November 8, 2010

The early bird gets an hour to herself...

I am an early riser.  That is not to my credit, nor do I see it as a measure of my mothering skills, but rather a necessity based on my daily life.  I’ve always been a morning person.  I realize that phrase tends to evoke a response.  Some are nodding now because you are early risers too, others of you rolling your eyes because people like me irritate you, and only a small handful are neutral on the subject, or are young enough that you’re hoping to become more of an early bird or a night owl.  But by about age thirty or so, I believe you’re cooked.  You are either going to bounce out of bed in the morning and barely drag yourself into it at night, or the other way around.  As a young woman I would rise early and stay up late and somehow keep myself functioning, moving and accomplishing things on a few hours sleep.  But that was long ago and far away.

Scott, now 14
Before we get too far into this, rest assured that I am not a proponent of early rising.  I’m just in desperate need of it.  See my sweet babies sprinkled throughout this post?  Aren’t they precious and adorable?  Alright, so they’re fourteen, eight, eight, and six now, but they’ll always be my babies.  I love them with all my heart, I’d give my life for them, I stay home with them, I educate them, I take care of their needs, and I can’t imagine my life without them.  But I don’t want to see them before 7:00 AM.  Our rule is that our kids can wake up whatever time their little bodies awaken, but they’re not to be out of their beds before that appointed time of 7:00 AM.  Once they’re up, all the quiet disappears, and Laura becomes Mom.

Zach, now 8
So at 6:00 the alarm goes off.  Before I hit my thirties, which I’m soon going to be leaving, I would wake up on my own, but I’m sad to say I need the little push now.  My husband sleeps through that and sleeps on for two more hours, being wired for nighttime, not early mornings.  By 6:10 I’m snuggled into a cozy robe, the fish are fed, and I have a hot cup of coffee in my hand, having set a timer on the coffee maker the night before.  I like to have it ready and waiting for me when I walk into the kitchen in the morning.  I may like getting up early, but coffee certainly makes it easier.  Then I read my Bible, check Facebook, check my email, and write a little something to all of you.  It’s peaceful, quiet, and just what the doctor ordered.

Daniel, now 8
I don’t see this as a time to pamper myself exactly, though I don’t have a problem with that either.  At my six month cleaning at the dentist recently I made my standard joke that the visit was the closest thing to the spa that I have.  There may be a little something wrong with that, and perhaps I need to take a bit more time to relax and take care of myself and so on, not to the point of indulgence, but at least to the point that the dentist isn’t equated with a spa.
But my daily hour alone is not that.  It certainly revolves around self, but it’s not so much pampering as it is a survival technique.  If I can have an hour to accomplish what would take more like four hours with children around, my day is off to a good start and I can do a better job of the rest of the to-do list once the kids are up.  I’m a much nicer person with it than without, and a better mom through the day if I’ve had this little time alone.  As the younger ones make their way out of their rooms at 7:00 each morning, I take a few minutes to see how they’re doing, and send them on their way to play until breakfast, giving me a last chance to finish up whatever an hour wouldn’t cover.  Some short time and seventeen or so "Hey, Mom..." events later, it’s on to our day, which flies by in a flurry of activity, until I drag myself off to bed and look forward to waking up refreshed and ready to go the next morning.

Audra, now 6
So if your first name is Mom, I encourage you to find a little time in your day to set aside for those things that cannot be accomplished with chattering children nearby.  Whether it’s early in the morning like me, or through the day if you have kids young enough to nap or rest in the afternoon (I loved those times), or if you’re one who likes to burn the midnight oil, take a short time each day to change your first name back to what it was before you were bestowed with the honor of motherhood, if only for a little while.

1 comment:

  1. I remember those days and I needed that time too. To this day, I need to start my day with God's Word. If I do one thing or another, it seems harder and less effective to spend time with Him.