All my life I detested the mornings. They were an anomaly. My life before having kids went from working late nights bartending (and indulging), to managing a small restaurant, to studying and writing papers. Enter my late twenties to being in full-swing career-mode working in the non-profit sector by day, moon-lighting as a band manager by night.
To say it was a hard crash with reality when I had my first baby (what with all of the unbroken sleep and early mornings) would be putting it lightly. I totally expected it, and even had memories to fall back on of what it might be like from when I was a young nanny on an army reserve during my teens. (That, my friends is a story for another time.)
Aside from all of the necessary reasons as to why I was accustomed to staying up so late and naturally sleeping in (unless of course, I had morning classes – which I obviously had and you can bet I dragged my sorry butt in to them and then promptly came home and napped before staying up most of the night), I loved the late nights.
I revelled in the contrast of a calm and inspirational quiet, to the mad whirl of the nightlife, strangers everywhere, a story to unravel in every one. Both were ways I loved to escape reality in some way or when I found I was at my creative best: at my sharpest for studying or writing.
I’ve grown out of certain parts of that old life but certain parts still call to me. Once my sweethearts’ heads have laid to rest at night, I feel an irresistible tug to stay up into the wee hours: reading, creating, working or relaxing. It is a time where there are no obligations, parental or otherwise except for those which I choose to do. What I choose to do with my time is a luxury these days, one that I savour and am weaning myself from indulging in too regularly.
All those late nights make for a tired and grouchy mama in the morning. Which, I have realized, keeps me from enjoying a whole new part of the day: a gentle waking. A sweet, almost blissful time of kisses and cuddles and rolling about in plush duvets, delving through stacks of books that get handed to me, one after the other, by a gaping, wide-mouthed grinning child of mine.
I have started to crave these early mornings — 6 AM early, I’m talking. These mornings I force myself to wake up before them, to savour a rich cup of coffee and have some restorative moments before my fireplace to pray and smudge in a new day. Tiptoeing back into bed with my family, as both little ones have usually pattered into our bed at this point.
I have been graced with children who love to snuggle. They need it like they require food and water. Like little sponges they soak it up, and truth be told, I do too. It is during the gentle waking that I sing some of their favourite verses to them, or engage in play. It’s all about waking up with a fresh start, creating a healthier lifestyle. There’s a new beginning to be found in every day, which does not come without its work.
The thing of it is, it’s starting to feel less like work now. The more happy and well rested I am? That vibe just trickles on down! There is less rushing, less melt-downs, more moments dancing in the sunlight and gathering around the table for breakfast.
We lay in bed or under the table in our newfound favourite fort-spot. We discuss all of the possibilities for breakfast, the goodness of fuit always being top on the list, in great array. We mull over what songs we’ll play on the stereo. My little girl takes great joy in going to pick out her outfit of the day with me, brushing her teeth and standing perfectly still while I style her wispy curls; a new morning tradition for us, since the sudden growth of her hair from baby to toddler.
My son joins me in my love for the camera and engages in playful photo-shoots while dancing in rays of early morning sunshine, asking me questions and pouring over the family photos in my phone.
This slow evolution of my appreciation for the mornings and all of the simple, beatific moments to be found there hasn’t come easily, or even all that naturally. I would say that I am still more naturally inclined to be a night owl. But my desire to nurture my children, and in turn my own soul, in new and gratifying ways is stronger.
This new year is slowly starting to feel like one of my very best yet, both as a mother and a woman. Spring is right around the corner, and the days are getting longer, lighter awakening the goodness within.
More Babbles From Selena…
- Ridiculous (and totally necessary) St. Patty’s Day Photo Props for Toddlers
- DIY Toddler Beds. Yep. Uh huh.
- Confessions & Secrets…on being a better mom
- Michelle Obama’s Mad Dance Skills (with Jimmy Fallon)
- Hardcore Baby Doll Love (pictorial) + your chance to subit your own!
Elsewhere on the internets…
Via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve.