Let me paint you a picture of a familiar sight at my place just a few months ago. My husband arrives home from work just before our boys (two and four years old) scamper into bed, he reads the books, and I go back to the kitchen to clean up, pack lunch boxes and tidy up from the day. We meet back on the couch for a few hours and head to bed way too late to ever have a good sleep.
Every day it’s the same thing for us, and every day I started to grow a little more resentful at the lack of time for ‘me’.
You see, I dreamed of being that mum that did a photo book once a year, that read more than her Facebook feed at night and that could take on tasks because I knew there was always a little bit of time to get it done. I started looking around and noticed that a bunch of my friends were these kinds of mummas, they were getting stuff done; happily too. So I asked them how they did it and they all had one thing in common, they got up early.
I’m not a natural morning person, so rising before dawn felt hard-core in so many ways. In a lot of ways, rather than feel like giving something to myself, rising early felt like I was taking something away. However, I felt so strongly that I needed to put more ‘me’ into my day, that I decided to give it a go anyway.
My kids wake around 6.30/7, so I decided to set my alarm for 5 am, giving me nearly 2 hours to myself, every day. I thought I’d try it for a month, but I’ve never reset the alarm. Getting up early has been that kind of game changer.
Since starting these early 5 am wake-ups, I’ve achieved such a lot:
– I have time to start my day with hot water and lemon
– I have the energy to bake something for the lunch boxes
– I’ve read a few books
– I’ve organised photos
– I’ve started sleeping better and longer
– I’ve written emails and letters to friends
– And best of all, I’ve walked 45 minutes most mornings and watched the sunrise.
This time to myself has made me a better mum. I’m ready for the kids to hop up in the mornings, my marriage is better than ever and most of all I am so much happier, fitter and healthier because I’ve had time for me. Do not underestimate what having time for YOU will do to your life.
Now if you’re thinking about giving 5 am a go, please can you do something for me? Really-really give it a go. Don’t give up after three days, that’s not long enough. Commit to it for two weeks, or like me, a full month of it. This way, you will allow your body clock to adjust, form a new habit and really give this thing a go. You’ll also see some tangible benefits to setting the alarm early and they will feel so good that you won’t want to go back to your later start.
Matter of fact, like me you could surprise yourself and turn in to an early riser…
Images: Top – Getty; all other images – Stacey Clare