Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's 6 a.m.!! Rise and Shine!

I have a secret. Very few people know my secret. I'm not ashamed of this hidden information. It's just easier not to have to explain it to everyone. But today I'm revealing it.



...here goes.....

Everyone in my house (me, DR, all three of our kids) we all wake up at 6 am every morning. Okay, sometimes it's 6:15 but most mornings by 6:30 everyone is in the kitchen eating breakfast.

Why don't I let it be known to the entire world (until today that is) what our household schedule is? Well...when I do, people are shocked. They can't believe that everyone gets up so early! They can't believe I make my kids get up so early! What a cruel mother I must be!

Now for the second part of my secret....my kids' bedtimes.

Ready? Okay....

Yip and Yap (they are 6 years old) go to bed at 7:30 and Yahoo (almost 2) is tucked in by 6:30 - 6:45 at the latest. She also takes a 2 hour nap during the day. It's not like I put my kids to bed and they're awake playing for an hour. After they are in bed they fall asleep pretty quickly. Phew! I feel better! Up until the boys started school, and I started talking to other moms, I didn't even think this was an odd schedule.

In my defense my kids have always been early risers. Their bodies' schedules just worked out that way. But I do have a reason for encouraging the "early to bed, early to rise" attitude in our house. See, DR's job is agriculturally related; he manages a grain elevator and helps to oversee 4 others. Therefore, as with any ag job, work hours can flucuate wildly. Most days DR works an 11 hr. day. He leaves at 6:45 and gets home around 6:30...on a good day. Other days he doesn't get home until 7:30 or 8. Then there has been the occasional trip out of town; he'll be gone for a couple days at the end of this month. But then there is always harvest. When farmers are in the fields and bringing grain to the elevator, it isn't uncommon for DR to leave at 6 am and get home at 9 or 10 at night.

I remember when I was in elementary school my dad worked as an ag mechanic and a part time farmer. I remember weeks at a time where I barely saw him. When I was a kid, I hardly ever saw him in the mornings. Dad left for work before I woke up. And there were times he came home from work and went straight into the field and worked until after I was in bed. I remember times when I didn't see my dad until the weekends. (Dad, I'm not putting you on a guilt trip here, my childhood was awesome. I love you bunches!) But Dad always told me not to marry anyone in the ag industry. I was never very good at listening to him!

Because this is the way I grew up with my wonderful dad, I try to make sure that my kids see DR at least a few minutes every day. That's why everyone in my house gets up at the same time.....6 am. It doesn't always work out, and there are some days when the kids don't see their dad at all. But most mornings DR kisses everyone before heading out the door.

Now tell me, is this crazy? Why is everyone so shocked when I tell them our sleep schedule? Why does everyone thinks this is so odd? Am I the "weird mom"? (Well, yeah I probably am a weird mom but for a lot of other reasons besides this one!) Not that I'm going to change my kids' sleep schedules but I'd like to hear other mom's opinions on this.


  1. My mom had this philosophy too. It was nice as a kid to see my dad in the mornings and sometimes even get to go with him (especially since I didn't know how short of a time I would have with him in my life). But, I feel like it has done me a disservice as an adult. I wake up at 6 on Saturdays when my hubby sleeps until 9. And, I can't go out and function normally with my friends on the weekends because I turn into a pumpkin at 10:00. I think what you are doing for your kids is great, and I hope they don't have the frustration I have had.
    Love, Mindy

  2. We are on the same type of schedule. I'm a naturally early riser and I encourage my kids to be the same. I'm normally up around 4:30 and they are up by 6:30 at the latest.

    I've always encouraged this because most moms I know complain a lot about trying to get their kids up for school when they are older and I'm hoping to have less of an issue with that.

    The really great side is they get to see dad before work. His schedule is pretty close to your husband's.

    I do (like you) enforce an early bedtime. We are all lights out pretty early around here.

  3. Our girls are 6 & 8 and go to bed at 8:00 with prep time starting at 7:30. They get up at 6:00 to make the bus at 7:10, but on the weekends this sometimes eases up. Rarely are they ever up past 9:00, but I do let them wake up on their own on Saturday. Sunday, they have a bit of grace time, but the church we usually go to starts at 9:30. If we go to 8:00 services, then it's up and at 'em. One church, I call Farmer's Church, starts at 7:30. Steve and I went there many times BEFORE children, but not so much after! ;-)

  4. There is NO WAY I'd get myself up, let alone my kids too, at 6AM unless I had to. I am a night owl so I have a hard time in the early hours of the morning. When I am up early I enjoy having a quiet house for a little bit while I drink my coffee and check blogs/email/facebook.

    My youngest two (ages 1.5 and 4) go to bed at 7:00, my 8-year-old goes to bed at 8:00. They all wake up between 7-7:30. On the weekend the toddler might sleep until about 7:45.

    You're nuts woman! though I understand with DR's schedule... kids gotta see their daddy. But you're still nuts! :o)

  5. Not weird at all. I bet your kids don't play video games all day and eat at McDonalds every night. Bet they are healthy kids. Sleep is so important to kids.

  6. Well, yes, I think you're probably in a minority. That said, I wish I could get up earlier. I've always been a night-owl. I remember my mother making us get up at 5:30 for just that reason: to see my dad and eat breakfast with him, before he left for work. I remember that just being horrible, the whole time we were doing it.

    But if your children are naturally early risers, I'm sure they aren't suffering the way I did! :-) And what I would really like to know is, what are they doing during the day, that they go to sleep right away when you put them to bed so early?? If my two-year-old takes a nap (which he frequently desperately NEEDS by two or three o'clock), he is up until nine or ten, guaranteed. If I could get my kiddos to bed by 7:30, I would get my quiet time and still be in bed by 9, and we could ALL get up earlier.

  7. Well what my kids don't do during the day is watch tv (maybe 30-45 minutes) but somedays none at all. They do chores (feed dog, trash, make beds, etc.) and they play. They are outside playing, riding bikes and scooters, in the basement wrestling, building Legos, drawing, playing dress up...that's a list off the top of my head. When Yahoo (almost) 2 lays down I don't hear a sound. She takes a nap between 11:00-12:30 or 1:00. When they boys go to bed they might talk for 10-15 minutes before they are completely quiet. When they have stayed up 30 minutes or more at night they wake up that much later in the morning so that tells me they are going to bed at the right time.

    No, we don't eat fast food. I'm a SAHM and make most of our meals from scratch and I pack their lunches with leftovers. I'd say we are pretty healthy, we eat our share of cookies and ice cream though.

    Thanks for all your comments moms. It's nice to have a conversation about this!

  8. I think it is wonderful that your children go to bed early. Mine go down around 9, but only because daddy is home right now. He keeps us all up...he is a night owl. But when he was gone, they went down a little earlier. My sister also puts her kids down really early. :) So, no, you are not crazy. At least not in my book.

  9. I'm super impressed that you go to bed and get up so early! Kudos to you. When I get out of bed around 6, I feel like I've hit a brick wall.

    This kind of reminds me of when I went to my friend's farm this summer and we got out of bed so late that the cow was super ticked off that we were so late to milk her! I guess I'm just not meant to be a farmer. :P

  10. I have a schedule in our household as well. I let Hadley sleep in as late as she wants every morning - usually 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. I do this because I know that this time in her life, where she can wake up as late as she wants every morning, won't last long. Soon she'll have to enter the world of school and work.

    She goes down for a 3 hour nap at 2:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. with no problems at all. In fact, I say "Hadley, it's time to take your nap." and she goes to the stairs and waits for me to walk her to bed.

    She goes to bed at 9:00 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. at night. We like the late bedtime because it affords her time with Austin. He doesn't get home from work until 5:00 p.m. at night and by the time we fix dinner and get a bath, if she went to bed any earlier she wouldn't get any daddy time.

    It's interesting to hear the different schedules that work for each family, and the reasoning behind them. Sounds like we have the same idea, but mornings work for your family and evenings for ours! :)


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