As a mom of two, my mornings have become my haven.
When I had my firstborn, my daughter, she would wake up at 4:30 or 5:30 in the morning, and I didn’t love it at first, especially since she was born in December. The mornings were cold, and there was still no sun peeking over the mesa to light our day.
Fast-forward to the summer, and I began to love it. It gets hot where we live, so the only time to go on a walk safely was at 5:30 in the morning. I started to enjoy those early morning walks with my new baby and even crave them. I started to pay more attention to the neighborhood I live in and the trees (always an obsession of mine), and I began to meet more neighbors.
When I was in my third trimester with my son, I would wake up before my daughter (who now sleeps until seven or even eight sometimes!) and couldn’t go back to sleep. That’s when I started learning about Ayurveda and picked up Sahara Rose’s Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda, which had been sitting on my bookshelf for a couple years.
I began to implement some of her morning routines. More specifically, I changed my breakfasts to something warm. Rather than pouring a bowl of cereal, which had become my quick go-to, I became more intentional and moved through my morning a little slower by cooking oatmeal and making hot water with lemon and honey. I learned too that this was the perfect time to slow down, since 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. is Kapha time, a time for grounding and waking up with peace.
Now, my daughter is three and I have a two-month-old son. She tends to sleep a little longer than he does, and thankfully he usually lets me sleep until six. He was born in September, so we are finding the sun rising later and later each morning.
I have found a new haven in the mornings with him this winter: writing.
Recently, the reverend at the Unitarian church I attend talked about how her sermons come to her right after she wakes up, often the title coming to mind first. The message presents itself to her later.
Whatever technique we follow is not as important as giving ourselves the time to sit in solitude and let those messages come.
As a writer, I find it essential to set aside that time so I can allow my thoughts to flow. Writing is a form of channeling, and when I don’t find the time to write, I feel as if I’ve been cut off from my Source, the Universal energy that lights me up inside. Waking up early gives me the opportunity to make space for that time.
Before having children, I followed the formulaic Miracle Morning practice. I tried to hit every letter in the S.A.V.E.R.S. method: Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing. Now, I’m lucky to make a cup of tea before waking up to either child’s cries. So I focus my morning on what feels good, usually just hitting a couple of the Miracle Morning steps.
If I wake up before my kids, I start the day out in silence. That is nice, in and of itself, since I feel like I have the space to think and make plans for the day ahead. And from there, I listen to my body. Do I need to make myself some breakfast? Do I feel inspired and want to write for a bit? Do I need to stretch?
Embodiment has been difficult for me in the past, but these early mornings are teaching me to listen to myself so I can be more present for my children, knowing that I have tackled self-care before beginning my day with them.