Being a working mom is no joke. From the moment you get up, your day is nonstop. To make your day run smoother, I firmly believe in the power of a morning routine.
I used to wake up whenever one of my children woke up (it was, and still is, always early). This started my day off on a scrambled foot. By the time I got to work, I felt like I’d run a marathon and my day was just beginning. I knew my routine as a working mom had to change.
For about a year now, I’ve been following a strict morning routine (that actually starts the night before). Below are my five top tips for streamlining your morning routine as a working mom.
Working Moms Morning Routine: Top Tips
Do as much as you can the night before
School bags get emptied out, cleaned and repacked. Lunches get made other than refrigerated items. *Time-saving tip: Make all your sandwiches on Sunday and freeze. Then throw one in each child’s lunch in the morning and the sandwich will be perfect by lunchtime.
Outfits are also selected the night before for both myself and my kids. Make it a part of your bedtime routine for the kids!
I also spend 10-15 minutes cleaning up before going to bed. This could be dishes, sweeping and mopping the floors, throwing in a load of laundry, or quickly cleaning the bathrooms. I never spend more than 15 minutes, but it’s made a world of a difference in both my mood in the morning and the overall cleanliness of my house.
Set three goals for the morning
This tip I learned from Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Mornings course. I highly recommend her course if your morning routine is in shambles and you need a complete revamp.
Every night, write down three things you want to accomplish in the morning. You can start out with easy goals, like have coffee, fold a load of laundry and have five minutes of quiet time to check emails. Simple.
As you get in the habit of writing down and accomplishing your goals, start challenging yourself. I always give myself one thing to look forward to, such as having 10 minutes to drink coffee in peace, one thing to clean, such as tidying up the play room or sweeping the kitchen, and one thing for my side job (blogging), such as scheduling posts on Pinterest and Facebook.
Wake up before your kids
You knew this was coming, right? Truly the only way to get your mornings in order is to get up before the kids. I know, it’s hard, especially if you have early risers. My kids are up by 6:30 every single day at the latest. I make it my goal to be up by 5:30 which gives me an entire hour, though sometimes I do “sleep in” until 6.
By waking up early, I have time to enjoy my coffee, take a shower and get ready, have a quiet conversation with my husband, catch up on emails, or do some work for my blog.
By the time the kids wake up, I’m looking forward to seeing them. I can spend quality time with them rather than rushing around and yelling. My patience with them has grown tenfold simply by getting up before them.
Allow time for setbacks
Wouldn’t it be nice if mornings always went exactly to plan? Of course! But as any mom knows, that rarely happens.
I’m currently breastfeeding my six-week old baby girl. Some mornings she sleeps through our entire morning and I transfer her to her car seat and we’re good to go. Other mornings she eats on and off for a solid hour. Instead of frantically stressing out when this happens, I am able to relax because I’ve left extra time in our morning routine. I give myself about two hours in the mornings, but it really only takes about 45 minutes to accomplish all my tasks. If things go smooth, I’m able to dedicate extra time to my kids, cleaning my home, or my blog.
Give the kids a routine, too
I keep our mornings exactly the same from one day to the next. I believe this best prepares them for their day, too. They wake up and head downstairs immediately for breakfast. Breakfast is always something easy: frozen waffles, a poptart and sliced bananas, yogurt with fresh blueberries, cereal, etc. We save pancakes and eggs for the weekends in this house 🙂
Then, the kids are able to watch TV, do art or play in their rooms for about 30-45 minutes. This gives me time to get what I need to do done – whether that’s finalizing lunches, getting myself ready, or feeding the baby.
Roughly 30-45 minutes before we leave, the kids get dressed, brush teeth and I do their hair. That time always tends to fly and we are out the door before we know it!
I know mornings can seem so rushed. Trust me, I have been there. And to be honest we still have very rushed mornings with the addition of our third child.
My best advice would be to be consistent and allow yourself plenty of time. I know it’s hard to get up in the morning, but it’s worth it to start your day off on the right foot.
Are you struggling with your morning routine? Share in the comments!