Before I had kids, I prided myself on being super organized…in my head. I definitely did not have a morning routine.
What this means is that I could remember everything without having to use a calendar or write it down. I had appointments, social engagements, the conversation I had with my husband about who’s turn it was to do what chore, and where I last left my wallet, keys, and phone all stored in my brain for easy access.
My house, on the other hand, was not so organized. We usually had piles of laundry (clean, dirty, and the in-between status), stacks of books and paper, dishes from always eating on the couch hanging around, and other miscellaneous items.
This, of course, would all be picked up assuming we knew in advance that someone was stopping by.
We knew that we needed to change our habits, but in all honesty, there was no real motivation. It was working for us and there were no real consequences to these bad habits.
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Enter: Child #1.
I thought that I was going to be able to chug along at the same level of physical (and mental!) organization that I had before.
I was completely wrong.
After spending weeks, okay months, blaming my lack of schedule and organization on being a new mom, I finally realized that my organization system was no longer working for me.
Being fully in charge of another human – even a tiny one! – was mentally and physically exhausting.
I started setting up small “systems” the night before that would help me get the day started the next morning.
Some of these included setting up a large glass of water or water bottle with a small snack for nighttime and early morning feedings and ensuring that all baby items were cleaned up and put away each night so that I could find them in the morning.
Just doing those few things really changed my outlook on the day the next morning and motivated me (many months later) to set up a morning routine.
The tasks slowly evolved as I left the desperate “new mom” phase and eased into life with an infant. After a few months of really honing in on what I needed to have a bright outlook on the day, I have a pretty good morning routine set up.
My Morning Routine
Try to wake up before the toddler.
This took a long time to learn to do but it is so worth it in the end! Do you know how much you can accomplish with even 20 minutes of kid-free time in the morning?!
Make the bed.
I literally cannot leave the house now without doing this.
Try to shower or at least brush my teeth, wash my face, comb my hair, and get dressed – maybe not in my final outfit, but out of my pajamas!
If I wait too long to spend time on myself, I find that it either does not get done or I have to do it with some extra appendages hanging off me.
Babies and toddlers are happiest in the mornings, so even if they are awake, this is a great time to do this!
Turn off any fans, noise machines, humidifiers, etc from the night and open all blinds and curtains.
I started this and called it “opening the house” to my husband. He thought I was nuts. Now I can’t stand hearing the whir of one of these machines if the sun is out.
Complete a small task like putting a load of laundry in on laundry day or cleaning up any clutter left from the night before.
I basically make it a game to see how many small chores I can get out of the way before E starts yelling for “brefast! brefast!”.
Empty the dishwasher and tidy up the kitchen for the day while making breakfast.
We have gotten pretty good about cleaning up the kitchen at night and running the dishwasher, but if anything was left out I take care of it while breakfast is cooking (perks of being a SAHM – I can cook a hot breakfast every day!). This is something that I started doing just recently – cleaning up the kitchen in the morning, that is – and I LOVE it. Having a clean kitchen all day long feels so amazing and I do not have to worry about cleaning it the rest of the day.
This is something that I started doing just recently – cleaning up the kitchen in the morning, that is – and I LOVE it. Having a clean kitchen all day long feels so amazing and I do not have to worry about cleaning it the rest of the day.
Having a clean kitchen all day long feels so amazing and I do not have to worry about cleaning it the rest of the day.
Finally, physically write out a small to do list for the day.
I am still working on this because sometimes I think that my brain can still handle all that remembering…but it definitely cannot.
I bought a planner and keep notepads around to write things down as much as possible.
And guess what? More gets done and I feel less anxiety about forgetting something when I do!
I cannot tell you how much these small things have changed my life! I am pretty obsessed with making sure they get done first thing now and you would never have caught me caring about doing most of those things right when I woke up two years ago.
Most days after breakfast I can confidently take E on a walk or a morning outing without stressing about what needs to be done at home.
All because of my morning routine.
Even if I have legitimate tasks to be done that day, by doing these small organizing and cleaning tasks, I just feel that much more confident and relaxed about my plans for the rest of the day.
Still not convinced? Try just one thing…
Do you make your bed every day? I went through a phase where the only time I ever made my bed was when I changed my sheets!
That was the first task that I started consistently doing every day and there is just something about a bed that is made that makes the whole room and house feel more clean and organized.
Try it. At least for a week. I promise it will change your life (or at least your morning).
What do you HAVE to do as part of your morning routine or you feel like your whole day is off?
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