You know that sinking feeling you get in your stomach when you’re laying in bed in the morning, barely awake, and you hear the muffled cry of your toddler? You look at the clock and it is 6:30am. You haven’t had any coffee yet, breakfast isn’t made, the dishes are in the sink from the night before, and you have no idea what you’re going to do to survive until naptime? Yeah, I’ve been there way too many times. Mornings like this are chaotic and most of the time lead to an extremely unorganized, flustered day. I’ve learned my lesson after enduring many days like this, and have created a morning routine that sets my day up for smooth sailing. Here are six things I do to optimize my mornings and hit the ground running.
1.) I Enjoy a Few Quiet Moments to Myself.
As hard as it is to wake up early sometimes, for me, it is 100% worth it. It gives me some much needed time to myself before my tiny humans wake up and demand all of my attention. My husband is very much a morning person. He starts his day at the gym and leaves our house at
2.) I Read or Listen to Something that Inspires Me.
For me, starting out with some scripture or a devotion strengthens and empowers me for the day. My current favorite is Daily Devotional’s 3-Minute Devotions for Women. The devotions are quick and easy to read, but very impactful. These devotions also include scripture that you can refer to later in the day for deeper study of the word. I also like to browse Pinterest for motivation. I can find anything from Ted Talks to quick motivational quotes to add to my inspiration boards. Podcasts are also great. One of my favorites is Do it Scared by Ruth Soukup. Whatever it is that motivates or inspires you, spend some time with it. You are what you pay attention to!
3.) I Review My Plans for the Day
This one was a game-changer for me. The more prepared I am, the more I enjoy my time and can relax and have fun with my kids. As a former teacher, I love nothing more than planning my day down the hour, and sometimes a half hour. Do these plans always work out accordingly? Absolutely not! But having a vision and basic outline for how the day will look will always minimize stress and chaos. To plan my days, I use the
4.) I Put Away Laundry and Unload the Dishwasher
Nothing stresses me out more than piles of laundry and a sink full of dirty dishes. To minimize this stress I stay on top of it daily. Before we go to bed at night, I run the dishwasher. In the morning, I put away the dishes so the dishwasher is empty and can be loaded throughout the day. Dishes (usually) don’t sit in my sink because they go straight into the dishwasher after being used and rinsed. Laundry is something that will always be there for me no matter what. I make it a goal to wash, dry, and put away one load each day. Getting this done in the mornings checks that off of my to-do list early and prevents the clothes from piling up over several days. There’s nothing worse than having to spend an entire day doing laundry.
5.) I Dress for my Day
As much as I would love to wear sweatpants and my husband t-shirts every day, I have realized that if I look sloppy I will also feel sloppy. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who wears makeup everyday. Don’t get me wrong, I love makeup and getting ready for special occasions, but if it’s just me and kids playing and running errands all day I keep it simple. My very quick routine usually involves putting my hair up and wearing something comfortable and casual. Usual athletic wear from Target. I say, do whatever makes you feel good. If a full face of makeup and a put-together outfit is your style, do it. Just build this into your morning routine so you aren’t rushing around trying to do it while your kids are awake.
6.) I (Try to) Eat Something Healthy
I’m not always ready to eat something first thing in the morning, so I tend to do this closer to my kids’ wake up time. I start making their breakfast, and my own at the same time. I always try to eat something with protein that will keep me going for the next couple of hours. Eggs are my go-to because they’re easy, healthy, and cheap.
This consistent morning routine has made me a better mom, wife, and a more productive person in general. It takes some trial and error to find a morning routine that works for you. It also takes discipline to wake up early. My main strategy is to just do it before I even have time to think about it. As soon as my alarm goes off my feet hit the floor. It may be difficult in the moment, but I have never regretted being more mentally and physically prepared to care for and enjoy my family for the day.