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I’m not a morning person, but I kinda want to be, and I’m thinking being a morning person might be something like being a runner, something I never was before kids either.

Rise and Shine, finding time, writing morningsHaving a baby, having to get up in the still black, maybe gray, pre-dawn, taught me the joy of a quiet, sleeping house and the light that shifts and changes into day. Believe me, I still wanted my sleep (often still do). I chafed at the admonishment that if you were really a write you’d just get up an hour before everyone in your family and write.

I was staying up until 11 PM or later to get my work done (not because I’d procrastinated, but because that’s when the kids were asleep and I could do it). I was up once, twice, countless times a night. I didn’t know if my wake up for the day call would come at 6 AM or 4:55. I was exhausted, and somebody telling me that I should get up an hour earlier than my ever-shifting wake up time made me want to scream.

But now, I have a little bit of scheduled work time in the day and can usually get my work done then. Now, most nights are interrupted. Now, wake up time is usually around 6:30 or 7. Now, it seems almost possible that I could get up early, be a morning person.

I’m taking part in the Rise and Shine Challenge from Abundant Mama. I had run through all the challenges—Brian’s need for sleep, the little one’s routine of snuggling with me when she first gets up, our close rooms and thin walls, my dread of getting up early only to have one or both kids get up early, my struggles to get to bed on time—and the lure of a little time to myself to start the day. Today was the first day of the challenge.

5:45 “Mom. Mom. Moooom!” I rolled over and groaned. Maybe she’d go back to sleep. I heard the creak of the bed and then the sound of little feet. “Mom, I peed.”

I sighed. Deeply. “OK, go down and get some dry undies.” I rolled slowly out of bed, went and checked her. Fortunately that was dry. I got her cleaned up, into dry pjs, and back into bed. Part of me wanted to crawl back under the warm covers, but the cold floor and the chilly air, the lights, and my own suddenly insistent bladder had me wide awake. With the challenge on my mind, I decided to look at this early wake up as an opportunity. (How I managed this positive thinking before 6 AM, without coffee, I’m not sure.)

I grabbed my glasses and a sweatshirt and snuck down the stairs to the sound of rhythmic thumb sucking that suggested I might just manage to pull this off without company. Within minutes the coffee pot was hiss-dripping and I had a notebook and pen at the kitchen table.

About half an hour later, I heard, “Mom. Mom, Mooom!” again. I went back upstairs, and this time I did crawl back into bed for a little snuggle before we started our day together. I was still tired, but energized too, and calm, and ready to go. Today worked well. The little one went back to sleep, and I got a solid chunk of time for some writing. I know there will be days I get up early only to have little feet follow me. It’s one of my reasons for not getting up. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

I’m not sure I’m a morning person yet, but I’m working on it.

What’s your time of day? Why?