When Getting Up Early Fails

I was talking with a new friend the other day about finding time to write. One of her kids gets up at 5:15 everyday, on the dot and has since he was a baby. I asked if she had gotten the alarm clock that turns green and I clearly struck a nerve. Yes, they had. No, it did not work.

img_3740We’re in a fairly good sleep pattern these days, with bedtimes going smoothly and the girls sleeping through the night. Bea does use that alarm clock, meaning I know exactly when she’ll be jumping down the stairs. Elle is still on that blissful 12-hour-a-night cycle, and I’m enjoying it.

The other day, I thought I’d set my alarm about 45 minutes before Elle usually woke up. Other moms manage to have quiet moments in the morning and when I read about those early morning hours, a cup of coffee and a journal or book in hand, it sounds idyllic. I wanted that, too!

The moment that alarm was set, Elle knew it and decided to wake 45 minutes earlier for about a week. I turned that thing off and went back to waking up and hoping for the best. Some days, I’ll get up and read or write. Others, I lie in bed until I hear stirrings from her room.

Books and blogs have been written about the importance of finding time for ourselves. That we can’t let these little years take away our identity and sense of self.

I totally agree with this. I look back at these early years of motherhood already and see ways in which I’ve been able to pursue interests and passions that I didn’t have the time or energy for while I was working full-time.

And yet, in my enthusiasm to find this Me Time and really take care of myself, I’m reminded that I walk a fine line doing that. My full-time job right now is motherhood. While I’m lucky enough to have a support system in place that gives me moments and hours and even a day occasionally to myself (thanks, mom!!) I’m mostly here, writing in the margins and with my helpers nearby.

This friend recently wrote her own blog post about the magical 22 minutes of a kids show, and how so much can get done in that time. For a while, I relied on those 22 minutes, getting so much done during one Daniel Tiger episode. Until we had a kid who is just uninterested in screen time. No matter how I try, Elle just does’t engage with TV. Which is a good thing. But those 22 minutes? I long for them, some days.

In the meantime, I’m assessing my goals and visions. It’s not like I want to write a book or blog everyday… right now. I’m actually very much content to tap away at this little blog when inspiration strikes and keep it strictly in the hobby realm.

Because right now, I’m getting ready for kindergarten roundup and a year with just Elle by my side and the reality is that these tiring, intense, nonstop years really do pass so quickly. I’m learning to savor every moment and remember that my Me Time is simultaneously kid time.

(Also? A year ago, I wrote about this same thing. Clearly it’s a recurring theme!)

When and where do you find time for yourself? Moms, did elementary school change things? When does “me time” become easier? (Or is that a myth?)

Five Uninterrupted Minutes

When I started this 5-minute timer to write, I started on a different track. Forty-five seconds into this, Bea informed me that It is very hart to pee in a princess dress!

Stop timer. Hold princess dress while daughter pees, all the while thinking, I just want 5 minutes!!

I think that’s the anthem of moms everywhere – I just want 5 minutes! Think of all I could do with 5 interrupted minutes!

IMG_0773
My writing helper

A friend and I were talking about blogging and she started to paint an image of me writing, alone, crafting each post. I laughed and said, It’s rare when I’m alone. I’m so used to writing with Bea next to me and Elle underfoot, it’s almost harder to write when I have peace and quiet. (Almost. I’ll still take the peace and quiet if someone’s offering.)

Even though I think I want more solitude and time to pursue my own interests, I do appreciate that modeling is so important for my girls. Modeling not only the chores of laundry and cleaning (occasionally) and dinner prep but also how to fit in those life-giving activities of reading and writing and going to work.

I’m trying to reframe my want for perfect, quiet, blissful time to myself into a bigger picture – one of activities I hope my girls see and respond to. I hope that they learn the importance of finding activities they love.

Time management. If you had uninterrupted time, what would you do? Do you think you’d be as productive?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write (uninterrupted?) without editing. Today’s prompt is “want.”