Not one, but two children found excuses to climb into bed with us tonight. I woke up groggy and grumpy the second time around and snappishly dispatched them back to their beds. I regretted my lack of maternal kindness instantly; and my mind set about recounting all of my parenting failures over the years, rattling through a few potential catastrophic outcomes, before settling on pension plan ruminations. It was time to get up.
A few years ago I got into a routine of waking before everyone else, completing a few important tasks, and generally starting my day on a good footing. It was a way of carving out some quiet time for myself, a truly simple pleasure. Restless children have put paid to that and sitting here today at 5am, it doesn't feel like a golden time of possibilities and productivity. I'm tired and scared to make a sound in case I wake someone. Still it has reminded me of what I am missing. I would like to get back to rising early.
I cannot control my children waking, but there are things in my sphere of influence that I could be better at. More exercise and fresh air during the day, less caffeine (and none after 5pm), and less evening screen time are a solid prescription for a better nights sleep. I will complete my important tasks each day, and write a brain dump list for the rest to give my overworked brain some respite. I will try a gentle routine to ease me to bed - a warm drink, a (real, hardcopy!) book and perhaps journalling of some kind. I will try to turn the lights out by 10pm.
And just like that the sun is up, and so is a certain threenager. It's going to be a long day.