Guest post written by Brand Ambassador: Lauren Mitchell.
For all the mamas reading this let me start by saying: I know sleep is important and probably scarce. Trust me, I get it. If I’m not debating my 5 and 3 year old on why it’s bedtime and not round three of their wrestling match, I am up nursing a 4 month old who's started teething so I'm essentially just a walking milk bar/pacifier. This mama is tired.
I know we all are, but that comes with the territory, right? I am still waiting for the law to be passed that grants mothers free coffee. Wishful thinking, but honestly it only makes sense.
Despite needing a nap, I want to share with you one shift I have made to my day that hasn’t kept me off the “hot mess express” lifestyle, but at least gets me on the right track. Today, I want to show you strategies that jump start your day, maximize your morning, and get you in the offensive game before having to play defense.
You're probably asking yourself, “What is she talking about? I don’t play defense?” Well friend, let me elaborate. If you are greeted each morning by:
• A cranky, tiny human demanding fruit loops and blippi
• A sink full of dishes that just happens to have the only bowl your kid will eat out of
• Coffee left in the pot from yesterday
• Clothes you forgot about in the washer
• A personal to-do list that's already 3 days behind schedule
You have started your day on defense. If you wake up and automatically start tackling all those things on the list before you've...
• Enjoyed a hot cup of coffee
• Read that book you have wanted to dive into
• Brushed your teeth
• Changed out of the milk stained night shirt
• Eaten food that wasn’t the pop-tart scraps from your kid
• Sat in silence just for the sake of hearing silence
You have started your day on defense. Let me preface. We will all have these days. Even if you do try out some of the strategies I give you. But your life won't be crashing down around EVERY day. And that’s when we will feel able to pour from at least a half-filled cup rather than an empty one.
I want to introduce you to something called the “miracle morning”. It’s technically a book, but for the sake of nudging you into a better start to your day, let’s focus in on S.A.V.E.R.S. What does S.A.V.E.R.S. stand for, you ask?
S - Silence
A - Affirmations
V - Visualization
E - Exercise
R - Reading
S - Scribing/writing
This can look like whatever you want it to; this is just the “bones” of your morning. I encourage you to prioritize these tasks in your day. Wake up an hour earlier than you want to. Did you just cringe? If so, try this for at least 7-days to see what happens.
Set an alarm on your phone. Have your phone somewhere across the room so that when it does go off, you have to physically get up & move away from the bed. Brush your teeth. Or if you don’t want minty breath interfering with your morning coffee, take some deep inhales of peppermint essential oil. The aroma will help you wake up a bit to get your day started.
As you start tackling the S.A.V.E.R.S. tasks, know that you can rearrange them.
Let me share with you what this acronym looks like at the start of my day.
4:30AM - Wake-Up
I wake up right away when I hear my alarm. By this time I look forward to my mornings alone. I go to the kitchen, turn on the coffee pot, empty the dishwasher and start up the diffusers. Since I am still only 4 months postpartum, I will look up a random ab rehab workout video on youtube. I like to do the 10-15 minute ones to get my heart rate up. The increased heart rate also helps wake me up. Even with a short workout, I will follow that with a glass of water. High five for drinking water before coffee.
5:00AM - Sit Down
This is when I grab a notebook, my devotional, and the book I am currently reading for recreation. This is also the glorious time when I get to deep couch sit, in silence, with hot coffee. Read that again. My mini vacation every morning.
I read my devotional & journal my thoughts out. Once I am done journaling, I speak affirmations over myself. Then I set a timer for two minutes. During this two minutes, I close my eyes and just reflect on what I have read, wrote, and spoke.
5:45AM - Do What I Want
Currently, “doing what I want” is reading. I got into reading a few months ago, so I spend 30 minutes just reading my book of choice.
6:15AM - Mom-Mode ACTIVATED
By this time, I have filled my cup. I am ready to start pouring into others. I get breakfast started, refill my coffee & start tackling other tasks I know I need to get done for the day. I do this every morning. Yup. Even weekends.
Does this morning routine ensure EVERYTHING gets done for the day? NOPE. Absolutely not. I am human, unpredictable things happen, and anything that includes kids should just be expected to move at a slightly slower pace.
Does this morning routine get me in a better mood, increase my productivity (at least during those first couple of hours), and keep my cup from running on empty? YES. You wouldn’t let your gas tank run on empty right? Keep that same mentality for yourself.
As the mother of your home dynamic, you are the heart, the comforter, and the manager by default. Make sure you are caring for yourself as much as you care for everyone else.
I share this because it has greatly shifted how I show up as a mother. The “ingredients” of this basic structure have shifted as I am called into different seasons, but the foundation is solid. Never did I think I would enjoy the early morning time, but it has truly become something I look forward to.
It’s even more fun when you find another early rising mama. A quick text or voice message chatting with them gets the adult socialization task completed too. That adds an extra level of fulfillment, especially if most of your day is spent debating a 3 year old, role playing as a pirate, cooing at a baby, imitating dinosaur noises, and singing along to the latest Disney show tune.
So mamas hear me loud and clear…
I know you are tired, but maybe you are just more tired because you are pouring from an empty cup day after day.
Jump start your day. Fill your cup. Play offense first.