We all have heard the quotes and statistics about morning people being more successful, and most working moms desire that for ourselves. And regardless of your kids’ ages, I’m sure you can relate to some recent rushed or stressful mornings at your house – I sure can! I definitely go through seasons of doing better or worse with my mornings, but I’m at a much better place today than I was five years ago as a new mom – praise God! Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
- Just because I’m not a natural morning person doesn’t mean I can’t become a morning person. Anyone who knows me who is reading this is either nodding along or laughing out loud, because my natural inclination is to be a night owl. My mom gave me a pair of moose pj’s that say “I’m not a morning person,” and that pretty much sums it up. While I consider myself an optimist, I’m not one of those Pollyanna types upon waking… I need a few moments to myself, preferably with a hot cup of coffee, before facing the world. But just because that isn’t my natural style, it doesn’t mean I can’t create new habits to help maximize my mornings. Speaking of which, there is an awesome free, short e-book that has really helped me in this area called Maximize Your Mornings by Kat Lee, my very favorite mom blogger.
- Mornings are the best time for my quiet time. I heard this for years and wasn’t really sold, but it is true. If you’re a mom to little kids, you probably don’t have a whole lot of energy or mental power left at the end of the day. Learning to study the Bible and meet with the Lord at the first part of my day rather than the last transformed my quiet times. Try it and see. Now, if you miss your morning quiet time (and I still do often), don’t settle for an all-or-nothing approach! Make it up some other time during the day, like lunch or before bed. I don’t think the Lord cares at all what time of day we meet with Him, but in this season of life I feel I can give Him by best attention in the morning vs. evening.
- I need accountability to maximize my mornings. There’s an awesome challenge that I’ve been a part of for several years called Hello Mornings. It’s an online community of moms around the world who connect on social media for 6-week challenges to encourage and support one another in accomplishing three goals: Bible Study (God time), planning your day (Plan time), and exercise (move time). It’s free, and in addition to helping me make the most of my mornings, I’ve met some awesome Christian ladies and participated in some amazing Bible studies like this one by Lara Williams.
- Rest is a gift, and bedtimes aren’t just for kids. I used to be one of those people who halfway adhered to the phrase, “You can sleep when you’re dead.” Over the course of about a decade, I over-committed myself to the point that I got used to staying up too late and waking up too early. I was perpetually sleep deprived and often stressed, and through some health issues, the Lord thankfully stopped me in my tracks and taught me the importance of the rest He freely offers. And that’s probably another post for another time, but it’s true – rest is ours for the taking, but it requires wisdom and obedience to sacrifice of some other things. One of the best tips I learned from Hello Mornings is that successful mornings begin the night before, and setting a phone alarm for bedtime is a great reminder. Also, this article about sleep and the aging process is pretty eye-opening.
- My kids often adopt my morning attitude – for better or worse. Ouch. This one makes me cringe, because it’s true. The mornings I wake up too late and feel rushed, I end up rushing everyone else, and the bad attitudes come out. The mornings I wake up before my kids to have a quiet time and pray for them before they wake up vs. waking up to them, my kids still disobey and test me and act like kids, but my reaction is totally different. Everything just goes oh-so-much smoother; the difference is indescribable. I’m absolutely preaching to myself here, but I want mornings in my home to be peaceful, so this is an area I’m constantly working toward improving.
What have you learned about mornings? What change do you want to take to make them better?