If you are a mom and you are looking for ways to have better days, to get more done, to get everything off on the right foot, then you’ve probably read a blog post (or twelve or 100) on how you have to get up before your kids.
How the only way to get your day right is to set an alarm, get up, shower, work out, and have quiet time with a cup of coffee, all by yourself before your glorious little cherubs feet come pitter-pattering down the hall to announce their awakening and their welcoming to the new day.
I know, I’ve read them all. I’ve read all the ways I should enhance my mornings and be a better mom.
But you know what? I don’t get up before my kids. And I haven’t since I stopped working full time out of the house.
Every time I read one of these articles, I have some mommy-guilt on all of the things my children are missing out on by their mother sleeping rather soundly until I hear their little voices come through the monitor in the morning.
And after talking with some other mommy friends who also have had some mommy-guilt over not getting up before their kids like we “should”, I thought to myself: there are a LOT of benefits to sleeping till the kids get up in the morning.
How did getting up before our kids in the morning become the “should”? Am I a better mom because I get up earlier and a worse mom if I get up later? Is that the scale we’re measuring against?
After thinking about this I realized: A lower number on my alarm clock each morning does not equal a higher number on my mommy report card each night.
So in defense of sleeping till my kids wake me up every morning, I present:
Why I Don’t Get Up Before My Kids In The Morning
1. The Inconsistent Wake Up Time
Some kids do not wake up at a consistent time each day. My kid would fall into this category. So to guarantee that I beat him up every single day and then giving myself an hour or more on my own would mean that I’m getting up around 5 am. That’s a potential 2-2.5 hours of sleep I’d be missing out on the good days.
2. No Tippy Toes
If I got up before my kids, I would be spending the morning literally walking on egg shells so as not to wake up the kids who kick in to light sleeping mode somewhere around 3am. And I’m clumsy. So being quiet is not exactly my forte.
3. Toddler Snuggles
My daughter can open the doors herself and this means that in the morning, when my son wakes up, he waits for his sister then they run right into my room. And bring their blankies. And crawl into bed with us. And we have toddler snuggles. We’re all in bed together. And we get to wake up slowly and laughing and being together. And snuggling.
4. Patience is a Virtue
When we all get up together, there is a hierarchy of needs that are met. Diapers first. Coffee. Then breakfast orders. Then breakfast making. Then lunch packing. Then coffee drinking and breakfast eating. Sippy cups fall in there at some point, I mean obviously. What does this have to do with patience? There’s nothing waiting on the table. I’m not on the ball. We have to ask politely. Wait our turn. Help mommy with breakfast. See, patience.
5. Cultivating Quiet Time
At breakfast we all sit together and read a kids’ devotional book. And then I turn on music while I do dishes. And then we set up in the toy room and I grab my stuff for quiet time. And my kids SEE me doing quiet time. I can talk to them about what I’m doing. They can help me.
OR, and this is a big or, sometimes (shh don’t tell anyone) sometimes the devotion I do with the kids is my quiet time. And I know, I know, it’s not how to properly do a quiet time. But that’s something I’m just learning to deal with. Because instead of getting caught up on what a “proper quiet time should be” I’m rejoicing and celebrating that I am getting to model for my kids to spend time in God’s word. That we’re learning truth from the Bible together. And that I’m getting to do this thing I call Intentional Simplicity.
6. We’re All In This Together
When breakfast is over, we unload and load the dishwasher. We wash dishes. We clean up the kitchen. WE, together. I know it takes longer with two toddlers. I know my silverware drawer looks like there is no divider being used. There is a reason I bought bins for all of my plastic instead of trying to find cupboard space for it. But I’m teaching them to be involved in chores.
7. Healthy Habits As A Family
So I don’t get up and work out before my kids get up. I don’t drink a magic smoothie all by myself. But instead I make green smoothies for all of us. My kids do push ups with their dad. Or they stretch with me. But they see us take these healthy steps. And if some day I take a class or do a fitness thing, they’ll be going with me with my little entourage.
8. Burning the Candle at Both Ends
After the kids go to bed, I get caught up on my WAHM stuff. I get to talk to my husband about stuff that I do for his business. I get a solid consistent time of working or writing. My husband and I *gasp* spend time together. I take a shower. And sometimes that means I stay up later than I should. Honestly I can’t burn the candle at both ends like I used to when I was like 20. So I choose to sleep in the morning.
9. Baby Season
Right now I am in a season of life where I’ve been married for 5 years and I’m pregnant for the third time. With nursing and pregnancy, I’m tired. I’m getting woke up several times a night. I’ve never thought it wise to cut myself short on sleep in this season of life.
10. Grace-filled Growth
I love love love learning and growing and changing. And if I felt convicted that I needed to be up before my kids, I would try it. But I don’t. And I think that we need to extend more grace to each other in this. I don’t think that getting up before your kids is the only “right” way to do a morning. I don’t think women should feel like that’s the ONLY way to get “proper” quiet time. And the only way us to share in this together is by extending grace. To acknowledge that different things work differently for different people. And that we can do things differently – especially when it comes to sleep.
I actually don’t think getting up before the kids is bad at all. My argument here is that it’s not necessary to have consistently good days with them. This definitely works for me in the season of life I am in right now. When I am in a different season of life, this may have to change. But I am ditching the mommy guilt over my wake up time and I invite you to do the same.
How does this go at your house, friends? Are you up and at’em before the rest? Or do you enjoy a baby alarm clock?
P.S. I wrote a follow-up post on cultivating Mommy-Grace in a Mommy-Guilt world. I invite you to check it out here.