Reclaiming My Mornings: My New Approach to a Workable Morning Routine
I’m an early morning convert. I didn’t used to like to wake up early but I have come to love it in recent years.
In my previous life (AKA before kids) I valued my sleep… I still do but it’s seriously lacking these days 🙂 Sleeping-in was my favorite thing ever, never mind the fact it caused the rest of my day to be a hurried pace of trying to play catch up.
My bed was warm and comfortable. It still is… all 9 inches of space I have to sleep on as I cling on to the side for dear life due to a midnight visitor making themselves comfortable in the center.
Why would I want to rise early to tackle my day?
Instead of being a morning person, I was wired at night. All the free hours to get stuff done, to read and relax at the end of the day was my favorite. And since I stayed up late, why would I want to get up early?
Obviously my sleeping in, night-owl tendencies were totally rocked when I became a mom. My new baby was both a night owl AND early riser, with a few midnight parties thrown in. I was grasping at straws to get sleep in whenever I could, my carefree schedule was being replaced by baby’s somewhat unpredictable routine.
Once I got both him and I on a routine that worked I, of course, found out I was pregnant and the cycle of chaos and sleeplessness began… again.
Here I am four years later with a 4 year old, an almost 3 year old and a 7 month old. Life is still crazy (when will it ever not be?), sleep still isn’t consistently happening but I have learned a new important thing about myself…
I’m actually a morning person.
Shocking as it was for me to admit it, I have come to realize I relish the quiet of the early morning hours. I have learned starting my day with a plan is a much better way to start then with frantically hopping out of bed.
Perhaps most importantly, I have learned it is far better to wake up FOR my family not TO them.
[clickToTweet tweet=”I want to wake up FOR my family not TO them!” quote=”I want to wake up FOR my family not TO them!”]
Waking up FOR my family means I’m taking care of myself and feeding my soul BEFORE I start tackling the daily demands and responsibilities of my family and home. It means I’m starting my day with intention and purpose, carving out a plan and setting myself up for success.
Waking up FOR my family means I’m making it a priority to feed, fuel, focus and preview – I couldn’t think of a fourth f to stand for preview! 🙂
- be in the Word – feeding my soul
- get moving and exercising – fueling and energizing my body
- dressing for the day – focusing on my outward appearance
- reviewing my t0-do list – previewing my day for success
The hard part about this season of motherhood is coming to terms with the reality that it isn’t always realistic to get up early every morning.
Ideally I would love to be able to have a good night sleep, wake early and have an hour or two to myself to prepare for the day. But I’m still in the baby/toddler/preschooler who is trying to potty train at night phase where a full night’s rest is few and far between.
However I don’t let lack of sleep deter me from using my morning hours well.
[clickToTweet tweet=” I don’t let lack of sleep deter me from using my morning hours well.” quote=” I don’t let lack of sleep deter me from using my morning hours well.”]
I set my alarm for 5:00 every single morning. When the alarm goes off and I’ve had a decent nights sleep (only being up once or not at all) I will promptly get up. If it’s been a rough night, I give myself grace and go back to sleep until my husband gets up at 6:00.
There will be a day in the near future where I will be able to get up early after a full night’s sleep every morning but for now I’m choosing to embrace the season I’m in which in return means I’m giving myself grace.
[clickToTweet tweet=” I’m choosing to embrace the season I’m in which in return means I’m giving myself grace. ” quote=” I’m choosing to embrace the season I’m in which in return means I’m giving myself grace.”]
On those mornings when I do get up early, I go through my routine listed above by spending time in the word. I’ve shared how my Bible Book Basket is my sanity-saving tactic but I also love the simple disciple of writing the Word.
After a quick workout to get my blood pumping, I spend some time getting dressed for the day. Finally, I sit down at my desk and look over my to-do list before starting on any writing projects before the troops emerge from slumber.
If it’s a morning where I have given myself the grace to sleep in, I will quickly get dressed then read my Bible while nursing the baby. It’s not an ideal morning but it’s a simple routine that helps prepare me for my day.
Getting dressed and spending time in the Word before the kids get up is what I have deemed as the most important parts of my morning routine for when I need to shorten it.
Regardless of what time I ultimately get up, I am a big believer that my morning routine starts the night before. Each night before I settle in with a good book, or most likely before my eyes become heavy with sleep, I go through a quick evening routine which includes:
- Clearing the sink– washing bottles, putting any remaining dishes in the dishwasher and running it, cleaning the sink to remove any excess food or liquid and throwing the day’s dishrag into the laundry.
- Prepping the coffee pot– there is nothing worse than waking up to a coffee pot that has yesterday’s old coffee in because you forgot to clean and refill it. Trust me… I know.
- Put away anything left out– We make our older kids pick up their toys but occasionally there are still a few things out that need to be put away.
- Set out my work out clothes – It’s nice to have these set-out and ready to go so that I’m not digging through a dark closet in the morning.
- Write my to-do list for the next day– While my brain is still wired from the day, it helps to do a brain dump to get it out all out of my head and on to paper. Plus I look at the calendar and take note of any errands or appointments we might have the next day.
[clickToTweet tweet=”I am a big believer that a successful morning routine starts the night before. ” quote=”I am a big believer that a successful morning routine starts the night before. “]
Setting aside a few minutes in the evening to prepare for the next day is one of the biggest components for me to have a successful morning routine, and I’m a big believer now in having a workable morning routine to start my day.
That’s what I love about reclaiming my mornings, there’s grace to take it day by day, season by season.
[clickToTweet tweet=”There’s grace to take it day by day, season by season when you #makeoveryourmornings” quote=”There’s grace to take it day by day, season by season when you #makeoveryourmornings”]
Someday I’ll be able to wake early and have plenty of uninterrupted quiet time to start my day but for now I will gladly take the few precious moments I have.
For me it’s about having quality time, not quantity, in the morning hours.
I used to be convinced I was not a morning person because I always woke up groggy and slow. I worked through Crystal’s course and realized that I feel the same way whether I get up at 6am or 9am but it only lasts about 10 minutes. So I am re-training myself to go to bed a little earlier and enjoy the peaceful morning hours. It makes life so much more enjoyable having an extra hour in my morning vs rushing like a crazy person to get everyone ready for school and myself ready for work. Here’s to peaceful mornings!
Yes to peaceful mornings! Going to bed early in the evenings is always a struggle because there is always “one more thing” to do but I know if I want to get up early and enjoy the quiet, I have to go to bed early too!
Wow. You thorough and quite organized in your approach to taking grasp of the day. I have no doubt other mothers struggling with numerous responsibilities will find this information useful.
I have to agree that I love my mornings. I also get up at 5am (most days) and immediately read my bible and pray then if I have time I will workout. I love having this time to myself so much that I even do it on the days I don’t have to.
my kids are older than yours so it makes it a little easier for me but I do remember those days when they were younger and I needed to strategically plan my day around baths, meals, homework, not to mention a full time job.
I love that you have the wisdom and the discipline to know that you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of your family. Don’t you find that your day just starts out better when you begin it with God?
“Don’t you find that your day just starts out better when you begin it with God?” <-- Yes! Some days it's tricky with the little ones but I do my best 🙂
Some great advice here. I struggle to wake up early when I’ve had a bad night’s sleep too, but my youngest is always up by 5:30.
That’s hard Melanie, I can relate to not sleeping well due to children up at night. Sometimes I don’t get to wake super early but I try to use my mornings well anyway I can to make the rest of the day go well
I’m a morning person. One of our neighbors would get up at 4:00 and turn his Christmas lights on so I could enjoy them while I cleaned house. Once I started writing, I wrote from 4:00 to 7:00 when the girls got up so I didn’t take any time from them. Now that the nest has emptied I find myself sleeping longer. I think this course would be good for those who struggle with mornings. Or even as a refresher for those of us who need to be reminded of good morning habits.
Pamela you have definitely earned the right to sleep in a little now in this season! I love my quiet early hours but I know as the kids grown and become more independent my morning routine will constantly be ever changing 🙂
As we start back to homeschool next week, I’ve made some early morning changes to help everything run more smoothly. So far, so good!
Hope the new school year is starting well!
Love your new routine! I struggle to get up early but I’ve been doing so in the last few weeks. I’ve been getting up 30 to 45 minutes earlier than I normally would. It really helps get my day going and I find I’m more productive. The house is asleep and I can really focus.
I just came across your site and I’m enjoying it very much. I am struggling with getting myself into a good morning routine. I have a 1 year old and 4 year old and we just started our first year of homeschool. I appreciate all of the good advice you’ve shared and I hope to start waking up to better and more efficient mornings very soon 🙂 No matter what though my day always starts with God… Even if I have two little ones climbing on me while I’m on my knees in prayer…
I completely agree with you, starting the day with God is the best way, even when you do have little ones crawling all over you 🙂 Which is how most of my mornings begin! Blessings to you as you start a new homeschool routine, I’m right there with you. We just started preschool with my oldest two (3 and 4) all while trying to corral the baby who tries to get into everything!
Thank you for this lovely tips Victoria, we’ve all had one of THOSE mornings. The kids are being sleepy-heads, your husband comes to you with a stain on his tie, and you can’t find that blouse you planned on wearing for the meeting this morning. You still haven’t prepared the kids’ lunches and you find a run in your stockings. A chaotic morning can make for a very bad day. Spending 20 to 25 minutes each night getting things ready for the next day will make a huge difference. When your family experiences mornings that run smoothly, with no chaos and battles, each member will get a happier start to their day.