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Makeover Your Mornings and Be the Mom You Want to Be
Ever wish you could have a just a few more hours in the day to get things done? All the time, right? Just a couple more hours, and then you could finally rock your to-do list, exercise daily, and be the mom you want to be. Well guess what!?! Changing your mornings will absolutely make you feel like you have more hours in the day. Waking up early–before your kids–and using your time intentionally will absolutely transform your day. You will be happier, healthier, and accomplish more EVERY.SINGLE. DAY. It’s nothing short of a miracle!
When the first thing I see in the morning is a child staring back at me, I already know that I’m starting the morning a few steps behind. I’m know that I am going to be frantically rushing around all morning.
Crazy Morning = Crazy Day
If we start our day frenzied and rushing around trying to take care of hungry kids demanding food, finish the dishes from the day before, prepare kids for school and respond to urgent call/texts, we’re probably not going to have an amazing day.
However, if we start the day on our terms by preparing ourselves for the day–BEFORE our children are fluttering their little eyes–we are setting ourselves up to have an amazing day. Since we’ve taken care of ourselves, we’re better equipped to take care of our families. Even if you are not naturally a morning person (I am definitely not) you CAN become one. Check out my 9 Tips to Make Waking Up a Breeze.
Mornings are AWESOME for moms
Many of the most successful people in the world are early risers. People seeking success in business often adopt the practice. But who better than moms to benefit from having personal time in the mornings?
As moms, we don’t really get a lot of time to ourselves during the day. So we run the race all day, put the kids to bed, and finally have a bit of uninterrupted time to get stuff done at night. But how much can you really get done? You are completely exhausted and not as effective late at night. And even if you do stay up late and accomplish a lot, you pay for it the next day!
Waking up before your kids and using the time at the start of the day as opposed to the end of the day will be a complete game changer. You owe it to yourself and to your family to start your day every morning taking care of yourself so that you can seriously rock your day.
There is absolutely nothing natural about waking up early for me. I am about as far from a natural morning person as one can possibly be. Waking up was always soooo hard for me. I’d be crying on the inside everyday waking up for school growing up. As I got older, if I had to be a work at 7:00am, I would literally wake up minutes before I had to leave, rush around getting ready, scurry out the door while zipping my fly, and slap on some mascara at stop lights while I sped to beat the clock.
But I always held out hope that one day–one magical day–I could become a morning person. I just felt in my bones that it would change my life. And then I became a busy sleep-deprived mom and I felt like my dream or being a morning person would just have to die. Resigned to my fate, I felt I was never going to be able to wake up early everyday.
But guess what? I was wrong.
After my 4th baby started sleeping mostly through the night, I decided that it was time to try to wake up before my kids. If i wanted to exercise in the mornings before my husband went to work, I needed to wake up at 4:00am. Yes, 4:00am. By that point in my life, I’d probably woken up at 4:00am only a few times in my life. I knew I needed help, so I researched. I read books (like this one that completely changed everything).
And miraculously, I started waking up at 4:00am. From the first day, it has been a complete game-changer. I am happier. I’m a better, more patient mom. I exercise consistently. I feel more balanced. And I feel like I have a few more hours to get things done everyday.
If you, like me, are not a morning person–never fear. You CAN become one. You really can. You can pop out bed every day with a smile on your face. If I can change, ANYONE can. I am now completely obsessed with mornings, sleep, and productivity! Check out my posts 9 Tips to Make Waking Up a Breeze and 10 Strategies For Moms to Get Dramatically Better Sleep.
So what exactly should one do in the mornings?
As humans, we have a finite amount of willpower. We literally use it up throughout the day. Research shows that willpower decreases as the day goes on. So how can you make the most of the mornings?
Simply put, you should be doing things that require the most willpower.
Many things with which we fill our time will get done one way or the other (e.g. cleaning, laundry). So in the mornings, we should be doing the things that can most easily get pushed aside. For most moms, I’d say that is self care practices like exercising, meditating, uplifting reading.
Doing things that renew you and make you feel wonderful set you up to have a fantastic day. While everyone can benefit from early mornings, it’s going to look different for everyone. Here are several recommendations.
9 Things to do in the morning (before your kids wake up)
1) Make your bed
I used to think making one’s bed was a pointless exercise, but I was wrong. It takes a few seconds and give you an immediate sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. It helps your sleep and happiness by creating a bedroom sanctuary. Slipping into a made bed at the end of the day just feels better.
2) Drink Water
Exercising in the morning is awesome. You get to check it off your list, boost your mood, and jump start your energy level first thing For ideas on exercises you can do from home, check out my post on 6 Gym-Free Ways for Busy Moms to Fit in a Quick Workout.
4) Read Something Uplifting
As moms, it easy to feel like we don’t have time to read anything other than Llama Llama, Red Pajama (which is actually delightful). But setting aside time for reading something uplifting (and adult) ensures that we can reap the tremendous benefits. You could read a parenting article, a great novel, religious text, a self-help book or any great book that lifts you up and inspires you.
Mediation is amazing. In The Miracle Morning, the author recommends meditating in the mornings. I was seriously skeptical, but I decided to drink the kool-aid and see what happened. I quickly became a believer when I suddenly felt more in control of my very busy brain. Where before I struggled to shut off my brain when trying to fall asleep, it suddenly became much easier.
Meditation is basically clearing your mind and focusing on your breath and perhaps your body sensations. You don’t have to shave your head, wear a robe, or start believing the healing power of crystals.
I like these free guided meditations from UCLA Health, if you want a place to get started.
6) Set your intentions for the day
While it’s going to look different for everyone, setting our intentions at the start of the day is am important key to a productive, successful day. How do you want to feel today? What do you want to accomplish? Exploring these questions is helpful to ensure that we are on our A-game in parenting and in life. Various examples include:
- Create to-do lists
- Discussing with your spouse/friend what you want to do (like an accountability partner
7) Get showered and ready for the day
For busy moms, this can be a real struggle. I feel ya, 100%. But there is a power that comes from taking a quick shower and putting on “real” clothes. You don’t need to be ready for the Oscars, but just feeling clean and a little put together with some mascara and a fresh ponytail will do wonders for your productivity and happiness.
8) Spend quality time with your family
Whether your spouse or your children, mornings are a great time to spend quality, relaxed time with your family. You’ve already accomplished so much before your kids wake up. So once they wake up, there’s no need to rush around and focus on things yet to get done. You can truly savor your breakfast with your family or have great conversations.
9) Avoid Technology
Nothing will waste your time more than “quickly” checking email or social media. It sucks you in and in the blink of an eye 30 minutes of precious time is gone. And you have nothing to show for it. Save it for later. Honestly, it can probably wait.
Make Your Morning Amazing
I am a firm believer that how we spend our mornings shapes our lives. Waking up early have been one of the most important things I have done to be a better mom and achieve my goals.
What does your ideal morning look like?