For the past few months, Brandon and I have been dedicated to a new morning routine. And by “new” I really mean that we finally started one, period.
We probably started around November(ish??), but before that, mornings in our house were chaotic, and both of us were left feeling rushed and like we didn’t have enough time…even though technically we got up in plenty of time to be out the door by 7:50 AM.
Brandon has always gotten up before me, but in our old version of mornings, I got up as late as possible, rushed around, got irritated that the kids would interrupt me during my devotional, and getting to work by 8 AM seemed almost impossible.
Then Brandon came to me and said that the thing he keeps hearing over and over is: successful people wake up early. All the books he’s reading and the podcasts he’s listening to ALL have stressed that waking up early is key. And I was totally on board, because I want to be successful at getting out of the house in the morning!
So Brandon started getting up at 4 AM, and he wakes me up a few minutes before 5. This is about an hour earlier for each of us. BUT IT HAS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD. Hear me out: waking up well before your kids do is life-changing. It’s so great, in fact, that most weekend days, we’re STILL choosing to wake up early (although we both get up at 5 on weekends).
Maybe it’s just because of my personality type, but I didn’t even know how much I needed to get up before my kids til I started doing it. I mean, that hour + of quiet time is amazing. Instead of waking up to Harlyn out of bed and Mav crying ready to be picked up, I now have no anxiety when I get out bed. I’m a little sleepy, sure, but my heart doesn’t race and I don’t feel like I’m waking up at 100 miles an hour anymore.
An important note: I am NOT an early riser. I’m definitely more of a morning person than a night person, but I don’t love getting up early. So I totally hear you if you think you couldn’t get up an hour earlier than you already do. But I’m telling you—it’s worth it. That time to just reflect or spend time with God, have a silent house, and plan your day without distractions, have changed how I feel in the morning. We have never stayed up super late anyway, but now that we get up at 4/5 AM, we try to be asleep by 9:45 most nights. Some nights we go to bed even earlier.
Anyway. From 4 AM to 4:45 AM, Brandon does his quiet time. And then from 5 AM to 5:45 AM, I do mine. I get up, grab my hoodie and slippers, take a drink of water, and head to the living room with my bin o’ goodies. I recently started keeping everything I’d need in a bin because it’s way easier than gathering all my stuff each and every morning.
My bin includes:
1) My Bible
2) My One Year Bible
3) Book light
5) Colored Pencils
So I go and do my devotional. Then I pray. Then I do my daily one year Bible reading. If I have a little extra time, I color in my one year Bible because it has Bible verses to color right in it! About 5:45 AM, Brandon comes out (and by this point he’s already showered) and starts coffee, cleans up the kitchen if there’s anything to tidy up, and I head to our bedroom. If I haven’t quite finished my quiet time, I finish that in our bedroom so I’m not distracted by B out in the main area. Then I get in the shower and usually can get through the whole shower without any kids interrupting!!!
Harlyn and Mav wake up between 6 and 6:30 AM most days. Sometimes they wake up a little earlier, but Mav is usually content to sing or talk to himself for a bit, so we leave him until he stands up in his crib (which, along with calling for us, is his signal that he is ready to be rescued). Harlyn’s OK to Wake clock turns green at 6:10 AM, so she comes out any time 6:10 AM or after. If she wakes up when her clock is still yellow, she will just play or “read” in bed.
Brandon does a lot of the morning routine with the kids, which is AMAZING. I’m able to get my hair and makeup done while he hands out vitamins and a mini-donut. At some point, one or both of the kids will help make my coffee, and then often all three of them will come in to present me with my caffeine. I am one lucky wife and mom 😉
We generally put on music after everyone is out of bed, which helps get everyone in a good mood and ready to start the day. Right now we listen to our Christian music playlist or our country music playlist we made on Alexa. Since Harlyn is in school Monday-Thursday, on those days she helps make her lunch.
At 7:30, my in laws come over because they take care of the kids while we work. So we have about 15-20 minutes to sort of switch gears. If I haven’t picked out Harlyn’s school outfit, Grandma will go get all that ready, and any school stuff that hasn’t already been put by the door. And by 7:50, we’re off to work!
On weekends, it’s a very similar set up, except that there’s a little more leisure time, especially on Saturdays if we aren’t trying to leave the house early. And obviously, no grandparents on weekends. Most Saturdays, B makes eggs and toast (and sausage if we have any!).
Waking up early has somehow, against all odds, become my jam.
If you feel like you wake up every morning overwhelmed before you even get out of bed, maybe you need to experiment with your morning routine too. Although I picked an hour earlier to get up, my guess is that even 15-30 minutes of alone time each morning could make a huge difference in the way you feel and the amount you can get done. I’m seriously still amazed every day that we get to work BEFORE 8 AM—it feels so good to be there early.
By getting up at 5 AM, I feel like I am getting more done by 8 AM than I ever have before. I used to struggle to find the time to do devotionals, pray, make the bed, you name it…and now I feel like productive is my middle name! LOL!
I can’t wait for the sun to rise earlier and the weather to warm up—because when it does, my Saturday morning early runs are coming back too. And then I’ll really feel on my A Game!
What’s your morning look like? Do you try to wake up before your kids? What do you use your kid-free time for? If you don’t wake up early, is it something you’d ever consider?