of sleep a night and if you continually get less than that, you will never make it up and it will slowly start shorten your life. Sleep helps with anxiety, overall health, keeping weight down and sharpness of the mind. So, when I initially started down this path of becoming a morning person, I wasn’t getting enough sleep. And I eventually paid for it with even more sleep…shocker. I also feel like it’s worth noting that I am choosing to do this at a time where I am probably the most tired my body will ever feel, so it’s a little subjective. BUT I have realized that I have to turn the TV off, put my cell phone down and pick up a book. I naturally start to feel tired and eventually drift off to sleep. With that said, the TV is a pacifier for me. It makes me feel less anxious to have it on all night and I truly enjoy the noise.

Second, I force myself to get up when my alarm goes off. This has been a process and still is a process. I used to set my alarm for 5:15 AM, but I am used to waking up around 7:30. I’m sorry but the chances of me cutting out a full 2 hours of sleep immediately are slim, or at the very least, inconsistent – i.e. one motivated day, I’m up and ready to greet the day and then for the next four, I’m back to getting ready in 10 minutes so I can run out the door and get to work in time. So, instead of setting my alarm for 5:15, I started setting it for 7…and then 6:45 and then 6:30. And now I can say that 6:30 seems to be the ideal wake time for me to get up and get ready in time to get to work and still spend a decent amount of time getting ready, eating breakfast, helping with William, etc. I would love to get to a point where I am able to get in a work out and have time to myself, but I feel good about this for now.

Third, I bought Alex an ACTUAL coffee maker for his birthday. I have always been fine with the Keurig, but it never keeps my coffee hot enough and I feel like ours always has water just sitting in it which kind of grosses me out. We have slowly been collecting coffee making supplies like a grinder and french press and different things to fuel a household coffee obsession. Well he asked for just a regular old coffee pot, so he got this ninja one that we have seriously become obsessed with. We set it the night before and I’m not kidding when I say our entire house smells like coffee when we get up in the morning. I don’t know what it is, but waking up smelling coffee and knowing that I just have to pour coffee in my cup is a game changer in terms of actually getting me out of bed.

I also allow myself to sleep. At the end of the day, I’m growing a baby and eventually our sleep is going to be very limited so I try not to be too hard on myself. I have a lot I want to get done in a day, but at the end of it, if I crossed only one thing off my ‘to do’ list, so be it. It will be there tomorrow and sleep is important.

A few other things:

  • Among all things, consistency is key. Just getting into a routine and maintaining that routine can feel like I am accomplishing my goals. Alex wakes up every day at the same time – and if he falls back to sleep, he is up 30 minutes later AT MOST – he doesn’t allow himself to fall into a routine where he doesn’t give himself the time he needs in the morning.
  • I have been trying to figure out what is most important to me – giving myself time in the morning to do what I want, or potentially getting the extra sleep. Either way I will be in a grumpy mood because I’m either mad and tired because I got up early or mad because I didn’t get up when I said I was going to. Follow through seems to be the lesser of two evils so I have been trying to remind myself that coffee is waiting and just get over it.
  • I think more than anything – getting in a work out (when I’m actually attempting to work out after the baby) makes me feel so good about my day and that starts everything regardless of the mood or frustration that I have when I initially get up.

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