My Journey as a Mother: Confessions of a Night Owl

Y’all, having early-rising kids is hard.

That’s a statement that (if you know my kids well) would get me stoned by many. My kids rise between 7:00 and 8:00am. I know there are a LOT of you with kids that get up WAY earlier. But this is still a struggle for me a lot of days… because I’m just not a morning person. Now, if I can get up (after several alarm snoozes), take a shower, make myself breakfast and coffee, and have a while to myself, I’m not so bad. I mean, I taught school for 6 years and was fine by the time I got there. But that’s an hour or more after I woke up, and frankly, before that, I’m not worth seeing.

My kids, however, often get the blunt end of my morning crankiness. I try not to be mean or anything, but often I’m blase and awkwardly quiet – avoiding using my voice at all costs. They are chatterboxes, full of life and cuteness no matter what time it is, and I’m giving them 10% (unless you count the 90% of my strength it takes to change the inevitable poopy diapers and not choke).

I have heard from a lot of my stay-at-home mama friends recently that they’ve made resolutions to get up before their kids. The reasons are different for everyone: chores, quiet time, uninterrupted shower, breakfast with their husbands, working from home, or any combination of these. For me, it sounds great. It sounds like the perfect solution to not getting much alone time, needing a shower first thing to wake me up, and being able to ingest some caffeine before I had to speak out loud.

But in practice, it just isn’t going to work.

For one, my kids each get up at different times than the other kid and at different times every day. There’s almost no way I can plan on how to give myself thirty minutes or an hour without accidentally giving myself two hours or negative twenty minutes. I might have one up by 6:15, and one sleep till 8:00. I might have them both up between 7:15 and 7:30. On the rare occasion I need to be up to leave the house early, and don’t set an alarm, because the kids will definitely wake up, I will wake up all on my own around 8:05. Of course.

Secondly, if I knew I had a guaranteed hour (let’s just say I would), I’d probably be arguing with myself over a shower, a whole pot of coffee, two loads of laundry, a kitchen deep clean, and three new blog posts. And that list completely left out any quiet time in the Word before the rest of my world distracts me. See! Too many things vying for my attention before my people are even awake.

But at night, like right now as I write this (it’s 9:57pm) I’ve written several blog posts, done a load of laundry, and I have some one-on-one time with the Hubby planned. I’m not even tired yet! I mean, my pregnant body is sorta sick of standing up, but I’m not sleepy. I could probably keep going for several more hours, or until I lay my head down. I don’t have trouble falling asleep when I let myself rest. I just have trouble waking up, no matter how much sleep I’ve had. That’s got to be a problem, right?

The only exception to this weirdness about not waking up well is when I have a newborn. Somehow my hormones or my motherly instinct is jumping that first couple of months of my child’s life. It’s like my body knows I’d never be able to support a newborn unless I made a change. I can magically pop out of the bed when I hear the hungry cry of a baby, and after a quick pee, I’m rushing into the room, changing a diaper, whipping out my boobs, ready to nourish my child. That energetic waking goes away the first few nights of sleep I get uninterrupted. God forbid the sleep schedule should regress a little…

But most days, I man up. I don’t roll over and beg my late-night-working husband to do the morning routine instead. I love those little chatterboxes, and their ridiculously chipper morning attitudes, no matter what time it is. It’s tough, but so are a lot of things about being a mother. I’m sure I’ll do tougher things. But for now, my daily struggle of waking up in the morning, compounded by pregnancy and my night owl tendencies, will continue to be blown away by the morning blessings of my cuties, their smiles, their smells (am I right?!), their snuggles, and their relentless need for breakfast. I love those guys.

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7 thoughts on “My Journey as a Mother: Confessions of a Night Owl”

  1. I’m so opposite, totally a morning person. I need at least 30 minutes in the morning of time to myself. I cannot get them asleep at night, so the mornings are the only time I have to myself. I hope you get to have naps. Pregnancy naps rule!

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  2. It’s like you were writing about me Whitney, except the being pregnant part! Here I’m typing this at 1:24 am when everyone else in my household slumber a peacefully. I don’t drink caffeine so the big pick me and wake me up is my breakfast shake. If I don’t have that I’m a bear with a sore arse. My little chatter boxes are early risers too, especially my oldest. But my youngest he will switch it up and wake up at 7 am and the other days 10 am. And it’s always the days I have an early appointment. For better or for worse I sneek whatever nap time I can in. It helps to have those night owl moments too. Great post, thank you for sharing your heart. 😊

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  3. I was just talking to my husband about this last night! I too am a complete night owl (since birth apparently). We were discussing no matter how much sleep I get I am never ready to wake up in the morning. Before I had kids, I didn’t take that into account when planning how motherhood would go (you did that to right?) Of course I would wake early, be showered, dressed, have breakfast and coffee in my belly and a home cooked breakfast ready for my kids when they woke up. I would spend my early mornings tidying up the house and getting things ready for the day. For a long time I felt like I have failed then I read a book and the author, who had the exact same vision and sleeping habits , pointed out that I wasn’t being honest about my strengths and weaknesses. So cereal and TV for my kids in the morning while I wake up will have to be enough for now and I’m OK with that!

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