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  • And start ruling your schedule with an iron fist – and NO mom guilt!

I’ve written before about why you need a morning routine, and how to get past some common roadblocks when you have little kids. But what exactly do you DO during a morning routine? What should a morning routine include?

In this post I’ll walk you through exactly how to build a morning routine for mom.


Morning routine starts the night before


Your morning routine starts the night before. It might sounds strange, but if you don’t plan for it the night before, mentally and practically, you’re likely to hit the snooze button when your alarm goes off.


Lay out what you need the night before


Clear off the couch and coffee table, get out your bible, notebook and pen, set up your coffee/tea things in the kitchen, lay out a cozy throw blanket, and anything else you might need for your morning routine. This will save you time in the morning, so you don’t have to hunt things down!


Get enough sleep


If you don’t get to bed at a decent hour, forget about waking up early. Your body needs sleep to function well and be healthy, so don’t shortchange yourself here. Block off 7 hours minimum (8-9 is better) for sleep, and then make sure you get yourself in bed (lights out, phone off!) in time to get that. Grownups need sleep, too!


Decide on a time


What time should your morning routine start? Well, that depends on a couple things:

+What time does the baby usually wake up?

+What time do you want to get up?

+What time can you commit to consistently (probably NOT 4am, right)?

+What time can you get to bed at night regularly, so that you get enough sleep?

Take all these things into consideration, and then pick your time. Mine is 6:05am, because of all those factors.

I also set two alarms, one early and one late, in case the baby is up a bunch at night, or we were out late, or I’m not feeling well. The later alarm (6:50am) gives me a few minutes to pray, glance over my plans for the day, and otherwise collect myself before the kids get up, on the mornings I didn’t get up at my usual morning time.


Know what you’ll do


Plan ahead of time what you want to do during your morning routine. Some days it’s nice to just stare at the wall in silence, I get it. But most mornings you might want to include the following:

I usually brew my coffee straight into a travel mug, because then it stays hot for a long time.

Yes, I sit in silence for 1 minute, and try to not think about a single thing during that time. It’s wonderful!

+Bible reading
I’m not following a study or plan right now, just reading through the gospels. Don’t overcomplicate this – just read some scripture!

I have a prayer list in a simple notebook. I just flip it open, add anything new I want to pray for, then pray through my list.

I use the 5 Minute Journal app for this (there is also a book!). It’s quick and easy, which helps me do it consistently. In the app you can choose what time the app will send you reminders, which is super handy!

+reading a book
I try to always have a book going. It’s usually about parenting, motherhood, or personal growth. Something that makes me think.

+plan your day
This is where I look in my planner and jot down what I need and want to get done during the day, check my meal plan for what I may need to get started earlier in the day (baking, thawing meat), and figure out when i’m going to get things done (before homeschooling? after rest time?).


Commit to your new morning routine for 30 days


Establishing a new habit takes a few weeks, and you’re pretty well guaranteed to hit some speed bumps on the way (baby teething!). Commit to your new morning routine for one full month, and then reevaluate. What’s working? Do you need to adjust the time? Add something or take something away? Don’t switch it up much until you’ve given it 30 days of consistency!


Safeguard your morning time


Life happens, and you’re going to need to set some boundaries in order to make your morning time happen consistently.

+The first way to protect your morning time is to teach your kids to stay in bed. If you haven’t done this yet, start here.

+Don’t waste time on social media. I have a rule that I don’t use my phone for anything except bible time and journalling until my morning time is finished. It’s just too easy to check email (“real quick!”) and then get sucked in.

+Leave the housework for later. Never wash dishes, start laundry, or clean anything during your morning time! You know the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? That’s how housework is, and then your kids will all be awake, and you’ll be out of time. Leave the housework until the kids are up!


But what if the baby wakes up?


If you have a baby or young toddler, he’s probably ravenous when he wakes up! So pause your morning routine and feed baby. Then, choose an activity to keep your baby or toddler busy while you finish your morning routine. Here are some ideas I run through with mine:

+Put baby outside on the porch (Luke loves the fresh air and birds singing!). I use a rock n play or pack n play.

+Keep toddler strapped in his high chair with a few board books, puzzles, or play doh (after he eats!).

+Set baby up for some tummy time on the floor next to you.

+After a quick breakfast, have toddler go back to her room to play while you finish. I use a baby gate in the doorway to remind toddler to stay in his room until I come get him.


It won’t be perfect, and that’s ok


Your morning time doesn’t need to be ideal to add value to your life. It just needs to happen consistently – messily, imperfectly – and fill your needs in the season of life you are in currently. Embrace it, make it yours, and enjoy your new morning routine.

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So why exactly IS it so hard to get to church on time with little kids?

Well, there’s the obvious fact that you’re getting additional humans ready to leave the house beside just yourself. But then add in that they are small and need lots of help doing basic tasks like, you know, brushing their teeth and feeding themselves.

But it’s not impossible. Let me walk you through how you can get to church on time with little kids!