I’ve written about my love of good morning routines before. It was my early rising habit for the past several years that has made it possible for me to maintain this blog, write several ebooks, work on learning a second language and meet other personal goals while raising seven kids.
This past year, my good morning routine was waylaid by necessity.
I haven’t had a proper night’s sleep in a year.
Pregnancy is notoriously rough on a gal, sleep-wise. But after my water broke in the middle of my pregnancy, sleep became a nightmare.
I would wake multiple times each night, lying still, feeling (praying) for my baby to kick, needing reassurance that he was still alive before I could fall asleep again. Feeling amniotic fluid leaking out of my body every time he or I moved was terrifying.
And being on bed rest curiously makes it harder to rest well, because one isn’t getting enough exercise!
Hospitals, of course, are wonderful places to rest, but terrible places to sleep. My favorite time was once when a nurse woke me for yet another vitals check, and when I complained about the frequent sleep interruptions, she offered me a mild sleeping pill. Ummmm…. no.
It was after this that I began advocating for myself to NOT be checked in the middle of the night. I won that battle, thankfully, and it helped my mood tremendously while I was on hospital bed rest.
After my preemie was born, I had to pump every 3 hours around the clock, including at night, to provide him with my milk while he was in the NICU. Pumping for my preemie was far, FAR more tiring than actually nursing a sweet little baby in the night.
I slept as late as I could, my husband bringing me a cup of coffee (and often, breakfast – yes he’s a gem!) in bed most mornings to wake me.
And when Josiah came home from the hospital, I got even LESS sleep because he was on an apnea monitor that sometimes went off every few minutes all night long.
I awoke so tired some days, it was difficult to breathe.
Whew. I’m so glad that’s over!
Because of all of this, I sometimes feel as if I could sleep 10-12 hours a day. I believe that my body at this time is attempting to make up for all the lack. I feel as if I’ve aged a decade this past year. And my little one is still nursing in the night.
In a nutshell, I’m not waking early right now and I’m not even trying to! And that’s ok.
Still, having a good routine to start my day gets things off on the right foot and makes me more productive and “with it” all day long.
Here’s what my morning routine looks like now:
– Usually around 7, I am awakened by my 3 year old. Thankfully, she’s not grumpy in the mornings, so I don’t mind this so much (I mean really … look at that sweet face!). Sometimes she’s content to snuggle in bed with me for a bit, but usually not.
– Change baby’s diaper, wash my face.
– I drink a large glass of water. If I’m hungry I grab a few almonds to munch, as it’s another hour before breakfast.
– Cuddle with little ones on the sofa, sometimes hand baby off to my husband. Grab my 5-Minute Journal and follow the morning prompts. I love this thing. More about it later.
– Drink a cup of hot tea or Dandy Blend. Read my Bible, or if I’m planning on reading it later with the kids, book.
– Get dressed. Put on a little makeup. Cook hubby and the 3 year old breakfast. (The older kids won’t get up for another hour.)
That’s it. Very simple. Deceptively so, because the 5 Minute Journal is really more important than it sounds. It combines a gratitude exercise, stating an intention for the day and listing 3 goals that would make the day “awesome”. And it really does only take a moment. When I skip this step, I feel totally “off” all day!
Recently I enjoyed Crystal Paine’s latest offering, her Makeover Your Mornings Course. It had encouraging videos and an ebook with printables to help you create a morning routine that really works for you. Right now you can take a taste of the course for free to see if it will benefit you, and on Tuesday it’s going on sale. Check it out here:
This season of my life won’t last forever. Likely when Josiah begins crawling or perhaps walking, he’ll sleep for longer stretches. And then, I’ll be able to get up really early again to enjoy some quiet, alone time before the kids get up.
How has your morning routine changed over the years?