As a mom, I think of everything I need to remember and do.  No wonder I have a hard time thinking!  There’s too much to remember.  Creating routines in my day helps to free up my mind for more important things.  I believe everyone needs automatic routines in their life.  But there is no doubt about it, some activities are more important than others.  I have compiled the must have daily activities to help your day rock.  Do you do all of them?

Family Morning Routine

Starting the day out right is essential.  If you don’t put your best foot forward, it’s hard to pick up momentum later on.  But pack too much in your morning and you’ll be out of steam before lunch.  The following is what has worked well for me and my family.

For Mom

Get up 2 hours earlier than your kids.

What?  Two hours!  Do you know what time I would have to get up?!  Yeah, I know.  My kids are allowed out of their room at 9:00.  For me this means I would have to get up at 7:00.  I didn’t even get up at 7:00 when I had to be at work at 8:00.  I hate mornings.  They are not my friend.  So, I am still working on this.  When I succeed, I feel so much better about my children.  I hear them stirring and (while not exactly filled with joy) I am happy to see them and tell them it is morning.  When I don’t wake up early, I feel robbed.  I think not so loving things.  “It’s already morning?  No!  Go back to bed!  Mommy isn’t ready!”  I try not to act that way when I see them, but really the best I can do is not respond when they talk to me.  Did I mention I wasn’t a morning person?    Who wants to be greeted by Surly Mommy when they can have Happy Mommy?

An alternative to getting up earlier is to have your children stay in their room.  So if they naturally wake up at 7:00, you could get up at 6:00 and train them to stay in their room and play quietly until 8:00.  An alarm clock in their room would be helpful for really young children.  You might even find they start sleeping that extra hour.

Drink 8 oz. of HOT water.

The exact amount doesn’t matter.  But it needs to be hot.  Just like a cup of tea…without the tea.  I know it’s weird drinking hot water.  If you really don’t want to, an alternative would be 32 oz of tap water.  That’s the difference between hot and not.  Drinking the hot water will wake up your digestive system and get everything, you know, moving.  Try it.  It helps.

Meditate on Something Beautiful

It can be a picture, favorite quote, or bible verses.

Taking the time to quiet my thoughts has helped my attitude for the rest of the day.  I also take this time to pray.  I have a prayer journal and write all of my prayers because I am not that with it in the morning.

Exercise.  Stop Whining and Do It!

It only takes about 15 minutes a day to feel awesome.  And still I whine about exercising. I am 5 weeks in and am getting so much stronger!  And a bonus, I lost 1 inch in my tummy at the end of 4 weeks.   I am doing the happy dance right now.  I wonder if the next 4 weeks will give me the same results?  Can’t wait to find out!  So, stop whining and do it.

Shower.

If the baby is awake, she plays with a drawer in the bathroom that holds toys just for her.  Admittedly, she normally just opens and shuts the drawer.

Start Dinner.

This is probably the strangest one on the list.  I need lots of calories in the morning but, I hate cooking.  I didn’t want to cook a big breakfast and then later cook a big dinner.  Not happening.  So, I moved the dinner meal to breakfast time.  Now, I cook in the morning and I’m done!  I really hate cooking.

My weirdness may not work for you.  You can still make sure you have everything ready for dinner later.  That will make your day run smoother.

Take Vitamins.

I don’t have any special vitamins I take.  Although, I would appreciate any knowledge you have about calcium since I don’t drink milk or eat cheese.

Plan the day or go over the plan you made the day before.

I read my plan for the day (or create one if I was lazy the night before) and make sure the plan is reasonable.  Things change quickly.  I think I am going to be able to get a lot done but that night the baby is sniffly and needs Mommy most of the night.  My original plans are not going to happen.

Wake up kids

Now that you are rested and ready, go wake up those beautiful children of yours.

Routine For Kids

Create a consistent routine you want your children to follow.  Over time, the routine will be easy for them.  Think, children dressed and clean in an orderly house without anyone having a meltdown.  Well…most of the time.  Meltdowns are impossible to eliminate.

I use Easy Peasy chores to help my children keep track and know what to do.  Items on the morning routine include:

  • Take vitamins
  • Get dressed
  • Put pjs away
  • Go to the bathroom (mostly just a reminder for my 3 year old)
  • Tidy bedroom
  • Make bed
  • Pray or greet the day

Once these things are done, it’s breakfast time!

Daytime Routine

Everyone’s home looks different, but there are some habits everyone should consider for their daily routine.

  • At least 30 minutes of outside time.  When the weather is hot, we play in water or swim.  When it’s cold I split up the 30 minutes throughout the day.  And when it’s nice outside, we soak up as much nature as we can, even eating and learning outside.
  • Quiet time.
  • Together time.  I try and do 20 minutes of individual time with each of my kids twice a day.  I also have a scheduled time to play with all of them together and I homeschool them.
  • Spend 15 minutes cleaning.  It’s amazing how much you can get done in 15 minutes.  Set a timer.  You’ll work faster.  If you have children, they can help.
  • Spend 15 minutes organizing: straighten the counters, clear off your desk, put the shoes in order.
  • Eat every 3 hours.  No one wants to be around hangry people!

Evening Routine

For the Kids

We start getting the kids ready for bed right after dinner.  It includes lots of reading time and:

  • Clean up 10 things in the living room
  • Get into pjs
  • Put clothes in washing machine
  • Brush and floss teeth
  • Go to the bathroom
  • Pray
  • Hug and kiss and say goodnight

For Mom

After kids are in bed and things are quiet.

Reflect on the day.

Did you meet your goals?  What stood in the way?  What successes did you have?  Struggles?  What do you need/want to do tomorrow?

Spend time with your husband.

Husbands normally get pushed out the door when things get too busy.  Don’t be that wife.  Do something together every single day (or as many as you possibly can).  A steady diet of T.V./movies doesn’t count.  In addition to movies you could:

  • Read
  • Have a grown up conversation about grown up things (you know, politics and religion, anything that doesn’t involve spit up)
  • Learn something new together
  • Play a game (I like board games, Hubby likes computer games, so we alternate)
  • Dream (talking about my dreams helps me to stay focused on my goals)
  • Sex.  Yes, sex.  When used correctly it unifies couples.  That’s good.

Go to bed 30 minutes before you want to be asleep.

Presumably, you would go to bed 8 ½ hours before you want to get up.  Unless you are like my husband who literally falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow (I am using the word “literally” correctly here).  Seriously, you are important.  Take care of yourself.

Keeping Track of Your Routine

I created a Daily Reflection Sheet to help me stay on track.

So, how many of these activities are in your routine?  Do you have any to add?

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