After having a baby, my whole life was flipped around. I served in the Navy for 5 years, so I was accustomed to routine, routine, and routine. Everything had a schedule and a time to be accomplished.
When we brought Amelia home, I was determined to get her on a routine so I knew what to expect, and when to expect it. I kept a journal of everything she did and when she did it.
For me, that lasted about a week. I was so exhausted from night time feeds and evening cluster feeding (and being thrown up on) that I felt like my brain just couldn’t function. I eventually began staying in bed until 10 am some days and I felt like my whole day had been wasted.
I decided I needed to get myself into a routine that would mesh with my on-demand parenting style. That meant a VERY flexible routine that included some staple tasks to get done in the morning do I could feel accomplished each day.
Seriously, if I didn’t get at least a handful of these things done first thing in the morning, I would end up laying around watching Fixer Upper all day. (but really, who doesn’t love that?!)
1. Set an alarm
I set my alarm for 7 am each morning. I didn’t like that I got into the habit of waking up so late in the day. Two hours earlier may not seem like a lot to some people, but that is enough time to knock out most of my morning tasks in this list.
If my daughter wakes up between 5:30 and 7 am, I will just shut off my alarm and get up for the day. If this is too early for you, you can always take a power nap in the afternoon.
2. Drink a full glass of cold water
I like to do this because it is just a natural refresher. It will wake you up and replace water lost while sleeping and night time breastfeeding.
3. Eat Breakfast
It’s the most important meal of the day for a reason, and I don’t mean a cup of coffee and a snack bar. I have three breakfast meals that are so simple to make, and I alternate between them during the week.
- Cereal and Milk:
Quick, easy and typically fortified with vitamins and minerals to give me the nutrition I need.
- Peanut Butter Toast, Yogurt, and Fruit:
This breakfast takes a little bit longer to prepare than plain ol’ cereal and milk, but it still fairly quick to prepare. I typically will cut up and apple or banana while toasting bread, then slap on the peanut butter and grab a yogurt from the fridge. Done and done!
- Eggs, Bacon, and Toast:
Obviously this takes the longest to prepare and I typically only eat this if my husband offers to make it. It is usually consumed in the form of a sandwich with a thick slice of pepper jack cheese. Mmmm!
4. Brush Your Hair and Teeth
Sometimes the demands of motherhood do not give you time to get pretty every morning. I shoot to get my shower done when Amelia goes down for her late morning nap, but that nap doesn’t always happen, so showers don’t always happen (I told you I was keeping it real). I’m lucky if I get to shower every other day, so I make sure that I brush out my hair, use a little dry shampoo, and put it up so it is out of reach of grabby fingers!
5. Complete/ Review the Reminder List
Now, this list is essentially a chore list for mommy, but I HATE the word “chore”. Because of this, I made a reminder list and put it on the fridge in the form of a mini dry erase board. My list contains simple reminders as well as a couple tasks to complete throughout my morning.
These are all tasks that are quickly and easily accomplished in just a few minutes, so I can complete them during Amelia’s independent play time or a short nap, but usually, I just throw her in her Rock N Play and slide her into the kitchen to watch me (she thinks it’s funny when I dance while doing the dishes).
6. Pick up main living spaces
By the end of the day, my house is a mess! Blankets and pillows from the couch are thrown about, dog, cat and baby toys litter the living room, and about 3 pieces of baby furniture are scattered in each room.
I make it a point to walk around and pick these things up first thing in the morning rather than the evening because evenings are dedicated to family time and evening relaxing.
I like to have 30 days of dinners planned each month so that I don’t worry about what is going to be for dinner. I don’t typically plan out lunches for each day, but I do make sure there is always something available in the house for each day of the week.
This is not what I mean by meal planning, though. What I mean is I will look at my pre-written menu and figure out what things I need to accomplish in order to make those meals happen. Typically, it is throwing something in the crock pot, or marinating meat for dinner.
I want to hear from you!! What things do you need to get done in the morning to feel accomplished?