My friend Ben told me once that he wakes with the feeling that the day holds “limitless potential for good.” That’s just his natural state of morning being. This amazed me, at the time. What a cool way to wake up! (He added, however, that he feels anxious and out of whack in the evening, before bed. It’s fascinating how we all have our own natural arcs). I really think there’s something extra special about that fresh morning feeling. Once Kaspar was born, I decided that I would not only get serious about adjusting my own a.m. dial, but also that I’d see what I could do about starting my son off waking up on the right side of the bed, from the very beginning. (Click Read More below to find out how).
Once Kaspar was six months old or so, I incorporated some positive-affirmation type phrases into our morning routine. We were pretty much in the belly of the beast as far as the allergies and sleep dep were concerned, and nights were rough. Come mornings, I gave it my all: “Good morning Kaspar! We feel great! Right?! You’re Kaspar and you’re great!” He’d laugh and kick his legs, egging me on. As soon as we opened the door and stepped outside, I’d stretch my arms above me and say “What a beauoooootiful day!” I know it sounds cheesy, but hey. I just went for it. Babies and cheesy go together just fine sometimes. And you know what? Now months past the sleep deprivation and well into our real normal, Kaspar wakes up every day and grins, dances, steps outside and waves his arms in the air, babbling about the beautiful day. That’s normal for him. I hope the habit sticks, and that this inspiration remains available to him throughout his life.
As for me, I wake up to a toddler sticking his index finger up my nose and prying my right eye open (I see crazy blonde hair, a broad smile). Sometimes I can sneak another hour of sleep, if Kaspar’s down for dozing after a bottle in bed. But he usually wants UP. He wants dancing. He wants to greet the beautiful day. Aaron and I take turns getting the morning party started, allowing each other alternating days to sleep alone for a while (good system). But whether it’s my day on or off, and no matter how tired I am, I now wake up feeling happy, and grateful for this baby and his hidden lessons on happiness, on habits well-formed, and on limitless potential for good.
How do you feel first thing in the morning? Do you have any regular routines or rituals that you kick the day off with? Do you incorporate your kids in those, or somehow find alone time/space for them? How do you get yourself in a good headspace when you’re tired in the morning? Any other early-morning-converts (reformed-morning-grumps) out there?
PS. Sometimes I still need a little bit of motivation to get my posi-core on first thing in the morning. I've found just the thing. This video nails it. Seriously, start your day (and your kiddos') with this for a week, and see what happens: