A few years after becoming a mom, I realized I needed massive help with my morning routine.
Here’s my story… (does this sound like yours?)
I was so tired of feeling like my mornings were pure chaos.
I regularly woke up to the sound of children bickering over a toy (which meant I instantly became a referee); or to a child that needed to be nursed, bathed, fed and played with (you know the drill all too well, mama).
I felt guilty nearly every morning. I loved being a mom and helping my kids… and yet, all of their needs first thing in the morning brought me immense stress.
Finally I realized my big problem: I’d been waking up to a household that was already happening.
Some how, some way, I needed to start my day off ahead of my kids.
The good news? Things have changed since then.
I don’t wake up to chaos anymore. Truly.
I made some small shifts to my morning routine that have made all the difference… shifts that you can make too!
Every mom should feel equipped and ready to start her day off on the right foot!
Let’s help you get your morning routine in order too by asking a few simple questions.
Why Isn’t Your Current Morning Routine Working?
First, what’s the biggest source of your morning chaos? Start by asking yourself what you regularly get most frustrated about.
My biggest issue, I surmised, was that I woke up to helping and serving others without giving myself any prep time for that service.
I didn’t bemoan the fact that my kids needed me to be their mom (with four kids, I’d kind of signed myself up for the job of boo-boo-healer and squabble-solver). I just needed some time—before the kids woke up–to put on the right attitude for motherhood’s challenging call.
What Can You Change About Your Morning Routine to Make It Better?
The kids weren’t into staying in bed until 8:30 or 9 (go figure) so I knew that it was me that needed to change the morning routine.
First, I decided to get up earlier. Much earlier.
I started small. At first, I woke up half an hour earlier than normal. The kids were up when I woke up, but they at least were still somewhat zombie-like and were willing to let me close my bedroom door for a few minutes.
But just even this little bit of time gave me the ability to organize my thoughts and feel semi-human before the day started.
Second, I decided to do something soul-enriching each morning.
Along with the basics (bathroom, shower, washing my face), I began spending 10-15 minutes reading my Bible. Time in God’s word brought clarity and purpose to my day. It also reminded me that, yes, I was more than a mom and wife: I was a daughter of the King with an incredible purpose in this world!
This time grounded me, and it gave me hope to know that my Savior cared about all my struggles (1 Peter 5:7) and even planned to use them to bless others in the future (2 Corinthians 1:2-7).
Then, a few days a week, a woke up a bit earlier and did some sort of exercise. Often it was simply going through an exercise video like this one (or this one–one of my favorites for Christian yoga) or walking on the treadmill.
But even investing this 15-30 minutes made a huge difference in my attitude. If nothing else, the endorphins that come from working out improved my outlook and made being a mom just a little less difficult.
Third, whenever possible, we take a mini break halfway through the morning during school.
These don’t happen every day, but if I’m feeling the stress start to mount, then I make it a point to step away for a few minutes and refocus myself.
I often have a creative project I’m working on (writing project, scrapbooking project, etc) and if I can step away to work on that for a few minutes it helps my morning flow more smoothly overall.
Aim for Refreshment Not Perfection In Your Morning Routine
We all need something different in the morning to make us feel ready to approach the day. I’ve shared with you my ideas, but truly, see what refreshes you!
Write down some thoughts and just play with some ideas. Dream a little.
Can I make one other suggestion? Instead of jumping on a rigid schedule immediately to help with your morning routine, I suggest that you make tiny shifts toward change and then celebrate each one.
Maybe you start by just waking up a few minutes earlier. Let that change settle in and notice how you feel. Then slowly, over time, add in other things if you feel they would help you have better mornings.
Above all, give yourself grace as you feel through these changes. Real life is just that–real life–and it changes everyday! Kids (or moms!) get sick. Husbands travel and we need to pick up more responsibilities.
We can’t expect ourselves to have the same schedule everyday, but we can aim for some general pillars in our day to keep us grounded.
Challenge yourself to get up before your kids for even one week and notice the difference. Then (once you’ve realized that it is humanly possible), do it for 30 days and make a new habit. It’s a great gift for you (and your kids) this year!