Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Professional development part 2 - Make over your morning

I strongly advise against reading this if you feel like you don't get enough sleep. If you have a young baby, worries that keeps you up at night or are just generally not good at sleeping, this is not for you.

A little while ago I found myself being overly impatient and grumpier than usual. I was snappy and short and if Miss 3 decided to have an off day with her quiet play (which she is meant to do in her room while the boys are napping) I was pretty angry with her. It wasn't fair on her and it wasn't working for me. 

I decided that if I just had the opportunity to get into the right head space before everyone woke up, we'd all have a better day. I've always been a morning person, never a night owl. In year 12 I used to get up early and do an hour of study before school rather than an additional hour in the evening. Before I had children I'd go to an exercise class before work three or four times a week. It was the only exercise I ever really stuck with. Anything after work, I'd always find an excuse not to go.

So I decided to try getting up early in an attempt to gather myself before the children woke. I'd usually just do a few chores and generally potter about. I though it was working reasonably well and then I came across the "Make Over Your Morning" course by Crystal Paine. Now I feel like an absolute champion by 7am. I don't want to be dramatic but giving a bit of structure to my 'me time' in the morning has changed my life. I am happier, the children are happier, the house is happier.

At first I was a bit skeptical about the course. It seemed to be telling me things I already knew but Crystal Paine writes the Money Saving Mom blog and has nearly 800,000 Facebook likes. I have 100 so I figure she's got to be doing something right. The course includes a bit of reading and a short video each morning for two weeks. What it did was make me really think about what I wanted to achieve in the mornings and why. Like everything, some elements were more applicable to me than others. There was a part on setting goals which I pretty much completely skipped because at the time my goals were something like 1. Keep everyone alive, 2. Feed everyone. Now I'm feeling a bit more on top of things, I might revisit the idea of setting goals. 

Everyone is going to be different but my morning routine consists of three parts - exercise, chores, golden time.

I get up at 5.30am, get dressed, do the Seven Minute Scientific Workout on Youtube (it actually takes nine minutes because there are breaks). I just do it barefoot in my living room. I'm not claiming to be super fit but doing something has got to be better than doing nothing,

Once the exercise is done, I quickly do my morning chores; put on a load of washing, put away the drip dried dishes from last night and sweep the floor. I then do any necessary baking to make sure we have snacks for the day (see goal 2 - feed everyone). This is usually all done before 6am and then I have an hour of golden time before chaos unfolds.

This is when I sit down with a cup of tea at the computer and do what ever I want to do. Sometimes I read, sometimes I blog, sometimes I just stare into space and take in the silence. It's amazing. I swear this hour has made me a better person. I am so much more patient and accepting and it feels good.

Of course what I've described is the perfect scenario - exercise, quick chores, hour of golden time. Sometimes the chores take longer, sometimes the children get up earlier, sometimes I decide to prioritise sleep. On the whole though, my mornings are much improved and so is my attitude. Sacrificing a bit of time in bed has definitely been worthwhile for me.

If you missed it, Professional development part 1 was the Triple P parenting program.

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