You don't have to get up early to be successful - Sarah Mae
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You don’t have to get up early to be successful

I didn’t sleep through the night for seven years.

Those were the years of babies and toddlers and someone at some point was always awake or needed something or had a bad dream or threw up. This was life.

When my children got a bit older, a miracle happened: they all started sleeping through the night AND they started sleeping in (HANG IN THERE MOMS OF LITTLE ONES!). Which meant, I got to sleep through the night and I got to sleep in. You better believe I made up for those seven years by enjoying that sleep in time (and by sleep in, I mean 7:30/8:30-ish).

Those seven years I was in a fog. I was used to the fog though, so it wasn’t terrible, I was just tired all the time. I went to the doctor once to tell him I thought something was wrong with me because I was always so exhausted, and after a few questions he asked like, “How old are your kids? Are you still getting up in the middle of the night?” Etc., it was obvious that I was actually just tired from mothering.


Me in 2009 with a baby and two toddlers

After some good sleep-ins, I decided I wanted to be that person that got up early, spent time with Lord, and got stuff done before my kids got up. At one point last Spring I even started getting up around 4:30am to go workout. I always believed there was something special about getting up while it was still dark and enjoying some quite hours to myself; there is something peaceful about it. Plus, there are so many books on how getting up early is what all the successful people do. HUSTLE, they say. JUST DO IT, they say. YOU’LL GET SO MUCH MORE DONE, they say. So I did. I worked on getting up early. In fact, I spent 6 months getting up around 6am as a life experiment. I’m glad I did it. But you know what I learned?

I’m more tired when I get up early. I don’t get more done. I always need a nap.

Turns out, I function better when I sleep in a little bit. I’m happier. I don’t need a nap. I’m not exhausted all day. And? I’m more successful when I don’t get up early.

And here’s what I know about success:

Success for me is not feeling crummy and tired all day. It’s being kind. It’s doing the things I want to get done during my day, whether that’s writing or cleaning or visiting a friend or homeschooling my kiddos well and without being cranky. When I get up early, life is a foggy mess. I’m cranky, I’m tired, I get less done (because I’m cranky and tired), and I’m not the kindest person. And it doesn’t matter if I go to bed earlier. Speaking of which, my husband HATES when I go to bed early. He likes to stay up and he wants me to stay up with him. If I stay up, I definitely can’t get up early. I know this about myself. My husband has the amazing super-natural ability to stay up late and get up early. I do not have that super power.

ALL TO SAY… it’s okay to not be a ninja 5am-er. Maybe you’re a ninja 9am-er, or 10pm-er, or never because you’re just so tired and so WHATEVER. No ninja. That’s okay too.

The point is, don’t think you have to get up early to be successful. Everyone is different! God made it so. Embrace who you are, do what you gotta do, define success, and then? Onward!


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Also, come hang out with me on Instagram at sarahmaewrites!

And I’m at The Better Mom talking about how I don’t want to be a “good” homemaker anymore. Read it HERE.

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  • Kasi Guess

    Thank you for writing this! I love seeing this perspective. I have always felt bad about not getting up earlier in the mornings. But I agree with you, getting enough sleep is super important. My husband also likes to stay up late. So Id rather stay up later doing things and spending time with my husband than to get up early and be cranky. It’s just so hard to find someone who shares this opinion. So I thank you for writing this post and getting me out of that guilty mindset.

  • Rebekah

    Thanks so much for sharing your perspective. I think we are very similar and while I have tried to explain the same view before, it is so nice to see another momma who feels the same way. 🙂

  • Lucinda Gray

    I hear ya! I have a hubby who stays up late and gets up at the crack of dawn also. We have been married for 26 years and I could never do that when I was younger. I definitely can’t do that now. Lol. I get up with him and help him get ready for work and when he leaves, I go lay back down until the kids get up. The kids stay up and spends time with dad in the evenings and they don’t get up until midmorning. Good thing we homeschool. This comes from hubby working the later shifts years ago and the kids and I have kept this schedule over the years.

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