How to Create Morning Routine as a Mum
morning routine as a mum
Routine and rituals that create it, morning or evening, have been getting a lot of attention lately on social media and on the web. Everyone’s trying to find that perfect balance, keep the momentum and squeeze in the things that matter to them without being overwhelmed. Benefits of the morning routine are quite broad. Not to repeat what you probably already know and to keep it short, let’s just say that a morning routine has the power to set the tone for your entire day.
As a mum, I get irritated at times hearing about people's lush morning routines, slow yoga stretches, facial massages, hair blow dries and journaling over coffee watching the sunrise. Seriously, who actually does it for real? ;-)
My world is quite different :) In that world, every minute counts. If you’re at least a tiny close to the type of a parent I am, I like my alone time (as it keeps me sane) and I like planning. But, with a baby under 1 and an energetic, strong-willed 4 year old, a lot of mornings can’t be predicted. So when I became a mum, and especially mum of 2, I needed to take a step back and reassess – what matters to me? How can I maximize my time and create a routine that will fit in with the current lifestyle?
In order to create a morning routine that works for me and with me, I need to be sneaky and smart. And also, to let go a bit and choose my battles (always #inprogress!) – I’m still learning what it means to go with the flow and be flexible when it comes to life with kids. They just live in their own world (head), right?
Firstly, it took the realization as to what a type of person I am – that I enjoy slower mornings, being on my own to gather my thoughts, check in with my feelings and energize. I must confess that the mornings when I get woken up by my 4 year old and I need to jump right away into the ‘mama-mode’ aren’t my favorite (except for Sundays- I’ve learnt to like them, as we usually have time to be a bit slower and lazier in the morning, haha).
Then, I did a bit of soul searching as to how I want to spend the first 30-60 minutes of my day (there are some helpful questions you can ask yourself, see below). I do enjoy my first morning cup of water, I’ve learnt to meditate almost every day. I also like to look at my to-do list to get my priorities straight and move my body. Some days I feel like writing a few things in my journal, some days I crack on with some coaching work. Every now and then, I get lucky and manage to do a little bit of all of those things! But, I also always keep one thing in mind that is my anchor: what is the one thing I need to do each morning, no matter what? Completing at least that one thing helps me to stay focused and do not feel terrible if my entire morning routine doesn’t go as I planned (which happens, again, life with kids!).
My Simple Morning Routine
The routine I follow changes from time to time. Mostly depending on time of the year or based on what I am into at the moment. Recently, my ideal morning routine looks like this (when warmer and lighter days come, I’m hoping to exchange something for a morning jog a couple of times a week):
Wake up 5/5:20 am
Toilet, wash face etc., tongue scraping, clothes on (usually yoga or comfy pants at this point)
Downstairs, kettle on, quick deep breathing exercises, hot lemon + ACV water
Meditation (usually around 10-15min) / journaling/ brainstorming/ just being quiet, a bit of stretching/quick squats (here ends the part that is my MUST)
Usually between ~ 5:50- 6:40 am I have the window when I can work, do emails or whatever I want to tick off (this is the part that I really WANT, but I am willing to let go in case the kids wake up/ something else pops out)
Prep breakfast for Annika (my 4 yr old), head upstairs to finish getting ready for the day (jeans on, brushing teeth, makeup etc.)
Get my child ready/ dressed (i.e. negotiate, negotiate..), milk for the bubba
Between 7:15/8am is pretty much getting the 3 of us ready and doing the nursery run after
Boom, the morning is almost gone!
(Before you ask: I got into the habit of showering in the evening, as it relaxes me after the whole day and saves time in the morning. As for breakfast, I often intermittent fast during the week so eat my breakfast later in the day, when everyone else is fed and the chaos calms down. And yes, I'm grateful that my kids mostly sleep through the night!).
Working from home mum life has definitely some perks (hello, laundry basket under control) but trying to do anything around myself during the day can also be a (big) challenge. This is why that morning time is sacred for me. I figured that I am the most productive and energized at the start of the day and I love the quietness of the house while everyone’s still in bed. This is the only time when there’s no one talking to me nor want anything from me ;-)
Do I get a bit tired? It depends on the day, but I usually get my sleep in by being in bed around 9:30/10pm every night.
How to Create YouR Routine?
Everyone has a different lifestyle, body clock, our work hours and style vary and we have our own priorities. And, you don’t have to be an early riser to create your ideal routine; it’s about being aware of how you spend your time when you wake up.
I’ve shared my basic routine with you to show how I created something out of the initial ‘I-have-no-time’ attitude. It’s all about trying to make time, asking yourself a few simple questions, testing things our and looking inward. And this is something anyone can do.
Here’re a few questions you can ask yourself before creating your ideal routine:
What type of person am I? Do I need own quiet time in the morning or am I ok with the chaos and rushing as soon as I open my eyes?
What are my 1-3 non-negotiables (things you need to have/do each morning to feel human?) How long would they take on average?
What is my anchor? (that 1 thing that will keep you grounded and sane, in case the morning turns into hell)
Do I need more time to complete my routine, i.e. wake up earlier than usual? If yes, count backward - what should be my bedtime, so that I can get decent amount of sleep and enjoy my morning rituals?
What could help me to save time in the morning, so I can focus on the things I want/need to do? (think: prepping your breakfast and picking clothes the night before, getting your bag ready to go, showering in the evening etc.)
Make It a Success
I know it’s not always easy to keep up what you want to do with kids around, busy schedules and all other stuff that need to happen. I like to think about my morning routine as filling my bucket – the fuller and heavier it is, the more ready and happy I feel for the day. Plus, it does benefit not only me – I’ve noticed I am nicer to myself, kinder to my kids and have some energy left to chat to my husband at the end of the day! Everyone wins.
Tips for making your morning routine successfUL
Tune in to yourself and watch your feelings in the morning – do you rather sleep in and rush or you prefer a quieter start, even if it means a shorter sleep? Are you moody or grumpy when you don’t get a chance to gather your thoughts first thing in the morning?
Stay organized and think ahead – since I wake up early, I want to make sure I really use my time wisely for things I want/need to do and try hard not to get distracted.
To create your morning bliss, make sure you add things you really enjoy and make you feel good, energized and grounded. You're doing it only for yourself and to set the tone for the day ahead!
As a mum, I suggest you tackle the things you can’t do with a baby/child first – e.g. don’t worry about the laundry or brushing your teeth, as you can do them with your baby around (or on you). Not sure about you, but I find it way harder to do my simplest make-up or prep breakfast for my toddler while holding my 10 months old stroking my face ;-)
Make a list of your non-negotiables (check in on it every now and then, as they may change)
Tell your partner – if you need 10 min or 1 hour to do your thing in the morning, make sure he/she knows that. I don’t have luxury of disappearing into a spare room to be completely alone in the morning. It’s better to be open about what you’re trying to do; chatting or answering non-urgent casual questions when you really just want to be left alone to be ‘in the flow’ can be irritating, even if it's your loved one! I love my kids dearly (they're awesome) but I don’t often get to be truly alone with my thoughts and no task to finish, so I like to respect my morning time when I have it. Do you feel the same?!
I bet your morning routine has changed since becoming a mum too.
How does it look now in comparison to previous years? Are you protective of your time? Is there something you feel you need to do each day in order to feel like ‘a person’, not just a mama?
I’d love to hear! Let me know via email or over on Instagram.