I am not a morning person. With or without kids, I am generally not the one to greet the day with excitement. I'm the "5 more minutes," kinda girl.
I'd love to say that I am able to wake up before my children, drink an entire cup of hot coffee, spend some time praying and reading the Bible, maybe even take a shower and get dressed, then welcome my children with a warm hug and fresh baked oatmeal on the table....this is NOT currently my life.
Having 4 kids in 5 years, there is no telling how many times we will be awoken in the middle of the night or what time our day would officially start, but one thing is almost certain...our mornings are CRAZY.
Babies need bottles and diaper changes, toddler needs breakfast NOW, the Kindergartener has to get off to school...and all the things! And that's BEFORE 7:30am. If we aren't careful, our "goodbye's" can turn into huffing and puffing as my husband and Kindergartener rush out the door.
My husband and I have decided to implement 7 strategies to have a "more" calm morning...knowing we can't control most variables of how our days start, we can at least control these 7 ways to walk into our day without feeling like "chicken's with our heads cut off."
(This post contains affiliate links)
The night before...
1. Load the washing machine with a load of laundry AND add detergent.
In the morning, no matter if your eyes have officially opened or not, you can hit the start button without thought.
No gathering, no sorting, no looking for that imaginary line on the cap for the right amount of detergent...just start!
This is also my one of my 3 tips for not allowing my clean laundry to pile up throughout the day. I start EARLY.
2. Load/run the dishwasher, wash pots/pans, clean the sink, wipe down counters, & prep for coffee.
I know that sounds like a lot of things, but you're probably already doing most of this.
I'm a firm believer in the "air dry" method. Whatever doesn't get loaded in the dishwasher, gets washed and left on the counter to dry overnight.
The sink is cleaned (and by "cleaned" i mean rinsed out of any leftover food particles), and counters are wiped down.
There's nothing more nauseating to me than walking into the kitchen in the morning and smelling or seeing last nights dinner. What I want to wake up to is the smell of coffee! So get that coffee ready and set the timer!!
3. Pack the Backpacks, Pack the Lunches & Lay out the Clothes
Mornings where you have to be out the door by a certain time can come at you like a bulldozer...leaving you feeling completely run over with ALL.THE.THINGS.
By packing as much as you can the night before (or if your kids are old enough to do so), you'll be cutting down on the stress the morning of.
You'll enjoy your mornings so much more when breakfast and getting dressed are some of the only things you have to help your kids with!
I truly believe this helps our children learn how to prepare for their day as well...preparation and anticipation is key to a smooth morning for our boys.
4. Pick Up All the Things
Call me crazy, but I don't pick up our house during the day.
I mean, yes, it would be nice to have clean spaces momentarily...but that's all it will be...for a moment.
Then these 4 little tasmanian devils will swirl into the room and create a mess again and again.
Instead, we choose to clean up before sitting down for dinner.
Turning on a "clean up song," as we call them, helps get our kids geared up for the task ahead of them. Usually, we have 2-3 songs that we try to "beat" as we race room to room picking up all the toys.
Having a clean space at the end of the night, and in the morning, allows us to start each day fresh, instead of stepping on cars and legos, pushing books to the side, and fuming over chaos.
In the morning...
5. Be Still.
After grabbing that "wake up" drink of choice (for me, COFFEE!), just take a moment to sit near a window and gaze at the new day the Lord has given you.
Each morning, I try to be thankful for the gift of each new day (no matter how early it started), the gift of our health and breath (even when I've been hearing the "breath" in my child's lungs all night), and acknowledge the Lord's presence and ask for HIS HELP as I walk into a day filled with looming challenges and chaos.
Most days, my kids are already awake as I seek a moment of stillness, but my husband knows this is important to me, and he will try and give me a few minutes before he leaves for work.
This is a "make or break" part of my day.
***If you need something simple to focus on in the morning, I recommend signing up for my "Change Your Perspective On Your Mundane" 7 Day Email Challenge, where you will be greeted each morning with a simple truth to DWELL on throughout your day!***
6. Unload dishwasher/Put away pots/pans.
This has been a MAJOR help to my mourning routine.
When things are put away, and we start fresh each morning, I am much more prone to load the dishwasher throughout the day so that we don't have a MOUNTAIN of dishes at the end of the day.
With 6 people eating every meal at home, the amount of dishes we collect is overwhelming if I don't stay on top of it.
Starting with a clean kitchen in the morning doesn't mean it's going to stay that way, but it does mean I am more likely to strive to keep up with the dishes as the day goes on, and that means a smoother routine at dinner time too (maybe one day I'll add this step to the "night before")!
7. Turn on some music.
Who doesn't want their own personal soundtrack for the day??
You know those videos...the ones we all tear up watching...the ones we all "share" because we can all relate to how quickly our kids grow up?
Think about watching those videos WITHOUT the music...they wouldn't be nearly as moving.
Now, think about adding music to your day, and think about how moving it could be as we watch our kids play, or sit quietly together reading, or when they run into the room because they need us...again.
For me, I choose a worship station from Pandora on my phone, and put it in my pocket as I walk around the house, or turn up our wireless bluetooth portable speaker.
There is nothing more calming in the midst of the mundane than to hear truth in the background, especially if I haven't had a real quiet moment to spend time in the Bible. I can sing praises as I fold laundry or change diapers!!
It also helps me see the chaos in a different light.
Music is so important in our home, and adding it into our days even helps our children calm down and focus.
I HOPE YOU CAN CHOOSE A FEW OF MY 7 SECRETS TO IMPLEMENT SO YOU'LL BE ONE STEP CLOSER TO A CALMER MORNING!!
Related Blog Posts:
3 Simple Steps to Minimize Your Laundry Pile
To the Overwhelmed, Weary, & Struggling Mom
These 6 strategies have really helped our family start our days off on the right foot. Being able to kiss my husband goodbye with a smile, instead of being completely frazzled is something I strive for daily.
Not every day goes according to plan, and I most certainly can't claim to have "calm" mornings every day, but these 6 things have drastically calmed down the parts of my mornings that I can control, and I hope they are helpful for you too!!
If you have any morning routines you'd like to share, I'd LOVE to hear from you!!
Welcome to Dwelling Well Mom! I'm so glad you are here! I'm Christi, wife, mom of boys, Christ follower, picture taker, DIYer, chocolate eater, and coffee drinker. Born and raised a Florida girl, now braving the mountains of Boone, NC, I'm on a journey to find peace in the midst of my mundane. Join me!