The Morning Routine That Makes Me a Better Mom

I love the morning. It’s the time when I have the most energy and excitement for what lays ahead.

Over the last year, I’ve created a morning routine for myself that supports my energy and motivation for the day. It’s a morning routine that I stick to, even in the middle of a pandemic, because it sets my day up for success.

My morning routine is the most productive part of my day and I’m super intentional with how I spend those early hours. When I have the time to myself to go through my morning routine, I feel more equipped to handle the demands of being a mom.

I know it sounds corny, but it’s like my morning routine is the fuel that fills my gas tank so I can make it through the day.

I’m going to share with you a very detailed look into my morning routine as a mom of two kids, age 7 and 5.

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The Morning Routine That Makes Me a Better Mom + Free Morning Routine Checklist

The Morning Routine That Makes Me a Better Mom

4:00 am – Alarm Goes Off

It’s taken me years to get to a point where I wake up this early. But I do. If you want to learn more about how I got to this point, check out this post How To Wake Up Before Your Kids.

You don’t have to wake up super early to have a great morning routine. The point is to have some time to yourself before your kids wake up. My boys are early risers. Sometimes my youngest is awake around 5 am. In order for me to get some time to myself, I set my alarm for 4 am.

Now do I hop out of bed as soon as that alarm goes off? Usually, not. On Monday’s, when I’m more refreshed from the weekend, I’m out of bed around 4:10 am, but as the week goes on it gets a little bit later. I try not to sleep past 4:20 am though.

Right after waking, I grab my workout clothes that I’ve placed on the floor next to me the night before. This may be gross, but I tend to wear the same workout clothes all week because then I don’t have to pick out workout clothes each night. If I had to do that every night, I wouldn’t. The less decisions I have to make at the end of the night the better.

Then I head downstairs.

4:15 am – Drink Water and Grab Coffee

I walk in the kitchen and drink a pint of water – usually luke warm so I can drink it all at once. Then I fill up my coffee mug.

At this point my mind is tempting me with thoughts of getting cozy on the couch with my book and spending the quiet time to read. But I ignore the temptation and walk into my office.

A picture of a women right after waking up in the morning, starting her morning routine.

4:20 am – Write For This Blog

I walk into my office, turn the lights on, grab my blue light blocking glasses, and fire up my computer. With my coffee cup next to me, I sit down with the intention of writing for this blog.

Before I start writing, I check out my stats for the blog and pinterest, and try not to get too tempted to start searching around elsewhere for how this blog is doing.

I then get to writing for the blog or my newsletter.

A computer and coffee cup on a desk used for writing during the morning routine.

Out of all the habits I’ve creating in my morning routine, I have to say that this is the most fulfilling to me and therefore, the most important.

If I don’t include writing time in my morning routine, it might not get done at all.

5:30 am – Exercise

At this point, I close my laptop and head out into the kitchen to drink another glass of water, grab my headphones, and head down in the basement for my workout.

My current exercise program consists of going up and down the stairs, in various ways, for 30 minutes. I also alternate different arm exercises with weights in between doing the stairs. I’ve learned that when I start avoiding exercise, it’s because I don’t like what I’m doing. This means I don’t put pressure on myself to do the perfect workout, or the workout that I think I “should” be doing. Instead I focus on doing what I know I will do.

A woman just finishing her workout as part of her morning routine.

I really enjoy working out because I use the time to listen to one of my favorite podcasts. The podcast is Losing 100 LBS with Phit-N-Phat hosted by Corinne Crabtree. There’s something about working out while listening to her no B.S. advice that really gets me motivated and excited about the goals I’ve set for myself. Though her podcasts centers around weight loss, I really use it as an a$$-kicking for my mind.

6:00 am – Breakfast and Morning Chores

Once I’m done with my workout, I make myself hot water with lemon and apple-cider vinegar. I started drinking this to help with my skin, but it has so many other benefits that it’s stayed in morning routine for a few years now.

Now this is the point when I really need my “Morning Routine Checklist”. I literally reference it every morning. Without it, I would be walking around the kitchen aimlessly.

Morning Routine Checklist for Moms

(You can grab your own checklist, plus one for your kids, here.)

While drinking my hot water, I make the kids breakfast, and then unload the dishwasher. The kids are usually up at this point so we chit chat while they eat their breakfast.

If I’m hungry, I’ll make myself breakfast.

If school is in session, this is when I will pack the lunches for the kids.

After that is taken care of, I need to attend to our dog. He needs his medications, and I need to let him outside. Unfortunately, he’s older so if I forget to let him out, I end up cleaning up a mess later…this is why it’s on my “Morning Routine Checklist”.

Once that’s done, I take my vitamins and grab another cup of coffee and head upstairs to shower. I remind the boys of what they have to do to get ready for the day. They also have their own “Morning Routine Checklists”.

how to create a productive morning routine (starting before 5 am)

7:00 am – Shower and Get Ready For The Day

Before I get in the shower, I make the bed and lay out my clothes for the day. I’ve joined Get Your Pretty On Outfit Formula’s seasonal challenge, and it’s a game changer when it comes to figuring out what I’m going to wear for the day. All I have to do is look at the calendar she provides, and my outfit is right there. No real brain work needs to be done.

I might do a little picking up also – I tend to leave my clothes from the day before on the floor.

While I’m showering and getting ready, I listen to another podcast, something light and funny. Sometimes, I’ll play music on Spotify.

Once I’m out of the shower, I’ll check to see how the boys are doing and remind them of how much time they have left before leaving for school.

Then I finish getting ready for the day. I do my hair and make up pretty much everyday. It takes up time, but I feel better when it’s done.

A woman after getting dressed during her morning routine.
One of my outfits from the challenge. You can check out more about Outfit Formula’s here.

8:00 am – Cleaning Chore and Laundry

After I’m showered and ready for the day, I’ll do a small cleaning chore. Usually it’s cleaning a bathroom or vacuuming one part of the house. We do a family pick-up before bed each night so the house is in pretty good shape in the morning.

I’ll also take this time to put in one load of laundry. I’ve found that the best system for me is doing one load of laundry a day. It isn’t always folded and put away in one day, but I find the time to put one load in the washer and dryer.

This is the end of what I consider my morning routine. At this point the kids are on the bus, or if they are home, we are going for a walk or doing something together. The rest of the morning varies based on what is planned for the day.

The Benefits Of A Morning Routine

Every morning is a blank slate. You have the whole day ahead of you to do what you want. A solid morning routine helps set the foundation for the day so it feels attainable instead of out of control. As a mom, this could be the only part of the day when you have complete control over how you spend your time.

Here are some benefits I found from following my morning routine consistently:

  • I start the day off with small wins under my belt. For example, waking up at 4 am each morning feels like a personal success.
  • I’ve gained more confidence and trust in myself each time I stick to my intentions of waking up early and going through my morning routine.
  • I make the time to focus on the things that matter to me. Without taking the time to write or exercise first thing in the morning, it wouldn’t get done. Creating space for these two tasks eliminates the need for me to stress about when I will do them.
  • I have very few decisions to make in the morning. Knowing exactly what I’m going to do for the first few hours of the day eliminates the need to spend precious mental energy making choices about my time.
  • I am ready to face the day by 8 am. The kids are fed and dressed, the kitchen is picked up, and I’m showered and ready to go.
  • I feel in control of my day and this trickles down into having more patience and focus with my kids.

How to Handle Your Kids In Your Morning Routine

You may be thinking, “this all sounds wonderful, but my child wakes up as soon as I do so my time is not my own.”

Well, this happens to me too. On occasion, my five year old will wake up around 4:30 am. I’ve learned that trying to put him back in his bed just doesn’t work. But I have trained him over time so he understands this morning time is for me.

Sometimes he sits on my lap while I write, and other times he will lay down on the couch and fall back asleep. When that doesn’t work, he finds something to play with quietly.

A child sleeping on his moms chest in the morning.

I used to lay out a puzzle, or books the night before so when one of my kids woke up while I was doing my morning stuff, they had something to do.

Helping them create their own little morning routine took some work. There were a lot of mornings when they whined and complained because they wanted to watch TV or claimed they were starving and needed breakfast right away. But I stuck true to letting them know this was my time to get stuff done.

I encourage you to work on protecting your morning time the best you can. You might always have a little one with you, that’s just part of being a mom. But that doesn’t mean you can’t spend a little bit of time in the morning on yourself.

Tips for Creating Your Morning Routine

When it comes to actually creating a morning routine that you love, I recommend the following tips:

  • Find Your Why – What is it that you want to accomplish in your morning that would make you feel good about the day ahead?
  • Keep In Mind Your Season of Life – Consider where you are in life and create your morning routine accordingly. 
  • Have a Plan and Write It Out – There’s something about actually writing something down that cements it more in your mind.
  • Prepare the Night Before – It will be easier to get out of bed and follow your morning routine when you know that the coffee is made, your clothes are laid out, your workout is already chosen, etc.
  • Keep Electronics to a Minimum – Give yourself the gift of complete focus by not using your phone the first hour or so of the day. 
  • Be Flexible – Be patient and allow yourself the flexibility to change things up if needed.

I did a whole post about creating your perfect morning routine. You can find that here.

tips to create a very early morning routine

What Will Your Morning Routine Look Like?

My morning time has become so much more productive and enjoyable because of the routine I put in place. I head into the day feeling in control and ready to face (mostly) whatever comes my way. I’m happy to see my kids when they wake up, because I’ve had time to focus on myself for a while.

Now that you have seen my morning routine, and have some tips for how to create your own, what will your morning routine look like? If you have a morning routine you enjoy, share it in the comments below.

If you found this post helpful, you may also like:

Morning Routine Checklists

Checklists for Moms + Kids to help your morning run smoother.

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