I’m lucky my kids are good sleepers, but Clay has always been an early riser. He’s slept past 7:00 a.m. maybe five times in his entire life. Unfortunately, once Avery turned two she followed in his early-rising footsteps. They are usually up by 6:30 a.m. and for some reason it seems to be earlier on Saturdays!
When school started last week, I overheard moms complaining about how hard it was to get their kids up and moving in the morning. When your kids are up early, you don’t have this problem. I’ve never had to drag them out of bed (I wish I could say the same for myself and Chase!), which made me think about the other benefits of early-bird children. Here are my top five:
1. Easier morning routine
I don’t have to wake my kids for school. I don’t have to rush them to get dressed or eat breakfast. They are not groggy as we get in the car or walk up the hill to school. When you’ve already been up for 90 minutes, an 8:00 a.m. start time is not a problem.
2. Earlier bedtimes
People used to tell me to keep Clay up later, so he’d sleep in the next morning. After attempting it several times (and testing it occasionally to make sure nothing has changed), I quickly realized it wouldn’t work. Sure, we could keep him up late, but he will still be up with the sun. Not to mention grouchy by 10:00 a.m. because he didn’t get enough sleep. Instead, our kids go to bed at 7:30. It gives us time alone at night, and it makes sure they get enough sleep.
3. No need for an alarm clock
Who needs something buzzing in their ear when they have a small human appearing at the side of their bed instead? They are much cuter and usually not as loud.
4. Cheaper and more efficient travel
Early morning flights are typically less expensive and have better on-time records. Roads are less crowded early in the morning for road trips. When your kids are up at dawn, why not start your trip early?
5. More time together for working parents
When I worked full time in an office I was actually thankful my kids woke up early. It gave us almost two hours together before we had to leave for work and school – time I wouldn’t have had with them if they were still sleeping.
Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes feel jealous of friends whose kids sleep in, but the truth is, Chase and I were never the couple that slept until noon, even before kids.
As they’ve gotten older they do sleep a bit later, and they will play or watch TV together in our loft on weekends, which is a godsend. So, those of you with young kids who have you up before the sun, take heart. It does get better. Before we know it, we’ll be longing for these days when we’re yelling at our teenagers to get out of bed!