Facing the day

So, I'm ready for something a little lighter, considering the amount of drama that swirled around here yesterday. I think there was drama involving every person in the family except H. and the little girls. (Ironic, isn't it, that the newest child and the twin toddlers each had a calm day and no one else did?) So by evening, after everyone was put to bed, J. made me a cup of tea and I relaxed with a good book which is my very favorite way to end the day. The trouble is, I enjoy it just a little too much... both the peace and quiet and the story. I want it to go on and on. And so it does, until it is just a little later than I meant to go to bed.

You can see where this is going, can't you? A late bedtime makes it that much more difficult to wake up in a timely manner. I'm a person who does really well when she has a good hour of quiet and a couple of cups of coffee to fully wake up and feel able to face the day. I have fallen into a bad routine which is making mornings not quite so enjoyable and is quickly ratcheting up J.'s entry into sainthood. Currently what is happening is I sleep in, though J.'s alarm and J. getting up and stay asleep until J. comes back upstairs with my cup of coffee. This is lovely. Actually, it is lovely when it is early enough to sip that first cup of coffee in peace. It is not so lovely when most of my children are awake and wanting attention. I love my children. I just find it difficult to appear loving when I'm halfway through my first cup of coffee and several of them jump into bed with me... asking questions, moving around, briefly arguing with each other, complaining about some slight that had happened moments before, and wanting me to explain math to them. And did I mention moving around? For some reason I just can't take a jiggling, bouncing bed first thing in the morning. It's as if it is just too much sensory information for my brain to process that early in the day.

I end up getting out of bed slightly out-of-sorts and feeling a little behind before I've even begun. By mid-morning I have usually regained my equilibrium, but I would rather not have to play catch-up each morning. I know that this means I have to go to bed earlier which means while I am readjusting my schedule I will have to give up some of my hours of quiet. I know I will reclaim them in the morning (if I can get up), but since I can't allow myself to read for pleasure in the morning (the whole day would be lost), I'll have to give up a couple reading hours as well. Ah, the price of parenthood.

In order to get me out of bed, I need some accountability which is why I am bothering all of you with my sleeping habits. If I have to report back here about how I'm doing, maybe it will shame me into a better schedule. But I'm also curious. How do other people manage to prepare themselves to face the day? What is it like to be a morning person? (I know I'm not a morning person. The trouble is I'm not really a night person, either. I think I'm more like a late morning/early afternoon person.) If you are not a morning person, but still arise early, how do you do it? Inspire me!


Anonymous said…
You are probably familar with the children's book "Five Minutes' Peace" by Jill Murphy.

It pretty much covers it.
LawMommy said…
I have no idea what it's like to be a morning person. I am dreading the day L~ starts middle school. At the moment, my husband and G~ get up and out the door early, and L~ and I sleep until 7:45. We ease into our morning with breakfast and cartoons and walk out the door at 8:45...I should cherish the next two years, because when middle school starts, all four of us are going to have to be out the door by 7:15...
Amy said…
No inspiration here but I can't wait to see if others have some good advice. We have been starting our day later than we should and it is definitely my fault.
Robyn said…
This is kind of lame, but... I go to bed earlier. At least once or twice a week. I get up at 5 every day (I am the one who works outside the house and my mission is to be dressed, breakfasted, lunch packed, and out the door before my kids even wake up). Every few days, it's AWESOME to turn out the lights at 9 and get 8 full hours.

My early morning oatmeal and coffee is when I catch up on reading blogs, looking at the news online, and generally do my "leisure" reading. It could be a great time for a book, too.

Part of the reason I get up early is to exercise in the morning -- also a great thing if you can do it. I run twice during the week and a longer run on weekends. On weekends, my goal is to be home from my run before 8, just as kids are awakening. So by 8, I've eaten, been outside, gotten my body moving, and feel great about myself. What a great way to start the day!
Janet and Kevin said…
Your post just sounds so much like me! I have good intentions of going to bed earlier and getting up even earlier to have peace and quiet and a bit of work time before we begin our day, but it just doesn't work out!

I have even been getting my kids in bed later than usual, and that leaves me with very little quiet time. It makes for a grouchy mama sometimes, so I will be interested to hear what others do to combat this, too!

janet and gang
Joy said…
No help here, either. Before kids, I was late for work every day for 11 years because dragging myself out of bed before 7:30 was torture. Without an alarm, I naturally wake up between 8:00-8:30am (and then am still not ready to face people! noise! activity! for a while).

With kids, my goal, on paper, is to be up and showering by 7:15/7:30, and ready to head downstairs at 8:00 (giving the kids permission to get up & dressed at that time, and giving me some lead time downstairs while they dress and make their beds). Nice plan, but it hasn't happened yet.

And going to bed is worse than even before having kids - I cling to what is left of the "day" and my down time. My husband (who is on parental leave, while I am working part-time) has the same goal, and the same issue. We have considered putting a coffee maker/kettle in our room to have tea or coffee right there in the mornings. If we had an ensuite bathroom, that might give me the personal space and resources to make my morning more palatable! (Good reason for a reno, right?)

At least the kids (ages 2, 3, 4) are good at staying in their rooms until around 8:00am, when we come to get them. If they have been respectfully quiet while waiting (they are usually not awake too much before then, and are sometimes allowed to look at books while they wait), we try to give them a few minutes in our room, for a cartoon and snuggle, before beginning the day (or they watch one cartoon while we get breakfast).
Joy said…
P.S. My morning issues are one factor tipping us toward homeschooling, in all seriousness (of course, among other more educational and social reasons). I cannot fathom more than a decade of 7:00am wake-ups and rushed mornings. I think we will all fare much better with a more relaxed routine.
Shonya said…
Laughing out loud here.

I'm thinking I wrote this post! :) I have been thinking these very same things. I love to read and just don't have the time to read like I used to. I haven't made it to bed before 11 for quite some time now and my morning routine is sliding down a dangerous hill. This is made worse by the fact my hubby now has to be AT work by 7 am, so he is out the door before any of us are awake and we can sleep as long as we like without his discipline or encouragement to get up and get going.

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