Friday, January 23, 2009
My mom has a friend, who has a daughter, who has four children, who is married to a pastor, who also lives in Michigan. (I believe all that is true)
She is currently my HERO!!
Apparently, she put a small princess light - with a timer attached to it - and told her girls they are not allowed to leave their room until the light comes on. She set the timer to turn the light on at 8am. It took some training, but now her girls play quietly in their room until the light comes on - 8am - and then they know they may come out of their room.
My mom mentioned this to me - awhile back - but I never really tried it. She mentioned it again, probably when she got sick of me complaining about the messes my children were CONSTANTLY making every morning. She said she had seen both a small light and a timer before at second-hand stores and would start looking again for both items.
I was impatient and wanted to try it NOW! So I came up with an alternative plan (which I wasn't too confident would actually work).
I talked to the 3 oldest children right before bedtime (which has gotten more consistent recently as well). I told them we had a new rule that would really help Momma & Daddy in the mornings. They were excited! (mornings were not a pleasant experience around here) I explained that I would put an alarm clock in each of their rooms (boy room & girl room). It would be set for 8am. They would *NOT* be allowed to leave their room in the morning before the alarm went off.
Ummm....ya, not so excited about that part.....
I then had to spend about 10 minutes letting Selah listen to the alarm (it progressively gets louder and faster) and teach her how to easily turn it off. She is my little chicken and was afraid it would "be a loud noise". When she finally saw how easily her little sister was able to turn it off - she calmed down.
The boys have a digital clock, which plays nice chimes when it goes off - Isaac was excited about that! The boys' door has a child-lock on the INSIDE that Isaac is able to work, yet Elijah is not (at this point). So even if Elijah wakes up early (which he does a lot), he is not able to get out and can play quietly (or wake up his brother).
Girls are up before 6am (ugh). Dean gets up, tells them it's WAY too early (we don't *do* 6am around here), and to go back to bed - not to get out of their room until the 8am alarm goes off. We go back to sleep. Dean gets us at 7am, gets ready to leave, reminds the girls not to leave their room until 8am, kisses me good-bye (I'm still in bed) and is gone.
I wake up about 15 min. later - to silence (the girls room is right down the hall from ours - very close). I sit up to see their door is open, light on, girls nowhere in sight. Ugh.
I go downstairs, only to find them playing with their brothers in the boy's room. Grrrrr!
Anyway, I scoot them back upstairs, reprimand them for disobeying the new rule, specifically disobeying their father (who had *just* told them to stay in their room) and tell them they must now stay in their room - playing quietly - until 9am! (I'm such a mean momma) The boys are praised highly for staying in their room and playing quietly.
Fast forward to this morning - GREAT!!! No one wants to have to stay in their room 'til 9am. I wake up at 7am, hear the girls playing quietly (actually quietly!), and nothing from the downstairs boy's room. I go to lay back down (I don't *do* 7am either), but honestly felt the Lord nudging - pushing - shoving me to get up. I jumped (well, okay, slowly stepped) into the shower and got myself together. I got my coffee going. I read through my devotional. Just before 8am, I heard a small girl at their door, kinda wimpering.
I opened the door to see Tali laying in front of the door - holding the alarm clock, waiting for it to go off (it was just before 8am). Selah had turned off the light and gone back to sleep (good girl) - and Talitha had allowed her to sleep (very good girl). I praised Talitha up one side and down the other and allowed to come out.
At 8am, I went downstairs 'cause I heard the boys' chime alarm going off. The light was still off, Elijah was playing by the toy box and Isaac was still sleeping (even through the alarm). Isaac woke up and wanted to know if it was 8am yet! They were great!!
ALL THIS TO SAY ~ if you are like me, if you struggle with early mornings, if the thought of arising to many small children who are taking over your house drives you back under the covers ~ TRY THIS!!
I have been known to stay in bed until past 9am - just dreading getting up to a mess, to whining children (who are hungry, duh!), not being able to get a shower in, nor a cup of coffee, before my patience was truly tested by four small children! Yes, I said 9am (and it's been later).
Yet these last two days, I have been up since 8am and 7am respectively. It has been wonderful! By 9:30 this morning, I had showered, had breakfast, done a devotional, started the laundry, started the dishwasher, had two kids in the bathtub, hubby had been fed and was at a meeting, chores were being done by my children, bread was going in the bread machine..................and I was looking for something else to do!! WHAT?!?!?
I now know I have time today to make sure the older kiddos get their phonics lessons in the afternoon - and I don't have to worry about when I will be able to fit a shower in! I've got the meat browned and seasoned for tonight's meal. I've checked all my mail online and blogged! I've painted Tali's & my nails. I could keep going - because I can't believe how much I've done!! All before lunchtime!
So please, I BEG YOU, if you are *anything* like me - give this a try. Be consistent and firm. IT IS *SO* worth it!! There's just something about a quiet house, with no small children begging for my attention "quite yet" - that draws me out of bed and into the shower! Amazing!! I didn't know ANYTHING did that?!?!
And you - sweet sister in the Lord - you know who you are.......You are seriously MY HERO!!!!!
God bless you & yours today~