It happens all too often that we will get to the end of a long day and wonder what we have been so busy with. We know that we ran our tails off all day, but we can’t seem to figure out what we accomplished. If you’re sick and tired feeling this way as you crawl into bed, it’s time to establish a morning routine. A morning routine is the #1 thing that has helped me make sure that those icky feeling and evenings are in the minority, rather than the majority.
The Chaos Of Winging It.
You guys, I’m a mom of three. My oldest is now 7, the middle child is 5, and the youngest is 3. Less than 4 years separate all my kids. So please know that I am no stranger to chaos. I would say I’ve been a victim of chaos, but that would imply I had no choice in the matter. Which I did. It’s just that for a long time, I existed within the chaos, just doing my best to make it from morning to bedtime.
That’s not healthy. It’s not healthy, but I know how it happens. Life moves quickly when you have little kids, jobs, and a house to run. Commitments pile on and before you know it, you’re flying off the treadmill and hitting the wall. I was sick of letting my life run me, and I decided that it was time to take control of the things that I could.
The Start Of Something New.
One evening, before a particularly busy day, I picked up a scrap piece of paper and scribbled a “to-do” list for the next day, which I was dreading. Before I put that list on paper, I was overwhelmed, and had no idea how I was going to accomplish everything that needed to get done. My brain felt like it had been fried and trampled on, and I was spinning into panic.
However, once I put the list down on paper, I started to relax. As I saw each item that needed to be done, I felt more confident that I could do it. I placed that hastily scrawled list on the kitchen island, and went to bed with the mindset of a warrior. For some reason, I felt ready for the challenge of tomorrow.
I woke up in the morning and started checking things off that list. I was like a machine. And believe it or not… everything got checked off the list before the end of the day. By the evening, I felt at peace.
This small victory was enough for me to want more.
The Morning Routine.
This was the birth of my morning routine. It was a small start, but it has evolved into so much more. The need for a morning routine came out of the exhaustion of chaos. I know that I’m not just speaking to myself. I know that I’m speaking to almost every woman or mother out there who is struggling so hard to not leave anything behind.
So, now that you’ve heard the growing pains of my morning routine, let’s talk about some actionable steps that you can take to build a morning routine and guarantee yourself a successful day
1) Map Out Your Day The Evening Before.
Yes, my morning routine actually starts the evening before.
That list I wrote in the midst of chaos changed how I approach my mornings. I discovered that if I had a concrete plan before I laid my head on my pillow, I would wake up feeling much more in control than if I had no plan.
There are days where I fall off the planning wagon, and before I know it, I’m confused and overwhelmed. What helps me is having a planner that is just for my daily to do list. The planner that I really like can be found at this link. It’s well laid out and it’s beautiful. I always feel more inspired to do things when I’m writing on nice paper with a nice pen. But maybe that’s just me.
2) Feed Your Soul
Start your day by feeding your soul. I talk about my relationship with God as if it’s priority #1. However, when I was operating out of a place of chaos, this is often the thing that got pushed to the bottom of the list. That’s not very reflective of how a person should treat priority #1. Just sayin.’ What I did, is I started to treat my time with God as if it truly was priority #1. My alarm would go off at 5:30, and I would get right to it.
As a mother, it’s easy to forget who we are. As a Christian, I believe that all people are created equal in the image of God. So why, as mothers, so we often give everything we have to others and leave ourselves the scraps. God wants a relationship with everyone, including us moms. He wants us to spend time with him in prayer and devotions, soaking up His Word. We do it for his glory, but through it, he feeds and satisfies our souls. Perhaps you’re not a Christian reading this. If that’s the case, there are other ways to take care of yourself in the morning. Perhaps reading a good book or taking time to make a gratitude list.
This small change has been so humbling and satisfying. I have felt so much growth not just in my relationship with God, but within myself. Through drawing closer to God, he has revealed to me so much about myself. He’s a giver of good, unexpected gifts.
3) Do One Load Of Laundry Each Morning
I cannot stress this enough. I have spent more time buried under Mt. Laundry than I care to admit. Each morning, before I go downstairs, I gather up all the dirty laundry from the day before, and I throw it in the wash.
All it takes is one load a day. And it’s so quick to fold one load of laundry instead of folding five.
My kids are at the age now where they put away their own laundry after it’s done. I can’t remember the last time I saw the inside of their drawers. And I don’t want to. There’s a hug probability that they just throw the clothes in and their drawers are a disaster. But that, my friends, is not Mama’s problem.
4) Make A Healthy Breakfast, Eat It As a Family, And Make The Kids Clean It Up.
We homeschool, so driving the kids to school in the morning is not part of our routine. But my husband is a public school teacher, so he’s still out the door early.
We like to have a good breakfast and eat with him. They have all day with me, but I want them to be around their dad as much as possible, too. So a family breakfast is huge. While I make breakfast, one of the kids will empty the dishwasher.
They used to empty the dishwasher together, but they ended up having butter-knife sword fights, so now they each take a turn and rotate through the days. Then after breakfast, everyone loads their own dishes in the dishwasher, and the counters get wiped down.
The Aftermath Of A Good Morning Routine.
After this, you’ll find yourself with a clean kitchen, a family well-fed, the laundry done, and you’ve also taken sometime for your own personal growth in the morning.
A morning routine does not have to be elaborate. Also, as you can see from my routine, you can do it whether you’re a mom who works from home, or works away from home. The only thing that might be a challenge is if you start work really early and can’t squeeze in a family breakfast. I went through a season like that when I was a home care nurse. I left for work before everyone else was awake. So, at that time, our morning routine looked a bit different.
Everyone is going to have different priorities, and therefore, a morning routine that looks a bit different than the family down the road. The key is, do what works for your family. Do what decreases the crazy. But if you could do just one thing…. always, always, always… Do one load of laundry per day.
What is a non-negotiable when it comes to your morning routine? Let me know in the comments!
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