Ahh… morning. The start of a new day – filled with promises of productivity, and a list as long as the path to the castle in the beginning of Labyrinth – waiting for your eager-self to breeze through. You bound up out of bed, stretch, smile and shine…
And then there’s reality.
The good intentions are there; every night, you go to bed early; you set an alarm, you tell yourself with gusto: ‘Tomorrow’s the day! I’m going to be super-productive, get fit, eat healthy, and be F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!’ It’s all well and good… until morning strikes like an ACME mallet, and you mutter and grumble and delve under the duvet, telling yourself you’ll have just five more minutes. And we all know how that turns out.
If you’ve ever read The Road Less Traveled (Dr. M. Scott Peck), this might resonate with you: Getting up against your will is akin to the 5 Stages of Bereavement.
The first, most common stage is Denial.
How the hell did morning come around so soon? Not only that, but your body rudely awoke you at 5:30am for a pee. You step zombie-style out of bed, and do your best to make that too-early toilet trip with your eyes closed. You can do this – you can finish your sleep quota before your alarm at 6am. Yes, you can. Except – the moment you get back into bed and begin to drift back off, startling thoughts bounce Zebedee-style into your head. You do your best to ignore them, and just as you might, possibly, maybe begin to find your way back to slumber, the murmurings of your youngest float from the baby monitor as she begins to stir, despite the fact you made NO sound at all during your stealth-visit to the bathroom.
To follow a rule (although these 5 stages can happen in any order, and may even be repeated), Anger would come next. However in the case of stolen sleep, you may begin Bargaining with yourself:
“If I just drift back off before 6, I can get another half an hour. I’ll be tired, but I can always try and get a nap this afternoon.* If that doesn’t work, I’ll definitely have an early night. And I’ll do some Pilates or yoga this evening, because I doubt I’ll squeeze in writing AND running this morning, especially if I don’t get up at 6am, which is looking increasingly likely as I lie here debating my sleep quantity instead of ACTUALLY SLEEPING!”
*(Naps are important. You work bloody hard. ALL DAY. EVERY DAY.)
6am arrives, and a battle between you and your fitness tracker commences: The ‘silent’ alarm rudely vibrates into your pillow and you thrust your arm out of the bed in the hope it won’t rouse you too much in your state of sleep/wake drift. The auto-snooze function is great, apart from the fact it will only snooze twice. In your sleep-sozzled state, you tell yourself you’ll just lie there for a few minutes and let yourself come round…
6:45am. You drifted back off, didn’t you. And now you have mere minutes available to do all the things you want to do before you have to ‘get up’. And now the kids are awake.
Cue Anger. Why can’t you just have a few moments in the morning, just for yourself? (you would have, if you’d got up when you were supposed to). Look – it’s not the kids’ fault. They’re just waking up early because you were a good parent and put them to bed at a reasonable time. It’s morning time for them. Not to mention the blasted sun streaming through their ‘black-out’ blinds and curtains….
Your mood darkens, and you find yourself spiralling into a Depression. Why can’t you be stronger and get yourself out of bed in the morning? You’re not a good person. You should be a better mother. Who wouldn’t be pleased to see their kids’ smiling, happy faces in the morning? Now you feel all sorts of horrible for feeling hostile towards your mini-people who so desperately want to see you as soon as they wake up. You’re their whole world! And why did you fail to get up and meet your goals which you so eagerly set yourself the night before? FAIL.
Acceptance. Life. It has to go on, regardless. The kids still need taking to school. The house still needs managing. Work needs doing.
Stop being so hard on yourself; you’re only human. It’s okay to feel like this, but it’s time to get up now, and there’s always tomorrow. Remember – there’s no such thing as failure; there’s only giving in or giving up.
You CAN do this getting up early lark. You ARE F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S; you just need more rest.
Go to bed earlier. Stay off social media. Don’t watch TV or read past 10pm.
Go easy on yourself, and Try Again Tomorrow. ❤️