This morning I was reminded of a season in life. You know, the season when things feel like they’re coming unraveled, the goal of the day is merely to get through the day, and you’re still wearing the same yoga pants from yesterday.
It was that season in life that had led me to create the Morning Routine in the first place. I was craving that “me time” so badly. But, you know what happened when I started it?
Yes, you do… because you’ve likely experienced the same thing!
The kids decided to wake up super early. I had convinced myself to start my day earlier – when the household was still asleep – and go figure they wake up early that day! Their spidey-senses were tingling and telling them that Mom was doing something for herself – and they were there to shut it down. I once told my husband that our youngest must be telepathic (or something similar, you’ll get the point) because she would wake up the same time as me regardless. 5am, yep her too. 6:40 am, yep her too. 7:15am, yep her too. You guys, she was upstairs and my bedroom was downstairs. How on earth was this happening?!
I wanted to scream.
Here’s the thing… she wanted to do what Mom was doing. So I created her own special routine – with her help – so that she could mimic what I was doing. It needed to be incredibly SIMPLE and something she could do entirely on her own (remember, that’s the only way this helps you).
Here’s the thing though, mamas. This routine will change – often – as they get older, as they get bored, as you transition from the school year to summer break. Be prepared for that.
Here’s what I did with our youngest (she was about 4 years old at the time, for reference):
- Breakfast: Our youngest likes to be able to eat breakfast first thing when she wakes up. I knew this is what she’d disrupt me for if she got up uber-early on a given day. Solution: We put a basket on the low shelf in the pantry. She knew she could go to that basket and grab whichever breakfast bar she wanted to eat – without mom’s help.
Note: I didn’t opt for cereal, or oatmeal, or scrambled eggs… remember, I needed her to be able to grab something without my help and that wouldn’t have her on a stool, grabbing milk, and spilling it all over the kitchen floor.
- Journal: She had her own little notepad and I would tell her to either write about her day, what she was grateful for, what she wanted to explore, etc. (this was as she got older and didn’t have to ask me to spell every. single. word.). When she was younger, I would tell her to draw what she was thinking about instead.
- Books: This was hit and miss, admittedly. This works better as they get older, in my own experience. If your child can sit and look through books without asking you to read it to them, then great. If this is going to cause them to come interrupt you, then nix it.
- Craft/Play/Cartoon: The rest of the time I would have our youngest choose what she wanted to do. Didn’t matter to me, she just knew that she couldn’t interrupt me until a certain time.
Fast forward a couple of years, and her routine is different. If she does wake up early, she grabs her breakfast and either heads for her craft room or watches a cartoon. She knows now that I am having “my time” (my one hour) and she might ask what time it will be over with (so that she can ask Alexa to set a timer… because, you know, she keeps close tabs on Mom), but she knows that she needs to respect that time.
Here’s what I want you to take-away from this blog. Remind your children that you are not their source of entertainment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You are not ‘on call’. If you’ve been living that lifestyle, girl, you’re going to tire out. Please hear my heart on this. You cannot continue to fill others’ cups when yours is running on empty. As involved as parents are these days, there’s something about my own childhood that I remember and desire for my own kids. I remember using my imagination. My parents didn’t design my day or give us ideas on what to do. I was forced to make up my own games, or read a book, or see if my siblings wanted to play. I bet yours was pretty similar, wasn’t it? Don’t sabotage your own slice of “me time”. Put your foot down. Tell your kiddos that if they get up earlier than expected, they need to occupy themselves because Mom is busy for the next half hour or hour. Period.
This morning routine doesn’t have to make them happy. It doesn’t have to entertain them. They don’t have to do it at all. This is just an idea. My goal isn’t to set your kids up on a routine. It’s merely to take away the excuse you are giving yourself for why you aren’t giving yourself a “reset” each day.
Life comes in seasons. Make this work for YOU.
Are you wondering what this Morning Routine is all about? If you haven’t checked it out, here it is below!
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