Lately, I have seen a lot of status updates on Facebook from parents that mention their small children – toddlers and preschoolers – waking up WAY too early in the morning. And I know that when the children wake before mommy wakes – a quiet time is sure to not happen. Children need our full attention so having our eyes on the Bible is not best when our eyes need to be watching them!
I know there are mothers desperate to get their quiet time in, in the morning. So this post is for you! I have two solutions – we will start with #1!
1. My sisters taught me a trick that they both used. I tried their trick and it worked!! Cover the last two numbers of the clock with a piece of paper. Then write on the paper the hour that you would like your child to come out of their room in the morning. In our home, it has always been 7. Then teach your child to match the two numbers! When the two numbers match they can come out of their room. At bedtime, I would show them how the 7’s were matching (they usually went to bed around 7:30pm) and I’d remind them to not come out of their room until there was a matching 7.
I’d lay books beside their bed and they had permission to get up and read or play quietly in their rooms – just not come out until there was a matching 7. Sometimes there were rewards for obeying. If they mistakenly came out, I gently took them back to the room – showed them that the numbers were not matching and encouraged them to read and play until they saw matching numbers. This took time and training to get them to this point – but once they got it, it was so worth the training time! This is still the “rule” in our home to this day.
(If you have tried other solutions to no avail AND you have tried #1 – go to solution #2!)
2. Do not try to have a morning quiet time alone…oh I know it’s painful to not have that time that you dream of having – but some seasons of life do not permit this possibility. Either you have to get up very very very early (which may make you sleep deprived and not such a nice mommy or wife) – OR simply give yourself grace during this season of life. Read the Bible with your children during breakfast or lunch or wait until after they are down for afternoon naps or bedtime, and then spend quality time with Lord.
Please remember, this season of life is NOT forever. Add ten years to your children’s lives. If you have a 1, 3 and 5 year old in ten years they will be 10, 13, and 15. You will not be bathing them, cutting up their food, and dressing them forever. In ten years, the opposite will be happening. Perhaps they will be preparing the food for you and doing the laundry to help you!
So persevere during this season of life. Remember Philippians 3:14 – “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Press on sweet sisters and mommies! Strain toward the prize. We are not home to heaven yet. These days may be hard – but we have great hope in knowing that one day all the pain and trials we face will be over and we will step onto the shores of heaven!!! Oh what a glorious day it will be!!!