Early morning starts. How do you cope?
I caught up with a dear friend of mine with her toddler the other day. We hadn’t seen each other in a while. She’s also four months pregnant with her next one and is understandably, feeling absolutely exhausted.
“What I’d really like” she said somewhat wearily “is some sleep. Actually I’d really like a sleep in.”
I asked her what time her day was starting, guessing what the answer would be.
Yes her toddler wakes at 5am ready to start the day.
She on the other hand, isn’t.
I know. I’ve been there with all of mine being early risers. Of course when they are teenagers and will have to get up early for swimming training or whatever sport they sign up for, they won’t want to wake up at all. But right now that’s what she’s stuck with.
She wanted me to share her story with you. Mainly so that other mums know they aren’t alone at those horribly awful early hours of the day.
We went through all the things she could do. Blackout curtains, trying later and earlier bedtimes, controlled crying.
There is the usual checklist. I even suggested what I’d tried in desperation with one of mine. I’d gone to the news-agency and bought huge sheets of black cardboard and taped them all over the window. I didn’t care that it meant the room was pitch dark day and night. If only my child would sleep in.
I’m proud to say the combination of the cardboard and blackout blinds actually worked. You needed a torch to see in that room, but I didn’t care.
My friend left armed with a plan. She too decorated the windows with cardboard. It didn’t fool her little one for a second. So she tried something else. Instead of getting cross or letting him cry it out, she went in and scooped him out of bed.
They now snuggle in her bed together for a while. He loves his “mummy cuddle” time and she loves being able to drowse for just a bit longer.
Everyone has different ways of coping with those early starts. What are yours?