As I lay down to bed, I think about everything I’m hoping to accomplish the next morning. I pray that I wake up early before the kids so I can knock a few items off my to-do list.
The next morning, I wake up to tapping on my shoulder from my little one. He’s awake, hungry, and wants to go downstairs. I’m not someone who can hop out of bed. I need a little time to open my eyes, and build up the motivation to move. This doesn’t work for my son. He wants me out of bed NOW!
Due to his demands, I am super annoyed and get out of bed so I don’t have to listen to him complaining.
We walk down the stairs hand in hand and enter the kitchen.
And there begins my day, hijacked by a three year old…
I’m sure it’s no surprise that when my mornings start like this, the rest of the day feels out of my control. It seems like I am putting out fires and reacting all day instead of behaving with intention. I go to bed feeling like I accomplished absolutely nothing.
As a stay at home mom to young kids, I went in and out of times when I had a solid morning routine in place. Even though my morning routine wasn’t consistent, the feeling of overwhelm and disorganization that occurred when I didn’t practice my morning routine was.
I realized that the days when I went through my morning routine, I felt more energized, motivated, in control, and productive. I enjoyed the mornings with my kids more.
For a long time, I dreamed about about how I wanted my mornings to be, but when the alarm would go off, those thoughts would truly be dreams. I wouldn’t feel motivated enough to get out of bed.
You may be feeling the same way – letting your kids dictate how your mornings go only to feel frustrated and disappointed with how the day pans out. You know a good morning routine would help, but can’t seem to put one in place.
Let’s discuss what a good morning routine is, and how to create one that works for you.
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What is a Healthy Morning Routine?
Routine is a sequence of actions regularly followed. A morning routine is a flow of habits/tasks/actions that happen first thing in the morning. A healthy morning routine doesn’t look the same for everyone.
In My Morning Routine, How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired, Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander recommend finding a morning routine that leaves you feeling,”…awake, alert, physically, and mentally healthy, and psyched up to have a great day…”
Notice they didn’t say that you should be exercising or meditating or journaling every morning. Instead they focus on how you’ll feel after finishing your morning routine.
Why Is a Morning Routine Important?
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.
Here are some benefits of a morning routine:
- Starting your day with calm and peace affects your productivity and relationships for the rest of the day.
- You will feel a sense of purpose and empowerment.
- You can do something for yourself before the day is overrun with family commitments.
- It’s easier to handle the family chaos that can ensue when you are prepared for your day.
- You can sleep better knowing that you have a plan for the morning.
Obstacles to Creating a Morning Routine
Creating a morning routine that helps you feel good may seem impossible at times. Here are some real obstacles you might run up against:
- Your children might wake up before you so you have to attend to their needs.
- You have little time in the morning to focus on anything else but getting ready for the day.
- You may feel clueless as to what you want to do for yourself in the morning.
The tips below will help you combat these obstacles.
8 Tips to Start a Morning Routine as a Mom
If you are ready to create a healthy morning routine for yourself that makes you feel motivated and happy to start your day, follow these tips.
Tip 1: Find Your Why
Think about why you want to create a morning routine for yourself? What is it that you could accomplish in your morning that would make you feel good about the day ahead?
I knew I needed to create a different morning routine when I was feeling resentful of my days. I felt I didn’t have time for things I enjoyed. I decided I wanted to spend more time reading so I created a morning routine that included reading time.
What do you feel is missing in your day? Here are some ideas:
- Organization – maybe you need to include 5 minute planning time in your morning routine so you feel organized to start the day.
- Creativity – use your morning routine to do something creative that you love, but has fallen off your radar. This could be writing, scrapbooking, needlepoint, coloring, drawing, painting, journaling, the possibilities are endless!
- Quiet – spend some time in silence, or meditate for a few minutes.
- Reading Time – if you are looking to enhance your reading life, make it one of the first things you do in the morning.
- Exercise – getting exercise out of the way first thing in the morning is a great accomplishment and sets you up for an energetic day.
Tip 2: Keep In Mind Your Season of Life
If you are a mother of a newborn, your morning routine may look very different than a mother of school-age kids.
After having my first son, I tried so hard to implement the same morning routine that I used before I had kids. I felt so frustrated that I couldn’t accomplish everything I used to accomplish before 9 am. I failed to take into account that I was in a completely different season of life so it only made sense that my morning routine should change.
Consider where you are in your life and create your morning routine accordingly. Give yourself grace if it doesn’t always workout the way you think it should. When dealing with kids, life can be unpredictable.
For a while, my morning routine consisted mostly of waking before the kids and sipping coffee while I read. Now that my kids are a little older, my morning routine is a little more complex. Currently, my kids are 4 and 7 years old. This is what my morning routine looks like:
4 am – alarm goes off – out of bed around 4:15 am
4:15 am – drink water and grab a cup of coffee
4:20 am – sit down to computer and write for one hour
5:20 am – exercise (3x week) or work longer on blog
6 am – make breakfast for kids and myself, empty dishwasher, make lunches
7 am – shower and get ready for the day
8 am – get son on bus
8:15 am – one load of laundry and cleaning task for day
8:45 am – leave house for preschool drop-off
Tip 3: Have a Plan and Write It Out
Once you have decided on what you would like your morning routine to look like, take pen to paper and write it down. There’s something about actually writing something down that cements it more in your mind.
The less decisions you need to make in the morning, the better. If you have your morning routine written down, you can easily use it as a guide to flow through your morning.
Tip 4: Prepare the Night Before
This is so important! How you prepare the night before has an impact on how your morning will go.
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. Once again, the less decisions you have to make in the morning, the better.
Sleep is another indicator of how well your morning routine will go. You want to get enough sleep so you feel rested when your alarm goes off. This may mean that you have to sacrifice hours by yourself after the kids go to bed. It might be hard at first, but eventually you won’t miss those extra hours of TV or scrolling your phone because you’ll be so invested in your morning.
Tip 5: Keep Electronics to a Minimum
I have found that a perfect way to slow down my flow in the morning is by texting, scrolling social media, and searching the internet. I also feel really distracted and overwhelmed when I’m on my phone too early.
Give yourself the gift of complete focus by not using your phone the first hour or so of the day. If this seems hard for you, try it for one week and see what happens.
I try my hardest not to get wrapped up in my phone before 8 am. Yes, there are times when I have to check a text or email, or I want to publish something on social media before the day starts. The days when I keep this phone boundary with myself, mornings are more enjoyable and I have more patience with my kids.
Tip 6: Wake-Up Before the Kids
Once again, this is going to depend on what season of life you’re in. You may have kids that sleep until 9 am, or you may have kids that wake-up at 5 am.
Even when my boys were newborns, they rarely slept past 7 am and this is still the case. Therefore, I have to wake up pretty early if I want some time to myself in the morning.
However, nothing really beats the quietness of the house first thing in the morning. Even if you only have 5 minutes to yourself, it’s worth it to savor the start of a new day.
Tip 7: Train Your Kids
Wouldn’t it be great if you had your perfect morning routine and you could accomplish it all before the kids woke up? If you can, lucky you! In most cases, you will be sharing your mornings with your kids.
When I made the decision that I wanted to use my morning hours to do something I enjoyed, I knew I might have some company. So I decided that I would help my kids have their own morning routine while I was reading or writing.
If my boys woke up and came downstairs while I was reading in the morning, I shared with them that it was my reading time and when I was done, I would make them breakfast. Then I would try to have something set out for them to do, like a puzzle or coloring.
They didn’t like this at first and would argue with me or complain, but I stuck to my word and didn’t forsake my reading time to assist them. After a few weeks, they would wake up and do whatever activity was set out for them, or they would sit with me and snuggle while I read. My younger son even started getting the bible out and looking through it, which was a win-win for me!
It took some discipline, but I think it’s a good thing to teach your kids that your time and morning routine is important to you.
The kids don’t have to be asleep for you to enjoy your mornings.
Tip 8: Be Flexible
It may take a few different morning routines to find the perfect one for you right now. Be patient and allow yourself the flexibility to change things up if needed.
You will experience mornings when you sleep-in, someone is sick, or the kids just need more from you than usual. On these days your morning routine may go out the window. Luckily, you can try again tomorrow.
Creating a Morning Routine as a Mom
After a lot of trial and error on my part, I got smart and used these tips to create a morning routine for myself that includes something I love to do as well as chores and tasks that start the day off right. I am actually writing this post as part of my morning routine!
My morning routine has been monumental in helping me find myself again after having kids. I have made some real gains when it comes to spending a little bit of time in the morning working on something important to me. The year I started incorporating reading in my morning routine, I read over 50 books. Last year, I decided to use my time in the morning to research blogging and now I have a published blog and an outlet for writing.
By implementing the 8 tips above, you’ll create a morning routine that is not only productive, but enjoyable and sustainable also.
Which tip are you going to start implementing to create your morning routine? Do you have a good morning routine already? If so, what does it look like? What tips do you have to share about creating a morning routine as a mom? Share in the comments below.