A lot has been written about morning routines and for good reason. The way we spend our mornings sets the tone for the rest of the day, so it’s important to use the time wisely and implement good habits.
After I graduated from college, I lived in Los Angeles and worked in the entertainment industry. I didn’t have to be in the office until 10 am, but instead of being productive with my mornings, I would roll out of bed by 9:20 am and rush out the door to stand in line at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to grab a large coffee – the only thing I would consume for breakfast. On the contrary, my boss was up every morning at 6 am and spent four productive hours on herself and her side projects before she headed into work. I learned a lot from her and made it my mission to mirror her mornings.
Since becoming a mom, I understand the importance of a good morning routine and know that our home runs a bit more smoothly because of it.
Keep scrolling to check out my usual AM routine!
5:30 am: I wake up. Do I like waking up this early? Absolutely not.
5:40 am: I take our puppy out for his morning potty.
5:45 am: I work out. After a certain age, it becomes more of a necessity to work out and less of an option. I’m well over that age. For health reasons and to maintain a certain level of energy, I have to work out. And I have to do it every single day, because if I skip a day, then I will skip a second and third day until it’s no longer a part of my routine anymore. I know myself; that’s my personality.
The only reason I work out so early in the morning is that I find it impossible to do it at night. After the kids are in bed, I don’t want to do anything. I want to plop on the couch and read a book or watch TV. And it’s taken me years to make working out a part of my routine. When my kids were babies, it was really hard to fit in. Plus, waking up early when your kids have kept you up all night doesn’t help. My kids are older now and they sleep through the night pretty consistently, so waking up at 5:30 am hasn’t been extremely difficult. Plus, I use a wake-up light alarm clock, which mimics a sunrise, and it has done wonders for me.
My kids don’t wake up until 7 am (even later in the summer), so it’s quite simple for me to go into our finished basement where we have a treadmill and weights set up. I walk for 10 minutes and run for 20 minutes. Then, I stretch and do a series of exercises with 5-pound weights.
After I work out – and since I’m already in the basement – I put a load of laundry in the washer and put whatever laundry that’s in the dryer in a basket and take it upstairs. I always fold laundry at the end of the day (usually after dinner and clean-up) while watching any Real Housewives of New York or Beverly Hills.
6:30 am: I prep the coffee machine the night before so it’s ready in the morning. After I’ve had some water, I’ll pour myself a big cup of coffee and watch the news. After five minutes I’ll think, “Why am I watching this? Everything is so depressing,” and then furiously turn off the TV. Every. Single. Morning. I should really use this time to journal or write my intentions for the day, but no. You can usually find me scrolling through Instagram while nursing my coffee.
6:45 am: I go upstairs and take a shower. My husband is usually up at this time and has already gotten ready. He has co-workers and clients in different time zones, so he’s usually on his computer prepping for the day. Depending on what I’m doing that day (working from home or going into the office), I will decide on whether or not to wash my hair or shave my legs. I try to wash my hair and shave 2-3 times a week. I’ll use dry shampoo on days I don’t wash, which works well on my thick hair. And I’m seriously considering investing in laser hair removal so I never have to touch a razor again. Right after I shower, I put a serum on my face, brush out my hair, put on my robe, and begin checking on the kids.
7:00 am: The kids start to stir. They are 7 and 5 years old, so when they wake up in the morning, they know to change out of their pajamas, brush their teeth and hair, make their beds, and head downstairs. They know this because I’ve put a huge chart outside of their rooms telling them to do so. Teaching them how to get themselves ready in the morning has been a huge game-changer, as it’s significantly opened up my mornings.
7:00 – 7:30 am: Everyone starts to head downstairs. During the school year, this is when I pack lunches for the kids and make sure all homework and teacher slips are in their backpacks. I usually reheat my coffee and sit down to review my Google calendar and planner. I feed the puppy his breakfast and put on Good Morning America. I also check the weather to prepare for rain, a Polar Vortex, tornadoes, typhoons, hurricanes, tsunamis, high pollen, sleet, or hail. We live outside of Chicago, and the weather is very moody!
7:30 – 7:50 am: My kids play with each other very nicely in the mornings. They’re old enough now where I can go upstairs and get ready for the day without a lot of interruption. I get dressed, brush my teeth, put on my makeup, and give my hair a quick blow-dry.
7:50-ish am: I start making breakfast. During the week the kids will usually eat Cheerios, yogurt, blueberry waffles, scrambled eggs or cut up fruit. I like to eat English muffins with peanut butter and honey or a plain bagel and lox. On the weekends, my husband and I will conjure up a more elaborate breakfast that includes eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and maybe even a quick trip to Dunkin’ Donuts for a sweet treat.
8:00-ish am: I let the puppy out into the yard to go potty again, and we sit down to eat breakfast. I reheat my coffee yet again. My kids will eat two bites of their food and beg, “Can we be excused?” I plead for them to eat more but to no avail, and that’s breakfast. I pick up the dishes, put them in the dishwasher, and let the puppy back inside.
8:20 am: I inform the kids to get themselves ready because we have to head out the door soon. Every single morning they say, “No! We’re not done playing,” and it’s a tug of war to get them out the door. During the school year, we have to be out the door at 8:30 am for school. During the summer, we have to be out the door at 8:40 am for camp. If they don’t have camp scheduled that week, our nanny will come at 9:00 am.
9:00 am: I either walk a block away to catch the 9:07 train into the city or I head into my home office upstairs. Every Friday, when my husband works from home, he and I will head to Starbucks for coffee, a shared baked good, and catch up. We call these our weekly “coffee dates” because nighttime dates don’t happen as often as we’d like. Plus, I am usually ready for bed by 9:30 pm, so morning coffee dates have become something great to look forward to.