Kids, Life, Misc.

A little whine about early mornings

Just dropped Asher off at swim practice a little bit ago. It started at 5:30 a.m. For me, this isn’t exactly a “huge” deal- my alarm normally goes off at 5:15 these days and I try to be up by 5:30 at the latest, anyway.

But a couple things.

1) In order to have him there by 5:30, I have to wake him up by 5. So I set my alarm for 4:50, to get myself semi-awake, first. 4:50 feels markedly different than 5:30.

2) Asher is not a morning person really. I go wake him up the first time, then he mumbles that he needs “a few more minutes….”, so I flip his lamp on, leave, and come back in a few minutes, etc. We need to leave by 5:15, so we don’t have a lot of wiggle room here for snoozing.

3) I have many mixed feelings on 11-12 year olds going to 5:30 a.m. swim practices, when it’s still pitch black outside. It feels sooooo early for quite young kids!! But, pool time in the evenings can be scarce right now, so I know the team is just trying to fit in time when they can….

4) It’s not required to go to this early practice. Practice is offered 6x/ week for his group. But, at his level, he really tries to go at least 4x/ week. And right now, with soccer and schedule conflicts, Wednesday morning is sort of a necessary evil for him. On the plus side, at least 5:30 a.m. practice doesn’t conflict with anything else.

5) Some days (like today) Asher is totally fine. Other days (like last week) he whines and carries on about not wanting to get up so early. I never know which Asher I’ll get until Wednesday morning comes. And if I have already gotten up 40 minutes earlier myself, well, I’m not really in the mood for theatrics. Definitely helps if he can get to bed extra early Tuesday night.

6) Every time I think, “Ok, this is crazy,” as I’m driving my sleepy kid over to the pool in the dark, we arrive, and I see a whole slew of other kids rolling out of their parents’ cars and cheerfully heading into the pool. Apparently those parents got up at 4:50, too? And no one seems bothered? I don’t know. Am I a wimp?

7) Another plus- after practice, Asher always seems in excellent spirits. He always seems to like the a.m. practices once he gets there. And he does seem to like getting his workout in and out of the way, early. Last week he said, “It’s 7 a.m. and I’ve already swam for 75 minutes and showered!” Maybe a good life skill, to learn to work out early?

8) Side note: We drove past our gym on the way to the pool, and W.O.W. I haven’t been there in the 5 am hour lately, but I forgot how packed the gym is at that time!! The parking lot was FULL at 5:20. Guess they all get up at 4:50, too. hehe. As we drove, I explained to Asher a bit about how for people who work, and have a family, kids, other responsibilities all evening etc. but still want to prioritize their health, 5 a.m. is often the only consistent window of time they can work out! I told him that many, many people are at the gym at that time every single day. File that away as something to look forward to one day, Asher…. #adulting

And on a completely unrelated topic, here is a picture of my scarecrows that I pulled out of my storage room (waiting to be put up outside, with my pumpkins and fall mums):

I leaned them against the bar in the basement, just setting them there so I’d have them when I’m ready to decorate outside.

Well. This was a bad idea. My office is in the basement, and I swear, every single time I walked out of my office, I jumped because I thought there were two people standing in my basement!! 🤣🤣 They got me every time.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for a productive meeting yesterday with my boss and another manager to resolve an ongoing issue in the department. In some meetings you can seem to just spin the wheels, which can be so frustrating. But this was a good one, where I actually got clear answers to my questions!

17 thoughts on “A little whine about early mornings”

  1. I’m sure you aren’t the only parent who feels annoyed by the 5:30 am practice even if the other kids seem cheerful. Avi is way to young for any activities like this, but I still feel cheated out of time to relax/for myself when she wakes up early or gets up out of bed.


    1. Yes, I have wondered this… I mean, I am typically a pretty early riser, anyway, but I know not all people are…. so I have wondered if other parents are maybe not thrilled about this? I guess maybe those who hate the idea are not there! haha. Not ALL the kids on the team go to this early practice. Maybe some kids who are able to attend most of the evening practices just sit this one out.


  2. Oof that is so so so so early! It does feel good when the workout is behind you when you are up that early but the getting up part is so hard for many of us.

    I had lunch with a couple of friends yesterday and one friend was commenting on how crazy sports are these days. She was very involved in sports when she was in HS and played softball at a D3 school but she said it’s a whole other world now. She mentioned how kids are being pushed to pursue ‘club sports’ so they can play year round and have a leg up on other kids. This is all foreign to me. The cost for the club sport her daughter wanted to do was $6k/year! Her daughter was begging to do it but then fractured her pelvis (which I guess can happen between ages 12-18 when running?? Nuts!) so it wasn’t possible to enroll but she might enroll at the half-way point of the season in the spring and pay $3k then although my friend really doesn’t want to pay that much. I just can’t even wrap my mind around spending $3-6k for an extracurricular… She said she struggles w/ this hyper competitive environment because kids have to specialize in a sport and can’t be a multi-sport athlete like she was when she was younger and then she wonders – what is the goal here? She loved sports because of all the lessons she learned like teamwork, leadership, etc but has mixed feelings about the current sport environment and how intense it is!


    1. Oh yeah, the sports can get super pricey, especially at a high level! $6k sounds insane though!! Club sports around here definitely run in the couple thousand per year though. Swimming can really add up because there’s the club fees, but that doesn’t include the meet fees, admission fees to the meets, gear/ new swimsuits/ goggles/ etc., gas to the far away meets, hotels a few times a year for travel meets, “State team sweatshirts”, etc. It really does add up! Private music lessons are another one… they have gotten very expensive, too. Ethan is up to 1 hour long lessons, and I think his teacher is charging like $60/ hour now! So for the year, it ends up being pretty close to $3k…. yikes. The club sports my kids do are on the moderate side, compared to what exists. We know some people who have joined this fancy soccer league an hour away that is like a pre-professional team feeder thing. I think they travel there 4x/ week plus games, and it’s super expensive. I believe the kids are not even eligible to play for their high school teams, because it is expected that they will be training with and competing with this team all over the region. Fortunately, I guess (lol!), neither of my boys seem to have the skill or ability level to even consider something like that! But I cannot imagine wanting to do that. I overheard one mom saying they had been traveling all the way to Chicago 4x/ week for training the last few years! omg. No.


  3. I couldn’t do it! I have a hard time getting up anytime before 6:30. I have tried SO many times over the years to “make” myself a morning person, but I just am not – no matter how hard I try to trick my mind and body into thinking I should be.

    That said, I think people that can do these sorts of morning events (exercise, solo time to work on hobbies etc) tend to be happier and maintain a better work/life balance. Hours in the morning are a precious resource so kudos to you both for sticking with it! And I 100% think it’s reasonable and appropriate for you both to whine and complain about it at times. Even though it’s something you chose, it can still have negative side impacts that it feels cathartic to complain about!


    1. I think it’s one of those things that works for some people. not for others!! If it makes you miserable, it’s not worth it. I really do feel like people have different RHYTHMS (gah, still had to double check the spelling!) in their bodies, etc. that make some people more naturally inclined to one schedule vs another.


  4. Ugh – that IS early and I would lose my mind. I once signed up for a 6:00 yoga class at a studio that is about a five minute walk away and, while it was nice to have it out of the way for the rest of the day, I was so tired all day and grumpy about it. I am not a morning exerciser, that’s for sure.

    I honestly don’t know how I feel about children who are doing practices/games/gym or pool time more than once or twice a week. It just seems like too much, especially if they need time for homework, time with family, or other hobbies. I also worry about danger to growing bodies (like the broken pelvis story Lisa wrote about – yikes!). *sigh* I’m glad I don’t have to make any of these decisions.


    1. I know, it’s a big controversy right now. Swimming is one sport that has always traditionally been on the very high end of “practice time”, because it is non-weight bearing. It is considered to be very easy to recover from, compared to pounding on the pavement type sports, or contact sports, etc. It’s also considered to be a sport that requires just a ton of repetition to really build the necessary stamina and endurance. It’s totally normal around the world for kids to swim almost every day on swim team! Just is what it is… not saying it’s right or wrong, but seems to be “the norm”. It did take some adjusting for me, coming from soccer where it’s usually just 2-3 times per week, max, usually. I don’t know what the right thing is! I think in swimming the biggest overuse injury can be shoulder injuries. Asher’s team/ coach is I think more aware of this type of thing and is big on not overdoing yardage for the young kids (compared to some other local teams who REALLY push the young ones to extreme/ very high yardage), and also ensuring they have a couple big breaks per year (spring, August) when they are to be just totally out of the water for a month or more. Asher’s coach literally told him at the end of summer season in July: “Stay out of the water now until fall season starts. REST and stay active in other ways.”


  5. I am not a morning person at all like you. If I have to wake up anytime before 6:30am, I am pretty much guaranteed a bad day. I also tried to exercise early in the morning but felt crabby the rest of the day. But if exercise in the afternoon, I feel really great! All I can say is that you are such a dedicated mom. I can’t say that I would agree to my kids doing swimming if I had to wake up at 4:50am! 🙂


    1. Haha! I feel like I have a threshold. Waking up in the 5:00 hour for some reason feels fine to me, but if I have to wake up at like the 3 or 4:00 hour (for travel, for example), I always feel TERRIBLE.


  6. that does sound early even for my standards (getting up 4:30-5am), especially in a regular basis. But obviously if it’s a choice he made, then he should be willing to commit to it and make changes accordingly such as going to bed earlier. Sleep is so important for development, thus I make sure girls get 9-10 sleep every night even if it means they don’t finish homework before bed.
    And also, it seems very taxing for you too, and the emotional toll to have to wake him when he’s not in his best mood.
    tough decision.


    1. Well, the good thing about it that I didn’t maybe make clear- it’s only once per week that he has the really early practice. If it were every day, I would have to give some serious thought about it. I do know I think the high school kids go really early every day! Or at least many days, I think. Not sure. We aren’t there yet. But for now, we just have this 1 day/ week at 5:30 am to deal with. Once per week feels more do-able to me.


  7. Wow, I’m impressed and no, you’re definitely not a wimp! I imagine a bonus to this early wake-up time is that he’s super tired at night and hopefully, has an easier time falling asleep, which I know for my boys is a struggle sometimes. I love how committed he is (and you)! I need some of this motivation to help me commit to a morning routine hehe.


    1. He definitely conks out early on Wednesday nights! He is my kid though who usually always falls asleep pretty early at night, during movies, etc. Of my two, he has always wanted/needed more sleep in general. But as he gets older, it can sometimes be a struggle because he “wants” to stay up later and will fight it….but I can tell he still gets tired.

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  8. Ugh, 5:30 am IS very early for swim practice at Asher’s age… but I love his attitude. This is how I felt when I still went to the gym at 5 am before work every morning. I already felt so accomplished by 7 am heading to the office LOL


  9. Wish I lived next door – I would totally do the driving for you! (Not the waking up the kid part, sorry…) I agree this is super-early, and not great for teens/tweens given their need for sleep, and honestly, sleeping IN! Hope you’re able to power through.


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