Wouldn’t you like to feel more in control of your mornings? Start your day feeling renewed instead of overwhelmed? Imagine waking up to a clean, quiet household where you feel rested and excited about the day to come. Sounds pretty nice, right? But how do we achieve this as busy mothers? Well, I am going to show you how to do one simple (yet profoundly effective) thing that will bring peace and inspiration to your life. And it all starts with your morning routine.
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“You will never change your life until you change something that you do daily. The secret to your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell
As a stay-at-home mom, it can be so easy to get out of a routine because no one is forcing you to have one. You wake up when your babies do and then you spend the day cleaning and grocery shopping, all around nap times and catering to your little ones every need.
The time in which you do things is essentially your own. Aside from maybe dinner time and your children’s events, you are pretty free to do your daily activities in the matter in which you choose. This can be both a blessing and a curse.
On one hand, you have the freedom to choose how you plan out your days, but on the other your not exactly held accountable to anyone if you don’t follow through with that plan.
So how are you supposed to incorporate daily routines that will stick? How are you supposed to keep your house clean…
and have the energy to do it all…
EVERY. SINGLE. DAY?!
The quick answer… start a morning ritual!
Why start a Morning Routine
In my life, before I had a structured morning routine, I felt as if I was just going through the motions of life on autopilot. Running from one thing to the next without ever taking the time to stop and smell the proverbial roses.
I began to notice that things just weren’t getting done. The laundry and dishes felt like they were piling up and I couldn’t ever seem to get on top of it all.
It was a struggle for me to even make a to-do list, let alone cross anything off of it. I felt defeated most days – as if time was flying by me and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t catch up.
At first, I wasn’t sure what I needed to change. I have always been a very organized and motivated individual so I was a bit confused as to why life was getting so out of control for me.
For a while, I just chalked it up to being a new mother.
But, deep down I knew that it had to be something more.
That’s when my sister told me about a book that she had been reading called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. In his book, Hal argues that the single most important thing that you can do to improve your life is to improve how you start your day.
The whole premise of the book is that you can improve your entire life by simply waking up each day and spending quality time on self-development. He even has a copy devoted specifically to parents and families I highly recommend this one (get it here).
That was it!
I hadn’t been doing any sort of consistent morning routine!
Up until now my so-called “routine”, involved waking up to do the dishes and I definitely wasn’t practicing any sort of self-care activities. I was waking up in the mornings when I absolutely had to, rather than choosing to wake up the time I wanted to.
I was letting the day dictate my schedule rather than taking charge of the day.
Needless to say, I immediately bought the book and started implementing the practices into my life.
Here’s what happened…
Benefits oF A Morning Routine
- I became much more productive. (When you start a morning routine you actually create more time for yourself)
- My morning ritual gave my mind, body, and soul the fuel it needed to not only get through my day but to dominate it.
- I became a better version of myself.
- I became a much kinder, more gentle mother and spouse and my patience grew tremendously.
- I now have the energy to stick to my cleaning schedule and my house is cleaner than it has ever been.
Waking up early each morning, before my daughter, and completing my morning routine has allowed me to essentially, “secure my own oxygen mask” before assisting her.
But what’s the best part about having a morning routine…?
It sets the tone for the rest of my day.
Think about it like this… If you nail that first hour of the morning, you will likely nail the rest of the day.
Nail the day again and again and again and before you know it, you are winning at life!
How to Create the perfect morning routine
1. start the night before
Preparing for your morning routine the night before will allow things to go much more smoothly in the early hours of the morning. I recommend laying everything out that you will be using i.e. clothes, yoga mat, books, journal etc.
Having your clothes and books picked out ahead of time will give you something to look forward to in the morning and save you time. Proper preparation will make it much easier for you to wake up and stick to your plan. Which brings me to…
2. Have a Plan
The place where most people get caught up is taking too long to transition from one task to the next. This is where writing out your plan the night before will really help you. Eventually, you’ll get so used to your routine that you won’t need a list, but for when you’re first starting out it’s nice to have a reference.
Creating a plan will allow you to get everything accomplished in the allotted time that you have set for yourself. I’d recommend giving yourself at least 30 minutes but preferably an hour or more to complete your routine.
*TIP: For those of you that are REALLY busy, (or had a rough night up with the baby) it is actually possible to complete a morning ritual in just 6 minutes! So really there are no excuses for not doing it.
3. Just wake up
I know, I know… this is way easier said than done for some of us. The good news is that you don’t have to be a morning person to adopt these principles and change your life. You just have to be willing to change your habits!
Set a time that works for you and stick to it. Wake up at the same time each day and try your best NOT to hit snooze (I promise you, it gets easier the more you do it). Getting up at the same time each day will help you to solidify your new habit and contribute to a healthy circadian rhythm.
Also, waking up early, before your child(ren) is important so that you can have this time for yourself. This way things will be quiet and calm and you will have the space to dream without distraction.
4. MOVE YOUR BODY
Adding in some sort of movement to your morning practice will get your blood flowing, allowing oxygen to circulate more readily throughout your body. Increasing your blood flow will help to warm up the body and sharpen the mind, quickly bringing you out of your sleep state.
I usually start off my routine with some sort of movement. I begin with either a gentle yoga sequence from Youtube or a walk in the fresh air. But this is YOUR routine and you can choose to do whatever activity you enjoy that will get your body into motion!
5. Focus on the self
Creating a morning practice is all about improving upon yourself. This needs to be time devoted solely towards self-development or it will not be effective. So don’t start to clean the house or mess around on social media. That stuff can wait. This time is YOUR time.
The Miracle Morning for Parents and Families recommends implementing six proven personal development practices into your routine each morning. These are known as The Life S.A.V.E.R.S. and they stand for Silence (i.e. meditation), Affirmations, Visualizations, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing (i.e. journaling).
6.Troubleshooting Your Routine
It’s inevitable that through the course of implementing your morning routine, things will go awry. – Your baby will wake up crying just as you begin your yoga session, your kid will be up sick all night or randomly awake and hungry at 6 a.m.
When these things happen (and they WILL happen) it’s important to remember to just BREATH.
It’s called a practice for a reason. It’s not about perfection. Life is going to happen and hopefully, with the tools provided from your morning routine, you will be much more willing to accept certain outcomes rather than resist them.
So make the necessary adjustments to fit into YOUR life.
*TIP for breastfeeding mamas:
If you’re currently breastfeeding, try customizing your routine based on your babies sleep/wake cycles. For example, if your baby usually wakes up sometime between 3:00 and 6:00 a.m. Simply wake up with your baby, nurse him/her back to sleep and then get out of bed and begin your routine. You can always get back in bed afterward if you need a little more shut-eye.
My typical morning routine
Here is an example of my typical morning routine to give you some ideas. It’s roughly 90 minutes long (on a good day). I am far from perfect and my routine definitely doesn’t play out like this every morning, well because ya know… mom life. BUT, this is the routine that I strive for every time that I wake up in the morning.
- Wake up at 630 a.m. and breastfeed my daughter back to sleep (10min)
- Wash face, brush teeth and dress (10 min)
- Open all the blinds, and drink large glass of lemon water (5 min)
- Gentle Yoga Sequence (10-20 min)
- Meditation (5 min)
- Affirmations/Visualizations (5 min)
- Daily Devotion and Prayer (5-10 min)
- Read (5 pages) Inspirational book (10 min)
- Journal/Brain dump/To-do list (10 min)
I usually start tea and breakfast by 800a.m. just about the time my daughter is waking up for the day.
Do you have a morning routine or ritual? Let me know in the comments below.