The past few days, our entire routine was thrown off balance and into orbit! We were in Portland for my brother-in-law’s wedding, and we had no choice but to go with the flow of everything happening around us. Naps were almost foregone, snack time was hit and miss, and we had far too many late nights! I am happy to be back to our somewhat scheduled days!
© nadezhda1906 / Dollar Photo Club
To tell you the truth, our days are not really planned out. We have a few things throughout the day that are at the same time every day, but everything else in between just happens when it happens. I have found, though, with two very young children, that a more rigid morning routine helps my kids get going with the day and helps me feel less frazzled.
Our Morning Routine
These are some of the things that I try to do in order every morning, but if they don’t happen in this order or if they don’t happen period, I have to accept that life moves on and all is not lost!
Mama wakes up before the kids and does her routine
I struggled with this even before I had two kids. I go to bed late, so I often wake up with the kids. This always puts me in a not-so-happy mood. Lately, I have tried waking up two hours before the kids, and it helps immensely! I am prepared for them to wake up, and I have already taken care of myself so I don’t have to spend the rest of the day in my pajamas (with the risk that someone will come to my door and think I just woke up!)
Feed the baby first and then the toddler
In my case, the baby (who is 6 months now) sleeps through the night and I am often engorged so I want to get that feeding out of the way. Older sister (2 years old) watches a show or bothers us, but it is way less stressful if I have the baby calm first.
Change and clothe the baby and then the toddler
I do cloth diapers for the baby, so I want to make sure she is not going to leak if I leave her diaper on for too long. Also, the toddler tends to have a dry diaper in the morning lately.
Brush teeth (Mama and toddler)
Let’s be real. The toddler doesn’t really brush her teeth. She grabs her toothbrush, runs off and sticks it in her mouth, and then sucks on the toothbrush. I brush my teeth, and then try to brush her teeth, but she cries or runs away. You can tell I’ve got things under control, right?
Make the toddler’s bed
The toddler loves to help me make her bed. I grab one side of her blanket and she grabs the other side and we lift it up three times and then lay it down and tuck in the sides. I think it’s the highlight of her morning!
Do the toddler’s hair
I put this as a priority if we are going somewhere, but if we’re not she usually has wild hair all day long. I am working on getting this in our routine, but I would rather do it before feeding her since her hair sometimes gets in her face when she is eating.
When we actually get everything done on this list, it takes us nearly 2 hours! No wonder why I can’t make it anywhere on time anymore!
How to Find a Morning Routine that Works for You and Your Kids
Whatever stage of motherhood you are in, you can find a morning routine that will get your day off to a great start. These are things that I think make a huge difference.
Do At Least One Thing that Makes You Feel Good
If you feel best after some alone time, be sure you are waking up before the kids. That might mean you have to go to sleep earlier each night. You might also want to use that alone time to read, exercise, or meditate.
Meet Your Kids’ Needs
Make sure you are taking care of your child’s needs before your own (once they are awake). This is a big deal if you have a baby or a toddler. Young kids can’t care for themselves quite yet, so a lot of your morning will be focusing on feeding them, changing diapers, playing with them, and getting them dressed.
Do One Thing on Your To Do List
Nothing like accomplishing something from the get-go! Write a to do list, but keep it short and reasonable. Then do one thing right away, but only if you can finish it. You’ll feel much better if you don’t overwhelm yourself from the start.
Plan Ahead for the Day
What is on the agenda for the day? When you know you are going to be heading somewhere, plan accordingly. Your kids will likely not cooperate how you want them to, so make sure you get things ready far ahead of time.
Prepare for Dinner
Whether you will be home all day or you have to leave, it is a good idea to think ahead to dinner. Does your dinner require you to start the crockpot or leave some meat in the fridge to thaw? Surely the last thing you want when dinner time rolls around is to be unprepared.
Your morning routine will likely change as your kids grow. When the kids are younger, it may take a couple hours to get through the routine. Once they are more independent, they will know the routine like the back of their hands and it will be easier.
What is important for your morning routine?