Natural early bird or not, now that you鈥檙e a mom, the morning is becoming a precious time of day that you don鈥檛 want to waste. Scratch that 鈥 that you can鈥檛 waste. You might not be a morning person, and an early wake-up cuts into your already limited sleep. But it can also set you up for a much more relaxed, productive, and positive day. So set your alarm, and get ready to start your day well before the first baby cry, tot gurgle, or preschooler 鈥淢ommy!!鈥

A woman stretches on a yoga mat

1. Work it. Or rather, work out. Forget about going to the gym: The round trip takes way too much time, and you鈥檙e on a tight schedule. Living room yoga, bedroom Pilates, or dancing around the playroom to your fave tunes are all easy (and totally valid) ways to exercise before the early risers actually rise.

2. Sit silently. The kids are noisy. (Seriously noisy.) But the house is quiet now 鈥 almost eerily so. Take full advantage! Quash your desire to run around making lunches and putting together the baby bag. Pour a cup of coffee, curl up in a comfy chair, turn your phone/tablet/laptop off, and just be. This is 鈥渕e time鈥 at its best.

3. Pursue a passion project: No, not the romantic kind (we鈥檒l get to that). We鈥檙e talking about something that you really, truly, absolutely enjoy, but don鈥檛 鈥渉ave鈥 to do. Maybe it鈥檚 scrapbooking your memories or working on the novel that you鈥檝e been writing in your spare time since grad school. Whatever you love, love, love doing, do it during the early morning hours.

A woman uses her laptop on her balcony

4. Keep connected. Your friends without kids may start falling to the wayside the moment that the first little one pops out. They visit a few times to 鈥渟ee the baby.鈥 But then the texts, emails, and random late-night phone calls stop. While they understand you have new priorities, there are only so many times that your BFFs can reach out only to get rejected or put on hold. Take this time to send a text, write an email, or connect with your friends in some other way. They鈥檒l appreciate the gesture, and you鈥檒l get to keep your relationships going.

5. Dress up. Okay, maybe not dress up up. But you can use this time to outfit yourself in something other than yoga pants and a t-shirt. Pick out an outfit that you feel comfortable and kind of stylish in. Heck, take the time to try on a few adorable options.

6. Perfect your pampering. Suddenly the word 鈥減amper鈥 has gone from what you do on spa days to what you put on your baby鈥檚 bottom 鈥 and it shouldn鈥檛 be that way. Whether you have 15 minutes or a full hour, you have time for a little beautification and self-indulgence. Go ahead, try out that K-beauty mask you鈥檝e been jonesing to wear or work a new deep-sea mud mask through your not-washed-in-a-week hair.

A couple enjoys breakfast together

7. Do a date morning. Sometimes 鈥渄ate night鈥 isn鈥檛 easy to schedule when you鈥檙e new parents. Before you give up on your spending any QT with your honey, try an early-morning option. Set the alarm a half hour early and spend that extra time in bed together or have a candle-lit breakfast 鈥 sans kiddos.

8. Arrange adult activities. Again, no, we鈥檙e not talking about the bedroom kind of adult activities. This is more of a 鈥済et caught up on current events鈥 or 鈥渟tream a favorite grown-up show鈥 type of time.

9. Be the un-mommy. Break free from mom mode by doing at least one thing that has absolutely nothing to do with mothering or your child. It鈥檚 surprisingly easy to get lost in the great wide world of parenting. You may not even realize that the shift has happened鈥 until someone asks you what your favorite book is, and you reply, 鈥Goodnight Moon,鈥 without realizing that they weren鈥檛 referring to your favorite children鈥檚 book. Step away from the baby gear, swap parenting blogs for ones about anything other than the littles, and use some time to feel like you again.

How do you coordinate your morning schedule with your kids鈥 wake-up times? Share with us @BritandCo.

(Photos via Getty)