Morning Routines for Moms: Can it be done?

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I hear TONS of people (or is it just a few people over and over?) talk about morning routines and how important they are to having a productive day, blah blah blah. It sounds SO GREAT I’ve made MANY, MANY attempts to have one of my own – something that allows me to step into a new day with intention, having paid a little bit of attention to myself so I don’t feel robbed and utterly depleted by the end of the day.

The thing is though, that all of these people who talk of having glorious 1-2 hour routines where they exercise, read, write, walk for five miles, or whatever, don’t have little kids. As much as I’d like to have a morning routine, I’m just about ready to give up on one because I’m either too tired to get up before the kids, or if I do get up, the kids wake up earlier than usual and if they’re awake, forget about it.

The words routine and kids don’t always fit nicely in the same sentence.

It’s possible that the routines I’ve tried in the past were unrealistic. Maybe I wanted to do too much. Maybe I need to lower my expectations for what can be accomplished in a morning routine at this time in my life. So I’ve decided that instead of having a rigid set of actions, it’d be better to choose a few things I’d like to do and prioritize them so that if my morning got cut short, at least I made time for the most important things.

My ideal morning would have the following:

  • Prayer/meditation
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Exercise (or some kind of movement)

If I could do it all, GREAT. But if all I got around to doing before Leo wakes up was meditating for 5 minutes, I would just call it good and be grateful that I had five minutes to do something for myself. I’ve accepted that my life doesn’t look like the lives of many of the folks I look up to and read about with their zen-like morning routines, and that’s ok, because I wake up to two beautiful faces who absolutely light up when they see me, who make  their first ten minutes the most radiant part of my day – even if it does disintegrate into poopy diapers, spit up and oat meal rubbed into the couch.

Moms – have you managed a decent morning routine? HOW do you do it?

6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Hey, did you know there’s no way to click and get directly to the post from your RSS emails?
    I actually just wrote a guest post on this very topic but it won’t publish until later in Feb. But the main point I made was just what you already settled on – figure out what is most important to do in your morning, and then figure out how to fit just that in. Three of those are hard with little ones, but maybe you could include them in the exercise bit? You might have to get up a little earlier to make time for the others, and maybe not all three each day, but choose one each morning so you get to them all a couple times over the course of the week.

    That said, a morning routine is something I sorely miss in my own life, too. On the mornings my daughter is in daycare I spend the time when my partner is dropping her off to do my personal morning time, before I sit down for the working part of my day. It isn’t ideal, but it works for now.

    1. Funny you wrote about that! I just read another post about a mom with a young baby and a pretty nice morning routine. I guess it is possible! I try to remind myself that things change and maybe one day I’ll be able to have my “dream routine.” For now I’m all about appreciating what IS possible right now.
      Thanks for pointing that out about my rss emails. I’ve fixed it so you should be able to click over. Sorry about that. Super annoying.

  2. I always thought that the best thing about staying home with my kids was not having a set routine. Now that I’m working full time again, I never have time to just be lazy, or spontaneously start a new project.
    I also think that not having a routine allows for more spontaneous moments and creative ideas in the morning.

    1. Great point. I definitely do have more wiggle room to be spontaneous than a working mom would for sure. When it comes to the kids, we don’t have much routine, except for bedtime. I think I like morning routines just for myself because I can kind of take a breath before I dive into whatever’s coming. Plus I get really grumpy when I go too long without some alone time. 😉

  3. My morning consists of me getting ready for work, maybe taking the dogs out, maybe feeding the baby, maybe making my 3 yr old his breakfast, and me eating breakfast too. I say “maybe” because the hubs and I switch-off weekly on who does what. I *try* to get ready for work before the kids get up, but sometimes they get up at 6 and sometimes at 7:30am, so I don’t know what time I should get up. I certainly don’t want to be up at 5:30 every morning (I don’t know how some people do it). The best thing I did for my mornings was shower and wash my hair the night before. Sure, my hair is sometimes wonky in the morning, but I then I just put it in a lazy ponytail.

    1. That is EXACTLY my problem! I can’t predict when the kids are gonna be up, and I can’t always predict when I’m going to sleep the night before. If Noweo has a late nap, then we’ll be up late, etc. Life is a delicate balance and if something gets thrown off then the whole schedule’s thrown off. I tried getting up early – around 5:30 aaaaand that’s a no. Maybe 6. I always shower at night so my hair’s always wonky lol! I do enjoy morning showers though. I seem to have more energy after a quick workout and shower, and it motivates me to get ready earlier. I’ve been known to stay in my PJ’s till after dinner, then shower, get ready and go grocery shopping at 7pm.

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