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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

My #1 Mom Hack

Having children and taking care of little people's needs means life gets busier, more frequently interrupted, and there is less down time. All things we are very aware of going into motherhood, and we wouldn't have it any other way! We feel tired because our sleep becomes a secondary priority. We are less productive because we meeting needs constantly. It can be hard to get anything accomplished outside of mommying when days are unpredictable and our only real time to work on anything else is while our children are asleep or if we have a babysitter.

 If we have 2 hours max during nap time, we have to decide whether to eat, pee, rest, shower, exercise, clean, talk to a friend, or work on  our personal goals/passions. It's pretty much impossible to do all the things as it is, no wonder we feel like crying on days when our kids miss nap time.

Some babies are great sleepers, and sleep for 12 hours straight. Others are not. My children have been all over the map, and its hard to plan your day when its so unpredictable. It's hard to live for nap time, then have days where nap time never comes, or stay up late to be productive then be up all night with a baby. 

I was sleeping until my babies woke up in the morning, but then from the minute I opened my eyes, I was responding to requests and my kids were calling the shots. I felt like I was in defensive mode all day, putting out fires instead of preventing them. I would try to accomplish things in between meeting needs, and banked on nap time to do everything else. There was no way to determine how much would be accomplished that day, and everything that didn't would be pushed to the next day. So, laundry piled up, clutter got worse, and I had to stop taking art orders because I had no idea when they would get done. I would be in PJ's until 3 and I would forget to eat until I was already crashing.  I also started feeling frustrated when my kids needed me, because I was desperate for some solid productive time.

We have been working on several things and setting up routines to help. But, the one thing that has made the biggest difference is waking up before my children. Very early, like 4 am. I know, it's crazy. But it has been life changing, and I actually feel less tired than I did before!

The Benefits

It's quiet

I absolutely love spending time with my children, but we don't get to clock out of motherhood. I have found that need alone time to recharge and think complete thoughts. Mornings before my kids wake up are sacred alone time, and no one interrupts my train of the thought!

Time to actually wake up

When my kids are my alarm clock, I have to jump out of bed and start getting milk, changing diapers, and reading stories immediately. It's hard to enjoy these things when you're groggy. I feel like my ears need to wake up before I'm ready to listen to all the vivid stories, fulfill requests, and have answers life's toughest questions. ;)

Self Care

It's so hard to make time to take care of ourselves with babies. In the early mornings, I can actually go to the bathroom, drink water, take vitamins, get out of my pajamas, and shower. It allows me to make these things a habit instead of just doing them as time allows.

Get the house ready for little hands

So often, I feel like messes in our home are a result of non toy items being accessible to the girls. Before they wake up, I do a sweep through and move anything that we left out the night before that is not for them to play with.


Alone time in the morning allows me to make a to do list, prioritize the day, and have our routine set up. It's so much easier to keep the day from getting chaotic if I have an idea of what needs to be accomplished and a game plan of attack. This helps me actually get out with the girls, or have an activity set up for them to keep them occupied instead of just making messes out of boredom.

A morning routine helps everything run more smoothly. Having a routine was difficult when I was getting up at different times everyday. I was also just fulfilling requests as they came instead of setting up expectations for the girls in the mornings.

Uninterrupted Productivity

The amount of things that can be accomplished in an hour of uninterrupted time seems like 2 days of work when the kids are awake. I can make goals, blog, and take Etsy orders when I know I will have a block time to finish them!


What I eat first thing in the morning sets the tone for how I will eat all day. When there is no time, I just eat whatever I can grab. That usually isn't the healthiest option. But, when I have time to make myself breakfast, I start out with protein and actually nourishing food that will sustain me instead of have me crashing or still hungry all day.

Positive Start

If I have time before anything else to read my Bible, take care of my body, and accomplish one big thing, it doesn't matter if the rest of the day is chaos. I already did the priorities, and my focus can just be my little ones.

Be an Individual

The uninterrupted productive time allows me to have goals and passions of my own outside of being a mom. I have ideas all the time and dream about them through out the day and at night. It's so discouraging when it seems like they will never be possible because each day only allows for diaper changes, feeding, and chores.  I love having the ability to make my passions and ideas come to life. That is one of the biggest motivations to miss out on sleep and get out of bed early in the morning!


One of the reasons I wake up so early and not just an hour earlier, is to make time for exercise. It just never becomes a priority if I wait until I have free time to go to the gym. I don't go everyday, but working out is fun for me and I feel much more energized when I do it! Exercise can easily become one of those things you beat yourself up about if you miss a day or do out of guilt. Having a chance to do it early in the day helps me do it for its benefits and not out of obligation.

Not living for Nap Time

I don't want to live my days waiting for my babies to go to sleep so I could have some alone time. I want to enjoy them and not view them as an interruption.

My Routine

4-4:30 Read my Bible
4:30- 5 Straighten up the house
5-5:30 Get ready
5:30- 6:30 Exercise, Chores, Art, or Blogging. Depending on the day or what needs to be done!
6:30-7 Eat breakfast and make lunch for Wes

Helpful Tips

What if I'm too Tired?

To be honest, I don't usually wake up early when I'm sick, if I've had a super late night, or if my baby was up all night. I do try to stick with it as much as possible, because I'd rather take a nap when my kids nap later than forfeit this time alone. For me, alone time is more important than sleep. Everyone is different. If you are having anxiety or frustration during the day because you can't get anything done, this might be worth it to you!

If you really thrive with a good amount of sleep, even waking up early a couple times a week will give you the benefits without forfeiting too much sleep! I didn't do wake up so early when I had a newborn, because obviously its survival mode in those days! I started waking up early when Elaina at least had a habit down of waking up at the same times and same amount of times most nights.

Going to bed Early

The best way for me to get enough sleep is to go to bed between 8:30 and 9 pm. I will say this is a struggle because I like to have time with Wes and to unwind when the kids go to sleep. But, you can't burn the candle at both ends, so we try to put the kids to bed as early as possible, and save binge watching shows for the weekends. ;)

Give it a try

It took me waking up early for about 2 weeks consistently to really get a feel for what time worked, what I wanted to do with the time, and if it was worth it. So, if you're curious, give yourself a couple weeks to see how it goes! I also woke up at 5:30 the first few days since I was used to waking up at 6:30-7 and didn't want to just crash. The alone time was so great, I just kept waking up earlier for more! :)

Plan what you want to do

I decide the night before, or first thing when I wake up how I want to use the time. The same rules apply as any prioritizing, but I decide what's most important to ensure those things are done before the kids wake up. Also, I try to do things that I can't do, or are tricky accomplish while the kids are awake! ;)

To Get Going

I'm not a coffee person, but I have some favorite things I do when I first wake up to get going! I drink water with a drop of Citrus Fresh Vitality or Thieves Vitality right away.

Citrus Fresh is a blend of Orange, Lemon, Tangerine, and Spearmint. It tastes great and wakes me up!
It's a good way to start my digestion and metabolism off right for the day. 

Thieves Vitality
Thieves is my go-to for staying healthy during cold and flu season or if there's a bug going around! It's a Christmasy spice blend with citrus and powerful immune system booster!

If I wake up with tension or morning stiffness, I love rolling Panaway on my neck and shoulders. Especially if my kids have ended up in the bed! This is great for muscle relief! It feels and smells like an icy hot patch.

All 3 of these are in the Young Living Starter Kit!

Photos by Misty D. Photography

My #1 practical tip for my life is to wake up at 4 AM. Well, you pick the time, but wake up before your children. Out of every practical, organization or time managment strategy I've tried as a mom, this has been the most impactful!  I love being ready to be the best mama for my kiddos when they wake up! 

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