When I was in the classroom, I was that teacher who didn’t leave until everything was ready for the next day. All copies were made and placed in their appropriate drawer, the classroom was tidy, and morning work was written on the board or laid out on students’ desks. I knew the value of an organized morning, so you would assume that I’m the kind of mom that wakes up well before the baby to have a head start. Right?
I love productivity as much as the next Type A “teacher/mom”. But the truth is, I love sleep a whole lot more. (Can I get an “AMEN”?!) Most mornings I sleep until Baby Girl wakes up. This comes with several good and bad consequences.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The good thing about sleeping in with the baby means I’m not missing out on much-needed sleep. I’m not too proud to admit that I’m a much nicer person if I’m not sleep deprived. After exclusively pumping around the clock for 10+months, I cherish the nights that my daughter sleeps straight through. This still doesn’t happen every night, though, so sleeping until she wakes up allows me to catch up when we have rough nights.
The bad thing about sleeping in is that I’m hitting the ground running as soon as she wakes up. I’m rushing to get her a bottle and breakfast while trying to make coffee and handle the dogs’ needs, all while I’m still not fully awake. I try to start unloading the dishwasher while Baby Girl is eating breakfast, and then immediately worry about getting other tasks completed around the house. This leads to the “ugly” consequence.
In the last several months, my now 16mo kiddo has figured out how to REALLY play. I’m talking about the good kind of play where she’s pretending and trying to have conversations with me and isn’t very interested in keeping herself busy anymore. She wants my companionship, and completely deserves it! But the more I focus on housework, the more lonely she becomes and fussier she gets. This makes for a tough morning for both of us and can lead to a tough day period.
Slow It Down
Today, however, we had a very different kind of morning and it completely changed our day. I woke up feeling like we needed some “us” time and I believe we have found our new morning groove.
As soon as I got Baby Girl out of bed, I gave her breakfast and turned on our favorite music. To no surprise, she lit up and boogied in her seat while she ate her whole breakfast, giving me a chance to make a pot of coffee and enjoy her company. We sang and “talked” until it was time for her to get down. Then, instead of opening my laptop and trying to sneak in some work, I sat with her and enjoyed my coffee as WE played together. I could see a completely different demeanor in her from most mornings. She wasn’t following me around pulling at me to play, or fussing when she was annoyed with her toys. Whether she played with me or next to me, she seemed so pleased just to have me near her giving her my full attention. This broke and blessed my heart at the same time.
Why Are You Home?
In the beginning of my time as a stay-at-home mom, I used to stress so badly over things around the house that didn’t get done. Before Baby Girl was born, I had a million ideas of how I’d be the best housewife/mother and truthfully they were all focused around my productivity. One day my husband made the wisest, most encouraging statement. “We’ve made sacrifices so you can spend the day with our daughter, not so you can be our housekeeper.” I want to cry just remembering that because it’s so true. It’s easy to get caught up in “things” instead of focusing on what’s important.
Whether you’re a SAHM, you’re home for the summer with your kiddos, or you finally have a day “off” to be at home with your family, ask yourself – why are you home? What is your purpose and what do you mean to your family? I promise if you shift your focus to your “who” instead of your “what”, your days will be completely changed for the better!