Mornings haven’t always been my favorite. In fact, during undergrad, I used to hit snooze at least twice before I even thought about getting out of bed. I was never what people called a “morning person.” I was the girl who’d rather stay up late to get important work done, instead of rising early to do it.
Once kids came into the picture I kissed my late rising goodbye (sometimes!). But I found myself dreading the morning because I knew I’d feel like I hadn’t had any sleep. I also dreaded the responsibilities that awaited me. Endless chores, wiping butts, toddler tantrums, a dead-end job (self-employed now), you name it!
But then I started changing the way I thought about mornings and life in general. I knew that my “dread” heavily reflected my ungratefulness. The mornings signified a new day—a new beginning—and all the things I dreaded were things God had blessed me with. This shift in attitude was paramount to having more productive mornings—and better days, too!
Before I move on with my ten tips, I’d like to suggest that you first work on shifting the way you think about mornings. Write a list of all the benefits of early rising and how those benefits can be a blessing to your life. Once you do that, I’d like to share my ten tips with you.
As a disclaimer, I’m not jumping out of bed like Mary Poppins, but these ten habits have definitely inspired me to resist hitting snooze…even when sometimes I really, really want to!
Here we go!
Ten Tips for the Mom Who Hates Mornings
1. Write out your schedule and “to-do” list.
Have you ever gotten stumped trying to figure out how to fit the million-and-one things you had to do into your planner? Planning and scheduling is a great way to remind us that time is limited. In other words, writing a schedule should remind you that you don’t have the time to hit snooze! If you’re not a planner and have trouble rising in the mornings, try scheduling. As a bonus, you’ll notice your day is more productive.
2. Implement a morning checklist for the kiddos.
Even tiny tots can follow a checklist if you implement pictures. The purpose of the morning checklist is to relinquish some responsibility to your children so that you don’t dread having to do everything in the mornings. When our kids wake up, they don’t come running into our room, instead, they are to make their bed, wash up, get dressed, and complete their morning assignments, among other things. A helpful tip for smaller children is setting an alarm to encourage them to stay in their room and play until a reasonable hour—or until you’ve finished your morning routine. Quiet toys, puzzles, and books were all acceptable forms of play in our house when the kids arose before the alarm.
3. Consider “morning work” for your kids.
As a homeschool mom, morning work in our house is basically anything our kids need to practice for fluency. This is something my kids do after breakfast before the school day begins, and it usually consists of a math and reading assignment. Pinterest has been a great tool for me. I find the type of activities I’m looking for and print out a week’s supply of assignments. For younger kids, busy bags are the way to go. That is, bags full of fun learning activities to keep them occupied while you complete your morning routine. You don’t have to be a homeschool mom to implement this idea. Ask your child’s teacher for practice worksheets on lessons your child seems to be having trouble with.
4. Lay out clothes the night before.
Yes, including what YOU will wear for the day as well. I find that laying out clothes for the entire family down to the socks makes for less stressful mornings. You never know how much extra time it takes to get ready until you no longer have to spend that extra time in the morning deciding what you and your little ones will wear. Trust me, even if you only plan to wear gym clothes all day, lay them out!
5. Prep your breakfast the night before.
Boil a bunch of eggs the night before and place them into the refrigerator to be consumed in the morning. Or, portion out ingredients for your smoothies and place them into Ziploc bags so that all you have to do in the morning is pour the ingredients into the blender. Other things you can make the night before are pancakes, turkey and egg wraps (sausage if you prefer), and parfaits with yogurt and sliced fruit. Some of these meals require no additional morning prep, while others only require a quick zap in the microwave.
6. Ask for help.
If it’s possible, ask your spouse or older kids to oversee the little ones in the morning while you get ready for the day, eat breakfast, or—let’s be honest—sleep in! Sometimes when you have an infant or small children, who still awaken during the night, you just need that extra sleep! You’d be surprised by how many moms I’ve met who don’t even think to involve their spouse in early morning routines. Likewise, the moms I’ve met who are early risers tend to have husbands who are super involved right down to styling their daughter’s’ hair!
7. Don’t drink coffee.
Yes, I know. But hear me out. Most of us put way too much sugar in our coffee, which will essentially make us crash. If we’re already groggy, that crash will be all the more intense, making for a less productive day. Instead, opt for a green juice or smoothie, you’ll have tons more energy that’ll last all morning. To start your morning off right, try a handful of spinach, five slices of cucumber, and a handful of blueberries and pineapples mixed with half a cup of coconut water. Add some whey protein to give you that extra boost of energy.
8. Open your curtains.
Before heading to bed, try opening your curtains so that the sunlight will peak into your bedroom when the sun rises. Sometimes when a room is too dark, the body can trick itself into thinking it’s still nighttime. If you have to get up before sunrise, turn on the lights immediately and make it as bright as possible inside your house to awaken your senses. Trust me, it makes a difference!
9. Have something to look forward to.
I know the proper thing to say is that we have our kids to look forward to, but let’s keep it real—you should have something to look forward to in the mornings that’s non-mommy related. For me, that something is getting to work on my business while the house is still quiet. But it used to be drinking my favorite coffee in peace! Other things to look forward to in the mornings could be reading a really inspiring devotional, meditating, exercising, or simply have a few moments of peace before your kids wake up.
10. Get up before everyone else.
I know this may sound crazy to non-early risers, but, trust me, nothing helps you get through the morning like being the first to rise. You may feel tired and sluggish at first but you’ll pull energy in from how productive you feel. Mornings are my new “me time.”
This is a bonus tip! Yes, clearing your mind of all negativity and focusing on something other than your worries is a phenomenal start to the day. For me, I meditate on scriptures from the Bible because they bring me peace. These scriptures also enable me to make better decisions throughout the day.
Some of my favorites?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,” plans to prosper you not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs, it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:4:8
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again. Romans 8:15
How do you start your mornings? Let us know down below!