Before kids came along, I thought waking up at 8 am was the “crack of dawn”. Oh, how we learn.
This post is sponsored by VeeTee Rice and contains affiliate links. Click to read my disclosure and disclaimers.
It can be hard to train yourself to wake up earlier, especially if you’re used to staying up late.
I think everyone once thought of themselves as a night owl when they were high school and college-aged, right?
That’s when pulling all-nighters, sleeping in til noon, and eschewing anything that occurs before 9am as “too early” is all too common.
But then the kids come, and it’s a massive wakeup call… literally.
Unless you were blessed with some sort of sleeping unicorn of a child, most kids are up before the crack of dawn, every.damn.day.
And so once you’re a parent, you become a morning person by default.
Many of us go kicking and screaming into this new reality (I know this because, hi. It me.)
But I’ve learned that it’s not actually that bad waking up early.
Actually, once you figure out how to navigate them well, mornings can be kind of…. Awesome. Even mornings that begin at 4am, before the kids have woken up.
Over the past 3 or 4 years, I’ve learned to cherish my quiet mornings. They usually begin sometime between 4:30 am and 5 am, long before my family wakes for the day, and I’m at the point now where I genuinely looking forward to my little dorky morning rituals.
This didn’t happen overnight. But if you’re hoping to turn yourself from a night owl into a glorified morning person, like I did, here are some of the craziest, yet helpful and satisfying ways I’ve found to welcome 4:30am as the start of my day.
College-age me might be horrified, but current mid-30s me doesn’t care about that and thinks it’s pretty cool.
7. Get the coffee ready the night before
(Substitute a protein shake, smoothie, tea, or whatever) This is my holy grail of happy mornings: coffee. In the summer I keep it cold with this Cold Brew Jug I found on Amazon. In the winter I use reusable Keurig pods filled with my favorite flavored coffee because I’m a terrible person and actually love flavored coffee, come at me if you disagree.
6. Don’t just plan out the next day’s clothes; plan out the whole week’s worth.
If I don’t have the time on the weekend to plan a whole week’s worth of outfits (and honestly, I very rarely do), then I’ll just grab 5 tops and hang them on one end of my closet for easy grabbin’. I love watching the line of tops disappear every morning, which means I’m getting closer to the weekend.
5. Have an early bird accountability partner.
The single best thing that gets my butt moving and wake up earlier is having someone waiting for me to check in once I’m awake. I have a handful of people I check in with; most of the time, it’s via video chat.
a. I have to be somewhere away from my family where a phone call won’t wake them up, and
b: My eyes need to be open (no half-awake phone calls from your bed!)
4. The night before, fill up a ‘morning basket’ of stuff you can’t forget.
Take everything you need to bring with you in the morning and drop it into a basket you keep by the front door: an umbrella, your kids’ permission slip, the dry cleaning. Even if you don’t wake up early that day, you’ll spend less time rushing around getting ready.
3. Morning podcast in the shower.
I love listening to my podcast app in the shower. My best tip: Make your morning podcast something serial, like Serial the Podcast, or The Dropout, or The Shrink Next Door. It’ll keep you excited to come back for more, and the best part? No depressing news to get you off on a funky foot when you’re getting squeaky clean.
2. Set morning intentions.
One of my favorite personal development books, The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM), says to keep a lighthearted approach to waking up. If you’re late going to bed and the last thought you have before falling asleep is, “I have to wake up in 5 hours and oh my god, that means I’ll be SO EXHAUSTED”, then… you’re right. Your morning will suck.
…But if you think, “Ok, 5 hours. I’m going to have a great day and then get to bed earlier than usual tomorrow”, then you’ll wake up more refreshed and ready to go.
Another way to get here? Meditation. I scoffed at meditation at first, and have to admit it took a few tries before I could really see what the fuss was all about. Now, I get cranky if I can’t fit 10 minutes of meditation in before I do anything else. I recommend Headspace or Calm to get you going if you’re new to it. It’s just 10 minutes of quiet time, and I make sure I do it at my kitchen table. If I get too comfortable while meditating, I’ll fall back asleep!
And my number one favorite way lately to wake up earlier and shake away the night owl tendencies is……
1 Make some banging breakfast burritos with VeeTee Rice!
VeeTee Rice USA are sponsoring this post and seriously, I can’t say enough good things about this brand- we make sure we are always stocked with VeeTee!
That’s why these banging breakfast burritos have been saving my LIFE lately.
I used their wholemeal rice to whip up a batch of freezer-friendly breakfast burritos that now I can microwave or heat in the oven and then run out the door, burrito in hand.
Check out the recipe below, grab yourself a pack of VeeTee USA Rice (read all about them here, on their website) and get your morning life in order. I’ll see you at 5am!
I love packing VeeTee microwaveable rice in my breakfast burritos, since the rice goes straight in from the package and cooks to perfection in the burrito. If you’d like to substitute your own rice, cook it until nearly done (still slightly hard) and then add it to your burrito to finish cooking while the burrito heats.
2 8″ flour tortillas
4 eggs, lightly scrambled
4 slices of melting cheese
1 medium yellow potato, diced
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and diced
1/4 cup uncooked VeeTee wholemeal brown rice
(optional) hot sauce, to taste
- Lay the tortillas open on two large pieces of aluminum foil.
- Lay down 2 slices of cheese on each tortilla, a little off-center.
- Down the center of the cheese, add half of each filling.
- Fold in the sides of the tortilla so they almost touch (but not quite!)
- Use your thumbs to gently roll the bottom of the tortilla up over the folded in sides, like you’re wrapping a present.
- Tightly roll the burrito, then roll it tightly in the foil and secure the ends.
- Freeze for up to one month.
**If reheating in the microwave, make sure to remove the foil first!