Wake Up Early: 3 Easy Steps to Rise Before Your Children

Wake Up Early: 3 Easy Steps to Rise Before Your Children

One of my biggest joys as a mother has been waking up early and taking care of myself before my family wakes up. This is my time to have full run of the main areas of my home and live in it fully and joyfully. I rise early to do yoga, journal, drink coffee and even sit outside under the stars in the complete quiet.

This is how I have gifted myself more time in my day.

The result has been a number of beautiful things. Such as this project, which was born in the wee hours of the mornings five years ago this month. Sweet notes that I have the time and energy for writing and sneaking in my girls’ lunch boxes. A decluttered kitchen when I feel like making that my priority. And a clear head — almost all of my best ideas for life happen in that first half hour of waking.

Waking early is not for everyone, though.

In fact, just this week I was hearing from a few Abundant Mamas who are night owls, and that’s how they get more time in their day. More power to them!

But for many moms waking up feeling refreshed with a clear head and a good night’s rest is the most life-changing habit to form.

More than 8,000 mamas around the world have taken my free 10-Day Rise and Shine challenge and are finding ways to create deep moments of stillness and self-care into their days because of it.


Wake Up Early: 3 Easy Steps to Rise Before Your Children


For those of you who might be considering trying to wake up early to get that beautiful stillness of early rising, I offer:

3 Easy Steps to Rise Before Your Children

#1: Set a very clear intention

Before you jump out of bed and try to make it work be sure you are in it for the long haul. One good day can quickly lead to many bad days. It’s all in how you pace yourself and it’s very much about holding a positive mindset. At the top of your list you must be positive about your energy level. If you are saying how tired you are all day, you will be tired all day.

Setting an intention that helps you remain positive and upbeat and energetic about your life and health is a great way to start. Be clear and detailed so you have something to look forward to when you do wake up.  Ask yourself some questions first:

  • How do I want to feel when I wake up early?
  • What do I want to do? And how will I really spend my time?
  • What activities do I want to do first thing to feel more energized and ready for my day? (Not sure? Consider taking my Rise and Shine Challenge, a free 10-day challenge to help you get more sleep, wake up early and take care of yourself before YOUR world wakes up.)

#2: Set clear boundaries

What you spend your time doing first thing in the morning will absolutely make or break your day — and your waking up early stamina. This is a great time to create a space that feels good for you to sit in and reflect or meditate. A cozy chair can make all the difference in a busy morning.

Think of things that make you feel good so you can decide ahead of time what to do with your morning time:

  • What will you NOT do in that time?
  • Where will you NOT spend your quiet time?
  • Who or what will you NOT spend time thinking about?
  • When will you wake up? What is your Plan A and your Plan B time to roll out of bed?

#3: Set your alarm

The hard part is often the waking up, but once you know your why and have beautiful things to look forward to doing in those early minutes or hours, waking up is often pretty easy.

Start with just 10 minutes early and do that for a week. The next week, increase that amount by another 10 minutes so you are eventually waking at least 20 minutes earlier than your children.

If all you do is wake up 10 minutes early, it could be the most peaceful 10 minutes of your day — and set the tone for a much more organized, productive and peaceful day.

It’s worth the agony of crawling out of the warm bed … to have a wonderful day ahead.

Wake Up Early: 3 Easy Steps to Rise Before Your Children


To get journal prompts emailed to inspire your morning routine, sign up for the Rise and Shine 10-Day Challenge. It’s free.








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14 Responses to Wake Up Early: 3 Easy Steps to Rise Before Your Children

  1. I love this post so much because THIS IS SO ME! If I’m up before my kids, I have time to write blog posts, get some coffee in me and enjoy the quiet before the hustle of our day begins. For our family, this makes a huge difference in the atmosphere in our home.

  2. I truly love what you are doing for moms and I have found tons of peace and contentment through your blog and emails. Still a long way to go but I’m not who I was a year ago. And after all this time your comment about night owls hit me in the forehead like I ran into a wall. I’ve been beating myself up, feeling like a failure about not being able to get up earlier and have ‘me’ time or even just get the day started the ‘right’ way. But it just occurred to me that I am a night owl. I always have been although the past few years I’ve been more tired and don’t always stay up. But I’ve recently gotten back into the routine because we moved and school hours are different and the boys need to go to bed earlier and I had forgotten how great it feels to get things accomplished and to enjoy a quiet house. I can have a good 2 hours to myself and still get plenty of sleep. I also find that when the boys go to bed for the night and fall asleep they stay asleep and I rarely get interrupted unlike mornings where I have to tiptoe around and most often than not don’t get that time alone because someone wakes up after a restful nights sleep. How liberating to say I don’t have to be an early bird! I am okay this way and being a night owl is enough! It’s more than that because I feel so determined and motivated going through the evening getting things done after bedtime and completing things. Rather than going to sleep early and not getting up and feeling bad about myself. I love what you do but you might have a whole other arena to explore with us night owls. You need a Bedtime Mamas forum, challenges and classes! I’m not a Rise and Shine Mama, I’m a tuck em in, pj wearing, padding through a snoozing house Mama, like the elves we wish would come in the night and make everything right while we sleep. But I’m the magical elf getting it all done so tomorrow when the sun rises we can hit the ground running. And had you not written that mere two sentences about night owls, who knows when I would have realized it. So thank you again. And let me know if you want a partner for your Bedtime Mamas program 😉

    • This is me too! I have always been a night owl, but I keep hearing “mornings are where it’s at”, so I keep trying. I’m taking the challenge, because I like my one-on-one time in the evenings with my husband and am usually too tired to be productive. But then I also struggle with getting your early! I’m burning the candle at both ends with a 3-year-old and an 11-month-old and this mama needs to find some balance! I’m hoping this challenge might help me transition to love mornings.

      • I always say … we can absolutely do it all, just not at once. It might be helpful to have evening time with your hubby once or twice a week and make a thing. Then you know you can sleep in those days and get up early the rest of the week. :)

    • Well, while I do love that you have made this realization, the trick is this: If your kids wake early — as many do — you are still going to be really tired in the morning. So while I’m a fan of self-care … you also have to make sure you are ready for the morning if you want it to be more peaceful. I have a rule that I NEVER go to bed after 10:30 p.m. Do you know why? It’s guaranteed I’ll be very impatient the next day. So I’m not ready to get the night owl bandwagon going for moms just yet. I still believe you will have more fun and be more productive after a good night sleep. :) However, that said,you know yourself and you know what’s best so go with that!

  3. GREAT post and reminder to claim those sacred hours in the morning. I’m feeling inspired and looking forward to your challenge! xx

  4. Funny how things come to you right when you are ready and open for them. I decided yesterday that I was going to use the time change to help me kick start resetting my clock to wake up before my kids, who are early risers and I AM NOT! This showed up in my FB news feed today. Perfect timing as I am just now open and willing to give this a shot. And love the positive affirmations. If you say how tired you are you will be tired so today I woke up early and I was productive. Not tired, productive :-).

    Looking forward to taking the 10-day challenge!

  5. I would sooooo love to be able to do but I have a 7 year who has never slept through the night and so I have broken sleep most nights. It’s almost like she knows when I am up because she is either up well before me (5/6am) or gets up as soon as she hears me, along with her nearly 4 year old sister :( Do you have any advice on what to do in this situation? I love all your blogs, thanks so much for sharing your tips and advice xxx

    • Well, I think you need to figure out how to get your 7 year old to sleep through the night — that would be top priority. Then, once you master that — and that’s crucial — you need to start establishing a boundary around your time in the mornings. Even if your daughter wakes early you can designate it as quiet time for mommy to prepare for her day.

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Shawn Fink - Abundant MamaFrom Our Founder

I created The Abundant Mama Project to inspire overwhelmed, busy mothers to slow down and let go of the worries and concerns that are holding them back from experiencing joyful motherhood. Read More »
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