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Night Owl vs Early Bird Mom - The struggle is real!

Early Bird vs Night Owl Mom – The struggle is real!

Before I begin, I must state that I am writing this under the influence of copious amounts of caffeine thanks to this new early bird morning regime, not to mention I'm still recovering from the busy bank holiday weekend!

Don't you just hate those 'I'm so perfect' moms who look fresh as daisies and seem to be up before the rooster crows and ticked off at least 3 items of their daily 'to-do' list before the rest of us are even barely able to lift an eyelid? Ja, me too. I resent them with a passion. I'm usually one of those 'don't talk to me until I've had my first, possibly even second, cup of coffee' kind of people. The whole 'early bird catches the worm' thing just sounds like too much effort.

With all due respect to Thomas Eddison with his lightbulb invention as well as all the other electronic device creators, they totally screwed up my body clock! In the last few years I can barely count on one hand the number of times I've managed to be so disciplined and organised as to put myself to bed with the chickens in order to be that early bird that catches the worm. Naturally,  I assumed this must mean I am simply a 'night owl'.

But then I started desperately wishing I was one of those 'super-organised-Martha-Stewart' type of moms. I even made a good effort a year ago to go to be up around 6.00am instead of the usual 7.30am (I secretly loved the fact that schools in the UK start so much later than schools back in SA). It lasted a few weeks at most before I was back to being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 1am and then dragging myself out of bed and rushing like a wild, mad woman to get out the door for the school run. I was the grumpy dishevelled mom at the school gate.

Fast forward to now, with a newborn in tow, I question why the hell I bother even trying to get an extra nap after 4am because the little **** just wants boob until 8am. And it finally hit me - there's no such thing as being a night owl, I'm just stuck in a bad rut of being glued to the blue glare of the screen, usually reading political posts or addictively scrolling through my Facebook feed. A number of really cool Pinterest articles later (like this one from 'Queen of the Household'), and I was convinced to try this whole getting up early malarkey.

It certainly helps that the little dude has miraculously started sleeping a five hour stretch at night, which I try my best to work around. So now eldest is in bed by 8pm. Then it's a quick catch up with the other half and attack on the mess in the kitchen and the laundry in-between attending to the boob monster's demands, and I'm usually in bed by 11pm instead of my previous night owl 1am.. Taking this early bird thing as seriously as possible, I'm up again at 4am for a feed. I try get dressed and have the bed made before 6am (it definitely helps prevent me from climbing back under the covers), squeeze in an hour's work until 7am and mentally prepare myself for when the eldest rises (she is 7 going on 17, give me strength!).

And the difference it has made? Well, I'm still adjusting so it's a daily struggle not to climb back into bed and I would love more sleep (or a few extra hours in the day) BUT I'm definitely no longer the dishevelled grumpy cow I was! I've even started making sure I have some makeup on before I walk out the door (whoohoo! Not only do I feel more normal, but I actually look more normal too!)  I do tend to hit a bit of a wall around 5-6pm but now that I'm busy bathing and feeding the kids at that time, I just push through the temptation to pass out on the couch. I'm definitely feeling more in control of my productivity and emotions in the day. Who knows, maybe I 'm on my way to being a Martha-Stewart mom after all!

About Hayley Reichert

Passionate South African in London with a 'glass half full' approach to life.