Welcome to a life transition. There are many events or personal landmarks that cause us to have to change what had worked to what will work now. Perhaps you are going through one now yourself.
My husband and I welcomed into our family our son and second child, about two months ago. I would like to say we established our new normal quite quickly. This time the task of flowing with the unpredictability and the intense increase in demand of our time, attention and resources was not nearly as overwhelming as it felt when we brought home our first child. However, just because we were prepared for how we would share the responsibilities of the additional diaper changes, feedings, facilitating the continued growth of our 2 year old daughter, and manage to feed and shower ourselves regularly, we had not yet figured out how our system for staying connected to each other would change.
60 days had flown by and we had yet to be out on a date, and recently our ability to even have one meaningful conversation in a week was scarce. The hour of time between the kids falling asleep and us falling asleep that had worked last month was no longer available to us, but was needed to help our daughter fall asleep as she transitioned to being a big sister and meet her needs during her own developmental growth spurt.
So here we were, life transition, change required. I had read in almost every book about success that waking up at 5am would benefit your business because it would be undivided time to set your intentions, exercise, read, and start your day off right. It was a coincidence really that our son’s sleep schedule would remind me of this as he woke up always between 5am and 5:30am. My husband would get up, feed him, change him and put him back to sleep, then proceed to get himself ready for his work day, while I sat and pumped the milk for his next feeding, and went back to sleep.
One morning I realized my husband and I could use the 30 minutes before he went to work to connect. It may not seem like a lot; 30 minutes. But the adage, it is quality not quantity has always kept us together. So during this 45 minutes we actually get to make eye contact and hear each other without “mommy!” “wahhhh!” “did you… where’s the… can you… what are you doing?!” blaring in our other ear.
Waking up to be with my husband at 5am will become part of our new normal. Our morning breakfast together will not only nourish our bodies and minds, but the uninterrupted conversation to start our days will nourish our marriage. While we need sleep, time for connection with your spouse is right up with there with the need for air, if you’d like the marriage to survive. So here’s to 5am… until our life requires a new strategy… in probably a week.