It’s all good and well to say, “Morning routines are amazing – everyone should have one!” Until there are kids involved. Very often, having children can make a relaxing morning routine seem like an impossibility. Especially if you’re raising early risers.
Have you ever gotten up extra early to enjoy a hot cup of coffee in peace and quiet and when you turned around, there stood your child? “Good morning mommy!” And you can’t help but wonder, “Is it though? Is it a good morning?”
There a few things that parents who want to have a happy morning routine can do. They can encourage their children to create their own routine, for example with special toys or books. Explaining that you need to start the day quietly can also help your child understand and respect your routine. Including your kids in your routine can also provide them with structure.
I discuss these tips in more detail in this blog post. Hopefully these will help you conquer the morning routine even with children at home!
1. Wake Up Before Your Kids
If it’s at all possible, wake up before your children do. This lets you start the day in peace and quiet so that you can organise your thoughts.
Starting the day together with young kids can be overwhelming, especially if they immediately need a lot of things from you at the same time. Perhaps nappies need to be changed, they are hangry and there are already tears.
If your kids wake up late-ish, getting up before them can let you squeeze in some me time. For example, you can read, journal, pray, chat with your spouse, have a hot coffee or even get started on the tasks of the day.
I love it when I can get some computer work done before my kids get up. It gives me a feeling of satisfaction, knowing that no matter how the day goes, I got some work done.
However, if your child(ren) get up super early themselves, waking up before them might not be an option. For example, if your kid wakes up at 05:00 every morning, trying to get up even earlier can be a struggle.
If this is your situation, there are some other things you can do to start the morning off on the right foot.
2. Include Your Children In Your Routine
Instead of insisting that you want to complete your morning routine by yourself, which might result in tears and tantrums, you can include your children in your routine. This will still let you do what you want to do, just not alone.
For example, if you want to exercise in the mornings, get them an exercise mat or towel as well and let them copy the exercises you do. This will work especially well if your kids always want to do what you’re doing!
If you want to enjoy a hot coffee, make your kid a hot chocolate or tea to enjoy with you. This can be a great bonding opportunity!
3. Create Their Own Routine
If you do want to have a little quiet time before you start the day, create a routine for your kids that they love and can implement by themselves.
For example, have a favourite toy that you only pull out in the mornings and let them play with it while you read a book or journal or pray, etc.
If your child loves reading, get them books that they are only allowed to read in the morning. Ask them about what they read at breakfast so they can share with you.
This will work best for slightly older children. My five-year-old can do this well already. My two-year-old is still learning – she’s more likely to play along if her older sister spends the time with her.
4. Explain Your Need For Quiet Time To Your Kids
If you only tell your child that they can’t bother you now, they must “go play in your room,” they won’t understand why.
However, if they are old enough to understand, you can explain to them that mommy needs some time out to recharge before the day starts. Remind them that they also often feel overwhelmed, and that you having some quiet time will help you get through the day better.
5. Set an Example For Your Kids
If your children learn to have a happy, peaceful and possibly even productive morning routine from an early age with you, they will be able to implement this when they are adults and parents themselves.
If we teach them that mornings can be beautiful, they will want to have their own morning routine!
Honestly, I wish I had learnt to have a morning routine earlier in my life!
How Can I Have A Morning Routine With A Baby?
The above tips can work well when your kids are a little older.
If you have a small baby in the house, you might consider having a morning checklist rather than a morning routine. This involves having a list of things you want to do every single morning. However, the order in which you do these things doesn’t matter. Just try to everything on the list before a certain time each day.
For example, your list might include:
- take a shower
- work out
- read a chapter from the Bible
- make breakfast
- write down 3 things I’m grateful for
This method isn’t perfect. By not having a set order of tasks, you still run the risk of getting decision fatigue because you need to ask yourself ‘What’s next?’ after every task.
However, this lets you be flexible in terms of your baby’s waking time, feeding times, etc. It can make a routine feel more manageable.
I hope these tips help you to create a morning routine even with your little humans around. Remember – a routine is good for them too!