Mornings. You either love ’em or hate ’em. I tend to be more of a morning person, but how a morning goes can determine my mood for the rest of the day! A bad morning can make you reach for your pillow and chocolate by noon begging for it to be bedtime again… Bless it. Here are a few tips I’ve learned that help set the mood for the rest of the day…
- Get the dishes done the night before. Oh dear, yes, this is a hard one. I’ve been married 7 years and have been a mother for 5, and am JUST NOW learning the importance of waking up to a clean kitchen. If I wake up to a pile of dirty dishes, I literally feel like crying even before the day starts. NOT what I need. And if you start with a clean kitchen in the morning, you may even have the desire to make pancakes and waffles… who knows. Or toss cereal bowls in the general direction of your children and have a mere 5 minute clean up. To piggyback on this, this also means starting your dishwasher the night before so you can unload them in the morning. There is something so refreshing about having a cupboard stocked full of clean dishes and an empty dishwasher.
- Go to bed on time. This may seem like a no brainer, but how hard is it, right??? My husband works long hours and oftentimes, he doesn’t get home until 8 or 9pm. When I still have to eat and clean up from dinner and my bedtime is at 11pm…. it just doesn’t leave much room for quality time! But one trick that my husband and I observed was when we didn’t watch shows at night, the time passed by much SLOWER! It felt like we had so much time together. I’m not saying you should never watch TV with your husband at night, but maybe try 2 nights a week to turn off the TV and just sit and talk or play a game or have a guitar and singing jam session or whatever your interests are. Think outside the box and change up a weeknight.
- Wake up BEFORE the kids. I cannot stress how important and crucial this has been in my morning routine. Thankfully, my kids sleep in until 8, so I can be up by 7 (6:30 if I have a run planned for that morning). This is when I brew my coffee, make my husband’s lunch, do breakfast prep, and put away clean dishes. Then I sit down with my coffee, plan out the day, read my morning reads, and collect my thoughts before I’m needed by 3 hungry toddlers. If this step doesn’t happen, I hit the ground running and I feel like I’m playing catch up for the rest of the day. Some days, I don’t get a full hour, maybe just 30 minutes or even 15 minutes makes a world of difference!
- Eat breakfast. When you’re mom, you’re used to skipping breakfasts. Most of the time, you just FORGET. Yeah, it happens. But by mid morning, my brain is in a fog and I feel like I need a nap already. After fasting for 8 hours all night, your body needs something to get your blood pumping and your blood sugar up. Mommy breakfasts are usually a bit different than what a 5 and 3 year old might eat, so a little planning goes a long way to make sure you get your stomach full and brain jump started. Try my 3 ingredient protein smoothie that takes all of 2 minutes to make! (And it’s dairy and sugar free!)
- Turn off your tech. Sometimes, this isn’t possible, but I strive to have my mornings computer free and cell phone free. Emails, texts, facebook, and calls can wait until lunchtime. There are some exceptions, like when I use my phone to pull up a video we need for school or to look up where a peregrine falcon lives (my 5 year old apparently wants to know this RIGHT NOW). But ladies, Facebook… it can wait. Focus on your kiddos. You will be happier, they will be happier, and you can have uninterrupted time later in the day. I have now designated “online times” for myself. During “rest time” every afternoon, I catch up on emails, blog, do a little Facebook browsing then shut it off until my evening online time. Believe me, a tech free morning will make you MUCH more productive!
As a mom, it’s easy to fall into survival mode. I know, I’ve been there, and I still go there. But these 5 tips can help you THRIVE. The more you put these tips into practice, the easier it will become, and you will wake up looking forward to your mornings. Take productivity into your own hands, Mama!