morning glory

by eringoodman on July 7, 2010

in parenting, shifting perspective


I hope you enjoy this entry that was originally posted on my old blog in July of 2008. It was a real treat for me to revisit it and I’ve added a few thoughts from today as a post script at the end.


*** *** ***


My son Quinn has always been an early riser but this summer he’s taken it to a new level — up for the day by 5 a.m.

For the past several weeks I have been starting my days being angry at him and anyone else who happened to cross my path because I just don’t want to be on toddler duty at 5 a.m.

It’s not even that I want to sleep in. It’s just that I like to start my day slowly and quietly — two concepts that my two-year-old just doesn’t seem to get!

In my perfect world I would wake up between five and six and slip downstairs alone for a walk or some yoga, followed by a cup of tea and time to write in my journal. Then I would get breakfast ready for my loving children who would wander downstairs (fully dressed and in pleasant moods!) around 7:30.

And I have a feeling we’ll get there someday! (If Quinn follows in his sleepy-head sister’s footsteps.)

But in the meantime Quinn has been wide awake and clambering into our bed at 5 a.m. for several weeks now and I have been growing increasingly more annoyed — at him for being awake so early, and at John for somehow managing to sleep through the onslaught of exuberance.

Over the weekend I decided that I’ve had enough.

I don’t like waking up angry. I don’t like resenting my beautiful son. And I really, really need to figure out a way to have my smooth, peaceful morning that I desire so I’m not walking around in an angry, foggy haze all morning.

So I decided that no matter what the time or how I am awoken, I am going to choose to wake up in a pleasant mood, filled with gratitude and excitement for the coming day.

On Monday morning when not just Quinn — but also Lily, who was SO excited for her first day of camp that she just couldn’t sleep! — arrived bedside at 4:45, I offered to take them on an “animal walk” (a walk in the double stroller to look for dawn-loving critters).

With a couple of pieces of toast to munch on, full sippy cups and a camera, we set off!

The only critters we saw were birds, but that was enough to entertain the kids and give me some time to mentally run through the coming day.

Since then Quinn and I have taken two more early morning walks and I’m not sure who is enjoying it more!

Here are some photos from our recent adventures…

We came up over the hill this morning and our neighbor’s horses were at the fence waiting to greet us!

Then two swans entertained us.

“The waterfall is amazing, Mama. Waterfall makes Kin (Quinn) feel happy!”

Thank you Quinn, for inspiring your Mama to stretch out of her comfort zone. I love this special time that we’ve created together!


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July, 2010 update: What a difference two years makes. This summer Quinn is the official “sleepy head” of the family, often waking up a full hour (or more!) after the rest of us. True to form, he is still inspiring me to stretch out my comfort zone as we continue to explore ways to honor who he is and help him to express his boundless energy in ways that work for him and those around him. Looking back, I count this experience (of noticing and naming something that really was NOT working for me and finding one small way to bring it closer to alignment with what does work for all of us) as a major turning point in my mothering experience. And I hold these special morning walks with my son in a very special place in my Mama heart.



{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

eringoodman July 7, 2010 at 7:32 am

i would just like to say for the record that is is now 7:30 a.m. and i have been sitting downstairs alone enjoying quiet for the last hour.

lily just came downstairs “fully dressed and in a pleasant mood” and quinn is still snoozing away.

wow. cool.


eringoodman July 7, 2010 at 10:15 am

quinn slept in until almost 8:30. came downstairs — in a pleasant mood!! — with his clothes in his hand and got dressed all by himself.

i’m kind of feeling like when you play “go fish” and i get to say — yay!! got what i asked for!

sure…it took a couple of years to get here…but still. very cool!!!


BOATBABY July 7, 2010 at 7:46 am

What a fabulous solution, very mindful mama! I am blessed with a sleepy head since birth (which is why I get to drink my tea and read blogs in the morning). I swear I have to DRAG him from his slumber and out of bed any morning we need to be somewhere before 11am (he’s usually out until (9:30 and then is SLOW to actually wake up fully). I am hoping & wishing #2 is the same, but I know it doesn’t always turn out that way :)
Thank you for sharing Erin!
.-= BOATBABY´s last blog ..My new best friends =-.


amy July 7, 2010 at 8:17 am

Oh, the memories. My second was up around 5-5:30 am as a toddler, scooting down off the bed and, usually, pooping first thing, so I had to get up. In those days, my husband was gone for work by the time we woke up, so there was no solution such as leaving the house for a walk while the older child slept. There was definitely never any chance of having time to gently enter the day before anyone was up, unless I wanted to get up at 3:30, and I’m NOT a morning person.

I have good memories of my older son coming into the bed and “reading” to his younger brother while I dozed. The only time I truly resented my early risers is when they woke up younger siblings. Oh, that frustrated me SO much.
.-= amy´s last blog ..really cool shirts- =-.


Kate July 7, 2010 at 9:18 am

Wow, Erin! I remember reading this when it was first posted! (Was that REALLY 2 years ago???!!!) Very inspiring then and now! I’m a mama that likes to wake slowly too…. ;)
.-= Kate´s last blog ..My Everyday Magic 7-6-10 =-.


tea Mama ~Jen July 7, 2010 at 9:21 am

thanks ! I can totally relate to this right now and it’s esp. hard for me as I’m preg. with 4th…. my almost 2 yr. old has been getting me up about the same time while my 3 & 5 yr. sleep in…….about 3 days of this I too, had enough so the night before my almost 2yr. old fell asleep I told her that WE need a bit more rest and please sleep until 8 AM..SHE DID! I was amazed! hope it holds out!

thanks for your inspiring words that carry me thru my days!



eringoodman July 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm

that’s so cool jen. thanks for reminding me that sometimes it really is as easy as just asking our kids for what we need!!




Hannah Marcotti July 7, 2010 at 9:24 am

I can’t get past the fact that you live in paradise! Horses, swans and waterfalls…oh my!

Beautiful, thank you for the trip down memory lane.


eringoodman July 7, 2010 at 4:29 pm

sometimes it feels like that.

i remember back when i wrote this post i was really feeling frustrated by where we live (small house where we all trip over each other…way out in the country…no walking destinations to speak of…not a particularly neighborly neighborhood etc.) so i was trying extra hard to tune into the beauty around us, which as you know is very powerful. once i started many of the blemishes of where we live started to look more like fun little quirks and the beauty became much more plentiful.

amazing how that all works, huh?




Elizabeth July 7, 2010 at 10:17 am

what an inspiring post Erin. It can be challenging to find that balance that works for everyone, but so worth the effort. Your story is a perfect example of that. But more than that the fact that you stated an intention that you are living today…one you moved towards with gratitude. That is a powerful story for sure. Thank you so much for sharing this.
.-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..moment of mindfulness the robins nest =-.


chelsea July 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Love this! Thank you for the reminder that parenting is a constant education in how to shift with the changes. And that I can choose to enjoy it! Blessings — chelsea


6512 and growing July 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Dan used to take Col on early morning walks when he’d show up by our bedside before 6pm. And though I couldn’t rouse myself I was jealous to hear of their fun adventures when they returned home.

Good for you, enjoying those walks.
.-= 6512 and growing´s last blog ..Fireworks =-.


Justine July 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm

It’s amazing that you could turn a rather unpleasant experience into one that you can enjoy and also one that teaches you how to make motherhood work for you and for everyone.

p.s. also good to know that early bad habits can be broken later in life :)
.-= Justine´s last blog ..Snapshot- Day in the life with a two-year-old boy Guest Post =-.


MamaBird July 7, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Oh, you give me hope. I am such a slow-morning kind of gal, and my little chicks are early birds. They wake full of energy and demands… You also give me inspiration, to stretch out of my own comfort zone and offer up a little less resistance. As is evident in your updates, nothing is permanent!
.-= MamaBird´s last blog ..Inspiration- =-.


Nina July 14, 2010 at 12:21 am

I like this. I need to remind myself of this more often. My son has been changing his sleep schedule, where he usually slept till 9 am now its 7ish…and he used to take a 3 hour nap, now its an hour, if that. I recently started a PT job since being out of work since Oct and its upsetting to him to have to go to a sitter. plus I got a puppy for him last month and keeping the puppy away from him is tough too and often he (the puppy) wakes him up (darn thing is an acrobat and climbs the bed). I’m trying to be more mindful of my interactions and kinder…the nice thing about the puppy is we do get out of the house more. of course I then become bitter mean mommy “stop pulling” “please walk in front of me” “please walk” I try to be slower and just go at his pace but…its hard. he’s never been a kid to sit in the stroller so…anyway, I will focus more on making our interactions pleasant and I appreciate you insight.


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