and those that are "night owls" (like my mother's side) who love the chance to sleep in at every opportunity and face waking up like this:
Well, based on the title alone, I think you can already guess what type of person I fit into. That's right, I'm more of a Cameron in the morning than the bright and cheery Dickey Fox...until now! Ready for some inspirational words of wisdom? Ready to hear the secret to my success? Well, there are two steps I now follow in order to be that morning person and mom I know I need to be...they aren't difficult steps, but are definitely easier said than done.
Step 1: Go to bed earlier...surprising, isn't it? Instead of falling asleep around midnight/one o'clock watching Bravo, Conan, or Investigation Discovery (super addicting channel...), I'm in bed by 10:30, no TV, no excuses.
Step 2: Get OUT of bed when the alarm goes off once...not twice or on some occasions in my past...seven or eight. I have to physically tell myself to GET UP and once that happens, viola! My day has begun.
Ever since becoming a parent about 16 months ago, I have told myself in the deep, deep part of my conscience, "Michelle, you really should be getting up earlier, work out, read your Bible, spend time in prayer, yada, yada, yada...You'll feel better, have more energy, will start your day off right, etc, etc" Notice a key word in that phrase "should". How many times do we tell ourselves what we SHOULD do instead of actually DOING it. Does this sound familiar to you like it does to me?
"I really SHOULD stop snacking at night."
"I really SHOULD start running again."
"I really SHOULD stop being so negative."
"I really SHOULD stop watching the Millionaire Matchmaker marathon on Bravo and be more productive with my time." (well, maybe that is just me...)
So with my 30th birthday fast approaching (eek!) and baby number two on the way, oh, and having a year to be home raising my son I started telling myself the "should" statements over and over again about what type of mother I want to be. "I should be a mother who is patient, gets up early to study the Word, stays organized, has energy, is positive..." Well, I'm happy to report that the foot has come down and the "should" statements are over. If I want to be this mother I say I want to be, then what am I DOING about it? Now, let's be honest...nowhere have I told myself I should or want to be the "perfect" mother. I am not and never will be ...so with that out of the way, I have things about my habits that I needed to change and I am now doing something about it.
What helped me really push things into gear is a website/blog I ran across called Inspired to Action. I highly recommend any believing parent (or Christian, working or not) to peek at it. The author, Kat, has just a grounded, Christ-centered perspective on being a mother and also knows the importance of starting your day right. I downloaded her free e-book "Maximize Your Mornings" and it has helped me formulate and structure what I have been wanting to do for so long. In her book, she describes her mornings that start at 5:30 a.m. with personal Bible Study, excercise, and planning her day. In the two hours she has before her kids are awake, she has accomplished so much and is fully ready to begin her day on the right foot. My goals right now are to eventually wake up at 5:30 a.m. (right now I am up by 6:00), be in the Word, journal, and plan my day. I am being realistic (at 22 weeks pregnant) and not starting an excercise routine...sorry, but this preggo isn't sweating to the oldies at 6 a.m. quite yet.
With any new change (and believe me, getting up before Noah's normal 7:30 wake-up time is a change considering the summer months Nick and I have traded off who gets to sleep in...) there will be some challenges. Obviously, not hitting the snooze button is mine. Granted, when I was a working mother I was up early in the morning because I HAD to be...however, the snooze button was my friend then too. It was like a grandmother nudging you in the morning gently trying to wake you up without being too harsh. Checking on you occasionally to "wake up, darling...I made pancakes." I wouldn't ever fall back into a DEEP sleep but would lie in bed thinking about my day with eyes shut, covers pulled tighter, and breathing steady. With my new routine...the snooze has to be done. There are no more second chances to waking up...it's too dangerous to think "well, I don't really have to BE anywhere..." Yes I do...I need to be downstairs with my cup of coffee listening to God in his Word. That's where I need to be! I am up with the sound of the beeping, not only so Noah doesn't hear it and wake up...but because I know how important this morning time is to my new routine.
My new routine, I am happy (and a little embarassed to say since I'm writing so much about it) has only been a week...but I am just so excited and happy that I want to be accountable to others now. I feel like it's the "January" of my life and I'm starting a new resolution and I know the true test will be 6 or 8 weeks into it...am I still doing my routine then? How many of us have "resolved" to lose 10 pounds by Valentine's only to starve ourselves January 1-5th and then say "screw it..." once we hit the movies and have to have that box of peanut M & M's. (again, perhaps that is just me....). Accountability is the real reason I'm writing about this as well as to encourage anyone else to peek at the blog or e-book I mentioned if they also want to start a new morning routine grounded in God's Word.
Here is the link for the e-book if interested. I also have it posted on my side bar.
Check back with me in about 6-8 weeks...and hoping to report that while I am not perfect and will fall here and there, I am desiring to make this routine a life-long habit focusing on being FAITHFUL to it and not perfect. Maybe by then I will post my own "Dickey Fox" You Tube video of me leaping out of bed, clapping my hands, and saying "today is going to be a wonderful day!" :-) Where's that video camera?