morning routine

June 3, 2015

morning routine

I don’t know what it was, exactly, that made me feel so tired and out of control over the past few months, but I was. During that time I let a lot of my healthy practices slip away. I wasn’t sleeping well, and I’d wake up late and spend my spare minutes browsing my phone, then I’d rush the kids out the door and work all day, have an energy crash in the afternoon, eat whatever I wanted to give myself a boost, and convince myself that we were too busy for me to spend time exercising.

The first step in me feeling more like myself was to let go of the extras, to recall my priorities, and that helped a lot. It changed my attitude, which gave me the motivation to work on healthy habits again.

The second step was to establish a solid morning routine. I crave structure and boundaries, and I don’t have much (if any) time to myself during the weekdays so I knew I had to reclaim this time. I’ve been practicing this new morning routine for a couple of weeks now and it’s truly been revolutionary. But first, here’s what it looks like:

8:00 p.m.

The morning starts at night. I let myself check my phone once more for notifications before getting ready for bed, and then I plug it in to charge in the living room.

Also notable: I go to sleep when the kids do, around 8:30 or 9:00 p.m. I’d love to stay up an extra hour with David when they get a little older, but for now this is working to get us all the most sleep.

4:30 a.m.

My alarm goes off. I now use a simple little clock on my bedside table; I like how small it is because when the first alarm goes off I hold it in my hand. It has short snoozes, about 4 minutes, and I allow myself three.

4:45 a.m.

Out of bed. It’s really not that hard to get up because usually Liam has been nursing on and off for awhile (I had to start closing the cats out of our room at night because they were just too active for me). I go straight to make coffee and while it brews I feed the cats, put away dishes that have dried overnight, and get stuff ready to make breakfast.

5:00 a.m.

I am sitting in the oversized chair in the craft room with my coffee, doing my Bible study (right now I’m reading through this). Sometimes Liam wakes up during this time and I will bring him to nurse and that way I can usually at least finish my study. If I finish what I’m reading or working on before thirty minutes are up, I will journal and/or pray.

5:30 a.m.

I read for pleasure for thirty minutes. Notice I haven’t looked at my phone once yet. Game changer! If Liam is awake at this point, I will still try to read but we will move to the kids’ room where he can play.

6:00 a.m.

It’s time to start getting ready for the day. I usually go in this order: make and eat breakfast, pack lunches, get dressed, do makeup, get Liam dressed, then finally get Meredith dressed. I do let myself check my phone at this point, and most days I’ll listen to a podcast while I get ready.

7:15 a.m.

We head to the car and I drop the kids at daycare before going to work.

Some notes:

  • I’m 100% a morning person and I know waking before 5 isn’t going to happen for most people, but for me it’s totally worth it to start my day off right. I highly suggest figuring out some sort of morning routine that works for you.
  • Having the structure of timing all planned out has really helped me. You might not be so rigid, but it keeps me on track.
  • I feel such relief that every day I have dedicated Bible study and reading time. This is helping so much!
  • Lately the kids have been sleeping till at least 6, and Meredith until around 6:30. They used to wake up around 5 or 5:30, so obviously that makes a difference.
  • I do try to follow this routine on the weekends as well, but I tend to push everything back by an hour.

So tell me, do you have a morning routine? What does it look like? Any ideas or insights to share?

Posted in: personal, tips

Comments on morning routine

  1. 1

    From jacqueline:

    I started waking up early a few months ago as well (not a morning person at all so 5:45 is REEAAAALLLYYY early!). I agree with you that it 100% starts the night before – getting things together, untethering ourselves from the phone and internet, and establishing an evening routine. I switched exercising to the morning (because once I’m up, I’m up, and if I’m up I might as well do the exercise :) ) which saves me both the time of only having to shower once, and also gives me a bit of “me time” in the morning. I love your blog and am inspired the ways you have been able to keep up the things you enjoy while working and having two children!

  2. 2

    From Melissa:

    Not checking your phone in the morning is so good! Probably putting it in another room all together is great too.

    I’m so glad that your morning routine is helping – sounds like a success in carving out some time for yourself everyday. I think we are alike (and probably this is true for many people) in that it makes SUCH a difference in your day and attitude when you have some moments that are all your own on a regular basis. Something that’s hard for mom’s in general on top of being a working mom.

    Have you been able to fit working out back into your day? That’s the hard one for me…

  3. 3

    From Kathleen:

    I haven’t started working out again yet, but I have a plan! The only time I have is right after work. Thankfully there are two classes at my work gym (yoga and bootcamp) that are 4:30-5:30 so I’m planning on attending those, and then going running twice per week if possible. I just have to do it!

  4. 4

    From San:

    I love how structured your morning is! I had a routine like that for a while but then fell of the bandwagon and I definitely have to get back at it.
    I start work at 7 a.m., so I get up pretty early as is…. but fitting in a half hour or “me-time” in the morning would be great! :)

  5. 5

    From Holly:

    I don’t have much of a morning routine – I wake up when the kids do, get them dressed and make breakfast, then try to work for half an hour or so while they’re busy with their food. I make my to-do list for the day and try to fit everything in around preschool, playdates, errands, and working in the evenings. I just started the Make Over Your Mornings course ( – I hope it’s as effective as promised :)

  6. 6

    From Sarah:

    I love the idea of having morning time to myself…but it totally clashes with the fact that I’m not really a morning person. I’m not NOT a morning person either, but my natural tendency is definitely more of a night owl. Therefore to really do much in the morning, I think I’d be fighting myself every night, which is stress that I just don’t want.

    I wake up at 6:30-7 and leave the house at 7:45-8. But I only have one kid to get ready right now. We’ll see how that changes when I add kid #2 in a few months!

  7. 7

    From Kathleen:

    I wouldn’t try to make yourself into a morning person, I don’t think that works! But maybe setting a short morning routine would help, or you could set a nighttime routine that involves getting things ready for the next day!

    Having a second baby definitely changes things though; takes much longer to get everyone ready in the morning. :)

  8. 8

    From Stephany:

    I want to know about the alarm clock you have! (Such a silly point to take away from your post, but I’m curious!) I have been looking for something because I also want to get out of the habit of having my phone with me in the morning.

    Early mornings are my jam, too, which is why I am MUCH more apt to work out before work rather than waiting until I get home. And I really love going to bed early; I think Gretchen Rubin once talked about how she feels its a luxury when she goes to bed early and I totally agree. It really works for me to have a solid morning routine.

    Lately, I haven’t had any sort of morning routine and I am really craving a slower pace to start my day. I hate that rushed feeling when walking out the door in the morning! This start to your day sounds so nice. A lot of effort to get up before 5am, but seems so worth it.

  9. 9

    From Kathleen:

    The clock I have is a cheap old one, I think it’s from Target maybe? The brand is Equity.

    Sounds like with your personality a morning routine would be awesome! And you can always plan to skip it for weekends. :)

  10. 10

    From Jenny:

    I’m still trying to establish the morning routine I want – right now, I’m celebrating the fact that I’m remembering to put on moisturiser every day! My goal is to start my day feeling ready and not rushed and it sounds like you have achieved that :)

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