Do your mornings look like a scene from Lord of the Rings? Mine usually do. It’s a whirlwind fight of the breakfast monsters in the cottage and I was yearning for a more peaceful calm wake up. This usually brings my mind into the cycle of “oh why can’t the toddlers be quiet” – “Moar coffee” – “I really wish I could have some downtime” – ” Oh, I have toddlers” and so on.
For those that follow me on Instagram and who already know that my husband brings me a cup of coffee every morning and what it means then you are probably a little perplexed. I do get time to drink my coffee in bed, not like they do on Instagram, it’s all crazy hair, sweaty (don’t you hate waking up sweaty?) and blindly swiping for the coffee mug. So when September rolled around my inner diva was crying out for a change. I need to wake up in a way that meant that I could function right from when my partner left and I was alone with the kids. I know that we as a family unit are quite lucky that we can balance our days so that we can each have some alone time, except for my husband that’s his commuting time for work but as he has no toddlers hanging out of his legs, screaming for yet more food then it counts as downtime in my book.
The thing was I didn’t want just my mornings to change there were a few things about myself that I wanted to tackle head-on and September is always a great time to start. I’m part of a wonderful blogger community on Facebook and Meghan posted her goals for September and I realised that I wanted to write this post. I wanted to share what has been making my life manageable since September 1st.
Focus on Morning Routine.
I am not a morning person. Hence the coffee before dealing with the toddlers. I need to wake up and to do it slowly. I also wanted to have more exercise in my life but my schedule was already insane and I had no idea how to squeeze it in. You know those Body Boss ads on Instagram and Facebook? They keep popping up in my feed. I had been searching for yoga routines just to do some breathing and stretching and to have some personal time in the morning that didn’t include Instagram and replies to notifications. I was one of those people who woke up, drank coffee and answered messages before starting my day and I’d easily lose 45 minutes of precious morning time. It had to stop. So I started Yoga routines from YouTube every morning and they slowly started to change. It was quiet, I could meditate a little and focus on waking up my body before taking over parenting and doing breakfasts, school runs and starting work.
Tone It Up
This leads into how I found the Tone It Up ladies, Karena & Katrina and I was so thankful to find exercise routines that were not based around nutrition and weight loss. Although on their site they do offer these programmes their routines are based very much on finding time for you, for spending time working on yourself in your busy day. I love the diversity in their videos and they make me laugh so I downloaded their app and now have their studio on demand. I’m focused very much on finding time for me, working on building strength and flexibility and so now I wake up, do 30 minutes of yoga & toning and then start my day.
Yes, it is making a difference. I no longer retain water (thanks post-baby body) I have more energy and I’m fitting roughly 1.5 – 2 hours of exercise into my day without having to go to the gym. I also have more patience and from the moment I end the morning routine my mind is focused on getting everyone out the door and then on that day’s work/goals.
If I had to pick one other thing that has made a difference to my life in the last month it has to be my bullet journal. I like to write and a lot of what I do with work is creative but it is so hard to do that if you never find time for creative play. So my bullet journal has been the place to tackle self-doubt, creativity, writing and also to organise my workday. I would recommend visiting Christina My Linh, My Life in a Bullet and Boho Berry if you haven’t already heard of them. The drawings in my images here are from Christina My Linh and she has the most relaxing voice to listen to.
When I need some downtime or creative play I always find time to journal. I have reminders set in my phone for breaks and I’ll do a quick 10 minutes of doodles, writing, thoughts or something in the journal. The same with coffee breaks. I won’t win any special journal awards for my amazing spreads but it does its job. In case anyone is wondering I’m using a Lemome dot grid Dream Tree notebook.
Christina also has some spreads for dealing with fear and self-doubt and the page you can see here is what I was working on. Over on Instagram, we were talking about self-doubt and I’m not the only blogger doing so. It seems to always rear it’s head when you are doing something great and you start to second guess yourself instead of standing proud and saying “hey – I did a good thing.” From the changes in my morning schedule, I was able to plan what I wanted my morning to look like and I’ve stuck to it.
The key for me was to put myself first at the start of the day, getting my exercise in early before tackling the inevitable toddler battles and then checking in periodically throughout my day. I work from home so I spend a lot of my day either alone or with two kids under 4 years so finding those moments of quiet away from the glowing screens and just being able to focus on me has allowed me to change my mindset. Of course some days I’m just too tired and I skip my yoga session until later in the day or swap it out for a cardio session instead. This has led to me feeling better in my body, caring less about what I’m wearing and being comfortable in the body that I have post babies. I will never have my pre-baby body again but I just wanted to love the one I have now and these routines are helping with that.
Yes, I do believe that some mornings you just need coffee cake and crochet!
In case you are wondering this is what my mornings currently look like:
7.00am – Wake up – have coffee
7.30am – Yoga or Tone It Up Studio
8.00am -Shower dress and deal with toddlers
8.30am – Lunches, wash faces, do hair tidy
9.00am – School run and walk on the beach/bullet journal
9.30m – Log into work
Again the above is a morning that goes right and the kids aren’t whining and my husband hasn’t had to run out the door early. On the days when that happens, I invoke the TV babysitter and my kids spend some time with Netflix. It’s not ideal but a happy mum means that everyone is going to have a much better day. It wasn’t until I was working on my goals for September that I realised that I really just wanted to start putting myself first a few times during the day. If I don’t do that how can I look after two kids and a business? I realised that I was dealing with Mommy guilt for even thinking of putting myself first but hindsight is a wonderful thing, so they say.
Do you have a morning routine that works? Do you practice Mindful Mornings? Do you find that they work for you?
I’ll update you all in a month and let you know if these little practices are working or if I caved completely because it’s darker and colder and I love my duvet too much. I really hope this post inspires you in some way or connects with another mum who is dealing with the toddler battles. I wish you patience and endless coffee. I’ll be back on Saturday with an update from the cottage garden.
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