Stress-Free Mornings Hack #4 – Wake Up Before Your Kids

This is one of the best morning hacks you can follow! Waking up before your kids is truly life changing. We all envision our mornings having breakfast with our kids,  smiling and leaving the house with plenty of time. Unfortunately, for most families, mornings are dissorganized, reactive and chaotic.

10 Tips to wake up before your kids

  1. Schedule. Have a set schedule of what’s going to happen in the morning, so you don’t have to improvise while your mind is still foggy. Consistency is essential to be successful with any kind of routine, so make sure you have a set schedule on paper, and you do the same thing every day.
  2. Go to bed EARLY! For me, that means anytime before midnight, so my current goal is to go to bed 10:30pm, even though my mind and body still craves some alone time at night. The good thing about waking up early consistently, is that eventually, you will be exhausted at night and will naturally crave going to bed early.  but it took some time for my body to WANT to go to sleep that early.
  3. Set out your workout clothes (or regular clothes if you don’t want to workout) the night before. Make the decision of what to wear the night before. I know of many people who actually sleep on their work out clothes, so they don’t have any excuse to exercise upon waking up. Maybe that’s the way to go for you?
  4. Have coffee ready. If you have a coffee maker that will brew coffee on a timer, set it up the night before. If you don’t have a coffee maker with a timer, you can do what my husband does. He brews his coffee at night, and keeps it on an amazing thermos we discovered years ago that keeps coffee very hot until the following morning.
  5. Turn on the lights with a timer. If you can put a timer on your bedroom lights, do it! That way, the room is lit as soon as you need to get up. If you don’t have a timer on your lights, you can use light alarm clock like the one my husband got for us. This alarm clock turns on a light slowly when it’s time to wake up, so your eyes have time to adjust to the clarity of the room.
  6. Place your iPhone (or alarm clock) far away from your bed. I place my iPhone on the counter of my master bathroom, which is 10 steps away from my bed. That way, I have to stand up, even if I want to hit the snooze button. Once I’m up and in the bathroom, I’m up!
  7. Splash of cold. Drink cold water (left in your nightstand or bathroom counter the night before), wash your face with cold water, and brush your teeth as soon as you hit the bathroom.
  8. Start your day with something you enjoy. Create a morning routine for yourself that you’re looking forward to jumping into. For me, the first thing on my list is to have a quiet time while I write on my gratitude journal. Then I grab my ice cold water bottle and protein shake, and I head down to our home gym and jump on the treadmill. You can start your day with whatever makes you the happiest (No, going back under the covers doesn’t count! 🙂 )
  9. Don’t wake up your kids. This can be a tricky thing for some parents, so here are some tips to help you with it:
    • Set up a silent or light alarm, as mentioned above. If you use your phone or iPhone watch put it on vibration.
    • Close your kids’ bedroom doors, so they don’t hear you in the morning. If they don’t like falling asleep with the door shut, you can close it after they’re asleep.
    • Try to make as little noise as possible, leaving things as prepared as possible the night before.
    • If they do wake up, despite all your efforts, make sure they know what to do, and when they can leave the room. They should have their morning routine charts at hand (we will talk about them in a future article), and they can have a clock that lets them know when they can start their day and come downstairs.
  10. Get ready before you start the day with your kids. Take a shower, take care of your ski, put on your clothes, comb your hair, put on make up if you use it, brush your teeth again. You want to be ready to hit the door when needed, right from the start. Besides, being clean and ready, we’ll boost your mood in the morning.

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Motivations to wake up before your kids

I am not an early riser or a morning person by nature, so this is one of the hardest things to implement for me. However, I try to keep in mind the main reasons why waking up considerably earlier that my daughters makes a huge difference in how our mornings and our days flow.

Self Care

If you haven’t done so yet, check out my previous post about self-care for moms (Janurary Resolution). When you wake up early, you have time to take care of yourself and fill in your energy cup before having to take care of anybody else.

I personally recharge my batteries by having silence and quiet time for myself. Finding silence while being a full time, work from home mom can be really challenging. However, it’s life changing. I am an introvert and very sensitive to noise in general, especially constant loud noise; so silence is vital to me. I usually write on my gratitude journal and meditate in the morning as well, and I know both things make my days so much better.

At least 3 times a week, I exercise in the morning. This is great, because I know if I leave it for latter in the day, it will probably be skipped. And, a bonus of exercising in the morning, is that I have time to ‘read.’ Well, not read per se, but since I discovered Audible, I’ve been devouring books. I ‘read’ while I’m exercising, while I’m cooking, while I’m at the drop off and pick up lines, when I’m grocery shopping… pretty much everywhere! For those of you who don’t know about Audible, check it out! It’s Amazon’s audio book app, and it’s fantastic!

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Purposeful Day

Waking up early gives you time to plan your day. When you take the time to plan your day in the morning, you stop reacting and putting out fires, and start leading your day with order. Besides planning, set your intention for the day, which will give you a focus for the day.

Quality Connections

Waking up early gives you time to enjoy a cup of coffee with your spouse, time to cuddle with your children before they get out of bed, or time to walk your dog. All these nurturing connections established in the morning will set the tone for the day. I will talk about how to establish loving morning connections with your children in the morning in the following post.

 

Have Everything Ready for Them

When you wake up early, you have time to finish up all the things you couldn’t finish the night before, such as their lunches or snacks. If you haven’t read my article about ‘preparing the night before to have a smooth morning’ I invite you to take a look at it.

You will also have time to prepare breakfast in a calm way, put on a load of laundry and even take care of some of the house of organization before the kids wake up.

Lead By Example

Waking up early sets a great example for your children. When your kids see you up and ready in the morning, they’ll model the same behavior as they grow up. They’ll see you full of energy and already filling accomplished as the sun is rising, and they will want to follow on your footsteps. To the contrary, if they see you dragging your feet in the morning, complaining of how tired you are, rushing through things like a chicken without its head cut off,  your children will end up doing the same.

I hope this was helpful and has encouraged you to set that alarm clock an hour earlier! Let me know how it goes!

Much love, Diana-

 

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