Take a Bite: My morning routine {#3}

Do you ever look at other moms or working women around you and wonder what their days are really like? How does she start her day? How does her house look in the afternoon? What is her first priority; is it playing with her children, or getting the dishes done?

I always ask these questions in my head, especially of moms I respect and want to emulate. And especially because there really isn’t always a routine to my days, though I want one desperately. Of course (I always have to insert here) I did just have a baby. But I don’t want to use that as an excuse. If anything, I need the backbone of a routine to give me some stability throughout my day. I think it would help.

Enter dear Tsh Oxenreider and her book One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler.

Today I’m working through Project #3: ESTABLISH A MORNING ROUTINE

Tsh says, “Instead of starting your day by responding to the stimulus around you, you’re proactively creating the day you want to have.”

I can totally identify with this because on the days I get up and proactively begin my day with first things first I feel more at ease and in control of the day. But when I wake up late, or waste my morning on the computer, I feel out of sorts and out of control for the rest of the day. I guess those early morning moments are important!

Tsh suggests picking the FIVE things that fill you up the most and doing those things first in the morning. Her point is that by filling yourself up before the day begins, you’ll be more prepared for what comes along to drain you throughout the day. She says,

“Treat yourself to a little order and sanity before the chaos of life begins.” Amen, sister. I like the sound of that. 🙂

So here are my five things:

  1. Kneel in prayer (thank God for the gift of one more day, ask for eyes to see how very blessed I am). I’ll probably have to do this in the bathroom, because it’s the only private place in our apartment. And it’s the first place I go in the morning to put in my contacts, etc. 
  2. Have my coffee and quiet time. This involves reading the Bible and journaling a bit; maybe reading a chapter in a book that fills me up if I have time. I’d also like to read over the Seven Heart Attitudes every morning, just to remind myself of God’s priorities before I start on mine.
  3. Exercise: walk or jog. Right now I’m walking three mornings a week with friends. On the days Brian works (he’s an RN) he leaves really early, so I have to postpone my exercise until the kids are up, which doesn’t make it one my five filler-upers. We’ll have to see how this changes with his new job. Three mornings a week out walking by myself or with a friend is a great start.
  4. Stretch. This is a new one for me. I usually stretch with my friend after walking, but it sounds really nice to spend five minutes stretching on my patio alone before I get back into the day.
  5. Shower. It makes a huge difference when I’m showered and ready for my day before all the kids are up. I feel more like a professional mommy (thanks SteadyMom for your book Steady Days: A Journal Toward Intentional Professional Motherhood) and less like mess who just lets life happen.
I’m going to be very honest with all of you now and tell you that I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON. I have some very good friends who are morning people and I wish oh-so-very-badly that I was one, too. My natural sleep schedule is bed between 12:00 and 1:00 a.m., up between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. Obviously I can never sleep in that late with children, but I still go to bed really late. This does not set me up for success!
I think a key to keeping this morning routine will be getting into bed on time. I’m shooting for going to bed between 10:30 and 11:00 p.m. and getting up around 6:30 a.m. Maybe you get up way earlier than that, and if so I am so impressed! But I’m trying to be realistic and stick with something I will actually do. Manageable goals are reachable goals, right?
Immediately after finishing my morning routine I will do these four things:
  1. Make breakfast and eat with Hudson (Abby and Stryder sleep much later than he does)
  2. Plan out my day (with Tsh’s awesome Pocket Docket worksheet)
  3. Do the dishes and run some laundry (although, hopefully the dishes will always be done the night before–another new goal)
  4. Get on the floor and play with my children
Once these are all done, the day is allowed to begin! These are things I already do; I’m just setting them up as important first things.
How about you? I’d love to hear about your morning routine if you have one! Are you a morning person or a night person? If you’re a night person, how do you make the mornings work successfully for you? I’d love to hear your tips. Thanks again for reading, dear friends!