May 12, 2020
I have always been a morning person. I love the quiet and the feeling of new possibilities that come each day. How yesterday’s struggles can be distanced and put in the rearview.
After having kids and especially starting a business, my need for time to myself became that much more necessary. I found that if I woke up when the kids did, or worse yet–was woken up by them– then I was immediately in reaction mode. The endless “Mom, I need…” demands were fast and furious, not to mention the running to-do list in my own head. The feeling of being behind trickled into the rest of my day which left me in an endless game of catch up!
The madness had to stop.
As mentioned, I love mornings and once my babies slept through the night most of the time, I felt like I could start loving my mornings again. Disclaimer, if you’re little darling is still getting up at night–this post is not for you, yet. Sleep, my sweet friend. Whenever you can, however you can. The day will come when they do sleep through the night, trust me on this. If it’s your first kiddo, you might be shaking your head. You might even shake a fist, cry some well-deserved mama tears or throw some swear words at me. It’s ok, I understand. My oldest child was a terrible sleeper. I truly thought I was going insane and I felt so sorry for myself thinking this was my new normal. That I would never sleep again. Now, 10 years later, this same kid slept in until 10 am yesterday! Crazy, right?! Hang in there, mama.
Side Note: I could go on all day, but I’m going to attempt to keep this short! All the things you think you need to do, you don’t. The laundry, dishes, mopping floors, home-cooked meals, and on and on. My Precious Friend, here’s your assignment, did you keep your baby alive today? Did you take care of that sweet baby’s Mama? Done! You did it. I wish I would have been easier on myself in those early months with a baby in tow. I cried over my need to vacuum (the hormones didn’t help!). Even if your baby isn’t a newborn, sometimes you just need to give yourself grace and space to love on those little people and that’s enough. Right now, during this pandemic, this feels more important than ever. There is no shame in enlisting help. Amazon is a dream come true. This ideal that I had to do all the things to be a good mom was so hard for me to let go of and yet absolutely impossible to attain. I would just love to encourage anyone else that might be struggling with this that you are not alone.
Ok, got that out of my system. Let’s get back on track.
My morning routine is what saved my sanity. Here’s why. When I get up before everyone else does, I have time to think without any interruptions (cue the chorus of “Mommy!!!”), I can fill up my own cup, literally and figuratively and enjoy the sweet quiet.
Here’s what I do.
I get up between 5 am-5:30 am just about every day.
Once I’m up, I fill my cup. I used to religiously drink coffee, but the acid was messing with my stomach so a year ago I switched it up and now drink an energy fizz drink (pomegranate is my fav!) and detox tea with a splash of french vanilla coffee creamer. I like this plant-based one called Nut Pods. Pick whatever works best for you. Occasionally I’ll have a cup of decaf, but tea is my usual go-to. If you love coffee, go for it. Have a tea you adore, drink it. There’s something about a warm cup first thing that is just so cozy.
With my favorite mug in hand, I love this seafoam green mug by Yeti, I pray. I ask God to guide my feet, hands, and heart.
Next I jot down five things I’m grateful for. Once those are on paper, I write my top priorities for the day, usually three things and no more than five. Today that looks like finishing this blog post, making dinner for a friend that just had twins (this sweet mama has 4 babies under the age of 4!), and getting some outdoor time with my girls.
My next step could be a few possible things, but it’s always something I love or am excited to work on. Sometimes I read. Right now I’m loving “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert.
For more of my favorite books, check out My Love List: Book Edition
What a gift that we can gain so much insight, knowledge, and wisdom from the comfort of our own homes just by opening up a well-crafted book. For me the topics have been primarily on personal development. In the year and ½ since I committed to reading at least 20 minutes a day whether that be morning or night, I have seen it play out almost magically in my life. Because I am more grounded, I can deal with my life, kids, and work better. I see hope and possibilities, where I used to just see problems.
Right now as I type this we are in week six due to COVID-19, the pandemic sweeping the world. When left to my own devices, I easily fall down a rabbit hole of fear, pessimism, and self-pity. It has been through the process of praying and reading that I have gained a much better perspective on how to navigate life better. And gosh, that is being tested right now.
Another thing I love to do in the morning is write. To get my thoughts out on paper before I’m bombarded with the requests and demands of the day. I also happen to know I think more clearly in the morning. I feel lighter, more creative, and words flow out easily. I’ve learned that when I write at night, it feels like I’m literally pulling out my thoughts and it just takes so much longer to string together a sentence.
Up until two weeks ago, my next step was to finish getting myself ready, fix lunches, whip up my favorite green protein shake, glance at my emails and see if anything needed to be addressed right then, make breakfast and get the kids up and ready for school. We would leave by 7:35 am to get everyone where they needed to be on time.
With the Shelter At Home orders, our days have drastically changed. The kids are now being homeschooled and thankfully their teachers have also implemented zoom classroom learning. So although they need to get up and ready, our commute has been greatly shortened as they go from the kitchen to the dining room.
In college I added consistent exercise to my life and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made! My mind is clearer and when my body is stronger, then I feel stronger emotionally as well. To this day, I try to squeeze in 3-4 workouts a week, plus I love to take long walks with my family. Before the quarantine, I would go to the gym for those workouts after I dropped the kids off at school. Fast forward to the present day, like everything else, I am now exercising at home. My ideal day is when I can squeeze in an early workout and shower before homeschooling begins!
My morning routine has saved my sanity. By getting up with the sun and working on the passions of my heart first thing, I go into the day feeling happier. As a result I have more to give to my family. My mind is ready and more focused. And by the time everyone is up, I’m already caffeinated!
Right now, I feel like I need the routine even more. To have some kind of structure and normalcy even when the world feels like chaos. There is so much I cannot control, so embracing what I can control feels precious.
Do you have a morning routine? How has it helped you and your family?