Thursday, October 2, 2014

Reclaiming My Mornings


Mornings...my favourite part of the day. Before Reece, I was a morning person. The alarm would go off a few mornings a week at 4:30am so I could make it to 5:30am swim practice. If I wasn't up for swim practice, I was up for a run, or a bike ride. And some mornings were set aside for a little quiet "me time". Justin is not a morning person, so I always had the early morning to myself, which I loved.

Then I became a mom. Reece was what I call a cluster feeder. He would start nursing around 4am each morning, and nurse on and off until about 7am. Of course, that meant morning "me time" was a thing of the past. Truthfully, I didn't worry too much about it, I realized that this was just a small part of my journey, and if I had to give up my mornings for my little man, well, I was okay with that. That is not to say I didn't miss them, but I was okay with missing them.

What I didn't realize was that Reece would go on to nurse for quite some time. His evening, through the night and morning feeds were the ones he clung to. It was around the beginning of this year that he gave up the middle of the night feedings and the morning feed. Can I tell you how wonderful it was to sleep through the night? I bet you know exactly how wonderful that was. And no more morning feeds. But we were (and still are) co-sleeping, so now that I could get out of bed in the early quiet darkness of our home, my light sleeper made that a little difficult. I would use every acrobatic move I could think of to wriggle my way out of bed, and tip toe out of the room. I would make it to the kitchen, get the kettle plugged in, and then hear "Mom" from across the house. And so back to bed to snuggle I would go. I would try to sneak out again, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.

It was sometime in mid-May, as Reece began what I believe is the six/seven year transformation, our breastfeeding relationship ended. He was still sleeping through the night, and all of a sudden his morning sleep was much deeper. I was able to quietly get up, walk out of the room, and spend a bit of time alone in our home.

I was in heaven. The journal came out, and I wrote as I enjoyed my hot water and lemon. I squeezed in a little exercise and meditation, and moved my afternoon runs back to the morning. I was able to check in with emails, read a few blogs, and sometimes write a post. The kettle would be put back on, a cup of tea made, and I would get ready for the day. By the time my little man tip toed out of bed, I was dressed and completely ready to start the day.

I have reclaimed my mornings, and I can't tell you how wonderful that is, although I am sure some of you know exactly how I feel. I have to admit, I have been a bit hesitant to write about this, you know, jinxing it and all, but after 4 months, we have fallen into a nice rhythm with it, and I think sharing here today will be okay (but I do have my fingers crossed). He did wake up at 5:30am yesterday morning, shortly after I got up, and has done that a few times. Most times I can convince him it is still night time, and he will fall back to sleep. Not yesterday morning. But he did get dressed, and then came out to the sofa and sat quietly finger knitting while I finished my exercise and meditation, and did a few preparations for our day. And so, as with most things on my mothering journey, there will be an ebb and flow to this new rhythm, and I am perfectly okay with that.

Are you a morning person?

34 comments:

  1. I do love the mornings, and when I get up early I'm always so happy I did, though never quite as early as you! But I have a similar situation with Maria, she still sleeps with us and she has an uncanny knack of knowing when I've got up! And frequently I stay up late getting things done and so struggle to get out of bed in the mornings anyway. Having said that I did manage lots of early morning productivity over the Summer, and this week has been good too. It definitely starts you off in the right way for the day, feeling ready and organised rather than trying to catch up all day. So glad you're reclaiming your mornings now.

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    1. It's amazing how they know when we get up, isn't it? They must have little radars :)

      I agree with you, totally sets me up for the day, and tends to make our days flow so much better too.

      Thanks, hope you are successful in reclaiming yours too :)

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  2. yes, i'm one too. I'm lucky because everyone else in this clan can sleep forever (even as babies). It was never mornings i had to reclaim, but my early bedtime (my babes were total night owls).

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    1. Wow, how wonderful, although the whole night owl thing...not for me :)

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  3. My quiet "me" time is often at night after everyone is in bed asleep. My issue is that I often let time get away from me and before I realize it, it is after midnight!

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    1. That is what became my "me time" when little man was waking early, and needing me. Evenings are just not the same as mornings though. Mornings set me up for my day, and just sort get things started on the right foot. I am happy to have them back :)

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  4. I am 100% a morning person... Give me a 5am wake up and a 9pm bedtime any day of the week. But like you, I have a very light sleeper in little man. He does not feed at night anymore, but will still wake up (and I mean standing up in bed) 2 sometimes 3 times a night and needs gentle back rub and a bit of shushing to calm down. He is not a very good self soother. And he is a 4h30am waker, so bye bye mornings still. But he goes back down for a nap every morning around 8h30 am so that becomes my me time. We've started going to bed a bit later too. That extra hour gives hubby and me some "us" time. It's been nice. Hopefully, Little Man will grow into an early teenager like his sister has (8pm to sometimes 7am non interrupted + a 2 hour nap in the afternoon!) but for now, we manage.

    So happy you are getting some you time. So important!

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    1. Now I don't quite go to bed that early, if I did, I would never see Justin :) But I am usually in bed by 10pm, or shortly after. It is nice that your little man goes back down for his morning nap and you can incorporate a little time for yourself then. I have to say that even though Reece was feeding away at 4am as a little one, he was never totally up. He was happily nursing and dozing. He has never been a consistent early riser, thank goodness.

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  5. Just when we think we have it, something else happens to help us continue to grow. I have found this with reclaiming time for myself as well. Every stage of parenting requires some sacrifice on our part, and when we just get used to it, you have to change it all again. But you know, I have realized that I truly only have them in my care for such a short time, that I will continue to make these sacrifices. I am so glad you are making time for yourself and finding a flow again. These times for ourselves make us better mothers.

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    1. I totally agree, making time for ourselves, in the end helps us to be better mothers. It is nice to have a rhythm with it, and so nice to have the quiet in the morning. Let's hope I don't have to change it all again soon :)

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  6. I am a morning person, but both of my girls have always been morning people too. They are the ones getting me up early. Lately though S has changed her Rhythm, I think the darkening days help. She will wake up at 7 now. It's a blessing to have her wake up a little later so that I can wake up first. Though V comes into the bed with me every morning at sunrise so she is my alarm clock. But I am a happy person in the morning. I don't have my mornings back yet so I used the evenings for getting things done. But I'm sure mornings will come again soon.

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    1. Oh no, that is not fun. Although having sweet V as an alarm clock isn't too bad :)

      That is exactly what I have done all these years KC, use my evenings, sometimes into the wee hours of the morning. I have to admit though, that having the mornings back is really awesome, and it leaves my evenings open for chilling with tea, and more of the stuff I really enjoy...reading, knitting or other crafty fun.

      And yes, you will have mornings back again one day, and you will appreciate them so much. xo

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  7. I am a morning person and I married a night person. My children can be morning people but not as early as me :) I remember those first days without a baby or toddler in the early morning. I felt happy and lost (only briefly!) and when they woke I was happy to greet them and start their day.

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    1. You know Karen, one of the best things about my early mornings is hearing him stretch and yawn, and chat to himself a little bit when he wakes up. Most times he will call out to me, but some mornings there is the pitter patter of his little feet as he sneaks out of the room, hoping I won't hear him. Definitely a sweet way to start our day together.

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  8. What a beautiful story Kim. It feels so good to get a full nights sleep doesn't it? It's as you say though, it is just a short time out of our lives. It feels like it will never end, but then in the blink of an eye it's gone.

    Last night was my first night of staying up a bit later than normal to pick up my nearly 17 year old from a party. A new transition for me.

    I am not a morning person. I wish I was but I'm not.

    Hope you have had a lovely day so far Kim. xo

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    1. You have no idea how good it feels to finally be sleeping through the night. Wonderful!

      Oh goodness, I can't even imagine Julie, what a transition for sure. Your little ones are growing up, big time.

      Enjoy your weekend my friend. xo

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  9. I am a morning person and like Karen I married a night person. I love to rise before the sunrise when those in my world are still asleep, it gives me time to plan my day, read my bible and knit, run or bike ride and then have breakfast cooking as they start to wake up. I guard this time carefully and those who know me know this so my world is good!

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    1. That is wonderful Tracey. Justin really understands how important this time is for me too. Always nice to have a supportive family :)

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  10. I so wish I could be a morning person, but like you I have a nurser and a snuggler who just won't let me leave the bed. All of my boys were the same. The minute I did the whole acrobatics thing they knew I had left the room and would call. So I will just keep on keeping on and someday- several years from now I may reclaim my mornings.

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    1. I call that surrender Rosemarie. And I have done that a lot on this journey. It means little changes, some call them sacrifices, for short periods of time, but then things come full circle and before you know it you can reclaim some of the things you might have been missing.

      It will happen one day, but for now, soak up those early morning snuggles, those only last so long. xo

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  11. I always call that the mama radar. We only co-sleep with the younger two, but even my older ones seem to sense the mornings I decide to get up extra early and pretty soon everyone is awake. :) I'm glad you are getting your mornings back! And I love hearing about your long nursing relationship. My older kids were weaned by the age of 3 or 4, but I can't bear to think of not nursing...so I may end up nursing Fenna even longer. ;)

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    1. Ah, yes! It is such a good radar too, isn't it? Thank you, it is something I have not shared often in this space, and something I definitely want to write about, just not ready yet. One day...

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  12. You are an EPIC morning person! Hats off to you! I was a morning person and so was my husband. With three little ones around however, we cling to every spare minute of sleep we can get. And to give you perspective, sleeping in means waking up at 7:30. Ahh, I look forward to reclaiming my mornings too. There is peace and energy to be found in getting prepared for the day before the kids are up. So happy you are back in your zen!

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    1. Haha, thanks Alexa. I do like the early mornings :) One day those mornings will be yours again, but for now enjoy the extra sleep. xo

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  13. Oh that sounds lovely. And I love how you took things as they came, accepting what they needed to be at the different points in time. I'm actually more of an evening/night person. And I got a wonderful treat this morning with my daughter and bub sleeping in with me, so we got up at 9.30! my kind of morning :-)

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    1. Happy you enjoyed your morning :)

      Thank you. It can be hard at times to surrender to what is, but I learned early in my mothering journey, that that is exactly what is required of me. To surrender, let go, and just enjoy this moment. It has made a huge difference not only with my journey as a mother, but with my life. Such a wonderful lesson.

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  14. I read this post last night, and l kept on thinking...our experiences with children couldn't be more different, but l totally appreciate how wonderful it must feel to reclaim your mornings.
    Bella was only breastfed for three weeks, and then went on the bottle. We've never co-slept either, just not for us. In fact when Bella has to sleep with even another person in her room now...she's always unsettled. Us girls like our own space when sleeping!
    Amazing how different all of our journeys are. But l remember that sense of reclaiming some time for yourself....amazing! Enjoy Kim. xx

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    1. Thanks Chrisy, I am really enjoying the time, and hope I will continue to do so :)

      As for our journeys being different, I think that is what makes this world such a wonderful place, at least some parts of our world. We have the choice and freedom to parent our children in the way that feels right for us, and is right for our children. It is a beautiful thing. xo

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  15. Hooray! What a great feeling. Finn is a morning person as well..... so sometimes I can sneak in 20 or 30 minutes of me time, but usually as soon as I am awake I hear him crawl out of bed. Phoebe, on the other hand, loves to sleep in. Funny how different children can be.
    And, I just want to applaud you for continuing your nursing relationship with Reece for as long as you did, especially during the middle of the night. Finn self weaned before he was even two, which made me sad, as I wasn't quite ready for it. But I do remember how nice it was to be able to sleep through the night again!

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    1. It is a great feeling!

      Thank you. It is funny, I had no idea how long I would nurse when I started, but it feels like it ended at the right time. And sleeping through the night again...well that is pretty amazing!

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  16. I joke that I was a morning person - before I had kids! I still prefer my mornings to myself and to get ahead on my day but at least my Biggest is also a morning person so I'm having to learn to share. ;-)

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    1. Yes, I think a lot of us were :) Sharing is good too.

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  17. I am not a morning person, never have been. My happy time is night time, that's when I feel the most creative, relaxed and content. Sometimes I wish I were a morning person... it seems so nice to wake up well before the children and have some time alone to start the day.

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    1. I am happy you have found your happy time. I think that is key, finding the time that works for you. It is nice to wake up, and get the day started. I enjoy it, but it is not for everyone. Enjoy your evenings :)

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