New Routines?

For the past two days, I’ve gotten up at 6:30 in the morning. That may not seem significant to you, but we are night owls, and for the past 5+ years, Matt and I have generally stuck to a schedule of going to bed around midnight (or later) and getting up between 8:00 and 8:30, so pushing that back to a 6:30 wake up is a change for me!

I haven’t written about it much here, but I actually work (very) part time from home, and this week I started back to work with the goal of trying to do just 5-7 hours per week for this semester. Before Atticus’s arrival, I’d worked during the girls’ rest time in the afternoons, but now that he has joined our family and is still too little to really have a regular schedule, I knew that wasn’t always going to work. Matt and I talked about it, and we decided to try my working for an hour each night after the girls went to bed, and Matt would keep Atticus with him for that time. It was a great idea in theory, but we tried it Monday night and realized that the reality was going to be a different story. Evenings are Atticus’s fussiest time, and while Matt loves our little guy, the prospect of having his quality time with him be focused so heavily during the “witching hour” was not appealing. Plus, with Atticus continuing to refuse bottles, Matt is at a significant disadvantage as a caretaker and comforter due to his lack of breasts!

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Our rough experience on Monday night prompted me to propose that I try getting up early to get in my work time, and I set my alarm for 6:30 the next morning (and, somewhat surprisingly, actually got out of bed when it went off). Atticus has woken up hungry both yesterday and today during my work time, but even with taking a break to feed him, I’ve been able to eat breakfast, spend a little time reading my Bible and praying, and get in an hour of work each morning before 8:30.

Honestly, I kind of like it. Even though everyone else is maintaining their same sleep schedule, it has felt like our days have gotten off to better starts. I’ve accomplished more and am more ready to go by the time everyone else gets up, and our mornings as a whole have gone better, too.

The downside is pretty obvious, though. I am TIRED. I contemplated napping this afternoon if I could line up one of Atticus’s naps with the girls’ rest time, but alas, it didn’t work out that way.

That does seem like a small price to pay, though, for our whole family’s days to go better. There have been numerous times during the last couple months that I’ve thought of Paul describing his life as “being poured out as a drink offering” (Philippians 2:17 and 2 Timothy 4:6). Not that I’m really comparing my life to Paul’s – he endured heavy persecution, while I get to spend my days loving my favorite little kiddos. But the reality is still that the life of a mom is a life of dying to self – those precious babies remind you 24/7 that your life is no longer simply your own. Perhaps these early wake-up calls are simply the latest manifestation of that. But it is hard to get up…particularly since evenings after the girls are in bed are the times Matt and I use to catch up, and it’s so hard for me to cut those off to go to bed early.

We’ll see if we can still find time to connect and if I can maintain the self-discipline to get up that early and get my work done before the rest of the family gets up.

And I welcome any other suggestions anyone may have for getting in quality marriage time but also having a consistent time to study the Bible study and get work or other chores done while also still caring for little kiddos!

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