This morning I’m laying in bed contemplating snoozing my third fajr alarm, just like I did the first two, thinking- why am I like this? Laying under my six blankets wishing the sun would just agree to not come up until after my kids have already come parading down the hall, I wonder, why does fajr have to be so early?
Enter husband. He’s walking back into the room now after waking up before my first alarm and opening the closet to retrieve his work suit. I lay there peeking out at him from under the covers like, I could so be one of those moms who wakes up at 4 am, does yoga, makes one of those Instagram fruit bowl breakfasts, and then prays fajr without any alarm at all. Maybe if he stayed home with the kids and I went to an office. Then I think, wait, I hate offices and start to hyperventilate whenever I'm away from my kids for more than a few hours. So, sleepily I swing my feet out of bed and stand up, make my way to the bathroom, and get ready to pray.
Well, I got to thinking. There must be other sleepy Muslim moms out there that struggle with the same thing, right? I’ve been thinking today about what we can all do to make waking up in the morning a little easier. So, I made a list!
1. Make a pact with your spouse.
My husband happens to be an early riser. In the past, I’ve asked him to wake me up when he wakes up in the morning. The problem has always been that I fight him on getting out of bed until he gives up and lets me sleep those 10 extra minutes. The point of making a wake-up pact with your husband is that it isn’t one-sided. Encouraging each other and agreeing to be agreeable when it’s time to get up in the morning when the alarm goes off is the key to making this work.
2. Tire the kids out before bed
You know what keeps me up at night? My kids. Every time I finally get to sleep, one of them comes thumping down the hall with the latest and greatest reason as to why they are not sound asleep in their bed. The key to getting your youngsters to sleep through the night is high energy activities throughout the day. We’re talking parks, swingsets, trampolines, running, jumping, sledding, anything to get that energy out of their systems. Your goal is to put them to bed exhausted so that you will not wake up exhausted.
3. Go to sleep earlier
Even though it sounds like a no-brainer, sleeping earlier is way underrated. If you can get to bed earlier, you can wake up earlier. I’m not saying be asleep by 8 pm because with kids, we know that will never happen. But, try to get the kids all tired out and tucked into bed by a decent hour so you can be laying down by a decent hour.
4. Drink tea
This one is painful for me because I am a die-hard coffee fan. However, I am willing to choke down some tea in the morning for a longer lasting and more natural morning pick me up. Caffeinated herbal morning teas such as green or black teas help the body to gently wake up without the hard mid-morning crash we coffee drinkers know too well.
5. Try essential oils
This one is something I have been experimenting with. Recently I got an essential oil diffuser as a gift and I’ve been using it as an air freshener for my house. I’ve tried some different oils like lavender, mint, tea tree, and eucalyptus that give my home a beautiful gentle freshness. The mint and eucalyptus oils actually really help in making your body feel more awake and rejuvenated. So, putting the diffuser on the nightstand and turning it on for a couple minutes in the morning is a really nice way to wake up refreshed.
I’m not saying become one of those 4 am yoga moms, but stretching a little bit in the morning helps with blood flow and can help make you feel more awake. Light stretching in the morning can help the body and mind to wake up a little faster before you even get in your first cup of tea.
7. Remember why you pray
Lastly, when you wake up in the morning, think of why you make fajr in the first place. Do a little bit of reflecting on how thankful you are to be alive and for this beautiful world and your family. Allah has blessed all of us in our creation and prayer is a way to keep us connected. Gratitude is the perfect way to start your day.