Matt Lauer, Farmers, Doughnut Shop Owners

Someone has a new mantra:

Matt Lauer, farmers, doughnut shop owners.

It’s Sanskrit for your kid’s getting you up early for the foreseeable future so deal with it, Toots.

Morning workouts: LET. IT. GO.

Morning workouts: LET. IT. GO.
Image credit: http://www.builtlean.com/2012/08/28/early-morning-workouts/

Does the world need another post about sleep?  Probably not, but I’m too damn tired to be codependent with the world. And I’m not tired just because Simon enjoys a 5:30 am wake up.

I’m tired from spending so much energy trying to change him.

My latest foray into solutions was the tot clock– the one that changes colors to let children know when they are “allowed” to get up. “Simon, when it’s green, come into mama’s room.”  As I was setting the clock up, I noticed that the default time for it to change to green (“you’re allowed to get up now”) is 7:00 am. I wept when I saw that.  7:00 am?  I fucking wish, you stupid tri-colored clock. If I had a wake up time anywhere near 7:00 am I wouldn’t have rush-ordered this from the manufacturer.

Matt Lauer, farmers, doughnut shop owners.

We’ve introduced the clock to Simon but so far it’s resulted in him coming into our room at 5:30 am saying, “my clock’s not green.”

As he stands by the bed whimpering, I say my mantra:

Matt Lauer, farmers, doughnut shop owners.

Over and over I say it to remind myself I am not the only person up before 6:00 am. When I am extra victimy about the early hour, I remind myself of families who’ve lost children and would give anything to hold their babies at any time at all.  Nothing like a dose of morbidity to really fuel good vibes in the morning.

But I do think of Newton families and cringe at my gall for complaining that my kid won’t sleep until 7:00 am (or even 6:00 am) so I can run, meditate and obsess about stuff alone.  And I feel surges of gratitude and love when I look at Simon and see him full of energy, ready to spend his day pushing Sadie around, ripping shit up, and throwing food off the table.

Matt Lauer, farmers, doughnut shop owners.

Once I get going, I wonder how I have wasted so much time trying to change him. There’s nothing wrong with him.   Actually, now that the sun comes up around 5:45 am, I sound like a crazy person trying to convince him it’s the middle of the night so he must go back to bed.

Matt Lauer, farmers, doughnut shop owners.

It’s been 27.5 months since I was able to wake before my children to exercise or write or meditate. I’ve been trying to claw my way back to me-time in the morning just about everyday since then. That’s approximately 19,000 hours.  Time well spent?  Hardly.

Since I can’t change Simons rhythms I’m hoping to change my own. Less struggle. Less frenzy to find the quick fix. Fewer rush orders from Amazon.  Perhaps a dash of gratitude for the late afternoon runs that are possible now that the morning ones aren’t.  Less euphoric recall for the days gone by when I could do what I wanted from 5-7 am.  More acceptance.

Matt Lauer, farmers, doughnut shop owners.

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31 thoughts on “Matt Lauer, Farmers, Doughnut Shop Owners

  1. I feel for you. My little boy was an early riser too and it was a tough period. We are night owls in this house so it worked for us to eventually make his bedtime 9:30pm and his cycle slowly adapted to a wake-up of 7am (why is that the promised land of wake times?). Of course his sleep schedule has changed 9000 times since then. It’s hard to make something work for the whole family. And there are definitely no magic solutions (though I also put my life in the hands of that green-lighted clock to no avail). You are best to surrender the way you have.

    Since this is about me, I need to know — is Simon in a bed now? My oldest had been in one at 21 months but I am so damn lazy and uninterested that poor C is still in her crib. I fear you have confirmed I am torturing her and need to get it together and move on. Blech.

    • No no no. The only reason Simon is in a bed is because his super genius mother signed him up for gymnastics and encouraged him to JUMP! JUMP! JUMP! while we were there. Turns out, he was able to translate my commands at home and one week into the gynmastics session he started jumping out. All the time. I would have just left it but the pediatrician gave me a *tsk tsk * about how dangerous it is for them to be jumping out of their cribs in the dark. Alas, that’s how Simon got in a crib when he was 2 years and 1 week old. I am begging you: Leave her in there.

      • I have to jump in here (because I’m like that) and say that I had Nathan in a bed by about 2 because I was convinced I could potty train him by then (ha!) and that he would get up and go to the bathroom by himself in the night (hahaha!!!). But I told him that there were invisible bars on his crib so he couldn’t get up without calling for me and now, at 6 years and 4 months, he STILL doesn’t get out of bed without calling for me, even though I told him he can get up whenever he wants and he has 2 flashlights and a tap light and he is SIX for crying out loud. I might as well have left him in a crib for all the good the bed did.

  2. I was an early bird, too, but on the farm that was not a problem. If only my mom were a doughnut maker, my life would have been perfect!
    Our 9 year old still gets up before 6 most days. The good news…she no longer wakes us up. Today she was all decked out in khakis, polo and her patriot plaid belt by about 5:50. She & Simon could FaceTime. The cat was also up and DID wake us up despite his mind-altering medication.
    My farmer dad sleeps past 8 now so there is hope.
    Acceptance is a bitter pill. And harder to swallow when sleep-deprived. I’ll think of you when I hit my 5:30am workout tomorrow.

    • I’ll vicariously work out with you! And excuse me, your daughter has a patriot plaid belt? She’s so freaking cool I can’t stand it. When can she start babysitting my kids? Just sayin. Patriot belts aren’t cheap.

  3. As someone for whom morning runs are practically a religious experience, I understand more than most how hard it would be to give them up for any reason. But the truth is, now that the weather is getting nicer and the sun stays up far later, when I see runners doing their thing as I drive home from work, I think about how nice it must feel to run as the sun goes down, rather than as the sun comes up. You are doing just fine. Keep on trucking.

    • I get a vicarious thrill out of hearing about your morning runs. I was just wondering if you were jones-ing because you are in taper mode! I always love-hate the tapers before a big race.

  4. I really miss my morning runs. It has been 7 years now. Just recently I’ve managed to squeeze 30 minute jogs in with Baby S in the stroller on our way back from dropping the first grader at school. I run to kids folk songs instead of music that pumps me up. My how the times change.

  5. ha! took me a moment to get the mantra… so funny!!! and yeah, that sucks, but it will change. really. or at the very least, he’ll be able to walk into another room by himself and put on the tv. have your tried blackout shades?

  6. Farmers, doughnut shop owners, Matt Lauer, and personal trainers! My ass is up at 4:30am every morning to train a client. I have the reverse problem you do….come 8:30pm at night I want my kiddo in bed so I can go to bed and get up before dawn. 🙂 Heres hoping you get better sleep tomorrow

    • That’s interesting. A personal trainer… of course you have to get up early. 4:30…that’s a whole lotta early. Thanks for helping me see this from another perspective.

  7. Ouch! Is bedtime any easier? Mine sleeps ok in the morning but has taken to staying up as late as we do and fighting sleep as long as possible. love the mantra, but I hope you can find some meditative time for yourself soon.

    • Bedtimes vary in their difficulty. He just loves to run around and while he’s not in charge, I am finding it harder to wrangle him. I think I need better boundaries.

  8. More acceptance seems to be the answer to everything these days – I’ll join you in that today – and I do the same morbidity self check when my kids are wearing me down. Wishing you more down time and gentle runs, whenever they come!

  9. I read that some people had success moving the clock’s green light back 5 or 10 minutes a day – something to try if acceptance doesn’t stick. Our clock has not been successful either, mainly because Morris thinks every color is “yeyyow” and I think he may be color blind.

  10. You already know how much I can relate to this. I tried to teach Nathan he could get up when the hands were straight up and down (6am). He’d cry from 5-6 every morning that his clock was broken because it moved so slowly. Now he sleeps until about 6-6:15 on weekdays, 5:30 on weekends (seriously, why do they DO that??). We only just got here this year. I feel like I’d have been able to handle it better if I was better rested. But the one thing I did learn is that for Nathan at least, he is just on his own schedule and that’s it. Good luck!

  11. More acceptance. Yes. So hard (grrr), but so good when it magically happens. In between, I also enjoy “Nothing like a dose of morbidity to really fuel good vibes in the morning.” Haha – you always make me laugh. Or cry. Sometimes both. Well done.

  12. What a coincidence that today I popped in. This morning was the FIRST morning that B adhered to the clock. We actually got it for the twins several months ago- but they ignored it just like they ignore everything else that tries to tell them what to do. Anyhow- B has been waking at 5 & 6 and coming into our room and waking us up. Then his brothers. So I gave him the clock. Yesterday was a bust- but today it worked. Well, actually he still got up at 6 to tell us that the sheep was still asleep, but then went back to his room until it went to awake. It’s all just a scam. As if sleep deprived parents need someone else to hate.

  13. OK – this is one of those hard and fast rules in my house – no one is allowed to get out of bed until 7:00! I’ve threatened to never give them ice cream again over it! Because that early morning time is my only time, and I am a crazy without it. I may have to borrow your mantra to calm me next time one of my kids tests the waters.

  14. I would need to up my meds to get up that early. I give Lily my ipad and then she is enraptured while I sleep. I figure that she is so smart that it is okay to risking a few braincells while I slumber and then I can be a happy mommy. Is he too young for technology? Does Jeff have to know? Sorry Jeff – love ya.

  15. And I misspelled a word because Lily woke me up in the middle of the night to cuddle. Thus proving that I need more sleep to function.

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