Thursday, February 24, 2011

My New Lifestyle

Wake up earlier?! What?! Now way!

For the first year of Macy's life I did not get up for the day before 8 a.m. Call me lazy, but why would I? My baby was asleep so I took advantage and slept too. I don't even mind revealing that sometimes I wouldn't get up until 9, 10, 10:30. All you moms know that getting up with your baby a few times a night is exhausting so I took advantage of my sleeping baby and slept as long as I wanted. It's not like I couldn't wake up earlier. I've done it plenty of times during high school (I never missed a day of seminary, yes all four years), college (this was much harder but I mostly woke up on time :)), and work. Things are so much harder when they aren't a necessity.

When Macy was about five months old I started working from home. I worked 2, 3 or sometimes 4 hours a day. It was great because I worked while Macy took her naps which at that point she was taking two 2-hour naps a day. This let me live my lifestyle of waking up when Macy woke up in the morning. We would hang out at home then a couple hours later she was down for a nap. That is when I would shower and then I would start working. It was great- I was able to get a lot of work done without getting up early. A win, win if you ask me.

However, once Macy hit one year I was starting to feel a little burned out. Luckily in my favor work was slowing down so I didn't have to rush in the shower and immediately start working. I finally started exercising regularly during Macy's first nap, then showered, and she even let me get a little work in before waking up. The days I didn't exercise I allowed myself to do things I wanted to do like, blog, crafts, and watch TV (gasp!). This allowed me to still get my two hours of work in during her afternoon nap. Like all my exercise attempts this one lasted for about two weeks. Except this time it wasn't my fault- Macy decided she only wanted one nap. This meant I had to change my lifestyle. If I wanted to get out of the house before 3 p.m. things were going to have to change.

I knew the solution was getting up before Macy in the morning. But this meant I had to wake up with an alarm- something I hadn't done on a regular basis for over a year. I really don't like alarms. I feel so much better when I can naturally wake up when I'm ready. However, I knew things really needed to change. As fate would have it one article on a blog I subscribe to was about having an organized home. The number one thing the author said has helped her have an organized home is to wake up before her kids. I already knew this is what I needed but it was helpful to have someone else say the same thing and that it's helped her immensely.

I would like to say the very next day I woke up with an alarm at 8 a.m. (Macy was sleeping in until 8:30 so I figured it would allow me to at least get in the shower.) Unfortunately it took me a few days to consistently get up early. Now I've been doing it for a few weeks and I don't need an alarm anymore. I can wake up on my own (or I don't go back to sleep when Jonathan wakes me up in the morning) and get up and get things accomplished. Because Macy is the best baby ever she has been waking up around 9 or 9:30 lately. This means I can slowly get up at 8, check emails, or watch a little of the Today Show before taking a shower. Today I was able to shower, take my time getting ready, watch the Today Show and write this whole post. It's now 9:33 and Macy is happily talking to herself in her crib. I have the cutest baby in the whole world. She knows it was hard for me to wake up early so she decided to sleep in a little for me to I can gradually get accustomed to waking up early and getting things done before 10 a.m.

Even though it was hard, I'm really glad I started waking up before Macy. It has allowed me to get things done in the morning without little hands grabbing at my legs. It also means that we can do things in the morning because I have already showered. Macy is only down for one nap but I feel I get more accomplished during the day and I feel happier too. I'm not burned out from work anymore because I can work during her nap then have time to do something for me. (More proof Macy is the best baby: her naps have been going on 2 1/2- 3 hours lately, knock on wood.) So, if anyone is still reading this (it's long I know) I want you to know that waking up before your kids is a great way to feel more organized and put together during the day. It's been a wonderful thing for me and I'm so glad I've been doing it.


Alicia said...

You are a lucky, lucky woman. Jonathan ALWAYS gets up before 7 am and it's usually sometime between 6 and 6:30. Kara usually sleeps in until 8, but if I want her to nap consistently and still go to bed on time, I have to actually wake her up no later than 7:30. Take advantage of it! If I want to get up before the kids I have to set my alarm for 5:45...gag. Yeah right, never going to happen!

Marel and Tom Stock! said...

I need to do this. I did it for one week and felt so stressed out, so I stopped. And I keep meaning to do it again because my job has been frazzling me lately trying to find the time to get my 2-3 hours in a day with both kids. But then I give myself excuses. Once Sabrina stops coughing all night...

tiffanybaer said...

I think that's great! My dream is to get up before Lily. I feel like I could be more focused on her if I wasn't trying to get other things done while she's awake (since she doesn't nap super well). But if at least showered and checked emails before she was up, I'd be way ahead of the game. And if I even added exercise to that I'd utterly amaze myself. You have inspired me to at least think about getting up earlier. Baby steps :)

Julie said...

Laura! I just started doing this too! I was so bummed when I realized it was the only way! Your lucky she was takin two naps a day for as long as she was :) you do have one of the cutest babies in the world! ;)

Chelsey said...

Good for you Laura! I just started waking up earlier as my New Years Resolution and I am loving it too. Macy is awesome for sleeping in so late. What an angel! I'm glad you are feeling like you can do the things you like as well as the things Macy needs you to do. That's a definite win/win!