Pre-baby me would literally rip your head off if you dared speak to me before 9 am. Even if the question was, ‘How are you?’ I would respond with a rude, ‘Don’t talk!’.
I’ve never been a morning person, and there’s nothing better, at least for me, than the thought of sleeping in until at least 10 am.
That being said, it’s 10 am as I write this, and I’ve been up since 5:15 am. Why? Because it’s the only ‘Me Time’ I get. So yes, I set my alarm for 5:15 am on weekdays, which buys me almost two peaceful hours before the morning mayhem of breakfast and getting my kids out the door to school begins.
My alarm clock is so damn loud that I’m sure at least a few people all the way in Thunder Bay also wake up with me (I’m in Toronto). I also place my alarm, which sounds like a fire drill, across my bedroom on my dresser, so I have no choice but to get out of bed. (Trust me. This works! You’re welcome!)
But here’s the thing. This ‘non morning person’ savours her very early mornings, as much as I savour chocolate chip pancakes, which is a lot. So what do I do between 5:15 am and 7 am, which is when I hear my daughter’s shower turn on, a sign that I have exactly ten minutes before my four-year-old comes down for breakfast and about 20 before my daughter comes downstairs for breakfast? (See? I’m not even getting up FOR my kids. I’m getting up for MOI!)
Those few peaceful hours are literally the only time in my day where it’s just me, myself, and I. And I’ve learned to love those hours. Or I need them, like I need oxygen.
First, after racing to turn off my alarm, before it wakes the entire house up, I make my way downstairs where I boil water and make myself a french pressed coffee. Then, I look at my phone, check e-mails, return e-mails, and basically just putter around, maybe, if I’m really on a roll, work on that book that was due, like yesterday. (There have been numerous times where I’ve sent out texts or e-mails at 5:30 in the morning and will get a response around 8 am asking me why on Earth I’m up at that hour.)
I’ve gotten used to being a non-morning-person who acts like a morning person. In fact, the other day my best friend, who always asks, ‘How do you get up so early?’ found herself awake at 6 am. ‘It was the best,’ she said. ‘I made a chicken for dinner, so that’s all ready, and I made my kids all their lunches and they were fancy ones!’ So, I’m converting mothers into waking up early as well.
Mothers can get a lot done in the very early hours of the morning, but it’s not just about getting stuff done. It’s about just having the time to think or to reflect (or to not think! it’s your time.) It’s time where you don’t have to do anything, which, once you have kids, is kind of a novelty.
Sure, you may be asking, why don’t you have your ‘me, myself and I’ time after the kids are in bed, like so many other moms I know. For me, I’m just too tired after getting dinner done and my four-year-old into bed. Most nights I end up falling asleep at the totally-not-hip time of 9:45 pm., which is way earlier than my 13-year-old daughter. It is weird to say goodnight to my 13-year-old, when I’m going to bed at least an hour earlier than her.
I’ve actually become accustomed to waking up so early that even on weekends, when there isn’t any major rush to get up and get going, I still am up by 6:15 am, which I now considered a sleep in for me.
I’ve become so used to getting up early for my ‘me’ time.’ that if I don’t get it, I’m pretty much in a pissed off mood all day. Honestly, I don’t really even recognize myself, since, again, I have never considered myself a morning person. But I suppose I’m a non-morning person-turned-morning-person because the benefit of enjoying a couple peaceful hours without anyone talking or needing me far outweighs the extra bit of sleep.
By the time my kids come downstairs, I’m caffeinated, I’ve caught up on e-mails, maybe have gotten ahead in a bit of work, and mostly (and obviously I can’t stress this enough) I’ve enjoyed some relaxing peace and quiet.
I often wonder if my internal clock will ever allow me to sleep in anymore, since I’m so used to getting up early for my quiet time.
So, if you see me on social media, or receive a text or e-mail from me at 5:30 am, it’s not actually because I necessarily want to be up. It’s simply because it’s the only time reserved just for me and my cup of coffee.