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Parents, Reduce Morning Stress by Getting Up Before Your Kids

Mother smiling and laughing with her toddler in the kitchen
fizkes/Shutterstock

If you spend mornings chasing children while struggling to get yourself ready, we have one tip that’ll make your life easier: Wake up before your kids do.

It seems so simple. Implementing it can be a real challenge, though, especially if you’re used to hitting snooze and snuggling deeper beneath the covers. A few extra minutes of sleep won’t hurt, right? Sadly, those extra minutes do make a difference.

There are plenty of advantages to waking up early. You’ll have time to shower, get dressed, fix your coffee, take a deep breath, and think clearly about what needs to happen before the kids ramp up the chaos. You might even be able to squeeze in a quick meditation or some gentle stretching.

When you’re on top of your game, you’re more likely to help your children navigate their morning routine. Think of it like when the flight attendant says to put on your face mask first. Getting up early is the same thing—it ensures you’re ready and alert before tending to your children.

When to wake up is entirely up to you. Some parents find an extra 10-15 minutes is all they need. Others feel better with an entire hour, especially if they want to fit in some yoga or exercise. Decide how much time you’ll need and then work backward from there. For example, if the kids need to be up by 7:00 a.m. and you want a full hour of alone time, then set your alarm for 6:00 a.m (or earlier if you’re a snooze-addict). That means you’ll need to go to bed by 10 p.m. at the latest to ensure a full night’s sleep.

Still struggling to hop out of bed when your alarm starts ringing? Here are a few quick tips to get you on the right track:

  • Set your alarm across the room: This forces you to physically get out of bed, which makes it harder to hit snooze.
  • Have a glass of water ready: Start your morning by chugging a full glass of water. It’ll hydrate you and probably make you need to pee (which in turn will get you out of bed!).
  • Set out your clothes the night before: Having your outfit all picked out is one last thing to worry about in the morning.
  • Get an automatic coffee maker: If coffee is key to an alert morning, set the timer so a hot cup is ready for you when you step out of the bedroom.

After you get this step down, you’ll be in a better position to make the rest of the morning more efficient. Want more ideas on how to reduce your morning stress? Read our article about creating a solid morning routine with your kids.

Jill Chafin Jill Chafin
Jill Chafin is a freelance writer, aerialist, dancer, food enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, and mama, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Read Full Bio »

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