My love of early mornings

How on earth could I say that you ask? After years and YEARS and years of being dragged out of bed, not of my own choice by small children with a penchant for early mornings? A husband who never got up with them, not ever. Tiredness, resentment, exhaustion. How could I love to wake up early? But I do, and I have for about the past 18 months or so.

Illustration by the glorious Maira Kalman

Perhaps it was when I started my own business and needed to find a few more hours in the day, but about 18 months ago I started to set my alarm for 5am every weekday morning and somehow I would get up, never snoozing through it all, no matter how late the night, no matter what, I’d get up.

I’d creep into the darkness down the hallway in the warmer spring, in the smoky summer, the crisp autumn and the cold dark winter. I’d tread down the hallway, turn the heating on, find some wood and get going with the day. There is something about that 90 mins or so before anyone wakes that has become my absolute favourite time of the day.

For a start, I think I am in control of the day. The day starts on MY terms. It’s just me, my passion and drive for work, some craving for time when no one wants anything from me. I could get out the door and exercise and carve that time out then too,  but it’s often cold, or dark, Maggie wakes up and freaks out that I am not there, I get in the door and am back to demands and running around. THere’s no running against the clock, trying to beat times or weather or elements or anything. This darkness, this time is mine to do what I want with it and it’s precious.

I get work done. I write. I send emails. I place orders. I pay bills. I budget. I freak out. I am overjoyed. I sit in the dark, I tend to the fire. I head outside and watch the sun rise.

And then before I know it, it’s over. Much like a sunset with its glory and beauty and light one moment and then…gone! The girls wake up, breakfast is made and the day begins. But I have had that time for me, and before a very busy day begins (they are always so busy) I am ready to start. On my terms, in my time. My daily meditation and practice for me.

It’s been a game changer for me.
You should try it too.
Or not!

Are you an early riser?
How do you find time for you in any given day?


  1. Oh, I love it too Babymac. No one else in the world awake, just me walking my dog. Best way to start the day!

  2. This is a beautifully written piece Beth. So evocative. X

  3. Yessss! I don’t do it every morning, but it’s such a good way to start the day. It’s often the only time I get to myself all day, and I seem to smash out tasks much better when I do them early in the morning. My brain is too dead by nighttime. It’s very hard to drag the body out of bed in the dark, but worth it if you do. I also LOVE having my breakfast outside in the summertime when it’s cool and still x

  4. I started being an early riser when my kids hit their teens and I found that time at the end of the day that used to be mine was now full of people right up to my bedtime. So to find some time just for me I started to rise early, now they have all moved out and have lots of time just for me. I still get up at 5.30, I just love that early morning, quiet as the sun rises and the day begins. Besides I find the evenings such a waste of time, plonked on the couch with the annoyance of the tv, I’d rather go to bed early and read. Can’t read with the tv on.
    Yep I’m a morning person.
    Cheers Kate

    • Kate I think that’s when I started it too – the bigger girls are top much later than they ever used to be and you’re right there is literally no other time in the day when it’s just me! Enjoy xx

    • OK, wow. This could be my lightbulb moment. I am definitely NOT a morning person but this introvert has been resenting the loss of me time at the end of the day as the kids stay up later. Kate, you make a compelling argument for an early rise. Thank you.

    • Joadi Sylvestre says

      Kate, you’ve hit the nail on the head. My eldest teen stays up late now and that time I used to have to myself at the very end of the day is no more. While I don’t get up quite as early as you or Beth, I get up earlier than I need to. I (still) make my son’s lunch then make a cuppa, read news headlines or catch up on ABC News Breakfast.I don’t have a great view of the sunrise but I enjoy the early morning rosy glow that brightens and expands at that hour. It is a great way to begin the day with a positive mindset and reflect on the things I am grateful for.

  5. I live mornings and have always felt like that was bumps time I had while the rest of the world was still sleeping. I desperately miss it now. With small kids that tend to wake on the wrong side of bed or as soon as I’m up it just never works out anymore. On the rare occasion I have just half an hour before they wake the mornings are a dream, everyone is calm, happy and there is no urgency in the push out the door.

  6. Yes!!!! I’ve just started this, I’m not bounding out of bed every morning (still generally up once a night with my youngest 😴) but as many days as I can manage… and those days I’m always in such a better headspace!
    It’s magic!

  7. I hear you. I keep meaning too. I’m still stuck being woken by small children and a husband who doesn’t get up with them. Not once. Generally I make peace with it because mornings have never been his thing and he’s a great husband and father otherwise. But the morning resentment – it’s high and it starts the day off badly.

    • It’s SO unfair and I feel you deep in my soul Kathryn. DEEEEEEP> If only they realised that if they kept at it, it would get easier fr everyone. The one thing that has always bugged me about my beloved who is a legend otherwise!

  8. I really think this is a Mum thing. It can be so hard to fine just an hour of time once a day when someone isn’t demanding something of you. For many many years now I start work in an office at 8am. Well, that is the time I start getting paid to be there. I generally walk through the door around 6:30 to 7am. People ask me why I choose to start so early and it is the same as you. For the first hour of my day I have no demands, nobody demanding anything of me and I love it. I don’t always start “working” although sometimes I do. This one hour a day is ‘My Time’ and I hold it dear. It keeps me sane and I know I always have it. I so get why you get up at 5am every morning. I am with you all the way

    • In my past life when I used to work in an office I used to do that too – get in at like 7 and power through uninterrupted…I get this Helen!

  9. I am the opposite- the up later.

    I rarely go to be before the am, that time is mine.
    I can watch some crappy tv, do a few loads of washing, folding or ironing, mop the floors, shop online and pack lunches in peace! I love the silence and stillness of the house, hearing my boys sleep noises via the monitor.

    Sleep is for the weak!

    4-5 hrs is all I need.

  10. Hooray for time just for you!

    And that illustration is beautiful.

    The glory of my single life is that the time is all mine.

    I am, by nature, a night owl.

    My day to day life is working for me in that respect these days, as I work afternoons, so I can get up mid morning (don’t judge!) and mooch about for a few hours and then sit down at the ol’ computer from 1 – 5pm.

    Sometimes it’s just Netflix and coffee, sometimes I blog or cook, and today I could not resist the beautiful sunshine Melbourne has turned on, so I trackied up (and put on a bra!) and went to the local park for a walk and then did a quick grocery shop.

    Still on deck at 1pm to work. Works for me!

  11. Yes for early time. I’ve pushed mine back to 4:45 as my kids kept getting up earlier and earlier. I meditate, caffeinated, journal, read and exercise. My sweet, dark, precious time.

  12. Nicole O'Connor says

    I like to think that just over the hill you’re getting up and getting ready for the day as well Beth.

    I don’t love it, I suspect I never will, but I do it anyway, just for that hour to myself.

  13. Oh, I have and I loved it and I want to again. But I have an easily disturbed, poor sleeping husband who complains that I’m disturbing his precious sleep. And our floors always creak, no matter how gently one creeps… Envy..

  14. I’m with you – I love the early mornings! Running in the dark feels like an ‘out of body’ experience, and calming. I may set the alarm earlier now though – to come home from the run and STILL have me-time to just chill out!

  15. I also started rising at 5:25 weekday mornings about 2.5 years ago so that I could attend 6am Pilates classes. At first I found it hard but now I almost always wake naturally before my alarm. It helps that my girls are now 6 & 4 and don’t wake at night. I find I do need to be careful with bedtime though – if I’m not asleep by 10, I struggle the afternoon of the following day. I wouldn’t change my routine now – I love being able to tick exercise off my list for the day before my family is even awake!

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