If you have been following my blog for a while now, you know that I am a full-time homemaker and stay-at-home mom to two sweet girls, ages 5 and 1. This is our second official year as a homeschooling family. In today’s blog, I am going to be a tad bit vulnerable and as I share, I hope that by the end you feel a little less alone and a little more encouraged. Here, you will read about my simple morning routine for less overwhelm and more calm.
Mothering During a Pandemic
Let me just say, mothering full time in the home was already pretty isolating and overwhelming before this worldwide pandemic, but now, it has reached whole new heights. Sometimes, as homemakers, we tend to put the needs of everyone and everything before our own. It is a good idea at heart, however, it is a sure way to burn out. Now, if your motherhood journey has been nothing but rainbows and sunshine, that’s awesome, you probably don’t care to read this. However, if you have a lot of inner healing to do and are in the midst of breaking generational curses, this one is for you.
In trying to be the best wife, mother, manager of the home, etc. we sometimes get caught up in perfectionism. You know, we want to be the Proverbs 31 woman, appearing flawless. She did “all the things”. The reality is, we are asking too much of ourselves. Yes, the Proverbs 31 woman is the example, but God has given all of us everything we need within us for His mission. This looks different for all of us.
From One Mama to Another
Currently, in a time of social distancing and isolation, things are even harder. We don’t have as many options as far as an outlet or time away from the kids in which a babysitter or mom’s day-out program would come in handy. Our village is essential gone for the unforeseeable future. Before the pandemic began, I would take myself and the girls to the local library twice a week, walk to local trails, meet with a friend for playdates, etc. Now, we get a bit creative with exploring and getting out of the house while remaining safe. For the most part, this is still alone or with one or two friends we trust are being responsible with their health.
Tip: find community in books, social media, and a few mom friends to call and chat with. I personally love meeting biweekly with my two close friends for our own little book club on video chat. We have been meeting for about three years now. It has grown into a safe space for growth, discussion, reflection, healing, lifelong friendship and so much more. Find ways, during this pandemic, to connect. We were created as social beings, and this long without social interaction is bound to affect us mentally, emotionally, and biologically.
My Simple Morning Routine
Almost two weeks ago I reached the peak of my overwhelm and did not recognize myself. I was walking around angry and being very short with my kids. As someone who strives to parent respectfully and gently, the reality is that I was doing the opposite. I understand I am in a season of transition with moving, crashing in our parent’s basement, and buying our second home (in a seller’s market). But for some reason I still couldn’t get past the funk I was in. Something had to change. It began with me and how I start my day.
Here is my current morning routine, which, for the past two weeks, has made such a difference.
5:30 AM- Wake Up
I wake up and before scrolling social media (as we all do lol), I thank God for another blessing. Then I give myself a good 5 minutes to scroll social media, look at emails, etc.
5:45 AM- Yoga
By now I am dressed and ready to do my yoga session online (free with our Amazon Prime membership) with a glass of water while everyone else is asleep.
6:15 AM- Tea Time
After stretching and practicing a little mindfulness, I make myself a cup of hot Chamomile tea with some organic oat milk and a spoonful of local honey topped with cinnamon. I enjoy my cup while either reading, folding laundry as I listen to a podcast, or watching one of my favorite YouTubers.
7:00 AM- Nature
I walk the dog and just listen to nature and smell the crisp fresh air. Fall is my favorite time of year and in nature is where I feel most balanced and connected to the Creator. This is calming to me. I come back in and feed the dog.
7:15 AM- Good Morning Children
My cup is full and I get to tell my beautiful children good morning and we start our day together joyfully.
This morning time use to be full of anxiety because I never knew when my kids would decide to wake up and come over to me requiring my full attention. I’ve always dealt with a lot of anxiety, rage, and depression since I was about eight or nine. So, I decided to invest in a Hatch Rest for their room. This alarm clock allows me to program different alarms with sound or silence and with changing light colors. With my oldest, we decided the color orange would indicate it was time for bed and teal meant it was wake time and okay to come out of the room. We even added the sound of birds chirping to the waketime alarm.
Tip: keep a basket of quiet yes items near the bed that your child can play with if they wake up pretty early and the alarm has not indicated they can come out. While bedtimes and wake times may not be everyone’s jam in the world of self-directed child-rearing, it is a boundary I needed to set. Having options available for them if they are not sleepy I feel is a good balance. For safety, I made sure she understood that in an emergency or if she really needed mommy, it’s totally okay to come and get me.
What do you do to fill your cup before your children wake up? Do you wake up when they do? Share your morning routine with us and what is working for you and your family.