(Photo courtesy of Graur Codrin)
Over the past several months, my husband and I have tinkered with our schedules and elected to wake up at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. This definitely is not the preferred time to slip out of bed, but to get me home earlier in the evening to spend more time with the kids, we’ve sucked it up.
Still, some of you may be asking, why 5 a.m.?
Well, I unfortunately have a brutal 30-mile commute on Southern California’s finest freeways. If I wake up at 5 a.m., quickly get ready and plop into the car by 5:30 a.m., I can usually make it to the office by 6 a.m. If I tried to make this same commute at a traditional commute time, my drive would take over an hour. And as any working parent knows, efficiency is a must, not a nice-to-have. So I blot more concealer under my eyes, exercise in the middle of the day to get the blood flowing and turn to caffeine when needed.
Beyond the pure physical pain of getting up this early, the other major bummer is that I don’t get to see my three little ones in the morning hours. But we discussed and figured I could be of more help in the evening when there are activities, homework, baths and dinner.
On the bright side, getting into the office at 6 a.m. means I’m the first person in and can typically power through almost three hours of work before others arrive.
The dark side – beyond actually arriving in the dark – is that when I leave at 4 p.m., I feel like people are looking at me funny. There goes the slacker, says the person who didn’t arrive until 9 a.m. After the 60-minute commute home, I’m also pretty pooped. I’m not always sure I can give my kids the energy they need and deserve in those waning hours of the day.
Still, when we’ve run the math on multiple scenarios, this seems to be the solution to maximize my time with the kids. So unless my job situation changes, or my husband buys me that helicopter I’ve been eyeing … a 5 a.m. wake-time is the norm for this mom and dad.
Oh how I dream about just one more hour of sleep, but this is one sacrifice we need to make. Til we meet again sleep.