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10 Reasons I Must Wake Up Before the Sun, and My Child

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Added Perk: Being that mom who takes photos of her sleeping child.

I used to consider the concept of waking up before the sun sacrilege. I spent an embarrassing amount of time pondering what would possess people to happily wake up before 8am. I figured, if the sun was still asleep, shouldn’t I be asleep? Then, I had a baby.

After waking up every two hours for three-ish months, I broke up with the sun; I no longer needed her to help regulate my sleep cycles. As my breast milk flowed in, my consistent sleep cycles seeped out.

I now have a toddler, and while he doesn’t quite sleep through the night, he’s so over waking up every two hours. The catch is, I no longer have 5 plus hours of “free-time” to get stuff done while my infant naps, because my infant is now a 25 pound running, jumping, mud-puddle-finding machine.

This leads me to my current sleep cycle. I’ve joined the crazies and now wake up at 6am. It was painful coercing myself into this routine, but I’ve been converted. Why didn’t anyone tell me that all I needed to do to conquer the world (or be able to take a daily shower) was wake up an hour before my child?

The benefits have been popping up everywhere, and I’m loving it.

These are my top 10:

1. Bragging Rights. I now get to chime in when fellow humans are discussing the absurdly early hours they rise. Although I can’t tout the 4:30am wake up time my father adheres to (insanity,) I’m quite pleased with the evenness of my 6.

2. Quiet. It’s really quiet at 6am.

3. Coffee. The coffee tastes better at 6am. Really it does. I feel like I somehow deserve it more when I’ve dragged myself into the darkness of the morning.

4. Writing. Shockingly, it’s easier for me to get a few coherent thoughts from mind to screen when my child is sleeping. I’m able to sit wherever I please and seamlessly move my fingers without chubby tot hands pushing me aside to discover what mischief awaits in mommy’s computer.

5. Guilt-free. There is little guilt in waking up early. My child is not awake to see me not paying attention to him, I’m getting a jump start on the 256 things I need to complete before noon, and a yogi guru I once met told me to follow the Earth’s rhythms by calling it a day at 10pm and arising by 6am; and yogi gurus never feel guilty, right?

6. My House is Clean. I get to enjoy a blip in time when my living room is not covered in tiny trucks, my bathroom is not strewn with shredded toilet paper, and there are not bits of breakfast entwined in the carpet.

7. Injury Free Shower. I forgot how peaceful showering could be when a little person isn’t grabbing for my razor, letting all the warm air out of the shower, and super soaking his fresh diaper.

8. Coffee. Did I mention that coffee tastes better at 6am?

9. Greeting the Sun. There is something sacred in being present to witness the sun wake up. Having caffeine, creative juices, and some form of protein and veggie flowing in the system, while greeting the sun, sets a beautiful pace for the rest of the day.

10. I Greet My Child with Joy. If I’m still snoozing when my little one pops awake with the zest of a jumping bean, I’m not able to give him the enthusiasm his precious self deserves. When I’ve absorbed 1 through 9 of the above mentioned early rising perks, I greet my son with equal happy jumpiness, and it’s not just from the caffeine, or maybe it is, but whatever.

Mom Humor

The 10 Commandments of Your First Mom-Friend Date

Forget romantic dates with actual real life men. Now that you’re a mom, you’re facing something even more terrifying: mom dates. A first-time mom date can be even more fraught with anxiety than a romantic date. Although hanky-panky is off the table, the potential for mom shaming, guilt, and the hopes that you just may be meeting the love of your mommy-friend life abounds.

Read more at Babble!

Mom Humor

I Envision Other Mothers….

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I envision other mothers prepping three course (food pyramid approved) meals for their children, three times a day…

While I make scrambled eggs in the microwave… three times a day.

I envision other mothers spending a leisurely thirty minutes talking their tot through a gentle diaper change…

While I beg my child not to smear poop on my face as I haphazardly diaper him as we’re rushing out the door to the Mommy and Me (fill in the blank) class we’re inevitably late for.

I envision other mothers having the television removed from the home the instant they learn an impressionable new little human is growing within them….

While I frantically try to figure out how to get to the Netflix Kids app so I can have two uninterrupted minutes to scrub the microwave eggs out of the carpet, and my hair.

I envision other mothers mystically stretching time and completing all laundry, bathing, clothing, feeding, watering (of themselves and their children,) cleaning their shelter, and laughing (it’s most certainly a basic need,) ALL. IN. ONE. DAY.

While I spread out our basic needs over the course of a week, with the exception of laughing, we do plenty of that.

I envision other mothers prepping a developmentally appropriate art project for kiddo/s each day of the week….

While I consider arranging our spaghetti (with a side of microwave eggs) into abstract shapes during dinner, art project enough.

I envision other mothers polishing off thoughtful and inspiring replies to all 55 of their emails, in one hour, and shutting down the computer for the rest of the day…

While I pull out my cell phone, laptop, or tablet thingy 367 times a day in an attempt to get out any response to the 16 emails I have sitting in my Inbox.

I envision other mothers leaving helpful, humorous, and heartfelt posts on their online ‘Mom Group’ of choice…

While I’m fortunate if I can shoot off an incredibly helpful, ‘Me too!’ or ‘That Sucks!’

I envision other mothers taking an adorable holiday card photo in June, pre-ordering the cards by September, and shipping them out, complete with a tastefully witty ‘Our Year in Review’ letter, by November 29th….

While I post a ‘Happy Holidays’ photo of my child on Facebook on January 3rd, hoping all the relevant relatives see it.

I envision other mothers writing the next great American novel, or blog, during their child’s three-hour naps….

While I attempt to type out ONE SENTENCE as my child simultaneously kicks my typing hand and bites my boob. (I started writing this two weeks ago.)

I envision other mothers being really cool and cutting me way too much slack for all the lazy mom-isms I’m guilty of….

While I have a good laugh with my kiddo, and remember that, hey girl, it’s all good.

Self Love

We are Allowed to be Happy.

When the bud of complete happiness begins to bloom I’ve become conditioned to whither the bloom with thoughts of why I’m not allowed happiness in that moment.

I’ve become an unintentional master at procuring negative thoughts that serve to diminish, or even eliminate, that beautiful flower of joy.

Why? Why must I diminish the bud, the bloom and the flower? What would happen if I passed through the resistance and found myself in the still state of allowance? I choose to allow happiness.

The freedom of this choice came to me one morning when I was sitting under a comforting gray sky, holding the hand of my child in a rare moment of stillness and silence. We were soaking in the fresh grass that had surprised us after the last rain, and I felt complete happiness beginning to unfold within me.

This unfolding progressed, until I remembered that it wasn’t allowed. I had let my child watch a television show hours before, while I made a long phone call, and as a result, had guilt stewing in my gut. So, there was no place for complete happiness if I was still holding onto that guilt, right?

Read the rest on elephant journal!