The Rise and Fall of the Early Bird

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An Amble with Gamble—a parenting column with Taryn Gamble
-Come take a stroll down memory lane with me-

Once upon a time, I was an early riser. I would regularly set my alarm for 5:30 am in order to shower and study for classes BEFORE eating breakfast at 7 am. I’m not sure what demonic influence I was under but gone are the days. The Great Exorcism of parenting.

I’ve been absent for a couple of months focused on my family needs because homeschooling four kids and running a house single-handedly is a double full-time job, I’m convinced. As a result, I find any alarm set (like on Sunday mornings) to be an absolute affront to my humanity.

I can’t be the only parent out there who makes grandiose plans at 10:15 the night before about waking up before the kids the next morning to enjoy a hot mug and the golden silence. All the successful people do it, right? There you are, glimmer-eyed, confirming that 5:45am alarm with all the optimism of a toddler asking for a snack 5 minutes after declining his dinner.

But you know what happens the next morning: your cautiously low-volumed alarm somehow stirs all the spawn from their slumber. As you stagger into the kitchen to put on the kettle (like the 19th century housekeepers we are), the suspicious tremor of little feet grows closer. Then, BAM, every single family member is awake, cranky, and requiring scrambled eggs.

Mmmmm. What a refreshing way to jumpstart your day! Thank you, motivating podcasts!

Well, long I’ve resisted the myth of waking early for a successful start. I know the sixth sense that children possess to know exactly when their parent is awake for extra productivity. I’m a veteran victim. Early rising in Early parenthood does not, in fact, equal Success.

Last week, though, the enemy took firm hold with the promise of paid plasma donations.

Ok. Just this once. For a good cause. FOR THE CHILDREN, for crying out loud, Taryn.

I selected my 6:15am appointment time considering that 3rd shift Daddy could be at the house if the children awoke prematurely, and I could be home before anyone even asked for breakfast. That 5am alarm was brutal enough, but then I had the misfortune of arriving home the life-giving hero to four exhausted children up an hour earlier than usual.

Get God on the phone. How and Why?

Not only were they sleepy and disgruntled all day, but mommy was also suffering from obscene sleep deficiency—a recipe for a successful day of homeschooling!

Perhaps early plasma donations are not the way to go.

My 6:20 am Face says it all. At least my faux fur was a fabulous addition to the donation floor. Just look at that fine use of “F”s

The next morning, I planned to sleep in until the last child awoke. I made no apologies. I could practically taste the satisfaction of sleeping in. I tucked into bed so full of hope and natural melatonin.

Do you know what happened, friends? My dear three-year-old woke me up at 4:40 am to remind me that she, indeed, existed. And you know what crossed me mind? There are people on this Earth who wake up 4am ON PURPOSE in order to exercise and meditate. Mutants. They are not to be trusted. The only thing I would be exercising, and meditating that early are my creative faculties regarding the murder of all alarms.

I kid. I kid.

My children would also be awake, so we’d be watching PBS Kids while I exercise my vast patience.

About the Author
Taryn Gamble lives in a big blue fixer-upper in Piedmont, SC with her four kids, an adorable Holland Lop bunny, and an endless list of chores. When not baking snickerdoodles, she prefers to be barefoot outside, instilling a love of learning in her kids.

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