Some things to consider when making a Momma morning routine and how to make it stick.
We hear all the time about how important it is to have a morning routine. How studies have linked this habit with motivation, organization, and success. That's all fine and dandy for your average Joe but what about the hot mess Momma with itty-bitties at her toes 24/7? Although it is equally essential to start the day right, it is unquestionably more difficult to establish and maintain.
Being a mom of three littles (5, 2, 1 year), I have researched and attempted to implement many a morning routine to no avail. Below is a shortlist of the three most important aspects of establishing a morning routine for Momma and some realistic ways to implement them.
So many Momma morning routines suggest waking up before the kids. I don't know about you but I frequently stay up late cleaning - aka watching Netflix, staring aimlessly at my phone, being alone for one freakin' minute of the day! - and my kids wake up at 6 am - aka the crack of stupid - so the idea of setting my alarm to purposefully wake up earlier sounds like crazy talk to me. Therefore, the simple solution is to find a time that works best for you. This might take some trial and error, as will many of these suggested ideas, but once you find your sweet spot then you'll be set.
For me, I do set my alarm but only for JUST before my kids usually wake up. I do this because I know I'll be a bear if they're the ones who do the waking and that's on me, not them. So I'm already at least half-awake when they come into my room or call for me. Once we are dresses and the rascals have been fed, I get them occupied (TV, toys, colouring, literally whatever gets them - mostly - out of my hair for a while) and take that time to eat my breakfast, sip my tea, and reflect.
Pick a space where you can find relative peace. As a mom with three under five, I can totally relate to the difficulty of this task. I need to be accessible and observant of my little hooligans - at least able to hear when it's gotten 'too quiet' - but I also need to be able to have my morning moment. This usually brings me to the dining table where my big front window lets in the morning light. I can see my lilac bush and morning glories on fresh days and I can watch the colourful birds perch on the side of my garage all year round.
Granted, I often get company. My one-year-old doesn't understand the concept of personal space… or quiet… or please don't scribble on Momma's journal… again… but I just make sure to include his curiosity and creativity, as well as his determination, into my gratitudes for the day. He is going to work and play well with others and has an insatiable drive to succeed. I know that this too shall pass, and all too soon. It just provides another way to be mindful and connect with all that is good, here and now. So, pick your place wisely but be mindful of all that the less-than-ideal places could offer you by way of reminding you of the little things during your moments of reflection. Stay focused and, in time, the kids will understand that this is just a normal part of the day so it will become less interesting to them and you will eventually get your peace.
Two words: start small.
If you feel like your day is full and you're having a hard time finding time then aiming for a whole hour, or even a half-hour, might seem more daunting than its worth.
Find five minutes, that's right, FIVE MINUTES.
Five minutes of downtime will give you enough time to find your Thoughtful Threes: 3 gratitudes, 3 essentials, and 3 motivational breaths. I can personally recommend The Five-Minute Journal which was one of the first resources I used to set time aside in my new busy life as a mom of three. It provided me with focus and guidance as to how I should be spending those five minutes I so diligently set aside for myself.
Once you've succeeded at that, count it as a win and celebrate. Do a little dance, pat yourself on the back, give a holla to yourself and aim to do it again tomorrow. As you proceed with those five-minute intervals, they will naturally lengthen in due time.
Remember, what works for some may not work for others. You need to find what works for YOU. This means you'll be doing a lot of experimentation at first but once you find that perfect balance, you'll be ready for many many days of enjoying the Three Ps of Progress: Positivity, Purpose, and Productivity!
You go, Momma!
P.s. More on the Thoughtful Three and the Three Ps of Progress in weeks coming!