My secret is safe with you right? I am not a morning person. But, I am forced to be a morning person. Starting oh, 15 years ago, my college/work schedule got me up very early. Post grad life, I opened the Starbucks store at 4:00 am for almost two years. Can you guys even imagine setting your alarm for 3:30 every night?! Then, when I had children, they were up with the sun people. Joy of joys.
When the kids were babies I really wanted to wake up before them to get ready for the day. On those rare occasions when they would sleep late and I could shower it was SO wonderful. But, because they were such early risers and because I am a night owl, I chose sleep over waking early most days.
The repercussions of that choice meant that it took me twice or sometimes three times as long to complete my morning routine because they were awake. I would get irritable being interrupted so many times, (not their fault), and we were rushed to get out the door because there was a lot to accomplish getting the adults and children ready for the day. I was also so focused on getting me and the kids ready that I didn’t have much time for morning cuddles on the rocking chair, books after breakfast, and silly time pretending their head got stuck in their shirt.
I would go in and out of the bathroom so many times to brush my teeth, help a kid, take a shower, help a kid with a towel wrapped around me, get myself dressed, kids need breakfast, blow dry my hair, kids want help getting dressed, start my makeup, and boom, we need to be out the door in 5 minutes!
So this summer I set a goal for myself: Refine my morning routine and get up before the kids do. This also meant the even more difficult challenge for me: Gotobedearliersothatwakingearlierisnotsohard. I’ve been working on it all summer, learned a lot about my self and my wants vs. needs, learned how to save time, learned what I really love having done before the kids get up, and now I’d love to share with you my new morning routine.
Discovered my list to complete, and how long it would take.
I want to make my bed, shower, dress, and get makeup on before the kids wake up. That is the list.
At the beginning of the summer I really wanted to get up, immediately put coffee into a cup, and walk straight downstairs to read my Bible. I had some wonderful mornings like that, but it didn’t help with the entire morning routine picture. Once I was downstairs, in my robe, the kids would wake up and then it would be time to make breakfast, and then it would be time to get them dressed, and then they were ready to do something and I was still in my robe! So, to modify that goal, I discovered after our breakfast was eaten, I could send the kids upstairs to dress, brush teeth and make beds by themselves while I did my Bible reading for 15 minutes.
I thought I would want my hair all the way done, or to start breakfast before they got up, but after trial and error those things weren’t necessary. I found if all I had left after they woke was my hair-do, it was easy to get that done, and making breakfast while the kids were still asleep just stole time that I could use getting ready. There are mornings where I have prepped muffins the night before and sometimes I begin before they wake to make a longer breakfast item, but it’s just not high on my priority list to do it while they sleep.
It took some finessing to see how long it would take me to complete the things I wanted to before the kids woke up. I now know it takes me 45 minutes to get my ideal list done.
I set a bed time goal and a wake time.
Because I do a LOT of refueling at night I didn’t want my bed time to be so early that I missed out on recharging. I also needed to not wake up and push my snooze button all summer long and put my summer goal into the garbage disposal. So I try to go to bed between 9:30-10:30. I set my alarm for 5:45 usually, and sometimes as early as 5:30.
What order do I operate?
Angela has taught me so much about time management, but the one-touch system just might be the life-saver for this year. The one-touch system helps you touch something once, or go into a room once before you move on. She wrote about her one touch idea here to give you an idea.
Bedroom: I wake up and before I leave my room, I make my bed. Then, I pick out my clothes for the day, and take them into the bathroom with me.
Bathroom: I find I have to get into the shower within the first 5 minutes of waking up or else things go downhill fast. One thing that really cuts down on time is a shower cap. I wash my hair every three days. Game changer. Day one, I usually blow dry it and maybe add a few waves with a straightener or curler, day two, I do it all out, and day three I use dry shampoo and pin it half up, or put a few pins in off to the side. It takes a while for your hair to stop producing oil every day, so if you try it, just dry shampoo your way through the oil glands resetting.
Before I leave the bathroom I brush my teeth, get dressed, brush my hair and put on makeup. I bought a makeup organizer and it has saved me even more minutes instead of rifling around in a dish or a drawer like I was doing before.
And then I grin. I grin like a crazy person because after 5 years of walking around in robes, or hair in a towel, or neglected teeth, I am winning.
At the start I thought, well if I’m going to do this I better do it all, like exercise, make a quiche, shave my legs, and clean the windows before the kids get up. I cannot achieve unattainable goals, I am not wonder woman.
I have a sign on my desk that says, “I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection”. I love it. I am enjoying every morning that I have the self-discipline to carry out this routine, the mornings that I don’t. I allow grace and make plans to try again the next day.
I CAN get up 45 minutes before my kids and be disciplined about going to bed, and enjoy a little peace and know that my body, mind, and spirit are ready to greet children as they give me sweet pajama hugs, and that I am all there, all ready for the morning.