A Wake Up Shake Up: Waking Up Before Your Kids


A Wake Up Shake Up: Waking Up Before Your KidsRecently, my family of four had one of the worst mornings in a while. Our schedules and routines changed drastically a few months ago when a new baby was added to our little clan. In our case, this meant Mom quit her job to avoid paying two daycare fees, big brother quit the daycare he’d been in since he was four-months-old, baby brother wakes up whenever he wants, and Dad changed his work alarm now that he is the only one who has to be somewhere in the mornings.

For several nights and mornings in a row, my four-year-old had started waking me up by rapidly tapping his finger directly on my face.

Why he thought this was something people enjoy I don’t know! Sometimes it was in the middle of the night when he had a bad dream; other times, he was doing it in the mornings. I leapt out of my skin every time — it was like being awakened by a monster in a horror movie! Between his wake ups and the baby’s, my sleeping patterns have been all over the place. (We’ve also told the four-year-old not to wake me up at night and to get dad instead, but for some reason he can’t seem to remember that at 4am!)

All of these factors combined were making for bad mornings for everyone, and I’m a morning person! I was waking up startled and grumpy, then my son was upset that I didn’t immediately jump to cuddle him after his terrifying face taps. The baby usually woke up to eat right before or after the four-year-old, which meant big brother never knew what to expect in the mornings. The only thing he was getting consistently was a grumpy mom, and while those feelings were valid, they weren’t ok to take out on my son. It finally came to a head when these inconsistencies caused all of us to miss my husband’s alarm, which is easy to do when a wiggly four-year-old crawled into your bed at 3:30am and squished you to the other side of the bed!

After reflecting on just how bad that particular morning had been for everyone, I knew something had to change. But what? Another Knoxville Moms mom had previously told me about her morning routine where she wakes up before her kids…could that be my answer?

I didn’t think setting an alarm was the right choice at this stage in my life for two reasons. Firstly, the baby doesn’t wake up at the same time every day, so sometimes I need a little more or less sleep; secondly, I didn’t want to risk waking anyone else up. I decided that since the baby usually has a feeding somewhere between 5am and 6am, and then goes back to sleep, I would see if I had gotten enough sleep that night to stay awake after that point. I was also afraid that if I were to set an alarm, I would just hit snooze.

Here’s how day one of attempting to wake up before the kids went:

  • Woke up to feed the baby at 5:30am and was done by 5:55am.
  • Turned on the gas fireplace to warm and cozy up the living room.
  • I made coffee and ate cereal.
  • I read Bible verses and my latest fiction book.
  • The kids woke up. The four-year-old has one of those alarm clocks that lights up when he’s allowed to get out of bed (6:30am) and he was down at 6:45am. The baby slept for another hour, until 7:50am.


  • I was awake and able to greet my oldest son with a smile.
  • Nobody woke me up by tapping on my face.
  • I was able to sit with my four-year-old for a while; this has become rare since having the baby!
  • I was able to distract my four-year-old from being sad about dad leaving for work.


  • Worth it!!


  • This is not a hard and fast rule. If the kids wake me up multiple times during the night, I will stay in bed as long as possible to get a few extra minutes of sleep.
  • I think once the baby has a more consistent wake up time, I will probably set some type of alarm to be up early every weekday. Besides, we’ll be starting kindergarten in the fall!
  • The positive results extended well past morning. Apparently being in control of how we wake up and greet each other really influences how the day is going to go for my oldest son and me.
  • I was more productive since I’d already had my coffee and gotten over the sluggish part of the morning. This made it way easier to complete morning errands, not rush or skip our learning or outside time, etc.

How do you manage your family’s wake up schedule? Drop a comment below to let us know!


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