As we’ve been going through the Get Up Early Challenge this month, so many moms have written in and told me how they would love to get up early but they just can’t figure out how to do so because they have young children. If that’s you, this post is for you.
However, I need to preface it with this: I’m all about grace, not guilt. If you feel like you’re in a season of life where you’re not supposed to be getting up early, then this post isn’t for you. Just skip it.
Also, remember that everyone’s definition of “early” will differ, depending on life circumstances. I may be getting up at 5 a.m., but you could be getting up at 6, 7, or 8 a.m.. Everybody’s schedule is different. Do what works for you, okay?
Now that we have that out of the way, here are my tips on how to get up early even if you have young kids:
1. Cut the excuses.
We can spend so much of our life living under lies. We live under the lies that we aren’t good enough, we can’t do that, we’re not X. When we tell ourselves lies for long enough, we start believing them to be truths.
Some people truly do thrive in the morning and some people thrive in the evening. But don’t say, “I’m not a morning person” if you’ve never tried being a morning person before.
If you’ve not gotten up early for 3-4 weeks in a row, you can’t really say one way or the other what you are. So don’t tell yourself “I’m not a morning person”, if you’ve not proven that statement to be true.
Ask yourself what kind of messaging you’re telling yourself not just about this, but about all areas of life. Cut the excuses and don’t let them hold you back, because you usually have to believe that you can actually do something before you’ll really try to do it!
2. Go to bed early…if you can.
You are not going to successfully get up early if you stay up late. You have to develop the discipline of going to bed early.
What are you staying up doing at night? Is it productive or mindless? Some people get SO much done at night or they intentionally stay up to do something that they love and that refreshes them. I’m all for that!
But if you’re getting sucked into the rabbit hole of social media, or you’re mindlessly filling time just to avoid going to bed, then give going to bed earlier a try!
You might even challenge yourself to go to bed shortly after your kids go to bed. For some of you this won’t work, and I’m definitely not asking you to sacrifice your marriage and time with your husband for this, but at least consider the idea of going to bed shortly after your kids do and then maybe getting time alone with your husband before they get up in the morning.
3. Try getting up 15 minutes earlier.
Instead of feeling like you have to revamp your entire schedule and life, try making small changes over time. Even 15 minutes can make such a difference.
By getting up 15 minutes earlier, you could have time to spend thinking, praying, exercising, journaling, reading God’s word, and/or planning your day… there are so many different options! Pick one or two of these things that you are going to get up and do during the first 15 minutes of your morning.
Then, challenge yourself to go to bed 15 minutes earlier and get up 15 minutes earlier and invest a little time into something that will refresh, encourage, and positively impact your life!
4. Take a nap when your kids do.
As moms, we often think we shouldn’t nap when our kids nap, because it’s wasted precious time to be productive. But think about this: What if you were able to get up an hour earlier and really knock out your to-do list, so that you could enjoy a nap during your kids’ nap time?
Over time, I have become a big fan of napping. One morning last week, I took a nap around 9:30 a.m. because I realized I wasn’t going to be able to make it through the rest of the day.
Because I had gotten up early and I was finished with all of my important morning tasks, I was able to just lie down and take a short nap. I didn’t have any guilt, and I felt so refreshed and rested for the rest of the day!
5. Teach your kids to stay in their rooms longer.
I know this one is controversial, but as parents, we are in charge. In most cases, we can teach our children to stay in their rooms longer, so that we can have more time in the mornings to be productive. (Have you seen these Okay to Wake Clocks? I’ve had many moms rave about their effectiveness to me!)
Think outside the box. Get creative! And remember to give yourself grace and focus on the progress you are making — not on how far you might be from where you’d like to be!
What do you find helps you get up early each morning, even with younger children?
P.S. For more encouragement and practical ideas, watch my video here on how moms of young kids can get up early.
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