How to Find Joy in your Morning Routine with a Baby

29 August 2018
In my mind I can see the mother I want to be and when I wake in the morning, she is not there.

I am exhausted. Everything aches and I am resenting my daughter for needing me. I am jealous of my husband who gets to drive to work in silence. I am bitter from the memory of mornings spent in solitude and hot coffee.

I am not a morning person.

young woman drinking coffee and working on laptop


But the moment I entered motherhood, I was called to something greater and this morning grouch was not the woman my husband and daughter deserved.

In my selfishness, God met me through the giving heart of my husband who makes me breakfast everyday and tells me to forget the dishes when the baby naps and do something I find fulfilling.

So with my husband's lead, I set out to create a structured routine for my mornings. After all, our bedtime routine with the baby works so well, even the dog knows all the steps.

I wanted to see if it was possible to have a morning routine that not only fulfilled my personal needs, but also pushed me to find order and peace at the start of my day. 

I found myself in need of the mental energy to manage the house, devote time to my daughter, and pursue a project. 

So I asked myself: What is it about my mornings that leave me zapped before 9AM hits?


Here's what wasn't working:

  • I wasn't showering until Anna's first nap
  • The kitchen was left in a disaster until noon
  • I wasn't spending time in God's word
  • No time to myself

Once I saw the pain points, I made a list of five solutions I wanted to achieve in the morning that could help alleviate some of those problems.


Those 5 solutions were:

1. Eat breakfast as a family
2. Read a devotional
3. Listen to a podcast
4. Unload the dishwasher
5. Get out of the house

I found that I was already doing some of those things. We were already eating breakfast together and when we moved into our rental home, I started going for walks with Anna every morning. All I had to do was figure out where I could fit the rest in.



Morning Routine:


Wake Up + Feed Anna

I get a bottle for Anna and feed her while Matt showers. Then we head downstairs and she plays on the kitchen floor while I unload the dishwasher and start the coffee.


Shower + Dressed

Once Matt is out of the shower, he takes over in the kitchen with Anna and starts cooking breakfast. This is where I squeeze in a little "me time." I put my phone on the window sill in the bathroom and turn on a podcast while I shower.

Breakfast

After I'm showered and dressed, I join Matt and Anna downstairs and make Anna's breakfast. We all eat together at the table and I read aloud a short devotional that Matt and I can discuss. We love that Anna gets to witness this at such a young age even if she doesn't understand what we're saying.

Get Ready for Our Walk

I get Anna dressed for the day and get a water bottle for me and a sippy cup for her. The stroller gets placed by the door and Matt finishes getting ready for work.

Morning Outing

Anna and I head out at the same time as Matt. I love walking out with him, and Anna has the biggest grin on her face when he passes us in the car and waves to her. I also take our morning walk opportunity to finish listening to a podcast and answering back to Anna's sweet babble and coos. I love this part of our morning because she seems to find it enjoyable and relaxing and I get a little exercise in while listening to something I enjoy.


Play Time

When Anna and I get back home, I let her burn some energy by letting her crawl around the living room. Currently, she loves doing pull-ups at the coffee table and sofa. Up, down, up down. She could do this all day if we let her.

Nap time Routine

We head upstairs for our naptime routine which consists of a diaper change, putting on her sleep sack, reading a story or two, and singing a lullaby.

Coffee + Blogging

My morning routine ends when I put Anna down for her nap and finally get my first cup of coffee for the day. Anna will nap for an hour in the morning which is guaranteed time to work on my blog.


I've been going strong with this routine for about a week and it has made such a difference in my day. I actually look forward to getting up. Matt and I also feel like the morning tasks and responsibilities are more balanced, that we are partners in the routine whereas before it was easy for us to feel "stuck" doing the majority of a particular set of tasks.

Of course, not every morning is identical. Sometimes, Anna doesn't nap as long as she usually does or she flips her naps (does anyone else's baby do this??), but having the routine helps our home have some order and predictability which is not only important for my own sanity, but also for Anna. 

It provides her with security and assurance and will hopefully mirror responsibility,  the need for self-care, and the acknowledgement that our family is made up of individuals with their own needs. 


Question for the Mamas:


Have you established a morning routine? Does it look similar to mine or WAY different? I'd love to know how other moms are starting their days!




How to Find Joy in your Morning Routine with a Baby


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