I love mornings.
I hate getting up in the morning, but I love the quiet and the opportunity to get the day off to the best possible start.
For a long time, I had a totally awesome morning routine. It was even my first minigoal. I’d get up and do a bunch of personal and household tasks that are just harder to accomplish once I have all the little folks clamoring for my attention. I took my vitamins, put away dishes, read the Bible, wrote in my gratitude journal… it was amazing.
But then third trimester happened.
And really, is anything awesome in third trimester? No. And I’d like to be awake for as little of that as possible. Not that I can sleep.
Anyway, I stopped getting up early. And really, I can’t blame myself.
And then Baby Lilly happened.
She’s ever-so-much more delightful than third trimester, but… newborns. So I continued to sleep basically as late as possible before my big girls started getting into mischief. It’s super hard to volunteer an hour and a half of sleep every morning when the total is already plenty under six most of the time.
In our house, that’s the weekly family holiday known as Daddyday. Currently, it’s nap time for the little two, and Andrew took the big two on a Big Adventure. (Read: Sam’s Club. With samples.) My house is quiet. (Bless my sweet husband who does this a lot on the weekends.)
I frequently suffer from what one writer friend called “relaxation anxiety.” There are so many options… Do I nap? Read? Write? Get chores done so my house is less cluttered and stressful? Gah!
Today, rather than my typical chores or nap, I opted to alternate between household and personal tasks. So I read a chapter, then did the dishes, then devotions, then wrote a thank you note. Now I write; next is laundry folding. It’s all very exciting, you see. If the small two stay down long enough, perhaps I’ll get a toilet clean! (Not holding my breath.)
As I sat down to do devotions, it struck me how much I like reading the Bible and a house where nobody is awake to talk to me. I felt… wistful? Nostalgic?
I miss it.
And then I realized that, for the most part, it hasn’t happened in six months. That’s half a year where “quiet time” is interrupted by requests for rubber bands or chopsticks or heaven know what else. On the nights I am awake and alone after the kids go to bed, well, Murphy’s law demands that they aren’t actually going to bed very well. And if they do, I’m shot from the day and zoning out reading random stuff on facebook. Or if I’m not, I am madly scrambling to get all the chores done so I don’t wake up to disaster tomorrow.
Andrew and I swap “process nights” (side note- I highly recommend this practice if you have kids and it’s at all feasible- basically we give each other one night off a week to do whatever is good for our brains and hearts away from the responsibilities of putting kids to bed) and it’s indispensable, but serves a whole other function and, since it’s at bedtime, it never involves a quiet house to myself, anyhow. (Pre-Lilly, it was usually a trip to dinner with a book or a laptop and journal. Now it’s hiding in my room with the baby while Andrew puts the big three to bed.)
I’m tired of starting the day feeling behind already.
I’m tired of trying to communicate with God over the chatter of little kids.
I’m really, really tired of the grouchiness brought on by both of those things. (I’m pretty sure my husband and kids are, too.)
It’s time to get some quiet back.
My choices are early mornings or nap times. I think I’m going to try for both, in hopes of getting at least some quiet. Mornings have the obvious challenge of getting out of bed; finding quiet in the afternoon requires some expert-level parenting, probably for a week before we get very much quiet at all, so… probably harder than getting out of bed.
For me, it’s a matter of getting margin by practicing discipline, which takes margin.
It’s a hard cycle to start, but I think, for me, starting it might be easier than not starting at this point.
Do you have any tricks for finding quiet space in your days? I’d love to hear them!
This post is part of the write31days challenge… I’m trying to post every day in October. Or, you know, lots of days in October. The rest of the posts can be found here.