When I’m the Only One Awake…

The hours of 4-6 a.m. have become mine. It started when I went back to work last February. Leo was 3 months old (thanks, U.S.A.), and I was exhausted. Breastfeeding and bedsharing gave me some sleep, but I was missing myself. I wasn’t writing, I wasn’t meditating. Then, when I returned to work I started pumping and the hours of 4-6 became mine.

I was determined (and succeeded) in Leo having exclusive breastmilk once we were home from the hospital which means adding in pumping sessions. I’d sit with my coffee and my pump and wait for “my time” to be up. I hated it at first. Then Keith said, “why not make the time yours too? Blog, eat, have coffee.” I just had to be ready to “Mom” by 6am so Keith could go to work. And thus, the early morning became the hours in which I found myself again

Finding yourself as a Mom is hard. I was starting to feel lost. Yoga took a back seat, workouts weren’t happening, I couldn’t even read a book because I was exhausted. I was never resentful, but I was upset. I wanted to be able to balance it all like the magazines said and like other bloggers made it seem: easy. It’s not, and that’s okay.

So, I started owning that time. It wasn’t easy. I was attached to a pump while my baby and husband slept soundly in bed. But then my body got used to it. And then, I stopped pumping at 13 months and nurse directly–so that was one less thing to deal with. I ate breakfast without someone grabbing at me. I soaked up the silence of a dark house. It was cozy, even in the summer.

I started journaling again. I started blogging! I started replying to e-mails and accepting projects. I shaved my legs and took my time in the shower! Something magical happened between the hours of 4-6am and it was where I found myself again.

Everyone says after the kids go to bed is when you should have “your time.” But that wasn’t working for me or my family, so we flipped it and reversed it. Before everyone wakes up it’s my domain and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Whether you’re a Mom or not: how do you make sure you prioritize your self care? It’s something I’ll be working on in 2018 for sure! Let’s try it out together!

One thought on “When I’m the Only One Awake…

  1. Self-care is difficult for me, because I don’t have my own place. :/ I do want it; it’s just a matter of getting there! Augh! My time is at night, after everyone goes to bed. My grandmother loathes it, because she’s old and set on this idea of traditional normalcy, despite such a thing (re: “normal”) being strictly opinion-based, but it’s what works best for me. For two weeks, I passed out early and awoke earlier, but it didn’t work for me much. My creativity and productivity was off. The only difference between my productivity, I’ve noticed, is that it’s not completely impossible at night if no one is getting mad at me for being up.

    The quiet of the night, to me, is most relaxing.

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