Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

How to Get Up Early — Even With a Crazy, Ever-Changing Schedule

How to Get Up Early Even With a Crazy, Ever Changing Schedule

I’m a homeschool mom of 4 with a wonderful husband who has a weird work schedule. For three days in a row, he has to be up and out the door by 4:30 a.m. Then he gets three days off with no set wakeup time. So, we all sleep in to catch up on what we missed the previous three days.

Every two months, he switches to being out by 5:15 p.m., working all night long and arriving an hour before the kids get up. I stay up late to see him over his “lunch” break at 11 p.m. The problem is, I’m tired the next day.

It seems once we finally get a rhythm of going to bed and getting up at a regular time, it gets switched. Do you have any advice on how to get up early when we have such a weird and ever-changing schedule? -a reader

This was such a great question — and I think it’s one that probably many people struggle with and I thought it’d be great to address it in a post.

Now, full disclosure here, I’ve never had a husband who was on a second shift. However, Jesse was in school and working part-time for the first few years of our marriage. When we were in Kansas City, he had a long commute. And when we moved back to Kansas, he had ever-changing hours and night court multiple times per week as part of running his own law firm.

Now that we both work together from home and homeschool our kids and travel regularly, our schedule is always changing and no two days are alike. So, even though Jesse hasn’t worked second shift, I have experienced what it’s like to have irregular work hours and a constantly changing schedule.

How to Get Up Early

With this in mind, here are a few thoughts and words of encouragement:

1. Don’t Compare

I think it is so easy for us to think: “If only I had a husband who worked an 8-5 job.” Or, “If only my kids would sleep through the night.” Or, “If only I didn’t have to work.”

It’s so easy to think that if we were in someone else’s shoes, we could get some sense of normalcy in our lives or we could get more organized or we could get on a better schedule. But here’s the truth: These thoughts will only lead to dissatisfaction in our lives and beat us down.

Embrace where you are. Stop wishing you were in a different place or had a different life. Stop waiting until you make it to a different season. Start right where you are to make changes in the right direction.

As it has well been said, “If we wait for perfect conditions, we’ll never get started at all.”

How to Get Up Early -- Even With a Crazy, Ever-Changing Schedule

2. Get on the Same Page as Your Spouse

Learning to communicate with your spouse and getting on the same page with them is key to not only having a great marriage, but also to being able to find a routine and rhythm that works for your own unique family and situation. 

Again, the comparisons have to stop. Don’t look at the way another couple is handling a situation and think, “Look how they do their life! We should do our life like that!” 

I’ve done this before… and I’ve nagged and dragged Jesse into changing our schedule in a way that isn’t right for us. The end result is tension and frustration. Do what works best for YOUR family — that’s all the matters! 

Hear me clearly on this: Your marriage is so much more important than having the perfect go to bed/get up schedule. Do what you can to get on the same page with your spouse and stop chasing someone else’s perfect schedule. Relationships are so much more important than schedules.

How to Get on the Same Page as Your Spouse

3. Focus on a Routine

I know how easy it is to stress out about having the perfect schedule. Instead of that, I want to challenge you to stop stressing over getting it perfect. Life happens, there are hard things that come up, and there are a whole lot of imperfect circumstances that are going to take place.

Stop worrying about getting up at the perfect time each day or going to bed at the perfect time each night. Instead, focus on implementing a good bedtime routine and wake-up routine. No matter what time you go to bed or get up, do the same few things before bed and the same few things when you get up. 

Figure out what you want to accomplish the first two hours you are awake. Then, challenge yourself to do the same 3-5 things each morning no matter what time you get up. This can make such a HUGE difference in your day — even if you get up at completely different times every morning.

Sure, I have issued the go to bed early challenge and the get up early challenge to you all, but that doesn’t mean I expect all of my readers to participate in the challenge or be shooting for the same times that we are trying to go to bed and get up. This is what Jesse and I have determined is a priority for our family, but it may not be the season for your family to be focusing on it. Again, do what is best for your family in the season of life you are in. 

How to Get Up Early -- Even With a Crazy, Ever-Changing Schedule4. Plan Two to Three Different Kinds of Morning Routines

Here is another place where you have to stop trying to reach perfection: Instead of trying to come up with the perfect routine that will work every single morning, come up with a few different morning routines based upon the common variations in your schedule. 

Plan one morning routine for when you are on one shift. Plan one for the other shift. And so on. Then, whenever you and your family roll out of bed and get going, you can choose which routine to go with and you aren’t “off plan”.

Planning for the interruptions in life will help you deal with what life throws at you. Instead of feeling like the constantly changing schedules are constantly throwing you off, you have planned for the variations and can just roll with punches!

What advice and suggestions do you have for this reader?


Want some practical help with setting up your day for success? Be sure to grab a copy of my brand-new online course, Make Over Your Mornings.

This 14-day online course includes videos, a workbook, and step-by-step projects and is designed to help you revolutionize your productivity, streamline your routines, invest your time in things that truly matter, and find more joy and peace in the process.

If you’ve ever wished that you could figure out how to get more done, have more organization in your life, and find time to spend on things you love, the Make Over Your Mornings Course is for you. Find out more about it here.

RARE Like Leap Year Magazine Sale

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 10.52.11 AM

Magazine Sale

Some amazing deals today in the Rare Like Leap Year Magazine Sale! Go here to see all of the titles in this sale, no coupon codes needed.

Some magazines that caught my eye include:

And many more, so make sure to check out all of the titles in this sale. This sale ends tomorrow, March 1st, 2016.

DaySpring: Dare to Dream and Change the World Coffee Mugs for just $3.33 shipped!

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 3.34.22 PM

You can get this Dare to Dream Coffee Mug or this Change the World Coffee Mug for just $3.33 shipped today! Here’s how:

  1. Add 3 Dare to Dream or Change the World coffee mugs at $5 each to your cart (it can be mix & match)
  2. Use coupon code B2G1MUGS at checkout to get one mug for free
  3. Your order will ship for free if you’re logged in to your DaySpring account (instead of checking out as guest).
  4. It’s like paying $3.33 shipped!

This is a great price on these mugs, and an easy way to stock up on inexpensive gift ideas!

You can still shop the Buy Two, Get One Free Coffee Mugs Sale through the end of today, too.

Valid today only, February 29, 2016.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

5 Ways to Save with Suburban and Urban Homesteading


Guest post from Valerie of Our Healthy Foodie Life

First things first: You may be asking, “What on earth is suburban/urban homesteading?”

To put it simply, suburban or urban homesteading is using practical, self-sufficiency skills to create what you consume at home. This can include growing your own food, making your own shampoo and body wash, sewing your own clothes, and much more.

I first began suburban homesteading last year when my husband and I bought our house. As new homeowners, we needed to save money wherever we could.

I started by growing our fruits and vegetables, and since then, I’ve started making our own cleaning supplies, bath and beauty products, and the list continues to grow.

As a result of my efforts over the past year, we have saved hundreds of dollars, and I’ve acquired new skills and hobbies in the process. Suburban homesteading has become a hobby and money-saving technique two-in-one.

If you’re thinking of trying suburban/urban homesteading yourself, here are five ways homesteading can save you hundreds every year:

1. Grow your own garden

Whether you live in a 600 sq. foot apartment in the city, or a 2200 sq. foot home in the suburbs with a large backyard, anyone can have a garden. You will obviously be able to plant more or less depending on size limitations, but everyone can have at least a small garden.

To get the most money-saving potential out of your garden, focus on growing high-value items. For example, herbs such as mint and basil can cost $3+ for one small clamshell container at the store. When grown at home, these herbs only cost pennies for the same quantity.

2. Make your own cleaning supplies

If you haven’t already made DIY cleaning products, you might be surprised to find how inexpensive and easy it is to make almost any cleaner you need. A quick search on Google or Pinterest will lead you to plenty of DIY cleaning product “recipes.”

Another added benefit? Nearly all DIY cleaning supplies are made with all-natural ingredients. That means in addition to saving money, you’ll avoid bringing harsh chemicals in to your home.

3. Mix your own bath and beauty products

Again, one quick search online and you’ll find ideas for nearly every bath or beauty product you could want to create! Body scrub, facial toner, moisturizers, and more.

Much like I mentioned with DIY cleaning supply “recipes,” you’ll find that DIY bath and beauty products are almost always free of harsh chemicals, and they are incredibly inexpensive to make.

4. Make simple home health remedies

While there is obviously no replacement for going to the doctor, there are a lot of wonderful DIY home health remedies that you can make. One example is elderberry syrup (my favorite DIY health remedy), which is said to help support the immune system.

If you buy pre-made elderberry syrup at the health store, prepare yourself to spend upwards of $15/bottle. When I make elderberry syrup at home, I spend about $3 per batch.

5. Create your own DIY home decor items

Even if you’re not super creative, there are plenty of easy, step-by-step instructional articles on how to create DIY home decor items. This can be as simple as assembling your own picture frame, or as complicated as building your own dining room table and beyond.

No matter what you decide to make, putting together your own home decor items can save you $10’s – $100’s per project.

Suburban/urban homesteading is NOT a radical, inconvenient, all-or-nothing way of life. You can make this concept your own, and do what works best for you and your life.

Do you practice any urban or suburban homesteading techniques? 

Valerie Jacobsen is the creator and writer for Our Healthy Foodie Life. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and two dogs.

photo source