Cultivate Theme

It is 6:10 am. Bear number one's alarm goes off. He ignores it and rolls over. About 10 minutes later, I attempt to wake bear number two. He asks me to go away and come back in five minutes.

I'm surrounded by bears.

I'm a bee. I know that about myself. I buzz around in the mornings: going for a run, making lunches, taking care of our needy cat and finishing various chores. But bees and bears don't get along in the morning.

You see, bees like the mornings. We learn new things, catch the best meals and generally get stuff done. Bears, as we all learned in elementary school, hibernate. And, it takes about three weeks for a bear to completely wake from its hibernation.

I'm not trying to turn my bears into bees. I understand circadian rhythms and that I can't change that about my guys. What I am working for is easier mornings with a few less growls. My husband has struggled with mornings for his whole life. But, I still have hope for my son, who used to be an early bee like me.

So, this is what I've been trying to help my son wake up better:

  • Make sure he gets enough sleep. This seems obvious, but if he goes to bed late, than he is harder to wake up in the morning. 
  • Make morning fun again. I play happy music, tell him stories and jokes to get him talking to me and help him get out of bed.
  • Keep his routine to the basics. Bedtime routines work for a reason - the repetition is comforting. But I need to keep his morning routine simple.
  • Wake him up earlier. This was actually Papa Bear's idea. He said that bears need the extra time to get moving in the morning. That's when I moved his wake-up time from 6:45 to 6:20.
  • Let him eat. I used to make my son wait until school where he is served breakfast, but I have found that bacon or sausage or blueberry bars are a big motivator. As long as he doesn't overeat at school, this works great.

As a bee, I'll never really understand what my bears go through in their struggle to wake up every morning. I do know that stinging them and bugging them into action doesn't help. Instead, I'll buzz around them and make their way a little easier.

Now...if I could just help out my coworkers.

Who are the bees and the bears in your household? Do you have any tips for making mornings easier? Tell me in the comments.

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