Friday, January 15, 2010

The Veteran Mother's Secret to A Great Day

Sometimes it would be bath water running or dishes clinking in the kitchen sink or, occasionally, the sound of a vacuum cleaner that would wake me from a sound sleep. Wake isn't exactly the word to use because I would be back in slumber-land directly. It was more of a stirring that allowed me to acknowledge what was happening and to pick up where I left off in my dream in the next second.

The what was my mother beginning her day; the when was 4:00 A.M. I always thought she was crazy to wake while the rest of the world, including the sun, slept. Even when I got married and my husband left for work within that 4:00 hour, I would head back to my cozy bed as soon as he drove away.

It wasn't until I had children that I realized the value of those early morning hours. For a long while, I realized it from underneath my covers and with the first shriek of a child, awake and needing attention, thus doing nothing about it. Those days of "hit the ground running and don't stop until you fall back into bed many hours later" are stressful, to say the least.

There are certain benefits of early rising to which I, as a mother of younger children, can attest:
  • Quiet. If you're a mother, you understand the value of complete, delicious, unadulterated silence (whether or not you've actually experienced it).
  • Time. You know all those things you never have time for? This is the time you've been craving for devotions, exercise, decluttering, cleaning, planning, hobbies, reading, or whatever else you might want to do.
  • Unhurriedness.When you know the most pressing issues of the day are still a few hours in the future, you can relax with a cup of coffee or take your time on a morning walk to observe nature or even stop to hum a tune as you prepare a special treat for the kids' breakfast later. The hurry will catch up to you sometime between the first child's waking and the last one's sleeping sighs, but for can be as slow as you would like.
Does it sound too good to be true? I admit it is not a perfectly scheduled free time nor can I guarantee your child will not wake when you do. However, the chances are your children sleep sometime (if they are older than 6 months at least), and you only need to wake before they do.

Sound simple? Yes.

Easy? No.

It takes determination and lots of practice. I still haven't made it to a 4 A.M. or even a 5 A.M. rising time. However, when I taste the beautiful solitude of those morning hours, even a confirmed night owl like me can turn in just a trifle earlier and drag out of bed the next morning knowing the benefit I will receive.

A beautiful and godly older woman in our church has risen at 5 A.M. for years and is claimed to have said that to wake up at 7:00 is to have half of her day wasted. She has seven now grown children. I think I'm beginning to understand.

Further Reading on Rising Early:
What about you? Have you made the transition to rising early? How has it helped your day?


    1. I feel that early rising has nothing much to do with being a mother or wife, it's just something that really organised people do. When I was a child, I always got up at the crack of dawn and did my chores. My parents weren't always happy, but I got my chores out of the way and had the rest of the day to play, I carried the same principles throughout life until now. I still get up at the crack of dawn 4am - 5am and get started, loading the washing machine, cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the house in general, but 8am, I've already washing and hung out one load and my house is tidy. The only thing I don't do is vacuum clean, I think my neighbours would kill me:-)

    2. When in high school, I would get up at 5:00 a.m. School started at 8:00. So I would wake up and get some chores done from 5:00-6:00. And then from 6:00-8:00 I would do some studying for a course I was enrolled in that wasn't part of my normal schooling. Then at 8:00 I would start "real" school. I loved getting up that early. Having the house to myself and quite for a little while. I still enjoy it on the day when my husband has to get up at 5:30. I get up with him and get a lot accomplished before our boys wake up. :-)

      ~ Carrie ~

    3. I have never been a morning person. My husband works the graveyard shift, but I must say I find the same joy in my night time solitude before going to bed.


    4. Sarah--I agree that rising early is helpful to most everyone, but my point was it is essential, in my opinion, for mothers of young children. Good idea not to vacuum at 5 a.m.! :-)

      Carrie--That's great that you started early rising in high school. I wasn't very disciplined about it back then or really until fairly recently.

      Beth--I understand the different schedules! Been there, done that. I'm glad that you have been able to find a quiet time for yourself within your schedule.