How waking up early saved my family

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We all know that successful people get up super early, but they’re getting paid the big bucks when we’re just trying to keep 100 plates spinning while jumping through a flaming hoop and trying to keep the tiny humans alive.

I get it. Waking up early sucks.

Yeah I’ll say it, waking up early is literally the worst.

Seriously, though. The first few days are terrible, and then all of a sudden, this strange and wonderful thing happens: you start to get used to it. And then a few more days pass, and something really weird starts to happen: you start to actually like it.

I’ve always considered myself a bit of sleep princess. I like to be in bed between 10:30 and 11 and my ideal wake up time is 8:15. A blissful 9 hours each and every night.

But then I had a baby.

And then I went back to work.

I kept with my old routine, and soon I found that my mornings and evenings were frazzled, my house was a mess, and I just always felt like it was behind. Evan and I were constantly bickering about silly things, I was getting annoyed with Ava’s whining even though I knew she was just whining because she wanted to spend time with me.

One night sticks out in particular, I had just come home from work. Evan had been home for about an hour with Ava, and she was so excited to see me! I gave her a big hug and a kiss and then I set her in her pack ‘n play so I could make dinner, clean the kitchen, and try to get our lives together for the evening.

It wasn’t long before Ava started fussing, and I told her several times that I’d be there in a minute. But in my distracted state, I kept moving from one task to the next.

After awhile Evan came over with her and said in a firm, even voice, “Babe, your daughter wants you. You always come home and go straight into doing something. It’s go, go, go. She wants you. She won’t always want you. Dinner and dishes can wait. Play with her.”

I started to choke something out like, “But I just need to…” and then I broke down in tears. I grabbed my baby and kissed her hair while I cried.

I had started to say that I just needed to get dinner finished and then I would play. And then. And then. And then.

There was always something keeping me from being the mother that I wanted to be: dishes, laundry, dinner.

Something had to change. So I turned in my sleep princess crown, and committed to getting up between 5 and 5:30 am.

And honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever turn back.

By getting up early, I’m able to have at least 2 hours entirely to myself every morning. This is a time I use for my morning ritual (more on that later!): drinking coffee, meditation, journaling, reading my Bible and either working out or getting some pressing tasks done. I work out 3-4 days a week (welllll, most weeks :P), so the other days I use that time to do some writing, get a jump start on work, etc.

I’ve come to realize that by being flexible and making a tiny adjustment to my preferred schedule, I’m able to be more present for my own life, as well as for my daughter and husband.

I feel more grounded, centered, and ready for the day when I get up early. Even if the rest of my day goes downhill, it’s much easier to handle because I already knocked-out the most pressing tasks of the day.

But getting up early isn’t an all or nothing thing — it’s all or something.

Make your goal to be up just 10 minutes earlier. You can accomplish that by just not hitting snooze! After you get good at getting up 10 minutes earlier, start pushing yourself to wake up earlier and earlier. If you miss a day and sleep in, that’s okay! Show yourself some grace, and get back on it the next morning. I bet you’ll find that you missed it.

So while waking up earlier didn’t actually save my family, it did help lift me out of that motherhood survival-mode funk that had been hovering over our home.

Waking up early takes discipline and commitment. And just like most positive changes, it won’t come easy, but it will definitely be worth it.

Are you an early riser by nature? Are you a night-owl thinking about testing the waters of all this early morning stuff? If you’re needing encouragement to make this change work for you, Subscribe and find me on Instagram @simply.sarahmae

xo — Sarah

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January 16, 2018 —

There’s been such an overwhelming response to this post, that I’ve decided to create #ReclaimYourDay — a 7-day early bird challenge group! We start Monday 1/22/18 — leave a comment or send me a note at if you want to join us and I’ll send you the information!

January 18, 2018 —

Round 1 is full, but Round 2 will be starting in mid-March! Sign up here to save your spot for #ReclaimYourDay Round 2! 

Reclaim Morning Insta.png

6 thoughts on “How waking up early saved my family

  1. Well stated. I’ve been getting up around 5 for the past 3norn4 months, I believed it’s because I’m old now and not an intentional action I chose to take – it’s amazing how it’ll change your life for the better like you stated. A wonderful side effect I’ve noticed.


  2. I love your distinction between “all or nothing” and “all or something.” I’ve not heard that before and it’s just brilliant. Found your blog through Early Risers and I look forward to reading more! (adorable baby as well)


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