Tuesday, October 4, 2016

{31 Days} When there is no Chance of a Good Morning Routine

I have talked a lot about morning routines here at Townsend House.  I wasn’t always a morning person, but several years ago, after drowning under so much stress from being a mom of a two year old and a newborn baby while healing from a cesarean, I met my limit.  I needed a change, and a morning routine was what it was.

I would love to say that it is so easy to make the change to have a morning routine; that is not the case.  It is a struggle.  And, even if you start out with a stellar morning routine, that doesn’t mean it won’t be interrupted at some point.

That is the point I am at currently.  My morning routine is no longer working.  And to me that is a complete nightmare.  I worked so hard to get to a point where I could have a great morning routine.  A routine that I knew well, I would have plenty of time for all of my MIT (most important tasks), and even drink a cup of hot coffee – always a bonus in my world.

What is really happening?

I have no morning routine at all right now.  Instead I have an almost two year old who has been getting one new tooth every two weeks for the past 5 months…incredibly slowly.  And that means that on average I am up about 5 times a night…every night. 

To say I am sleep deprived is probably an understatement.

Gone are my early morning planning sessions and time to get ready for the day before my kids up, and welcome back times of waking up TO my children instead of FOR my children.

When I wake up to my children, I am already overwhelmed in the day.  And that is never a good way for me to start.  I set the mood in our home, and when I am overwhelmed and stressed, the rest of the house is overwhelmed and stressed.

What can I do instead?

Since I can’t seem to sneak out of bed without my children waking up and immediately needing me (mostly Lucy), I need to have other strategies for my morning.

I am almost always awake before everyone else, whether or not I can get out of bed.  That doesn’t mean that I can’t try to accomplish SOME things on my morning to-do list.

Of course I am not drinking coffee in bed, although if the Jetsons want to hook me up with some sort of opening in my wall where I need only press a button and out comes the coffee that would be wonderful.

My morning time has always been Bible reading, journaling, coffee, planning for my day. 

Thankfully I can still read my Bible in bed.  Or some other book of my choosing.  I enjoy encouraging words in the morning, something to set my mind on the right path, and to help me remember to keep a level head (did I mention I haven’t always been a morning person?).  When I don’t get enough sleep, I tend to be a bear, and that isn’t any way to start the day.

It is honestly about the little changes that you can make in order to make life run more smoothly.

I read somewhere that it takes 21 days to create a habit, and that once you have that habit, it frees up brain space for another task, because it has become engrained in you.

What I have done is try to look at the items that I need to accomplish (and would like to do before my children wake up) and have a back-up plan for when I can’t get out of bed before them. 

I have noticed while doing these things, that has helped me quite a bit as well.

Also, I have to allow myself grace.  I just happen to be in a season of restless babes that need me.  That isn’t a bad thing, and I need to make sure that I don’t think of it as a bad thing.  I love my children, and I don’t want them to feel like they have done something wrong by needing me first thing in the morning.  I want to be the light they see in the world, and adjusting my own expectations is part of that journey.

When can I have a Morning Time?

While I may not be waking up earlier than my children every day of the week, I do aim to do it at least a couple times each week.  Those tend to be weekend days when I know that Matt will be home to help the kids if they wake up super early.

On those early mornings, I try to get as much stuff done for the entire week as I can.  Since I know that I will not have regular time in the morning daily, I tend to group things like my writing.  While I still write every day, it may not be as long or as in depth as I would like.  Instead I will take time to write out a bunch of topics that I want to write about, so that when I have the time to write, I can pick what speaks most to me.

Do you have a good morning routine?  What do you do when you are in a season of less routine and more fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants?


  1. I live by my morning routine. As a matter of fact I think my body is on auto pilot in the morning. Whether I need to or not my eyes are wide open at 5 am and I hit the floor running. Shower, hair, makeup and out the door by 6:45 I usually have time to do all the things I didn't get done the night before like the dishes and even some laundry. But what happens after work is an entirely different story. Dragging myself through the door at the end of the day if my butt hits the chair you can forget about getting anything out of me until morning. I'm done. Guess that makes me a morning person.

  2. I'm bracing myself for being up 5x per night again. Right now my morning routine is great, but it's about to change so much!

  3. I am not a morning person. Since I don't have children, I don't really need to have morning time. I can have alone time any time I want! I love spending time with my husband though!

  4. I am so happy you are candid about not having a steady morning routine. Youre a mom and its not always possible and its ok!

  5. The secret to any routine is to know when it is not working and to tweak it until it does! I am not a morning person and yet continue to try different morning routines hoping one will work!

  6. I'm not a morning person, so having a routine is hard for me. It takes me a long time to wake up. I really need quiet time before I get going. Guess that makes it a routine. lol

  7. I also live by my morning routine, but I can be flexible, too. I also love reading inspirational words in the morning.

  8. Even though I'm not a mom I could really relate to this post! Back in March, I started getting severe chronic pain which disrupted my usual life routine - couldn't drive, had to stop going to class, had to quit my paralegal job. It took a few months before I was able to be out of bed for more than just a couple hours. I'm doing much better now and long for a morning routine but that's still when my pain is at it's worst. Right now I just have to settle with doing as much as I can from bed each day - luckily, it's a great time for me to read my Bible and have quiet time as well as answer emails and catch up with Instagram. I know this is a difficult season but I'm trusting in God it's just temporary and I'll be back to my productive self soon!

  9. When my twins were that little they were up much earlier and through out the night, so I had no morning routine either. But I did shift some of my planning to the night before and prepped things ahead for morning. This made it easier to roll out of bed at the sound of a cry and set to work right away without any time to wake up. I made a list of the 6 most important things to do that day- and I gave myself the whole day to do it. If I was interrupted by a child in between that was OK. I only had 6 things to accomplish for the day. What didn't get one went to the next day. Now I get up an hour before my kids to get myself ready before I get them ready. So, it really is only temporary! :)

  10. I wouldn't shoot down the Jetsons idea just yet! Some of the things that were in that show are really coming true!! :) I am in the same boat as you...teething child, plus the other having a cold = no sleep for me. I am usually a morning person but not lately. Give me sleep!

  11. I need a morning routine in my life. After years of being on the road over half the year, working from home and a very loose office schedule I'm in a new role that has me needing to be in an office sometimes at 8am. I used to sleep til 7:30am! UGH. The adjustment has been difficult as I am such a night owl. I'm slowly but surely getting up a half hour earlier each morning so I can have my tea and some breakfast. I'll get there, but gosh darn I'd love more sleep!

  12. Being a early bird is cool, sometimes I started to read two books in morning with my coffee.

    1. I've never been the early bird throughout my life. I do understand that it is really important to start your day off in a productive way.

  13. I try to get up 30 minutes before everyone else to at least get a few sips of coffee adn some emails answered before starting y day. It helps to have a jump start.

  14. I like how you mentioned showing yourself grace. This is a busy season for you but you are making an effort and trying and I applaud you for that!

  15. When the kids are that young there's really not enough time for you to sleep and wake up earlier than them. It's good to have a routine that works for you, I like how you've been managing so far!


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