I have been a mom for over a decade now. Before that, my favorite thing to do in the morning was to sleep until the last possible moment before I had to jump up, get ready and still be at work on time. It was a challenge to me. I took pride in sleeping as late as possible and still getting to work exactly at 7:30 AM. Now days sleeping until 7:00 is a distant memory.
Since my son began sleeping through the night he has woken up each morning at 5:00. I tried denying it and allowing him to hang out in his crib or bed. Then he climbed out of his crib and bed and into the kitchen cabinets looking for breakfast. So I caved and turned myself into a morning person. And you know what? It’s kinda great. The mornings have become quiet time that makes me and my son feel calmer, more connected and prepared for the day.
Now days, I set my alarm for 5:00 AM. I set it to something pleasant enough not to startle me awake but annoyingly repetitive that I must turn it off and get up.
I go to my son and cover his sleepy face with kisses. He smiles first thing in the morning and I feel good because I got some kisses in early before he has to save face in front of his friends. It will not be too long now before he is completely over mom’s morning kisses so I will continue this practice as long as he allows.
Even with breakfast, start of the day chores and having to leave for a 30-minute drive to school we still have over an hour before we have to leave. So we take the time to watch an episode of Star Trek Next Generation (we are big nerds). This is when the magic can happen. If I am lucky he will look up and tell me what’s going on at school, what he and his friends do at recess, what projects he is starting or if he is having any problems. It doesn’t happen every morning but enough so that I cherish this time. With his feet in my lap, he talks to me until it is time to put on our shoes and get in the car.
We breathe, we are ready for our day and no matter what else happens during the day we have had this time to connect. Martha Beck says that there are three basic needs that we often try to meet in negative ways. These are freedom, kindness, and rest. “These three things can be the keys to breaking through repetitive negative patterns.”(May We Help You from the March 2016 Oprah magazine). I was fighting against my need for more sleep by relentlessly trying to hold onto my old habit of sleeping late. I was getting rest but at the expense of the connection and time with my son. And the tension and arguments that sleeping late contributed to left me feeling drained and sad.
Now we set a tone of good will and cooperation. I feel better about my day and he goes to school without too much fuss and complaining. We have freedom to do those things we like in the morning, we have rest because face it we have to go to bed early in order to wake early and we have kindness because we are not rushed and annoyed with one another.
I know this is going to change as he grows and maybe mornings will no longer be “our time”. Still, I will continue to offer to him those things that I need: freedom, kindness and rest. The important thing is offer them no matter if it’s at 5:00 am or during the after-school pick up or even during late morning breakfasts on the weekend. Find time to offer our kids these things we all need.[themify_box style=”lavender rounded” ]ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Molly Pettis Reid is a mom, wife, writer and artist. Molly also teaches a program called Infinite Possibilities that encourages people to take control of their own happiness and achieve their goals. She is a firm believer in naps![/themify_box]
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