I’m a firm believer that if you have your morning together, then you basically have your life together, too. When I was working full-time, I used to LOVE my morning routine. Since I had to be at work early and faced a long commute, I set my alarm at 5 am so I could enjoy my coffee and leisurely get ready without running around the house like a madwoman. But all that changed the moment I became a mom. Sure, I still had to get up early, but this time I was getting woken up by a crying baby. After what felt like a million mornings of feeling overwhelmed, I started to research what other mamas do. The bad news? Every single morning routine I found had one thing in common: Waking up before your child wakes up. Now, that normally wouldn’t be a problem for me– I am naturally an early riser and don’t mind sacrificing sleep–but, because I freelance write at night until 11pm-12am and my son wakes up anytime between 5-6am, that would mean I’d have to get up at 4am. (Trust me, NOTHING good can come from me running on only four hours of sleep every day!) So was I able to create a morning routine without walking around like a zombie every day? Yes! And you can too! Read on to discover easy ways to start your day on the right track—without sacrificing Zzzs.
Tip #1: Take note of patterns
Does your child wake up at the same time every time? How soon after waking up does he or she want breakfast? When creating a morning routine, you want to make it as easy as possible, meaning you don’t want to screw up your child’s schedule too much in order to fit your ideal routine. Instead, go with the flow and use your child’s natural wake-up time as your starting point. For example, my son wakes up anytime between 5-6am, so I usually grab him, give him some milk and get a few morning snuggles in before starting my routine.
Tip #2: Get dressed early
No, you don’t need to put on a full face of makeup and style your hair at this time, just do the things that will help you start your day and be productive. I like to wash my face, brush my teeth, put on my workout clothes and make myself a cup of coffee (#momfuel). I also like to ice roll my face while drinking my coffee. (More on that here.) Not only does it soothe puffiness, it instantly wakes you up!
Tip #3: Encourage free play
If you think you need to entertain your child from the minute he or she wakes up, you’re going to drive yourself insane. Although I totally think parents should get down on the floor and play with their child throughout the day, I use the morning time to let him play with his toys while I do whatever I need to do.
Tip #4: Skip social media
Yes, it can be tempting to want to jump on your phone to check emails and social media the second you wake up, but since you’re most likely going to be on it later in the day anyway, why not wait a little bit? Instead, start your morning on a positive note and get your mind right. I like to read the Bible in the morning using the First 5 app. It’s seriously one of the best apps out there! It offers a variety of reading plans that can be done first thing in the morning. I find that whenever I do this in the morning, it always sets a positive, productive and appreciative tone for my day. Other options? You can also read a book, fill out a gratitude journal or listen to a motivating podcast.
Tip #5: Feed your little one
Now, this part may need to be moved up earlier in your routine depending on your child’s eating time, but my son usually wants to eat about an hour after he wakes up, so I get a good 30-40 minutes to get up and dressed, drink my coffee and read before I feed him breakfast and eat a little something myself depending on my work out for the day.
Tip #6: Get moving
Every successful entrepreneur has one thing in common: They ALWAYS make time to exercise in the morning. And why wouldn’t you? Every mama should move their body at least once a day, not only for the physical benefits but also for the increase in energy. The good news: If you think working out with a little one present is impossible, you’re wrong! We turned our garage into a gym, so I set up a few of my son’s toys (a mini trampoline, a little piano, some trucks, etc.) around the areas where I work out, then I get moving. And he LOVES it. He always jumps on the trampoline when I do cardio, stretches with me and pretends to do push-ups. Yes, it would be ideal “me time” to work out alone, but sometimes, that’s just not possible. What’s more, we both genuinely enjoy this time together.
Tip #7: Start your day
At this point, after I make myself a protein shake and give my little man a snack, I am ready to tackle the day. I get dressed in my “real clothes” (aka not my workout clothes), quickly do my makeup and hair, pack some snacks for my son and head out the door to the park, a playdate, errands, etc.
Tip #8: Be flexible
There will be sick days, cranky days, sleepy days and lazy days–and that’s ok. Plus, just when you’ve got your routine down pat, your child goes through another phase, forcing you to rethink everything. My best advice? Write down 3-4 things each morning that you want to accomplish that day and go with the flow.
What does your morning routine consist of? Share in the comments!