Mom First: Lead with Joy for Working Moms

How to Create Your Ideal Morning Routine this School Year

September 08, 2022 Jen Larimore Episode 51
Mom First: Lead with Joy for Working Moms
How to Create Your Ideal Morning Routine this School Year
Show Notes Transcript

51. How to Create Your Ideal Morning Routine this School Year

Are you ready to create your ideal morning routine? In this episode, discover a new way to create a morning routine with just 5 easy steps! I'll teach you how to get step-by-step closer to your ideal morning and help you manage the morning chaos.

You can make your mornings whatever you want them to be by following the five steps revealed in this episode.


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Episode 51 Routines - 9:5:22, 1.36 PM

[00:00:00] When you think of a morning routine, what do you think of ideas on lunch meal, prep, getting clothes and bags out the night before? what if instead. Of focusing on all that we wanted to do. Our morning routines helped us become more of who we wanted to be. What if our mornings were filled with connection, moments of relaxation, maybe even a dash of joy and fun.

If you are a working mom that kind of morning might feel out of reach, like it's not meant for you. And I'm here to tell you today that it is available to you. You can make your morning, whatever you want it to be. Even as a busy working mom, this is about more than meal prep, [00:01:00] lunch ideas, and efficiency hacks, though.

Stay tuned to the end. And I will share with you my new favorite morning hack. This is about. A morning that helps you create the life you want. Let's go

 it's back to school season. That means for many working moms we are thinking of and reevaluating our daily routines, especially our morning routines. What does your [00:02:00] morning routine look like? Does it include packing lunch? Prepping something for dinner later that night, are you ironing, clothes picking out outfits, searching for shoes at our house.

I am telling you, we are always looking for shoes. Do you get all the gear on the kids? Just to take one, look at those beautiful sweet faces and realize, oh my gosh, that breath, they haven't brushed their. Is it a rush out the door in the morning and a mad scramble to your desk after a chaotic drop off, are you juggling multiple bigs coffee and your phone in one hand while fumbling with keys, maybe even with a car seat in tow.

 I've so been there. I've so been there, my friends. How does that morning routine make you feel overwhelmed, anxious, like a failure. like, it should be better. Like, it shouldn't be this hard. Like you have too much going on. [00:03:00] Like you'll never get it done. Like you just need to find the perfect morning routine, nail it, get everybody on board and then everything would be perfect.

If only you could stick to it in the long term, then it would definitely be perfect.

What if. We get to decide that our morning routine makes us feel calm, happy, eager for the day ahead. Peaceful. what if we got to decide that our morning routine was full of smiles and snuggles and special reading time with the. what if we got to decide that we rolled into work, not anxious, not overwhelmed, but calm and unfazed after morning, drop off. Even on those days, when the baby spit up on you, when somebody can't find [00:04:00] their shoes, when someone forgot their lunch, even when things don't go as planned

my friends, we get to make our morning. Whatever we want them to be. I know it doesn't always feel like that, but it's true. I know it seems like there is way too much to do in the morning that there are too many variables that you can't possibly get up early enough to make it all happen. Whether it's with kids who won't go fast enough or cooperate, or a partner who is unhelpful or the rain or the snow that makes you late, you still get to pick on purpose.

The morning that you want. And this isn't about getting up three hours earlier. None of that matters. None of that is what's standing in your way. All that matters. All that really is standing in your way is whether you are going to be connected enough to who you really want to be in the. That's what's going to make the difference between a good morning and a not so [00:05:00] good morning.

The routine is not the answer. I know it seems like it is. I know it seems like if you could just find the perfect routine and stick to it, that all would be well with the world. And that is not the case. What if, instead of focusing on making the lunches and wiping down the tables and counters and grabbing the coffee and all the bakes, you instead ask yourself this question in my ideal world.

what would I want my mornings to feel like 

for me, I want my mornings to be connected and calm, and I want the end of those mornings to be filled. Fun excitement and joy eagerness for the day. I had 

I want to have moments where my kids are snuggling up with me in the morning. I don't wanna be struggling to get out the door on time. And if we are struggling, I don't wanna be stressed by it. I [00:06:00] used to think that this kind of morning, a connected, calm, eager, excited, happy, fun, joyful morning. Was not available to me as a working mom.

I used to think, maybe if I didn't work in the mornings, maybe if I didn't have to get to work, maybe if I wasn't a working mom, maybe if I stayed at home with my kids, then I could be the fun mom or the calm mom the mom who has it all together in the mornings.

But guess. I for several years now have had jobs where I get a pretty good amount of PTO. I always take more PTO obviously, but I get a pretty good amount of it. And I have taken time off from work at various points over the last couple years to test out this theory of mine, that if I just didn't have to get to work, then I for sure would be the fun mom, the calm mom, all that.

And guess what I discovered. The problem is not work. The problem, my friends is [00:07:00] not needing to go to work in the morning. The problem is me. The problem is my brain realizing this was such a gift because if the issue is. With me, if it's inside me, if it's inside my brain, I can adjust and make changes that could give me and my kids more of the type of mornings that I actually want.

I offer this information to you today because I wanna open the door for you to the possibility that maybe just, maybe you can make your mornings, whatever you want them to. it's not going to happen overnight. It is definitely a process. It definitely takes time and practice, but you can practice making your mornings, the ideal mornings.

So my friends, what do you want your mornings to be? How do you want them to feel? Do you want [00:08:00] quiet time by yourself? You can have. do you want moments of close connection with your kids that's available to you? Do you want healthy breakfast? Do you wanna send your kids out the door with balanced lunches and all their gear on time without any tears?

Do you wanna get to work on time, fully caffeinated and feeling great because your morning was very, unrushed very UN hurried.

do you want some silliness and fun each morning? You can have all of that. You can have whatever you want. 

 Here's how you put this into practice. So first consider your ideal morning. What does it feel like? You need to think about what it is that you really, really want. What is actually important to you? What does your highest self in their most ideal state want mornings to look. [00:09:00] and then aim at that.

There is a benefit in making this specific and we'll get to that. But actually for this first step, I want you to keep it kind of vague and values based more based on how you want to feel. If you're a working mom, trying to get the kids to school in daycare and yourself to work each morning, I suggest that you really focus on it from that feeling vantage point

keep it broad in this sense. And when you keep it based on how you wanna feel, it gives you more freedom to be creative in how you structure all of the todos within your morning. So for me, I've shared with you already. I want my mornings to be calm, filled with connection and sprinkled with a splash of fun and eagerness and excitement with my kids.

That's what I want. What do you want? You might want something similar or something different. It should be unique and personal to.

 , once you have an idea of how you [00:10:00] want your ideal morning to look or feel, try to identify some of the things that if you did them would help you to feel like you were having that ideal morning, write these down, spend 10 to 15 minutes, just dumping them out of your head. Think about your values and what you could do to connect them to your morning routine in some way.

This is where that little bit of creativity. Comes in. So for me, I want connection and a dash of fun every morning. Every morning when I drop off my kids on the way to school, I want that feeling of eagerness and excitement and fun and joy.. That is what I want to leave them with excitement for all the magical possibilities that could happen that day. And so something that we do on our way to school every morning when I drop off is that we talk about what we're looking forward to that day. We also sing some songs and have a little mini dance party in the car connection.

So again, put everything on this list that you can [00:11:00] think of. So for me, for instance, in my ideal morning, my house is clean. When we leave the house, the counters are wiped and I've swept the floor. If this matters to you for purposes of your ideal morning, write it down, write down everything that kind of matters to you.

If it is important to you to be able to have your coffee or your. Write it down. If it's important for you to have five or 10 minutes of alone time in the morning, that's okay. Some of us need that. I get it. 

Just brainstorm a little bit 10 to 15 minutes, minimum amount of time, but take as much time as you need.

Once you do that, look at that list. This is where it gets hard people don't like to do this, but just hear me out all the way through on this. I promise you will get to where you wanna go eventually.

So just , stay with me through.

you're going to take that list and you're going to separate out all of the items into two piles. Think of it like two buckets in bucket. Number one goes those most important things. They're non-negotiable they have to happen. There's not a choice. They have to [00:12:00] happen. You want them to happen?

These are things that either have to happen or that you absolutely need them to happen or want them to happen in order for you to have that feeling of your ideal morning. So in bucket, number one, go the most important things. Now my friends, no more than 20% of all of those to dos on your list.

Get to go into this bucket right now. 

I know that that's hard. but the idea here is that you are looking for the biggest, most impactful, most important things. So how do you find those things? Connect it to your values. 

. Everything that does not go into this first bucket goes into bucket number two, and that means at least 80% of the items that you wrote down, go into the 80% bucket.

 Think about at the end of your life, do those things matter if they don't [00:13:00] matter, they go in the 80% bucket. These are the things that don't matter in the big picture. They might not be connected to your values or that feeling about how you wanna feel for your ideal mornings.

So for example, I mentioned in my ideal world, my house is clean when I leave the house in the morning. , for me, wiping down the corners and the table going bucket, number one, they have to happen. A freshly swept floor. Forget it. That is going in bucket. Number two, be ruthless with your delineation between bucket number one and bucket.

Number two here is where we're going to call upon you to drop again into your higher self and think about who you wanna be at the end of your life. 

And we're also going to call upon you to drop your high achieving perfectionist ways in the hopes that we will give you more of what you want by focusing [00:14:00] on the most important 20%.

So that part of the exercise is definitely the hardest for folks that I work with, but once it is all done, you have your bucket. Number one. Now it's time to get a bit practical and start making baby steps towards your ideal morning. Look at your 20%. These are the things that you decided are the most important, the most impactful, the biggest priorities.

How can we get these things into our mornings right now? Here is where you start to build that morning that you want. You're working your way. To your most ideal morning, think of each of these as little building bricks. now you're probably going to need to make some adjustments here, but the idea is to think about what you really want from your morning and then use your creativity to make it work.

So remember I said, I want connection. That means that we connect in the same way in the car. Every time I do drop off, I remember to [00:15:00] do that because I do it every time my kids expect it and it's built into our morning part of our day. Another example is that it feels so special when we get some morning snuggles or reading in.

And so if my kids can get ready on time, I invite them to spend a few minutes snuggling in my bed and reading, and then they read aloud to me while I continue to get ready for the morning. This moves things along super nicely in the morning

another example, is that a lot of times the folks I work with have a goal to do some kind of physical movement in the morning. Some of them come to me and they're like, I wanna run for an hour and a half, do an hour of meditation, 20 minutes of yoga, all these things every morning. And when you're starting out trying to create a morning routine, that is not gonna be attainable.

So ask yourself in the broad sense of physical movement, what would it look like in your ideal morning? If you could [00:16:00] add some physical movement to your life 

if you haven't been working out at all in the morning, trying to add an hour long run, 20 minutes of meditation, 20 minutes of journaling, an hour of yoga is just not going to happen. It's not gonna happen. You're not gonna be able to stick to it. So if you haven't already been doing those things, you're not going to automatically start just because you've listened to the episode of this podcast. ? I mean, I wish that my magic worked that. But it doesn't, it takes time

. So how do you start? You take tiny steps. So for me, I want physical movement every morning. What I decided as a way that I would move towards that ideal morning, that aspect of my ideal morning is that I would do 10 minutes of yoga every morning.

And now that's part of my ideal morning routine, my regular every day, morning routine. I can't do a full hour of yoga right now in the morning, but I can do 10 minutes. I can commit to doing 10 minutes and some days I [00:17:00] do 20 minutes or 30 minutes even. On those mornings where I do 10 minutes of yoga, make my bed and have a chance to connect with my kids.

I feel pretty good. By the time I get to work. So look at the things in your 20% bucket and ask yourself what it could look like. If you could take baby steps towards that ideal version, this is how you build a morning routine that you will love that will work for you, and that you will actually stick to.

So consider that for all of those various 20% and then delegate and schedule the items that don't need to directly involve you. You can delegate some of the 20% to your partner and you can delegate some of it to your kids. Guess what your kids are way more capable than you give them credit for.

I believe that kids should have chores to do. They should be contributing to the running of a home and they should [00:18:00] not have every single thing done for them every single time. If they're able to do it, then they should do some of it themselves. When it comes to morning prep.

That means that my kids clean out their own lunch boxes the night before. And at least once in a while they helped pack lunches. They definitely help with the meal planning around it too. For the last couple years, when I was pregnant with morning sickness and nursing a baby in the morning, my husband took care of almost all of the lunch packing, and the plan is for him to keep doing most of it.

This is going to mean that you're going to have to let go a little bit of some of the control and expectations that you have around some of these things, but just know that you're gonna trade in all of that control all of those high expectations for what actually matters to you down the road, in the big picture.

when you get to the end of your life, is it really going to be. That big of a deal. If you let your partner make some of the lunches and they [00:19:00] aren't all Pinterest perfect and perfectly, absolutely balanced. 

That is not, what's going to matter. What is going to matter is how you felt that morning, whether you felt like you had that moment of connection with your kids, whether you were stressed and frazzled every day, when you rolled into work or whether you were calm, and peaceful and ready for the day.

What you don't absolutely need to do yourself. You can delegate, 

and then you can actually schedule or plan so that some of the stuff is done outside of that morning routine outside of those morning hours. So this would include things like getting the lunch boxes, ready, getting the clothes ready and picked out. Having maybe even breakfast made getting bags ready. A lot of the morning scramble is absolutely unnecessary.

If you can delegate it and schedule it.

So that's how you do it, my friends. And if I could leave you with just one last tip and I already referred to this a little bit, but I wanna go into a little bit more detail here. [00:20:00] This is the tip stop. Expecting perfection, stop expecting that things are going to go perfect. When we spend time trying to create the perfect routine or when we spend time Googling perfect morning routines.

What we are really doing is allowing our fantasies around perfection to run a mock it's misleading because this feels really good. 

And it's almost like if we think that if we can have that perfect morning routine, that we will then have permission to finally feel ready for the day that we'll finally feel good, like we'll finally have arrived, 

But here's the thing you may. Be able to hit that perfect routine a few times. It's pretty unlikely though, that you are going to be able to hit it every time someone's going to lose their shoes you're going to be out of cheese or fruit or veggies for lunch. Maybe someone will even end up [00:21:00] sick. The weather is going to throw a wrench into things. You're not going to be able to find your umbrella when you need. The baby might have a blowout just as you're getting everybody in the car, you might lose your keys or your phone.

There are just too many potential variables to expect things to go smoothly each time. And if what you're aiming for is that perfect routine. What does it mean when you don't hit? 

What do you make that mean? I'm betting that you don't speak kindly to yourself. I'm betting that you're not feeling calm in those moments. I'm betting that you're feeling frustrated, anxious. Tired and angry. And I bet in some ways you can actually like feel that frustration kind of grow as you lose control of your morning routine.

That day.

I'm also betting that you're going to be asking a lot of yourself when people tell me about their perfect morning routines that they're trying to create. They often involve getting up by four 30 in the morning.[00:22:00] They include so much working out meditation time for getting ready. And it just doesn't account for the reality of being a working parent, which means that your baby is not necessarily going to sleep through the night.

Your toddler. Is probably going to find a way to get up with you at five 30 in the morning, because that's what they do. All of those things are going to throw wrenches into that perfect morning, which is not exactly attainable, especially in the long run.

So try to let go of the specific todos on your perfect morning routine, and instead focus on that bigger picture of how you want to feel and who you want to be. When we focus on perfecting a routine, we too easily lose sight of those big values that drive us. We get so busy trying to execute that perfect routine, that it isn't a tool for us.

It's a prison. It's a prison that we've built for ourself and [00:23:00] for our kids. Think about what you want your mornings to feel like I'm guessing you don't want them to feel rigid. I'm guessing you don't wanna feel berated or frustrated or angry or exhausted or crazed or stressed or frenzied or unraveled.

But when we try to stick so hard to the perfect morning routine, we create an environment that is focused on what someone is doing instead of on how they are feeling.

you will end up getting frustrated and disappointed and maybe even angry and all of that sucks. The fun, joy, and connection straight out of your mornings. So let the perfectionist and control freak fantasies go.

And instead give yourself the permission and the space to start working out a morning routine that is actually [00:24:00] going to work for you. 

So to sum up number one, brainstorm on what your most ideal morning is like focusing first on what it feels like to you. Then number two, get down in the weeds in terms of everything that you want to do, need to do or would like to do in that morning as part of the routine.

 Then number three, take that list of specifics, separate them into two buckets. The 20% bucket that you actually are going to do, these are the things that you need to do absolutely want to do, have to do to get through your morning. And then the 80% bucket are things that maybe don't need to get done on the weekdays mornings.

Now here's one pro tip. If you're continuing to struggle with this, you're going to be really resistant to letting that 80% go. And I am telling you if you can just. Trust this process and let yourself set it aside for now, you are going to be able to build your capacity to do the 20% [00:25:00] that really matters.

And as you do that, as you are becoming the kind of person who is going to have that ideal morning that you really want, you are actually. Going to eventually be able to make space for some of that 80%. So if it is really stressing you out then just for now know that you aren't getting rid of it, you're setting it aside.

You're just setting it aside. Okay. So that's step number three. step number four, determine what of the 20% you are going to do in the morning and how you're going to do it. Here is the space for being creative and for really focusing a bit on building in some of these values relating to what your most ideal morning looks like.

 And number five, finally. Figure out what you're going to delegate to others, including your kids and what you're going to schedule to be done at times other than during the morning itself.

So my friends take this information and run with it. This is so far beyond meal prep, tips, and other morning [00:26:00] hacks. This is about building a routine that is going to help you to create more of who you want to be. Not just get more done more of who you want to. More of who you're meant to be. Even though all of that is said, I did promise you that I would share with you my new favorite morning hack, which is to set an alarm.

So like I'm an Alexa to play music so that my kids know when to get out the door. We're trying this for the first time, this week, the week that the episode will air. So I will let you know, in the mom first Facebook page, how it goes, be sure to hop over there to hear more.

I can't wait to see you over there and just know that if you are listening to this podcast, if you are thinking about. Who you wanna be, if you are trying your hardest to build a morning routine, that when you're in your seventies, eighties, nineties, you'll look back on your mornings and say, yeah, that was the life that I created on [00:27:00] purpose.

And I loved it. If that's you, I see you. You are doing the hard work. You are going first on all of this. You're incredible. Keep it up