I wish the whole day could be morning. No, I’m totally serious.
To me, morning feels fresh, new, and alive. My thinking is clear and focused, my motivation is high, and my pace is quick. In college, I was the only one who voluntarily took 8am classes. I’d roll out of bed, shower, and, on the coldest of winter days, walk out of my dorm with wet hair, and into class with frozen hair. In grad school, I woke up at 5am to write papers and work on projects.
It may sound crazy to all you “night” people, but at 5am my thoughts flow fluidly and writing is easy. In fact, it’s 5:30am now as I compose this essay. My husband and kids are still asleep and the house is quiet. For these brief moments it’s my house, my quiet. I tiptoe so as not to wake anyone, as this fragile window of serenity could so easily shatter at any moment.
Waking my kids for school and getting them out the door isn’t so bad in the morning. My patience is high, my stress low, and on the toughest of mornings, I plow through, unshaken. I’m Super Morning Mom! Even my most beastly school-morning child, who shall remain nameless, can’t cloud this sparkling new day. I wave to the bus and stride back to the house with vigor. Whether it’s laundry, cleaning, or computer work, it’s going DOWN.
As noon nears, I feel my focus begin to deteriorate. I eat lunch, and, for all intents and purposes, my day is over. The dew has dried, the freshness is gone, and I’m yawning. I struggle through chores. By 3pm, there’s a circus of children in my house, and they’re all mine. There’s dinner to make, sports to manage, homework to enforce, and crises to diffuse, but I’m just not in the mood. Super Morning Mom has been replaced by Super Tired Mom, and it’s not going to get better until I go to sleep and wake up again. So I call for back-up and go take a bubble bath. Actually, I don’t do that. I wish I could do that. Instead, I trudge along, doing my best to be the mom that I’m sure my neighbor is being at this very moment. I drive, I cook, I negotiate. My eyes glaze over with spelling words and multiplication problems, but I push through, because when these kids grow up, they’ll cherish fond memories of me doting lovingly on their academics. (Wrestling and giggling at fart jokes with Dad can’t hold a candle to me.) By the time 8pm rolls around, Super Monster Mom often shows up to put my twins to bed. I’m tired, depleted, and irritable. But I dig deep, knowing that my kiddos won’t want me to lay down next to them forever, and besides, I’m next in line to go to bed.
Now don’t get me wrong – I’ve been known to go out in the evenings, stay up late, and even enjoy myself. But sleeping in feels like such a waste of a beautiful morning, so the party has to be really good for me to stay past my bedtime. Does my obsession with morning make me weird? Maybe, but I’m well beyond caring what others might think, and there are a lot worse things to be addicted to. My mornings are beautiful, free, and guaranteed.
Abby Helman Kelly, a Simsbury mom of four, is the founder and owner of www.glutenfreeconnecticut.com, the state’s most comprehensive and up-to-date gluten-free resource. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org