Creating morning routines as a mom whether that is waking up early before your kids get up or waking up with your kids.
Creating a solid routine before having kids is hard enough, but trying to create one with kids seems nearly impossible. But I am here to tell you it can be done, you just have to create habits that you can follow and stick to them.
Before I started creating my morning routines my mornings would look something like this:
I fall asleep the night before, running a list through my head of all the things I will need to get done the next day. I'd often fall asleep stressed just thinking about the overwhelming list and hoping I don't forget anything.
I pray that my littles will sleep in long enough so that I can get a shower in at a bare minimum.
I wake up exhausted to my littles either crawling into bed with me or tapping me on the shoulder, exclaiming they would like to go downstairs.
I am immediately annoyed with myself for hitting snooze and not getting out of bed in time, and now my morning is not set off to a good start.
Before having kids I was a wake up at 4:00 am and get my morning going kind of girl. I'd have everything taken care of before 9:00 am and it left the rest of my day feeling relaxed. After having my Son, I was still able to get a pretty good routine, but after my daughter was born it was like my routine went out the window.
Creating a morning routine that flows and helps you feel good sometimes seems impossible at times, especially when your toddlers want to wake up before you do. These are the tips that have helped me to combat the obstacles I have faced in the morning and helped me to create a good Morning Routine.
Each person is at a different stage of life so maybe these routines don't work for you, maybe you might need to adjust them to fit your needs. Don't give up if that is the case, but instead, keep looking for what works best for you.
First you need to think about WHY you want to create a good morning routine. Is it so you can fit exercise in the morning? Or maybe so you can feel more organized? What about creating a routine in the morning will make your mornings feel most productive?
For me, I wanted to make sure that I didn't become angry Mom in the morning. I knew that if I had a solid routine and didn't feel frazzled the moment my feet hit the floor, I would have less anxiety and would therefore have a less likelihood of being angry Mom.
So what about you? What is missing from your day?
Quite time? This can be as simple as waking up 5 minutes before your littles and drinking a cup of coffee, or meditating before they wake up. It doesn't take a whole lot of time, but can make the world of a difference to someone who is in need of it.
Reading time? Spending some time in the mornings reading can really help people put themselves in the right place. Make time for this if it is what you love.
A time for creativity? I think this is the biggest thing for some people, and that is finding time in the morning to either journal, write, color, draw, knit. Whatever it is that helps you calm and start your day, make some space for it.
Exercise? For me this was my number two why, starting my morning with a workout not only freed up my afternoons, but also helps me feel more energized and ready to take on the day.
Take the time to really think about what your why is.
This is crucial! Preparing the night before allows you to set yourself up for success the next morning. It will be easier to get out of bed and exercise if you are already in your workout clothes and all you need to do is put on your tennis shoes.
It will be easier to get out of bed when you know that the coffee machine was prepped the night before and is already brewing, or that your clothes are laid out so you don't have to spend an hour thinking about what to wear. This also goes for getting your littles. Set their clothes out the night before as well; laying out their clothes, maybe having their breakfast ready for them or setting out their morning activity. The less decisions you have to make, the more likely you are going to get out of bed and get to it.
Sleep is another really big one that will set you up for success the next day. Getting on a good sleep cycle is going to allow you to actually wake up and not hit snooze in the morning. Ultimately this will go back to your why, why do you want to wake up in the morning and have a routine? If that why is more important than why you want to stay up late then you will need to sacrifice staying up late and get to bed early to make sure that you can wake up and start your day off right.
I know that was probably a tough one to read, trust me. I would stay up late in the night simply because it was the only alone time I had. But ultimately it was more important to me to have that routine in the morning so I had to slowly start convincing myself to go to bed earlier so I could wake up earlier and start a healthy habit.
Raise your hand if the first thing you do in the morning before even getting out of bed is reach for your cell phone?
I know that I am guilty of it, and that is why I had to start being mindful of how I was spending my time in the morning. I put my phone where it is not easily reached so that it is not the first thing I do in the morning. I have my DND feature set from 9:30 pm to 6:30 am so that I don't get a text message in the morning and then I am tempted to keep scrolling through my phone afterwards.
My mornings have felt more enjoyable since I cut out the mindless scrolling through Instagram in the mornings, or playing candy crush for an hour. These things are unproductive and do not set me up for success.
I found that I am more likely to be patient with my kids and have a more enjoyable morning when I cut out the electronic in the morning.
If you have trouble with this, try it for a week. I promise you that you won't regret it and you will be able to do it without thinking afterwards.
My goal for the longest time was simply to wake up before my kids so that I could have quite time and have my routine done before they wake up. This worked for a time, but then my kids decided that 5 am was a good wake up time and then my morning routine failed me time and time again, so I had to adjust.
Depending on your stage of life, waking up before the kids might be possible, or very well could be impossible. For those of you who simply cannot wake up before your kids, this is my "hack" for you:
Unfortunately, my Husband works third shift so there is no tag teaming my mornings. I make do with what I have, which means that if I am still getting ready and my kids wake up early I tend to let them sit in my room and watch a show, or play on their tablet for a little bit while I am getting ready. As a side note, before anyone thinks that I am letting my TV be the babysitter while I am getting ready, my bathroom door is open and my eyes are on them if they need me. This helps keep them occupied and allows me to continue with my routine.
Nothing beats the morning quietness though, so if you can get up even just 5 minutes before you hear those little feet running down the hall, I'd highly recommend trying it.
For those of you who do have littles who like to wake up early, you can help yourself, by teaching them good morning routines for themselves.
My son started telling me at night "it's not time to go night night, the sun is still awake", apparently he has been watching Frozen a little too much. But I used this a bit to my advantage in the mornings by teaching him that he wasn't allowed to come out of his room unless the sun was awake. If he woke up before the sun woke up then he either needs to try going back to sleep or he can play quietly in his room. I've even hear of some momma's who use those special alarm clocks that have a red light green light to tell them whether it was an okay time to get out of bed. (I haven't tried this but please let me know if you have and what you think!)
Sometimes I am lucky and will get through my whole entire morning routine without my kids waking up, but usually what happens is halfway through my workout my kids have already come downstairs and are asking for breakfast, or if they can watch a movie. I explain to them that Mommy is finishing up her workout and then when I am done I will get their breakfast together.
I would get pushback on this in the beginning, so I have tried to make it simple by either preemptively setting out an activity for them, or having their breakfast already out for them (depending on what we are eating that morning). Sometimes they want to join in with me which I love so I also like to leave out my small 3 lbs. weights just incase they decide to do this.
Now that my littles are becoming more independent I have also been laying their clothes out and teaching them that they can get themselves dressed in the morning as well! I definitely learned in the beginning to double check how they dressed themselves though after sending my son to school a couple times and then later finding he never put on any underwear. I hate to think what his teachers thought about me.
When you teach your kids to respect your time in the morning this will help both of you have a more successful day.
The final tip that I would have for you is to just be flexible. When you have kids your mornings are never going to be the same each day. be prepared for each scenario, and find a routine that works for you.
Be patient and allow yourself grace. Some mornings you may wake up late and not be able to get your workout in. Someone might wake up in the middle of the night sick and then everyone is sleepy in the morning. Your morning routine might fall by the wayside that day, but thankfully you have tomorrow to try again. Don't let one bad day stop you from continuing your routine.
Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you will have.
SO what does my routine look like?
4:00 am - alarm goes off and I make sure that I am up and out of bed by 4:15.
4:15 - Make the bed and head to the kitchen to drink a glass of water before my workout.
4:20 - I start my workout which is typically 30 - 45 minutes long.
5:15 - Jump in the shower and get ready for the day
6:00 - Quiet time where I enjoy my coffee (or if the kids are awake where I play with them for a little bit).
6:30 - husband gets home and we make the kids breakfast
6:45 - one load of laundry and maybe a cleaning task while the kids eat their breakfast
7:00 - get the kids dressed
7:20 - out the door for school
As a final thought, simply having a plan can make a world of a difference. Think about what you need to accomplish the next morning and whether your plan looks the same each day or not makes no difference as long as it is not stressful for you each morning.
The less decisions that you have to make when you wake up the more likely you will have a fresh start to your day. There is something about writing your schedule down that makes it seem like its easier to accomplish.