A few weeks ago, I did an episode about my morning routine. I got a great follow-up question about how to do this when you have a baby or toddler that wakes up super early. I remember that season well.
A friend and I would meet up at 7:45 a.m. with our two toddlers and baby, each of whom woke up too early and went for a run and talked about how our kids wake up too early!
But I’ve learned a lot from that season, and here are my best tips for doing a morning routine in the early years to get the brainstorming started for what could work for you. This is such an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to not just surviving motherhood and fits into the Soul Pillar of the Three Pillars of Thriving.
Here are a few things I’ve done that work for our family:
- Do your morning routine with your kids – I started doing my morning routine with my kids instead of jumping into kid things. I still do this with my youngest, who wakes up before the rest of my kids. The expectation is that I’m not available right now so she can play near me, but I will do my own routine. It didn’t take too long before we got in the rhythm of it. I realized I didn’t need to let my kids run the show. I’m the adult, and I can set priorities for myself in the morning that will bless us all.
- Implement a Big 5 for your kids – I started a Big 5 for my kids so they knew what they could be doing while I did my own morning routine. For a long time, I didn’t actually care if they did those things, but if they came to me during that time, I asked them how their Big 5 was going, and they would have something to do while I finished up. They make their bed, get dressed, brush their teeth, say their prayers, and read/look at books.
- Keep a realistic mindset – I changed my mindset about what was reasonable and expected my kids to stay in bed until 6:30 or 7. When they woke up before that, my husband didn’t mind putting them back to bed while I did my morning routine. Over time, they catch on and stay in bed until the time you have established.
- Use signals to let your kids know when it’s okay to get out of bed – With my 3rd and 4th child, we got a clock on Amazon that is red when they need to be in bed and turns green when they can get out of bed. It has made a HUGE difference because there is a clear expectation, and I’m not the middleman – the color of the clock is.
I’m sure you will find a solution of your own that works for you and your family. It will just take some time and trial and error.
Keep the vision of what you want your foundation to look like, write it down, and even if it takes you all day to get those things done, that’s okay! You are still building habits and getting to the essential things. It doesn’t always look neat and tidy, and that is normal and to be expected.