August 14, 2012

Desperate Part 4 ~ Get up!

Again, this morning, we are picking up with our friend Desperate.  

To get up to speed you can read up over here.

Part 1- Some Desperate Help for a Reader
Part 2- You Need a Schedule
Part 3- Moving Day for Baby

As before, I really encourage all of you to write and share your experiences.  What worked?  What didn't?  What was your turning point?  I know there are lots of things in previous emails we have not talked about yet, but this has some good day to day stuff that I think will be quick and easy to implement.  Let's re read this excerpt from Desperate's letter.

Hi! I am going to start waking earlier (once I have our schedules made). Getting ON the schedule is the tricky part! I am trying to plan - to plan ahead so that we are not spending entire days food shopping, etc. There is more added stress here than is needed. We end up spending Sundays going to Costco after church, getting home and then I make my list; run off to the regular grocery… we eat dinner so late. I am changing all of that. It just takes so much time. I feel it is lots of skipping showers and sleep on this end but I will catch up - I am nearly there. It's like I can see it in the distance.. We are getting close to NOT being in survival mode all the time. I need to get to bed here now. 

This can seem so simple, but for the sleep deprived Mama it is a difficult task, to say the least.  And yet if one can simply get up early, the difference it makes in how your day turns out is phenomenal.  In fact, as hard as it may seem, if you get up earlier you will find you get more sleep in the end.

For me and my family I find if I sleep anytime past 6 am, my day will be a challenge.  The trials grow proportionally with how much later I sleep.

1- When you rise later, the first thing to go is your study and prayer time.  Strike one.  If you start your day without the Lord your attitude will suffer.  If you start the day without your prayer support your focus will be off all day.  You  might find time to get it in during nap or after the kids go to bed at night but I assure you it will not be as effective as if you rose on time and dug into the word.  You must first fill your tank before you can fill the tanks of your family.

2- When you rise later, the next thing to go is time to tend to your needs or whatever gets you going for the day.  My morning goes like this... I wake up by 6 have my study/prayer and coffee time.  Allen joins me if he is at home.  Then I run.  Followed by shower and makeup.  By the time I greet my family at 8 am for devotions I am fully charged and ready to face whatever comes my way.  I have been physically and spiritually prepared for the day.  I once had a reader write me about how she found fault with my habit of not greeting the day until I have put my face on.  But the fact of the matter is that five or ten minute routine changes my entire spirit and makes me feel raring to go.  Find what makes you ready to go and get up early enough to make it part of your pre-kid routine.  The last week I have not slept well due to the pain in my knee.  As a result I have been getting up thirty to 90 minutes later.  We've had some rough mornings.  And keep in mind that my family is on auto pilot, unlike yours.  Everyone, except the baby, knows what to do, how to do it, when to do it.  They are all capable of getting the day going without me.

3- When you rise early, you accomplish something.  As long as I have run my own household, it has been my habit to make the bed before leaving the bedroom in the morning.  A few years ago when I was at the gym I somehow got talking about that with an older woman.  She said, "Dear, you need to air the bed out!"  Well, that may be true, but if I don't make the bed first thing, I don't know when I might return to do it.  And I know if I come back in the afternoon and find it unmade I would be frustrated.  When I had many preschoolers at once sometimes making the bed was the only accomplishment I had all day.  By hopping up and pulling the comforter up and fluffing the pillows right off, I had the feeling of getting at least one thing done before my babies were up and about.

If you have a lot of children around, you have a lot of laundry around.  And those piles can seem awful overwhelming, even to a veteran like me.  If you rise early, you can get at least one load in the washer before the kids are up and at least you have made some progress.  It really is a huge boost to your day.

Get up early enough to get your most important chore into your day.  You will feel accomplished.

4- Rising early buys you more hours.  I don't know why.  I don't know how.  I just know it is true.  I can get more done between 6 and 8 am then I could ever get done between 6 and 8 pm.  Even if all things are the same... no hubby, no kids, no interruptions.  It is just what it is.  Ask anyone who is in the habit of rising early and they will tell you the same.  Better yet, commit to it for one day and see if you aren't amazed at what happens.

5- By rising early, you will be less tired.  If you rise early, you will get more done and in turn won't stay up til all hours trying to catch up on laundry, dishes and cleaning.  You get to bed early and get more sleep.  If you get more sleep, you will find it easier to rise on time and a whole new wonderful cycle of healthy, more peaceful living has begun.

6- Rising early can be a good alternative when you need to think outside the box.  Before my kids were old enough to help with many of the jobs around the house, it was my regular habit to rise at 4 am.  I baked the bread, did my study, had my shower, did the laundry, ironed, sewed, cleaned, started breakfast or dinner... whatever needed to happen before waking my oldest girls at 6 am.  We did school from 6 am- 8am (yes, in their pajamas) when the two boys got up.  We worked and played through the morning together and then everyone rested or read school material when the boys napped after lunch.  Our situation was very extreme, as we had a chronically ill baby who needed constant attention for six months.  Both babies were in diapers with one exclusively nursing and the other bottle fed.  I suffered severe morning sickness and had a potty training preschooler.  We needed a way to get our work in and found evening hours just weren't productive for us.  This solution worked so well the girls continued with it even after the need was gone.

I suggest all wives and mothers develop the habit of rising early as soon as possible in their marriage.  It really is the key to a good day.  Challenge yourself to get up just 30 minutes earlier than normal tomorrow and see what a difference it makes.   


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