Early to Bed, Early to Rise

by Stefani on 18-August-2008

Up With The Chickens

So, I thought I'd shake up my routine. 

Usually, I stay up way too late, messing around, writing, picking up, you know, putzing. 

Then,  in the morning, I am jarred awake by clattering around in the kitchen and lots of "sssssshhhhhhhhh!!!! You'll WAKE THEM UP" (this part being far louder than whatever he's admonishing)

After that, it's kind of foggy – kisses, hugs, and a lot of grunting, ingesting of caffeine and wondering, "Who am I? Who are these children? How did I get here?."

It isn't pretty. 
I feel like I'm playing catch up for half the day. My kids have a leg up on me before I'm even awake!

So, the plan was to just see if things went better if I went to bed earlier and got up earlier. 

I thought I'd read the paper and have some coffee, blog, fold the clothes, pop some muffins in the oven and be ready to greet the day and my babes when their sleepy-eyed selves came 'round the corner. I even thought maybe I'd get REALLY ahead and put dinner in the crock pot. Maybe I'd even premake their lunches and then I wouldn't have to stand around in the kitchen for the rest of the day!

So, I set my alarm and was in bed by 10 (incredibly early for me.)

Know what happened? 

I had just enough time to put the coffee on, quiet as a mouse, before my littles decided to wake up early too. 

And so, here we sit, outside, up with the chickens and the sun, enjoying the few minutes of the day that will be blissfully cool. 

I'm kind of thinking that this is just the way mommyhood is, and there isn't any way around it. It's a crazy, messy business, with me always a step behind the whirling, giggling, sprint-to-the-finish-line men in my life. 

Oh well, pass the coffee please. 

Regina August 18, 2008 at 6:13 am

I’d pass the coffee, but I just finished the pot – I will go brew another one, since my Munchkin got me up EARLY this morning (my day off, too!!!)

jenny August 18, 2008 at 6:31 am

boy, oh boy! happens every time. at least you got to feel the cool air (isn’t it lovely to have a little break after our heat spell? now if that promised rain would come!).

Toni August 18, 2008 at 6:33 am

Glad to here the chickens are still around! They must have made the one night out loose in the yard?

Anne August 18, 2008 at 6:57 am

Children seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to timing. Yes, pass the coffee.

tania August 18, 2008 at 6:58 am

this is one morning when mine are still all sleeping and I am awake..an unusual twist of events.

Jade August 18, 2008 at 7:17 am

Isn’t that exactly how it goes! You tried anyway!! I like the thought of you putzing around. Hehee…

Lily August 18, 2008 at 7:30 am

I know what you mean.I think my little ones have mummy radar.They catch me moving straight away.I get more peace when they go to bed at night.

erin August 18, 2008 at 7:34 am

the olympics are making the early to bed part hard for me.

Tammy August 18, 2008 at 7:40 am

…at least you know you have a whole host of mommies that are right there with you. I miss that hour of alone time I used to get just before the kids woke up. Oh well, I like the cuddle time too.

Myra August 18, 2008 at 7:44 am

We are trying to do the earlier to bed rountine with school starting next week and you know, the kids hear us in the kitchen (and we’re not cooking yet) and wake up within minutes. It is like they have a sensor built-in.

simply August 18, 2008 at 7:44 am

yup…it is a nice change isn’t it…I changed things up a while back…now I fall asleep a little eirlier and wake up with enough time to blog a bit with coffee in hand and all before the little ones wake up…aaahhhh nice :o)


Thimbleina August 18, 2008 at 8:05 am

My kids always are awake at the crack of dawn, they got up at 5.40am this morning and they wake up as if they are finishing the sentence they began when they went to sleep. It doesn’t take them an hour or so to come round they are loud from the start

Lynn August 18, 2008 at 8:17 am

There really must be some kind of vibe, some change in the atmosphere, that occurs when a mother gets up. Such that no matter how feather-footed quiet she manages to be, the littles sense that she’s up and needs their companionship. But I think it’s worth it to keep trying, because there’s nothing more delicious than pulling it off and starting the day with a bit of peace!

Shawn August 18, 2008 at 8:23 am

It’s so good to hear that someone else feels that way, too. 🙂

BlueLikeTheSky August 18, 2008 at 9:20 am

Loved this post. I’m all off-on-summer-time, too. My girl is always an early riser, and I’ve only just convinced her to carry on without waking me until 8:30 or 9.

Yesterday we had a big showdown over a mess she and friends had made throughout the downstairs, a mess she was supposed to have cleaned up before bedtime. Her father (aka The Smitten One) gave in and told her she could do it “first thing in the morning.” I told her that it absolutely, positively, MUST be done before I woke up and went downstairs.

Today of course – for the first time in her eight and a half years – she slept until 11. Her first sleepy words to me were, “I haven’t been downstairs yet, Mommy.” I told her, “I haven’t either.”

And off she’s gone to do her chore. It was worth a morning of sitting up here, twitching over all the things I needed to do downstairs (coffee among them) to hear her fess up to her responsibilitiy.

But I still want the as-yet-unmade coffee!

YayaOrchid August 18, 2008 at 9:45 am

What a yummy post! Being able to enjoy the coolness of the early morning with a cup of coffee….bliss! Wish I could go to bed early myself. Been having a wee bit of trouble with that. But the early morning rain woke me up today, that was nice.

Christie August 18, 2008 at 9:52 am

I feel like it has taken me 6 years just to realize that that I’m never actually going to get a handle on it or ever be a step ahead. Hopefully I can get a grip on that idea and accept it before it is all over.

elissa August 18, 2008 at 10:05 am

rats. you have just foiled my “plan b.” i am a sleepy mess in the morning. foggily wanting my coffee and just to tinkle in peace while they all pile on me and pull at me saying “mommy, GET UP, it’s MORRRRRNNing!” half the time i am “starting” my day at 10am by the time i am dressed and they are dressed and we are really ready to take a crack at something. secretly, i am always deciding that soon, VERY SOON, i will start setting an alarm in the morning and really get a jump on the day. every day. i have also always secretly believed that it might not work. so thanks for trying it and saving me the trouble. i’ll take mine with cream, please 😉

Corynne Escalante August 18, 2008 at 10:47 am

i know just what you mean! but i guiltily thought i was the only mother who doesn’t get up before her young…

Teresa August 18, 2008 at 10:49 am

No matter what time I wake up, the kids are sure to be up within thirty minutes of me stirring.

It gets frustrating at times, but it still is nice to great them and say goodmorning!

Amy August 18, 2008 at 11:25 am

That sounds about right!

At least you got to experience their morning routine through different eyes.

nina August 18, 2008 at 12:04 pm

I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one trying to wake before my children. My son wakes at 5am so I need to get up by 4:15 for a litle alone time. As you said it’s not so easy when you stay up too late.

I’ve thought about taking the coffee maker to my bedroom and staying in bed. It is the noise in the kitchen that lures them from sleep.

I hope you try again and have a bit of alone time success otherwise cuddling and sunrise is a success onto itself.

SpiderWomanKnits August 18, 2008 at 12:24 pm

I love this post!

Every night I tell myself I am going to go to bed earlier and wake up before the rest of the brood (chickens included) but alas, it never happens. My night time after they go to bed is sacred but I am wiped out by 3 the next day. By then it’s time to put on the second pot of coffee…

I finally posted pictures of our ladies/hens on my blog. Check ’em out if you can.

Melanie O. August 18, 2008 at 12:46 pm

This post is so funny to me because this is exactly what I promise myself I’m going to start doing “next week”. However, the times I’ve actually managed to go to bed early AND wake up early (before 630am), I find that the kids just wake up earlier! They seem to have a sixth sense about when mama wakes up! Sooo, maybe next week I’ll try to get up even earlier 😉

meg August 18, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Oh yeah, you have to get up REALLY early in the morning to squeeze in that amount of activity in the morning, and even that is no guarantee of a kid-free zone. And that, for me, is the true test of my mama flexibility: Allowing for interruptions before 6:30 a.m. Not fair! 😉

brit August 18, 2008 at 12:50 pm

that is exactly what happens to me every time….If I wake up early so do they….

stephanie August 18, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Oh yeah, that happens to me all the time. I love the solitude of the morning, and having a few minutes to get ready for the day, but it is hard to come by.

It never hurts to try. 🙂

melmo August 18, 2008 at 3:01 pm

me too…funny.

Beth August 18, 2008 at 4:49 pm

I like cream and splenda in mine please. I relish the days that I am able to actually sip a cup of coffee without children awake clamoring to get into my lap or asking for juice, etc. I have one friends that rises at 4.30 each day just to get ‘me’ time in for herself. Just keep refilling your mug. Eventually all the children will become teenagers and we won’t see them out of their beds before noon.

Hannah August 18, 2008 at 5:54 pm

You might not have gotten the serenity time you were planning (I SO hear you on this; on the rare occasion when this happens I almost don’t know what to do with myself!) … but your photo inspires serenity in the rest of us!

Jen August 18, 2008 at 6:10 pm

I’m so very impressed by your blog. It sometimes feels as if I’m reading my own life (and I have only one girl, odd isn’t it?). I came to your blog through the bandana pants link from Sew Mama, Sew (thank you very much, my daughter LOVES hers) and have spent the last few days working my way backwards through your life. I’ve laughed out-loud – to the point of tears – and have my husband wondering just what is so special about that laptop anyway? You live not far from my father’s home (Driftwood, about 1.5 miles from the Salt Lick) and I feel a sort of kinship that comes from being a Texan even though I haven’t lived in Texas for the last 9 years (oh my, has it been that long?) By the way, we homeschool as well, and my daughter fits neatly between your two oldest (6 and 3/4 – you have to say that last part), I think. Thanks for sharing your life, I’ll be tuning in to read more!

Sheila August 18, 2008 at 6:17 pm

lol!!! I think I may be living your life!

Miriam August 18, 2008 at 7:19 pm

I’m a nightowl, too and my girls are all early risers. I keep trying to wake up early, but going to bed at 2:00 AM and waking at 7:30 AM isn’t easy. I like the idea of going to bed early the night before. I’m not sure why I never thought about it before. LOL

Amy August 18, 2008 at 7:28 pm

Oh yes, go with the flow – that’s the rule, right? I find I do much better with a little quiet time to myself in the morning. But I think kids have a “mom’s up” sensor that alerts them to your state of wakefulness. In my case it’s a 7-month old’s cry for the goods at 6 am….

Ellie - Petalplum August 18, 2008 at 9:56 pm

And here I was thinking that all other mums got up before their kids; I’m not alone in that sleeping in after all. Mind you – my little one woke me at 4.30am, and drank up all my energy (via my breastmilk) for two hours, so I needed some more sleeping in after that!
I keep saying that I’ll try the waking up early thing, but don’t think it’ll work with my kids. My husband has been waking up at 5.30am, the kids don’t seem to have daddy radar, only mummy radar. poohy…..

enjoy your early coffee anyway. I suppose when they’re 15 or so they’ll sleep in a bit longer.

Lisa Kirker August 19, 2008 at 9:27 am

A step behind, isn’t that the truth! My mother keeps reminding Kyle and I that we’ll miss it someday.

Baba August 19, 2008 at 12:04 pm

My kids are grown, but I do remember the days. I feel for you.

hanna August 19, 2008 at 12:32 pm

hilarious, yip, that’s how it is with kids isn’t it! Us poor bedragled mothers.

The Mommy August 19, 2008 at 6:47 pm

I’m actually one of those lucky ones that get the early morning to myself. That’s usually my blog and comment time, my oh man how I love to sit on the porch alone in the foggy morning with my coffee time, and a few minutes of silence before the baby coos from her bassinet, and the teens start arguing over who gets the first shower, and the clanging and banging of cereal bowls, waffle plates and breakfast burrito thawing mania. Aaah to be mom.

Marjorie August 20, 2008 at 8:58 am

I can soooo relate to this.

Molly August 20, 2008 at 4:30 pm

thank you for confirming that the guilt I’ve lived with for years over this same scenario is not all my own.

Mary Smith August 20, 2008 at 10:01 pm

That is just the way. Just the way.

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