The hardest thing about committing to a schedule is not knowing when my kids are going to wake up. For the last two years I’ve felt like I’m almost always playing catch up on sleep and while I’d LOVE to wake up five minutes before my kids each morning, I don’t know when that will be (and I’m hesitant to set an alarm and miss out on another 45 minutes of sleep if they happen to sleep in).
But, the thing that has made the BIGGEST difference in my days as a stay at home mom, is waking up before my children. Even if it’s just a couple of minutes, time to think about my own needs before theirs and focus a bit on things outside of diaper changes and what’s for breakfast keeps me grounded.
I’ve found it is best for my morning routine to be short. And it is important for me to be flexible. When I wake up before the babies I may have 50 minutes or I may have 5. And as long as I only ever plan on having 5, it is enough.
The short morning routine also means that when I don’t get up before the kids, its something I might be able to slip in while they entertain each other (I snuck off for 300 seconds this morning while Adelaide watched Lincoln play with trucks and I came back so much more energized).
The 300 Second Morning Routine:
*RESIST the urge to check technology. I have been working at not checking any tech for the first hour I’m awake each day. It means I use my watch to check the time and I leave the phone alone until after breakfast. Checking in first thing lets other people set the agenda for your thoughts, and sets you up for a reactive day instead of a proactive one. As a mom, we spend so much of our day reacting to our kids that taking this time in the morning to set your own agenda, live in your own thoughts, spark your own creativity, is a game changer. This small act lets me feel so much more present with my kids and content with my life. Try it for a few days and see what differences you notice in your morning routine!
Start with Movement:
I resisted this one for a long time because we head to the gym almost every morning and so I didn’t see the need for movement in my early morning routine. A short yoga sequence, a bit of stretching, or just a few pushups make a noticeable impact in my morning routine before I get a real workout in though, so it’s worth adding. I love these three yoga poses because in addition to getting your blood pumping, they are also the perfect companion to reflection, gratitude, and focus to start your day.
Check-in with yourself:
At the end of each day I’ve started writing down the three most important tasks for the following day. Initially I was only doing this for work related items but I like it for household/motherhood things as well. It helps keep me focused throughout the day but it has also been a great way for me to remind myself what I accomplished. I always count the day as successful if I got through all three things and when I miss one it is easy to look down at my paper and see the other two important things I DID get done, and not be discouraged about it.
I like to start my day by just glancing down at the list (it might be “laundry, grocery run, meal plan” or “straighten house, return library books, pay bill”).
Ben and I have been ending each day saying three things that are making us happy at the moment, or three things we are grateful for. It helps end our nights on such a good note that I wanted to incorporate it into my mornings as well. I don’t have a dedicated gratitude journal and most mornings, I honestly don’t write them down (but I would love to start doing that), but just verbalizing a few things I love about my life right now, a few things I love about my kids, or a few things that I’m grateful for takes less than a minutes and packs a punch.
It’s easy to combine this with the yoga poses too 🙂
I won’t go into all the benefits of gratitude but all the reading/listening I’ve done about habits and success and happiness in the last year always comes back to gratitude. The happiest moms, the most successful entrepreneurs, the well adjusted kids, they all heave learned to cultivate an mindset of gratitude in their daily life.
I switch out of pajamas and into workout clothes because after breakfast (and sometimes after Adelaide’s first nap) we head to the gym. But it is amazing to me how even going from the pair of sweatpants I slept in to another one folded in my closet seems to make a difference.
I skip makeup and face washing and save those for after the gym. I leave teeth brushing till after breakfast, but I swipe on some deodorant as I’m getting dressed as my 1 morning routine essential. Two months ago I switched from my regular Dove deodorant to their new Advanced Care line and I have been loving the difference. It offers 48 hours of antiperspearnt protection and goes on clear (although I do still apply it every morning). It also contains Dove NitriumMoisture which helps with irritability from shaving (I just ran out of the aerosol Dove Women Clear Finish Dry Spray Antiperspirant that leaves no white marks on clothing and I loved this one for after I got out of the shower).
To celebrate 60 years of positivity and awesome products, TOMORROW (Saturday, February 18), Walgreens is hosting a Beauty Must Have Event where you can stock up on Dove (and Dove Men) products using their BOGO 50% offer. Right now Dove has a few limited edition products with words of encouragement and inspiration on them so be sure to pick up a few of those (add those words of affirmation to your morning routine while you’re at it!). I’ve loved getting to partner with Dove over the years on their mission for positive self esteem + body image and love everything this brand stands for (the only brand I can remember working with that specifically required that images not be retouched for their campaigns!). So come celebrate with savings at Walgreens tomorrow… and then celebrate every morning with Dove and this morning routine.
How about you? What’s in your morning routine? Let me know in the comments below!
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