Not all mornings are create equal
A little over a month ago, I noticed a post about morning routines in one of the online groups that I frequent. It was asking other members to discuss their morning routine and the entire post was inspiring. This one young professional wrote about how she got up in the morning and meditated, drank her green juice and walked her dog all before she officially started her day. Many other women were replying about how they exercise in the morning, go to the gym, also drink green smoothies, meditate, do yoga, and well you get the drift. They all were sharing about their awesome morning routine. I have to admit, I was completely jealous. But, I also wondered if any of them were moms. Most were not. The ones that did have children had older children. Most older children can take care of themselves in the morning by getting dressed, eating breakfast on their own, and typically need little assistance in order to get out the door. Unless, they need a wake-up call of course. So I wondered, where were the professional moms of younger kids, I had wondered. I wanted to hear how they plowed through their mornings. I found that no one else with young children had commented. So what do moms of toddler’s and younger children do? What does their morning routine look like? I could only share my own experience.
I replied to the post sharing my own morning routine, which looked much different from theirs. Most of which contained a lot of chasing and and trying to get my son to keep his socks on. This is because I have a toddler. Therefore, my mornings look completely different.
Before the new year, I would wake up around 6am and try to get all the necessities done by 6:30 which is when I wake up my son. Then between 6:30am and 7am, I change his diaper, change his clothes and sometimes this process takes the full thirty minutes because by the time I get his pants on, he’s wiggled his way out of my grip and is running around the room. At this point, it becomes a game of “you can’t catch me” while he’s running and I’ve got a shirt in my hand trying to tackle him so I can finish dressing him for the day. Then of course, there are the socks. Many days by the time I get the socks on, he takes them off and flings them into space. Then I have to go looking for the socks and then get them back on him and get him up the stairs so we can start on breakfast.
By the time we get to the kitchen, it was usually around 7am. I get him into his highchair, start making coffee and his breakfast while I sip on warm lemon water. Drinking warm lemon water in the morning has many benefits. If you are interested in the lemon water idea, you can find it here.
Then once he gets breakfast, I start making his lunch, drink my lemon water and take a few minutes to breath before walking out the door to take him to preschool. By the time we leave, it is about 7:45am or so. Then I’m back by 8:15-8:30am to start working.
So, as you can see, my morning routine was much different from those women without kids and certainly without toddlers. I know that kids in general tend to take more. Also, I can (and have started to) wake up earlier to get in a morning meditation, some EFT, yoga or anything else that I may be able to fit in prior to 6am. I’ve learned that morning routines are important. Also, just because you have kids doesn’t mean that it has to be super chaotic, it just means you have to have a plan, a schedule and a desire to make your morning routine work for you.
I changed around my morning routine to fit more in, and so can you!
So what can you do to make your morning routine more powerful and set the tone for the day when you have babies, toddlers and little kids??
Here are some steps to get you started on a successful and powerful morning which sets the tone for your day.
Step 1. Set up a plan of action for your morning routine.
Figure out ahead of time what you plan to do. Will you meditate, exercise, drink some hot tea or warm lemon water, start the coffee, eat breakfast, plan your day, learn something new (read or study)? Knowing what you will do ahead of time with that hour, or two hour time block is important so you can use it more effectively.
Step 2 . Get up earlier – and by earlier, I mean at least an hour or two before your kids!
Getting up earlier has helped me to make the most of my morning and helps me to get more done before the kiddos wake up. This also gives you some quiet “me” time and allows you to focus on your meditation session, your yoga or exercise routine, or anything else that you have preplanned to take care of or get done before the kids wake up.
Step 3. Set an alarm or timer.
Setting an alarm for your tasks will help you stay on track in the morning. For example, if you know you only have 20 minutes to meditate prior to doing some yoga or before you need to wake up the little ones, then set a timer so you do not run behind on your schedule. You may also want to set an alarm to ensure you get up on time as well! However, having a timer to stay on track during your activities is just as effective so that you can make the most of your time.
Step 4. Stay focused on what you want to accomplish.
You’ve set your schedule, planned your morning and set your alarm. Now what? Limit your distractions!!
Stay focused on the task or activities that you plan to complete. In other words, if you plan to meditate, or exercise, stay away from your phone or computer. Other distractions will eat up your time fast and these are precious moments in the morning. So, stay focused on what you have planned and get it done. Find your zen, drink your tea, go for a walk, but make sure that you stay way from distractions, no matter how tempting.
Step 5. Execute your plan
This seems so easy, doesn’t it? It really is that easy. Follow your steps, and stick with your plan. You might even want to do a trial run to see how long it will take you to complete the activities you want or need to do in the morning. Or, you can prepare the night before by getting our your yoga mat, sleeping in your yoga clothes, or pre-cutting lemons, and putting your teabags in your cup. You can put the water in the tea kettle ahead of time, or set aside the book you are planning to read. Whatever your morning routine is, do it. Make it easy for yourself and just do it. You’ll thank yourself later.
Getting a morning routine together when you have little ones can be easy. There will be days when they get up earlier, and there will be days when you are sick or they are sick and life happens. The point is to create a new morning routine for you that is for the rest of the time. There will always be exceptions to the rule. But for the most part, follow the routine and you’ll feel more refreshed, get more done, have more focus, and you’ll be more happier for it as well.
Keep me up to date on how you are doing with your NEW morning routine. I’d love to hear about all the wonderful changes you are making and how executing your morning routine is a breeze. Also, what are the perks of your morning routine? How does it feel? What are you getting accomplished? How do you feel about yourself?
Leave a comment, I’d love to hear your progress!
In love and light,