Why I started waking up at 5 am
Last week I had a break down, I sat in the floor with my head resting on our bookshelf and I told Nick, with tears in my eyes; “I just can’t do it all anymore…” I had no idea how hard being a stay at home mom was, how mentally, physically, spiritually draining it was to wake up and care for the most amazing human in the world every single day. I also had no idea how hard working from home was. How getting things done would be a discipline that requires time to master, how meetings would be scheduled around naps and shoots would sometimes be accompanied by my sidekick. Combine the two and some days are the perfect recipe for doubt, disaster and throwing in the towel. I had no idea how much pressure I put on my own shoulders to be a perfect mom and a successful business owner at the same time, everyday.
I’ve always enjoyed being busy, loved living life on the go and prided myself in juggling a hundred things at once. Honestly, I was able to keep up with myself in all of those things before I had a baby. My definition of busy changed instantly, living on the go looked more like crossing my fingers for the perfect time to hit the grocery store with a baby in tow and juggling turned into a baby in one arm and a camera in the other.
You would think that a year in I would have this figured out by now but, it’s almost like once we hit that mark I realized I had put so many expectations on where I should have been instead of where I was in this journey of motherhood. I’ve spent weeks making schedules, daily intentions, lists of to-dos and coming up with a plan that is realistic and accomplishable. And yet, all of these plans can’t prepare me for the unexpected stomach bug, followed by the pink eye, followed by the head cold. They don’t account for the days my baby decides not to nap or the days he’s sick and we spend most of our time driving back and forth to the doctor. All of my best laid plans don’t make space for the food he throws across the wall, the instant need he has to get out of the house or the errands I need to run.
When I sat in the floor surrounded by toys that needed to be picked up, dishes piling up in the sink and list of tasks to complete for work before bed I told myself; ‘you can’t do it all.’ See, the thing is my unintentional reaction to stress is to give up, to throw in the towel to let my mind stay fixed in doubt and disbelief. Nick came and sat in the floor with me, took my hands in his and lifted up my chin as he said;
“you are wonderful, you are the perfect mother to our son, you are the wife I needed and wanted, you are an incredible photographer and will always be a success to me. Now it’s time for you to decide what you need to do for yourself to make sure you believe all of it.”
He knows me. He knows I struggle with doubt. He knows my mindset is shady and he knows just how to speak to my spirit when I let it get the best of me.
Then the unbelievable words came out of my mouth, I knew what I needed and why and in that moment I decided it was time to start taking my time back. I said; “I need to wake up at 5 am.” I need time to breathe when I get out of bed, time to align my heart with the Father’s, time to go to the gym and relieve myself from what will turn out to be a day of guilt if I don’t. I need time to choose how to spend my time. I need to wake up for myself and not for someone else. We all do. So many of us wake up for someone else, whether it’s for a job we don’t love, a boss who needs us in early, to beat traffic, to make breakfast and pack lunches, to feed babies or to answer the unending inbox, we all wake up for others. I couldn’t do it anymore, I couldn’t be woken up by a crying baby who needed me that instant. I couldn’t wake up with a heart of disappointment and frustration. I couldn’t wake up to care for everyone but myself and then spend the rest of the day overwhelmed and annoyed.
I decided it was time to start taking my time back, creating the space I needed to walk into the day in fullness instead of depleted and it’s been amazing. Ya’ll don’t worry, I’m no savage, I am committing to 4 days of 5am wake up calls a week for now. I am cherishing the dark, meditating in the quiet and when I walk back through our door at 7:00 to see my baby toddling around I’m more in love with him, more focused on him and more at peace with my time than I could have imagined. I’m able to spend the rest of the day actually getting things done and embracing all of the things that interrupt my plans. I am able to love the food smashed against the walls, the books pulled off shelves, the toys scattered around, the naps not taken and the lists of things I still have yet to do because I’m making time for balance. I can focus wholeheartedly on being present in the moments he’s awake and on my business when he’s napping.
It’s hard, I want to snooze every single day, I want to lie to myself and let doubt tell me I should just keep sleeping. I pretend I don’t hear my alarm, I turn over and try to fall asleep again and tell myself that I can’t wake up but when I do it’s worth it. Couldn’t we all use a little time to make time? How would your life change if you decided to wake up for yourself and not for someone or something else?
How do you spend your mornings? What would you like to spend more time doing in your life? I’d love to hear from you below!