By Katie Moosbrugger, co-founder of Triad Moms on Main
When this school year began, it brought about a big change in our house. This is a change I’ve been dreading since my daughter started school six years ago. I knew this day was coming and I couldn’t ignore the looming deadline. I started to prepare my mind and body as early as last year. I gave myself pep talks this summer. “Come on, Katie, you can do this. It’s not a big deal!” What is this change that pushed me to panic mode? That would be the daily 5:30 am wake up call for our middle school.
I know some of you are thinking “Boo-hoo”…you’ve been rising at this hour – or earlier – every day for years. But hear me out – I’ve never been a morning person and never desired to be one. Yet, with just a few weeks of middle school mornings under my belt, I am here to share a few lessons my early riser friends have known for years. And as dreadful as it can be, Lesson #7 has made it all worthwhile!
Lesson #1: Early Rising Puts Time On My Side
For years, I used to wake up as late as possible. I’d sometimes talk my kids into letting me drive them to school (instead of taking the bus) so we could enjoy an extra 30 minutes of sleep. However, that half hour quickly turned into more than an hour of wasted time sitting in car lines and traffic. Getting up earlier and taking advantage of the bus every morning has resulted in an extra 90 minutes of time in my day.
Lesson #2: Early Rising Makes Me More Organized
Pushing the snooze button didn’t make me well rested; it made me more disorganized. I used to scramble to make lunches and my coffee, walk and feed the dog, get the kids dressed and packed, get myself dressed, and squeeze in work time to check on TMoM and my morning emails. Should anything go wrong, my entire morning was shot and I was a mess. These days, I knock all of the above out (and sometimes I’ve exercised) all before 6:30 am. It certainly makes it easier to get a day started and makes me a happier mom!
Lesson #3: Early Rising Lets Me Plan Ahead
With added time and opportunity to get organized, I’ve noticed I’m more proactive. I have the quiet time to plan my days, weeks and even months without distraction. I’m better at remembering things (I am getting old!) as well as anticipating things that I may not have thought about. Side note: A Texas University study showed early risers earned a full point higher on their GPAs than those who were “night owls.” Just sayin’…
Lesson #4: Early Rising Makes Me Love Coffee More
I cannot lie. Coffee has become a trusted friend. Just don’t ask me how much I actually drink!
Lesson #5: Early Rising Makes Me Exercise More
Rarely did I scoot out the door before 9 am to get in my work out. And if I had an appointment during that late morning time frame – then oh well – I didn’t work out at all! However, last year I discovered a 5:30 am workout class that changed my outlook. Not only did it help me prepare for this year’s early wake ups, but it also made me more productive later in the day. I actually look forward to those early classes now and it doesn’t leave me time to reconsider working out!
Lesson #6: Early Rising Makes Me Sleep Better
I soon realized something had to give with this new schedule, and that would be my nights. My mind is fried by 8 pm. I literally get ready for bed with my kids. I used to be able to read much longer before going to sleep, and these days it’s hard to keep my eyes open even with the best of books. But when I crash, I crash hard and the best part – I’ve noticed my quality of sleep is improving!
Lesson #7: Early Rising Makes Me a Better Mom
This is the best change of all. Rising early lets me enjoy the calm before the storm, and that makes me a happy mom. This is a welcome change for all of us as opposed to my former stressed out and grumpy morning mom-self! Waking up earlier gives me that much-needed “me time” – and with all the reasons stated above – we are no longer scrambling to get out the door in the mornings. But the best perk of getting up earlier than usual is that I have more free time to spend with the family at night. Everyone wishes they could add more hours to their day, and I’m telling you – this is the way!