They say your mornings set the tone for the rest of your day. That’s bad news for a lot of working moms whose mornings are anything but zen. Frazzled, exhausted, and grouchy might be a more accurate description of how they feel.
Maybe your mornings feel a bit like Ground Hog Day. You rush around madly trying to get your kids fed, ready and out the door in time for school or day care. They don’t want to get out of bed and don’t feel like going to school and have conveniently lost their bag. You end up sounding like a broken record. Your breakfast becomes an extra large coffee on the run, maybe a piece of toast while you’re driving, if you’re lucky. You feel frazzled and in need of a break by 9am. That’s certainly how I used to feel.
Juggling being a mom with a nearly full time job and a business I felt like I never had any time to myself. That’s what motivated me to shift from being a life-long late night person, to a born-again morning person. I wanted to start the day feeling relaxed, energized, and inspired. I wanted time to myself and maybe just a little bit of silence.
As a mom your days are unpredictable. Your kids are your top priority so when things come up you’ll drop everything else for them. And ‘things’ tend to come up quite a lot. Kids get sick, or don’t sleep or have appointments, or have little accidents. The bottom line is, you can have fabulous schedules and plans all worked out, but they could all go pear shaped in a minute and then you could end up at the end of the day wondering where your time went.
Enter the morning routine.
Having sacred time to yourself before your kids wake up is golden. It provides a reliable chunk of time where you get to focus on your other priorities. It also allows you some time to nurture yourself. In my experience, having this time first thing makes me a much more present mom and partner.
So, how do you do it? Here are six steps to create a morning routine that will serve your priorities and goals:
Start by thinking about how you want to feel and reflecting on your priorities and goals
Don’t just meditate because other people do. Use this special time for what is really important to you. Maybe creativity is one of your priorities and so you want to spend 20 minutes drawing or writing. Maybe religion/spirituality is a priority and so you want to be in prayer. Maybe nature is a priority so you want to watch the sun rise each day. Think of what would serve your highest vision and your goals. And, it can change. Presently I do some combination of mindful breathing, movement (usually dance, yoga, exercise videos, etc.) and writing (the latter being a needle mover for my business).
Get up before everyone else
There’s no getting around this. If you want time to yourself first thing you need to get up before everyone else. I used to be a major night owl. But, like anything, you can create new habits if you’re committed. The first step is you need to go to bed early and to do that you need to create a ‘digital sunset’, or in other words, a time by which you’ll turn off your computer, ipad, phone, etc. I recommend two hours before you want to go to sleep. Unless you wake up easily (lucky you), two alarms help. Put one beside your bed to wake you up and then another 5-10 minutes later that is in another room so you actually have to get out of bed to turn it off.
Make it non-negotiable
As Jack Canfield said, “99% is a bitch. 100% is a breeze.” If you leave doing your morning routine up to your thoughts and feelings it probably won’t last that long. I mean, who really likes waking up in the dark anyway? But, if you make a deal with yourself that you WILL do it, no matter what, then it becomes easier. There’s freedom and ease in commitment.
In my case that means letting my husband know why it’s important to me so he puts up with the two alarms in the morning and also teaching my son from this early age that this is mom’s time.
The last thing you want to do at 5am is think or make a rational decision. You should have made them the night before. I particularly love the morning because my chatter brain hasn’t started and I feel present and in flow. I don’t want to mess with that so I make things as easy as possible for myself. What does that look like? First of all, know exactly what you’re going to do. Then set up everything you’ll need to do it.
Don’t get distracted
Please, PLEASE, if you go to all the effort of waking up early, don’t waste your time on Facebook! Use this time for focus on your priorities, advancing your goals, and nurturing yourself.
I’d love to hear from you. How do you currently wake up? What stops you from creating a morning routine? What are you inspired to try as part of a morning routine?
Latest posts by Kelly Brooke (see all)
- The Working Mom’s Guide to Creating a Morning Routine - March 11, 2016
- Tackling Tall Poppy Syndrome: Quit Procrastinating and Playing Small - September 28, 2015