Guest post from Laura of LauraVanderkam.com
Once upon a time, I was a night owl.
I worked some late night jobs in college, and I’d still love to write until 2 a.m. Early evening seems to me like an ideal time to exercise.
But there’s just one problem with those scenarios. Well, several problems, really.
By 7 a.m., my three children are all up and ready to greet the day. Around 8 a.m., the emails and phone calls related to my job start coming in. That continues until dinner time, when the kids are not about to let me sneak out to go to yoga class.
And so, I’ve started to see the benefits in getting a jump on the day. Last summer, I got in the habit of going to bed on time and setting my alarm for 6:20 a.m. I’d dress quickly, then go for a 40-minute run while people slept. I’d come home refreshed, with lots of great article bouncing around my head.
What could you do if you got up 45 minutes to an hour before your children? What personal priorities could you make time for when you’re energized by a good night’s sleep? Here are four ideas for morning habits:
Figuring out how to stuff three kids in a jog stroller is not so fun. But as long as your husband or another relative is home, you can get up before the gang, go for a run (or swim, bike, or take an exercise class) and enjoy some blissful, endorphin-producing solitude.
2. Do spiritual work.
It’s hard to “be still and know that I am God” when one kid is screaming in a crib and another just knocked over her milk. Get up before your kids, though, and you can pray and read the Bible or a devotional book without being interrupted.
3. Bond with your husband.
If date night rarely happens, what about date breakfast? You don’t have to leave the house — but having coffee on the back porch together, with grown-up conversation can be a great way to start the day.
In an hour or less, you can write a blog post. You can write a few hundred words in a novel. You can design jewelry to sell on Etsy or indulge your crafty side and become a star on Pinterest. You can paint. You can take photographs if it’s light out. You probably can’t compose a piano sonata without waking everyone up, but you get the idea!
Moms often think there’s no time for personal passions once the kids come along. But there is time. The early hours before most people are eating breakfast are available to all of us if we choose to use them. If you want something to happen, why not do it first?
Laura Vanderkam, author of the new ebook What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, blogs at LauraVanderkam.com
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