Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Creating a Morning Routine
Drool covered chubby fingers touching my face woke me from dreamland this morning. I opened my eyes and saw a big toothless grin sweep over my baby's face. One of the perks of co-sleeping is getting to see that happy face first thing in the morning. It really does melt your heart.
DS and I get out of bed and make our way out to the kitchen. I overslept and it's already almost 7:00. I get a pot of water started on the stove for my morning cup of tea and hear little footsteps heading for the kitchen.
DD is wide awake and anxious to tell me all about her great dream. Zebras again. I'm pretty sure she has been dreaming of only zebras for over a year. Rainbow zebras, pink and purple zebras, zebras having a birthday party. I'm not sure she understands what a dream is but she loves making up stories lately and it's fun to hear her talk about them.
Having two kids definitely changes things. Our house is never short on cuddles, love, and smiley faces. The only thing we have in short supply some days is quiet time alone.
As a total introvert I need both of those things intertwined into my day. I need social outlets too, but without some downtime thrown in I tend to feel depleted and exhausted. A few years ago it was easy to carve some time to myself. Now with two young children, just trying to find time to pee or shower alone can be tricky.
I genuinely love that I am able to spend so much of my day with my children. I wouldn't have it any other way. But sometimes it is nice to be able to have sometime for myself. I find that when I recharge my batteries my day goes smoother, I am more patient, and I am a better parent because of it. One of the best ways I have found to do this is to get up early and start my day with an intentional morning routine. My husband is also an early riser, so that is our time to hangout and connect as well. It doesn't always happen. I sleep in accidentally or occasionally on purpose if I was up a lot with one of the kids. Sometimes the kids wake up early. Things don't always go according to plan but we try. This way once the kids are awake I feel fully ready to start my day and give them the attention they deserve.
Whether you are an introvert or not, I think that a well-planned morning routine can make a huge difference in getting your day off to a good start.
The four essentials to a positive morning routine. (Or at least what works for me.)
1. Get up before your kids. Decide how much time you need or want in the morning and subtract that from the time your kids wake up. DS gets up around 6:30 every day and DD is usually thirty minutes to an hour after that. That means if I want plenty of time to do everything I would like in the morning I need to get up between 4:30 and 5:00. I know that sounds early to many of you but for us it works. I like a good chunk of time in the morning, you may only need thirty minutes for your ideal routine. Play around with what works for you.
2. Do something that feeds your soul. Read, pray, meditate. Do what feels right for you. I have been trying to read a chapter of the bible every day. If I'm running short on time I might read some devotionals instead. This helps me focus on what is really important and puts everything else in perspective.
3. Add in something that makes you happy. Read, exercise, Facebook, knit, etc. For me, this is enjoying a hot cup of tea and either writing or reading other blogs for inspiration. I love reading and learning and blogs have been a great source of information. Right now I am trying to learn all that I can about milking sheep so once our girls lamb in about a month I will be ready. I try to fit most of my computer time in before the kids wake up. We are very conservative with screen time for our kids. This means I need to lead by example and limit my own screen time while they are awake.
4. Complete a couple of easy tasks that will make your morning and day run smoother. I like to get myself ready for the day. Shower, get dressed, eat breakfast. I also try to do a quick pick-up around the house. We try to clean-up and have toys put away before bed but that doesn't always happen. I'll also get a load of laundry started. I find it is easier to get the kids up and going when I am already going myself.
Towards the end of my routine the kiddos wake up. After some morning cuddles they get a quick breakfast snack (fruit, milk, yogurt) and then it is time for outside chores. Once the critters are all taken care of (fed, watered, milked, etc) we head back inside and have a real breakfast (eggs or pancakes) together.
Do you have a morning routine? What elements are essential to you?
P.S. This post is linked up with The Homestead Blog Hop, Homestead Blog Hop, From The Farm Hop, and Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop.