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Take time for yourself first thing in the morning

Monday, June 30, 2008
Sometimes its 30 minutes, sometimes its two hours. It all depends on how ambitious you are in those early morning hours before the children wake. This is usually the only time I get to myself when the space around me is quiet and my kids are not machine gunning questions at me at the same time. So the 30 minutes I take for myself is sacred...that is if I can get my butt out of bed promptly at 6:30am. My night usually ends between 11:00 - 11:30pm so sometimes 6:30am can be difficult.

The tasks I try to accomplish during this time include laundry, making two lunches, checking email and packing backpacks. It amazes me how fast the time passes. If I get too caught up in email then I can not accomplish anything else and I usually end up leaving the house late. I would like to think that I am an organized person, but I am not so sure.

I talked with three other mom entrepreneurs about their precious morning time and here is what they had to say.

Heather Cabot of The Well Mom established a website that offers moms a space to gain encouragement and advice on nurturing themselves as well as everyone else they care for in their lives. Heather is another early riser whose day usually starts between 5:30 - 6:00am.

"My two-year old twins get up between 6:30 and 7:00am. A couple of days a week, I leave the house at 5:45 to go to a 6:00am spinning class. Other days, I get up at 6:00am to finish writing or answer emails. Sometimes I just make the coffee and read the newspaper before everyone gets up."

The former ABC News anchor and correspondent admits that on days she is able to get a workout in, she feels much more relaxed. "It is amazing the transformation between walking into an exercise class bleary-eyed and emerging 50 minutes later feeling pumped and ready to start the day."

Heather's advice to other mom entrepreneurs is to find a way to go to bed a bit earlier (so you can still get in seven or eight hours of sleep) and start your day a little earlier. "This will help you feel more centered," she explains.

"Obviously, it's hard to do this every day. Sometimes my husband travels, so I can't go to the gym in the early morning or there are times the kids are up during the night and I am fried the next morning. I think the early morning is a wonderful and guilt-free answer to carving out some me-time, a necessity for every mom."

Mary Schulman of Snikkidy Snacks, a line of fun-to-eat organic snacks for kids made from original family recipes, also starts her day around 6:00am, but admits she is in bed no later then 10:00pm unless she has a deadline to meet for work.

The mother of two says she cannot always find the time in the morning before her kids are up so she prepares everything she needs the evening before. "I will have clothes laid out (for me and them), take a shower the night before, make it a quick breakfast or grab something for them 'to go'," said Mary.

The additional time Mary takes in the morning when she can, allows her to feel energized and ready to spend a morning of quality time with her children. "We like to sit and eat breakfast together. It's as enjoyable, if not more so, than dinner time."

Liza Lowenberg starts her day at 6:45am. She is the founder of Miles of Marketing, a consortium of hundreds of stay-at-home moms across the country who market to other moms.

Before her two young children wake, Liza takes time to exercise. "I like to do it in the morning so that I do not have to think about it for the rest of the day." When she does not have time to exercise first thing in the morning, she finds that her routine is off. "I would always be thinking about "when can I exercise" and it takes the focus away from my children . If I can do it while they are still sleeping, then I can dedicate the whole day to them."

Liza's advice for other mom entrepreneurs is to take the precious quiet time that is needed so that you can dedicate the whole day to taking care of your children. "We need the time in the morning and in the evening to take care of ourselves," said Liza.