Anyone else in the same boat?
One morning a few months ago (and there have been many since!), I pulled the covers over my head and said ‘No thank you’ to the new day. Yes, you heard me, this imperfect pastor’s wife does not always wake up warbling, ‘This is the day that the Lord has made,’ and neither do I always ‘rejoice and be glad in it.’
That day, my kids got the bleary-eyed, grumpy, uppity and woozy me- so much so, in fact, that they gave up trying to badger me out of bed, went downstairs on their own and made themselves chocolate porridge. I admired their independence, I have to say…
My kids keep finding reasons to get up early. I don’t really understand it, but they seem to waken earlier in winter, when it’s still dark and the street lamps are still lit. And especially the days when it’s pouring with rain!
The day before, it was 5 am because the tooth fairy had left a pound coin under the pillow.
That day, it was someone stealing someone else’s bed.
Tomorrow, it’ll be one child poking another awake and asking about dreams from the night before.
So, how do you make those groggy winter mornings a little more bearable? Here’s what we’ve tried these last few months. And believe me, we’ve needed all the pick-me-ups we could get!
1. Start the day with positive words
When your child, husband, or animal puts their freezing cold hands/paws on your face and wakes you up with a jolt, it’s a good idea not to say what you’re tempted to in that moment…
A better alternative might be, ‘Good morning- I love you! We are going to have a great day.’ See if it doesn’t make you feel a bit different! (I’ll have to try that one tomorrow 😊).
But if you need to follow that statement with, ‘But it’s still the middle of the night, so I’ll see you when it’s actually morning,’ that is more than acceptable.
2. Put on some music or an audio book
It’s amazing what listening to songs or stories can do for your mood and motivation. If you’re a parent, a happy tune or a sunny kids’ story often does the trick. Zoë can be really bouncy in the morning, but if you give her something to listen to, she’ll be more likely to concentrate on colouring in or doing something a bit calmer than talking non-stop or launching herself off the furniture.
Time for a coffee, I think!
3. Have a shower and get dressed
This one might seem obvious, but when you’re at home all day, it’s very tempting to stay in your pjs. My advice (from a wealth of experience) 😂 is, don’t! It’s remarkable how much better a shower and a fresh outfit can make you feel.
4. Lay out your clothes the night before
The days I am running around like a mad person looking for a missing school sock are not the most harmonious. I’ve started putting all our clothes out on the sofa just before I put the kids to bed. If you know everything is laid out and ready, you’ll immediately be more relaxed when you first open your eyes. In Instagram lingo, it might actually even make you feel more like the organised mom and less like scary mommy.
5. Don’t hit the snooze button
“Hitting the snooze button in the morning doesn’t even make sense. It’s like saying, “I hate getting up in the morning so I do it over and over and over again.” (Dimitri Martin, Comedian)
So many of us do this all the time, don’t we? But what’s the point! I’ve come to terms with the futility of this exercise. We are awake, so we might as well just be awake! Let’s not prolong the pain!
6. Set your heating to come on for wake-up time
This, my friend, is a very simple thing. But it can be a game changer. I remember growing up we lived in a big cold house in East Belfast. If you were freezing, you just put on a jumper. I still remember how cold the floor felt in the middle of winter. 🥶
Bill, on the other hand, grew up in a small, scorching house. He wore shorts in the middle of winter. Now, two having become one, we try to find a happy medium. The heating on in the morning but not much during the day we find to be a balanced approach, and makes crisp mornings much cosier all round.
How do you make cold winter mornings more bearable?
“Morning is wonderful. Its only drawback is that it comes at such an inconvenient time of day.”― Glen Cook, Sweet Silver Blues