Mornings hectic in your place? What about a morning routine? What would your ideal morning look like? I’ve given it some thought and have come up with the following.
Five mornings per week, at least three of our family of six needs to leave the house before 8 am. On mondays, it’s all of us. Tuesdays three, wednesdays five, thursdays six, fridays three, and then its weekend! However, with four kids under six, my weekend days don’t start much later than on weekdays. You can probably relate.
Still, I like mornings far more than the bedtime routine at night, when everyone is tired and and a fair bit cranky. There are two main reasons for that:
- I sleep at least 7.5 hours every night, and since our youngest is 20 months and all four are pretty good sleepers, that’s usually uninterrupted. Yes, I am very grateful for that!
- I wake up at least 45 minutes before the rest of the family (meaning the first awake kiddo) to focus on my own intention for the day. That improves my energy big time!
That’s not to say I’ve always been a morning person. I have never been an night owl either, but more of a sleep lover, I guess. Nine hours per night? Yes please! Now, my average* is 7.55 and I function quite well on that.
So, let’s elaborate on what happens in the morning.
I use the Sleep Cycle app to wake me anywhere between 5:30 and 6:15, when my sleep rhythm is closest to waking. This helps me to wake up quite naturally. At this time, usually all kids and the husband are still sleeping soundly. I always start with a big glass of water, brushing my teeth and basics like that, to really wake up. After that, I use the 45 to 90 minutes to get dressed, read over a cup of tea, do some simple exercise or yoga, and create content; in random order. And, to set an intention for the day. I concentrate and contemplate on a word like “focus” or “patience”, whatever I can use that they, and think of which three goals I want to accomplish. This really helps to see the day ahead in the right perspective.
Around 6:45 to 7am, the kids wake up. Hubs sets his alarm at 7am. I help them get dressed and brush their teeth upstairs. The older two kids (4 and 6) dress themselves, with a little nudging. They pick their own clothes from the pile of used-but-not-dirty, or from their closet. This doesn’t always match perfectly but I don’t care. I do color-coordinate when I buy new clothes, so there’s not much that clashes either.
Around 7:15 we go downstairs to have breakfast and make packed lunches (we don’t have school lunch at our school in The Netherlands). Note that I do’nt do that in the evening before! I do check their bags in the pm, so we can take missing content downstairs in the morning, but that’s it. I make lunch together with breakfast, while I’m “cooking” anyway (usually sandwiches are a big part of both breakfast and lunch). I eat some fruit and nuts, and have OJ with supplements while distributing food. The kids are either all at the dining table or at our breakfast bar very close to me. We have a lively discussion, or they watch a movie while I drink my second cup of tea in relative peace.
Then, around 7:45, we transition to leaving the house, with wiping faces clean, doing toilet rounds and putting on shoes. Shoes and bags are all in the mud room on the way out. That’s their home. We’re very strict about that and it obviously helps in the morning chaos, which is there anyway.
When all goes well, we leave the house around 7:55 to 8:00. I used to drink coffee instead of tea, but the caffeine seems to disrupt my hormones so I’ve found other ways to wake up. To summarize: drink water / splash face, have quiet time, have a lively family breakfast, and set an intention for the day. I’m ready to roll and meet my goals!There’s a lot of I in this story but my husband does his part in running after kids to put socks on as well. And he does more than his share in the evening, when I’m often a bit tired. He is more of a night owl 🙂
What do your mornings look like? Leave a comment, I love to hear from you!
* I track my sleep and other time with the Life Cycle app. It’s the big sister of the Sleep Cycle app and they provide a lot of insight into how I spend my time. Which helps with intentional living and meeting my goals!