A few weeks ago, I embarked on an experiment that I so creatively dubbed, “The 5 a.m. Experiment.” The idea is just barely more creative than the name.
Levi, my 17 month old, is an early riser. You can bet that if the kid isn’t up by 6:15 he’s sick or going through a growth spurt because that kid likes to be up before the sun. He gets it from me since I consider myself a morning person. It wasn’t until I had kids, though, that I realized I’m not so much a morning person as much as I am a person who hates being woken up unless it’s by my own doing.
If I have a good reason to be awake and it’s my choice, I don’t mind my alarm going off telling me it’s time to start the day. I’m actually quite chipper and pleasant because it was my doing.
I do not, however, enjoy being woken up by my husband coming home or a loud noise outside or my son deciding it’s time play. Especially considering that about half the time when he wakes up, he also wakes up Lillian, and she is also not one who enjoys being woken up unless it was her idea.
I realized that since my kids were becoming my alarm clock, I was getting cranky. Really cranky. Like, “Here’s your milk, here’s breakfast, please don’t talk to me for an hour” kind of cranky. I didn’t like them, didn’t want to be around them, I just wanted to go back to bed.
Well that’s not a real great way to start one’s day, now is it?
So I decided to start waking up at 5 a.m. on my own. I would wake up, drink some coffee, check all the social medias, and then work on my book before Levi woke up. Theoretically, if I was up of my own accord I’d have a better attitude when my kids were up because I had some me time in the quiet stillness of my apartment.
And you know what?
Suddenly I found myself enjoying my children more. I enjoyed snuggling with them as we watched Sesame Street in the morning. I was more apt to play with them and do fun things with them because I didn’t wake up ticked off.
There’s been a few snags as there are with any plan. Levi was waking up even earlier–one morning at 4:45–and those days I kept telling Luke, “I can’t get up any earlier. I can’t get up at 4 a.m. That’s just madness.”
Luckily, it seems like he’s returning to his old schedule and I am once again enjoying my coffee and getting some work done as as Toni Hammer the writer and social media addict before truly starting my day as Toni Hammer the surprisingly happy mom.