This post was first published on May 20, 2008.
Photo by Terry Johnston
Moms, particularly stay-at-home moms, are in short supply of a regular routine.
Don’t get me wrong, we constantly do methodical things over and over – laundry, dishes, chauffering to ballet class. But in the midst of that, we’re putting out fires left and right, stopping our chores to put on an impromptu puppet show with the kids, and answering email and phone calls about who-knows-what.
Sometimes, it helps to have a predictable, regular routine, just for yourself.
And while it might indeed be “for yourself,” in reality, it’s for the benefit of the whole family. Kids and The Hubby love and appreciate a Mom and Wife who’s pleasant and has her act (somewhat) together.
Crystal has often written about having a morning routine, and I completely concur. Doing the same things, again and again, first thing in the morning in order to prepare yourself for the day, has enormous blessings. You focus on your priorities. You have a few minutes of quiet to yourself. You channel your efforts on preparing your day, instead of letting it prepare you. In short, you’re on top of things.
I’m not necessarily talking about habits, though for you, it could involve changing them. I’m talking about those things you’re probably doing anyway, but deliberately choosing to do them in a logical, predictable way.
Let me show you what I mean.
In the morning, I make breakfast, check email, make coffee, shower, get dressed for the day, read my Bible, take vitamins and meds, refer to my Daily Docket, and get the kids ready for the day. But without a routine, I do all these things haphazardly. Things that aren’t necessarily important get my best energy, leaving the dregs for the stuff that really matters.
But when I wake up and do the most essential things first, I get a good start to my day. They set my mind for focusing the rest of my day on things like my Most Important Tasks.
Crystal recommends having five things you do the same thing, in the same order, each morning.
Here’s my routine right now (which changes monthly, it seems, with a baby in the house!):
- Wake up, take my meds and vitamins, start coffee
- Read my Bible and spend time in prayer
- Check email; moderate and/or respond to blog comments
- Shower; get dressed for the day
- Make breakfast
After those things are done, I feel like I can really start my day. But on those days when this routine doesn’t happen first thing, I just feel… different. I’ll be just fine, but I’m just not as on top of my game as when I start my day in the way I want.
An hugely important note about a morning routine: it is not your taskmaster. While the point is to establish routine to your day, life happens. When your husband or kids need something urgent, we moms just need to set our list aside for the benefit of those we love. We can resume later. It’s important, but it’s not that important.
I recommend adding this list to your Home Management Notebook, on your fridge, your bathroom mirror, or wherever you might see it as a reminder. After all, we’re talking about the morning here – you might be too spaced out to remember what you’re wanting to do! A little note helps me, that’s for sure.
So what’s your morning routine? Do you have one already, and is it working for you? Would creating a five-point checklist help you? Or would it maybe stifle or hinder you? I’m curious.