How to create a morning routine when you have kids
Many self development and wellness books suggest that you should have a morning routine that sets you up for the day. Meditation followed by journaling and a superfood smoothie along with a workout sounds amazing in theory – but completely batshit crazy when you factor children into that mix!
I can remember when Finley was a baby, I could barely function without a strong cup of coffee and prefered to stay in my pajamas for as long as possible, meditation and working out was just not going to happen.
Then as time moved on, my mornings where consumed with getting him ready for nursery on time. Things felt quite rushed on nursery days and then because we didn’t have a consistent routine everyday it just felt easier to go with the flow.
And here’s the thing, if you’re doing just fine going with the flow then you do you!
However, I knew that I wasn’t feeling my best because I was just reacting to the day as it happened. I’d wake up and then find that everyone else but me were setting the priorities that day, which inevitably left my own wellbeing until last.
But I still found it really hard to create a morning routine because in my head I thought it should look a certain way – i.e. the way it does in all the books!
However my life doesn’t look like that and I’m guessing yours doesn’t either. When you throw children into the mix it can make it harder to have that time in the morning to set yourself up right, but it doesn’t have to be impossible.
Before I get on to what my morning routine looks like it’s worth noting that everyone’s should look different – I work from home 4 days a week, Finley is at nursery 3 days a week and with his grandma 1 day a week and I have a partner who’s around every morning as well. Your situation will no doubt be different, the key isn’t trying to make it look like a morning routine for someone else, it’s about making it feel right for you and your family. But to hopefully give you some ideas, here’s what mine looks like…
Here’s what my routine roughly looks like:
- I co sleep with Finley (he starts the night in his own room and when he wakes up comes into the family bed) and we wake up at 6. James takes him downstairs for breakfast and this is where I have a space of about 30 minutes in the morning to myself.
- I always play some music through my phone. I have a ‘high vibe’ playlist of songs I love but often I enjoy the Ambient Chill playlist on Spotify – mornings in our house can sometimes feel a little stressful so this is a nice way to counter that.
- Depending on whether or not I’m going to the gym* (more on that in a sec) I have a shower and do my skincare routine and makeup.
- Then Finley comes up and it’s all hands on deck getting him ready and off to nursery.
- Then I’ll either go to the gym or come home and this is the point when I have some time to do a more formal morning routine thing – I make lovely coffee, breakfast, do my bullet journal for the day, get some essentials oils on in the diffuser and sometimes do some form of meditation or an EFT video.
- Then its work time!
*on going to the gym in the morning – I go back and forth on how this feels. I actually love my mornings to feel spacious and when I go to the gym it leaves me feeling rushed once I get home. Especially as the weather gets nicer, I’d much prefer to have a coffee in the garden than be going to the gym. Instead I workout in the late afternoon.
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On weekends or my Fridays off with Finley this is where it gets trickier, but what I’ve found is that I can pop something on TV for 15 minutes to entertain Fin while I just have some quiet time to journal and drink coffee and on those days that’s it, but it makes a difference.
Like I said, your life in the mornings might look completely different but that doesn’t mean you can’t create some kind of routine – it’s always helpful to ask yourself what the purpose of the routine is and then go from there. Maybe it’s just to feel more grounded and calm – where can you find some time for that, even if it’s 5 minutes?
If your kids are good sleepers can you get up before them (going to bed earlier than usual) and then have some time for yourself then? If you have really little ones or if you co sleep why not get them to join in? I know it doesn’t help give you space for yourself, but let’s say you wanted to have a gratitude practice, getting the kids to join in on that could be really lovely. If you’re lying in bed breastfeeding for example, you could play a guided meditation through your phone.
Remember that when you do take time for yourself you’re modelling self care to your kids – this is nothing to feel guilty about. Plus I bet when you have that time to centre yourself in the morning you’ll be a much happier mama for the rest of the day!
For me the whole point of having some time on a morning is to ‘settle into myself’ – I can’t think of a better way to describe it than that!
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A few things I’d like to add into my routine are 5 minutes of meditation in bed once Finley has gone downstairs and to not check social media or email until after 9am. That would be a mega challenge for me but I know I’d feel so much better not being bombarded with that so early!
I’d love to know what your morning routine looks like if you have children. If you don’t have much of a routine has this post been helpful?
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