FACT: I am NOT a morning person.
OPINION: You can BECOME a morning person.
I have never, EVER been a morning person. I don’t really start to function until 9:00. Until that point, I’m really just going through robotic motions and can not make decisions, recall information, or hold a reasonably coherent conversation.
I do, however, realize that most of society does not function this way. There are jobs to wake up for, school to go to, and all that good stuff. So while I’d rather be snoozing in, I wake up at 6:00 with the alarm and prep the kids for school.
The simple fact that I DO NOT like mornings is one of the many reasons I do not homeschool. Without someone holding me accountable and there being definite consequences for starting school on time, I am just going to stagger out of bed around 8:30 like some college kid with a hangover growling at everyone else who is already awake to be quiet and get out of my way. We would never, ever get anything done.
I had a job once. (Well, I’ve had several “jobs”…but I had a “career” at one time) as a teacher. Now, you have to actually SHOW UP for work and be ON TIME and ready to go every day when you are a teacher employed with a school system.
I had an interesting ritual that I followed every morning…and I only overslept ONCE during my incredible 7 year span as an educator. (Little sarcasm there….since that 7 years didn’t even TOUCH what I spent in student loans getting the degree I needed to pay OFF the student loans, but whatever…)
Every morning, the alarm went off at 5:30. I would get up, take a shower, and then reset my alarm and crawl back into bed for 30 minutes. Cognitively speaking, I knew I WASN’T cheating the clock, but it FELT like I was…and when it comes to mornings and my ability to function as a member of society, FEELINGS MATTER.
When I got married, and Stephen discovered this little ritual I had perfected, he was mortified.
“Why ON EARTH would anyone DO THIS?!”
I had no explanation. I just know it worked for me.
Well, five years into my teaching career, a baby arrived…and well, that kind of jacked up my sleeping. I started a new plan that involved nursing a baby or prepping a toddler for childcare drop-off, and I think that may have been the beginning of my sleep deficit.
My oldest is 9 now…so, I’ve been behind on my sleep for almost a decade.
I am by nature, a night owl.
But you mix night owl with three kids and school and homework and housework and meetings and just a normal standard of living, and you end up with one tired, dark-circle eyed woman.
For years, decades even, I thought that I HAD to start my day with the chickens. Get up before anyone else (there has, by the way, never been a time when, as a mom, I’ve planned to do that that someone else hasn’t woken up first with pee pee pants, the need to watch TV or to crack open a box of Cocoa Puffs and a new gallon of milk by themselves.) This is like, I don’t know, the DUMBEST advice that I feel like you can give to a mom of small children.
But I digress.
I was under the impression that you need to spend your “quiet time” or “devotional time” or “personal time” or “prayer time”…whatever you want to call it…first thing in the morning.
May I be honest here?
EVERY.TIME. I have tried to do that, I have fallen asleep and my journal that I was going to fill with heartfelt ponderings and prayers was instead scribbled up with random lines of a ballpoint pen where I had fallen asleep during that “quiet time”.
I even tried this again this morning. And I’m not ashamed to tell you…I have no idea what I read. So I came home after dropping off the wee one at preschool and read it again. Made so much more sense…and I EVEN UNDERLINED STUFF. I know, I know. Amazing, right?
I have even googled “how to be a morning person”. And I suppose that you CAN train yourself to be one…Stephen says you can. But he is, by nature, a morning person.
He even sings and whistles while he’s walking around the house.
And I have to control the urge to not throw my coffee cup at him.
At any rate, I feel like the phrase “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” comes into serious play here.
I am VERY near 40. I have birthed three babies, all who have kept odd hours, and I’ve held down responsible jobs that required me to be at work before 8 a.m., and I am here to say…I will NEVER be a morning person.
I’ve quit trying, quite honestly.
I just don’t think clearly. In fact, the very first thought that runs through my head when that weekday alarm goes off is…How many hours until bedtime? Or until I can at least squeeze in a ten minute nap while the kids soak up some mind-numbing television? (Don’t judge. Remember…I’m working off 10 years of “sleep debt”…)
I think that, just like some of us are wired as introverts and some of us as extroverts and some of us some weird hybrid of the two, we’re either wired for morning or evening productivity. Maybe, biologically and physiologically speaking, I’m wrong. I only have my near 40 years existence to go by, so I could be just looking for a way to validate my own feelings of inadequacy when it comes to not being capable of meaningful human interaction…or functioning…before 9:00 a.m.
I recently read an article that said creative people “work the hours that work for them”. So I’m going to claim myself as a creative…
That way, a RESEARCHED ARTICLE (I think) has given me PERMISSION to not have to try and be like Ma Ingalls and get up at the crack of dawn, complete 15 household chores or administrative tasks, and have a soul-awakening spiritual experience by the time the pitter patter of my precious angels hit the floor.
The pressure to fit the mold of what a responsible Christian American woman looks like can turn me into an angry, stressed out, grump.
So…I’m just going to embrace my non-morning side, find schedules that work for me and my family…and try to get more sleep.
Just this morning, I posted on Facebook about how my girls went to school without jackets even though it was cool out…
Sent the girls to school without jackets. It’s 51 degrees right now…
They keep losing/forgetting/trading them for candy…I don’t know what they’re doing with them…but maybe they’ll remember to bring one home and keep up with it if they have to be a little chilly right now.
Btw, it’s going to be 77 later, so I’m not a cruel monster mom. Just a mom who’s tired of asking “Where’s your jacket?”
One day, I’m gonna send McKenna in without her shoes…
I received some very kind comments on what a good parenting decision this was.
Truth be told, it wasn’t about parenting or teaching them a lesson. I was just too freaking tired to look for those jackets. I had no idea where they left them, and if it didn’t bother them to be cold, I decided it wasn’t going to bother me either. Besides, Jack was still asleep and if I shooed them out the door fast enough, I MIGHT get to go back to bed for a few minutes before the boy woke up.
Looking for jackets steals sleep, y’all. And I don’t play around if there’s a chance of extra minutes of snoozing.
Now…if you’ll excuse me…I’m going to try and squeeze in a nap before I have to pick up the kids from school…