Hey there! How are your mornings going lately? Mine started to be a real downer, to the point where I did NOT want to get out of bed. I’m not sure if this is just postpartum hormones (do those count when your kid is almost one?), or just the normal “I have a preschooler that won’t quit” tiredness levels, but I DO know that I wanted to be done with dreading leaving my bed every morning!
So, I decided to come up with a game plan. I thought about why I might be feeling this way, and even had a conversation with a friend of mine who is a social worker, and realized that I’m still struggling with my transition from being a full-time working mom to a stay-at-home mom. (Even though this transition mostly happened a year ago when I went on maternity leave).
This is a struggle for me because I REALLY like to have a set plan and to feel that I am fulfilling a purpose with my day and with the work that I am doing. As a high-school teacher for the past 6 years, these two things were a given every day. Your life runs on a bell schedule, every class has a specific lesson plan, and even your after-school hours with your family have to be pretty well-planned in order to accomplish what needs to be done in the hours you have left once you’re home! Teaching is a very meaningful and purposeful career, (even though not always encouraging- that’s a different story), you always know in the back of your mind that what you are doing matters. Even if it is only acknowledged by a couple of students now, the rest will realize it later.
As a stay-at-home mom, however, no one is telling me when and how to do things! I don’t have a boss. (Besides my kids) but their style of leadership would probably be considered insane. I don’t have a set schedule unless I make one for myself, but even then, no one is around to say “Great job!” when I stick to it! (I also realized I appreciate verbal affirmation which isn’t common for 4-year-olds and 11-month-olds to give out). Obviously being a stay-at-home mom has a purpose, and I am so grateful to be with them, but being with the same two little humans day in and day out, and completing the same household chores day in and day out can be…whatever the opposite of stimulating is…
So, I tried to think of some things I could do right away in the mornings that would give me that extra kick, and fortunately, over the past several weeks, (when I follow through and use them), I have found that the following 3 “items” really help to give me some motivation to get “up and at ’em” (’em being my children) 🙂
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Here you go! Hope these give you some options and ideas to give your mornings a kick-start as well!
1.A Fun Planner
My current goal is to open my planner every night and every morning. Even just glancing over the week and the different activities gives me a semi-plan for the next day. I love how my planner has my “top three” things to take care of each day. I try to not plan these out ahead of time, but to add them each night based on what I need to get done the next day. This also gives me a little bit of motivation for the day because I can “schedule in” some me-time, or some time to work on my blog. Doing this helps me feel organized, and I have specific tasks & goals to accomplish each day. Even if they’re not things I actually enjoy, they are still something to “look forward” to in the mundane stretch of being in the house all day! Even if all I accomplish are those top three things, I still feel like I did something because it is documented! 🙂
And something extra – one thing I’ve been trying to add to my planning routine is writing down a way that I can serve someone that day. This really gives me something to look forward to, because doing something for someone else brings even more joy than doing something for yourself!
I found this planner at Aldi for super cheap obviously, because Aldi rocks, but if you missed that one, here’s one that looks very similar on Amazon: Blue Sky Day Planner
2.A Pretty Coffee Mug
My friend Heather bought this beautiful mug for our MOPS Christmas mug exchange and I was the lucky one to get it! It has pretty flowers painted on the outside and even on the inside! It also has a Bible verse (Lamentations 3:22-23) that reminds me of the beauty of God’s grace & mercy in each new day. This “morning essential” is encouraging on those tough days when you are really dragging! And if you aren’t motivated by the pretty cup, the caffeine it contains should give you a jump-start. 😉 Here it is if you want one: Mug-His Mercies Are New Every Morning
*My only downside with this mug is that it is smaller than the average coffee-mug, but I don’t mind refilling my cup, OR just sticking to an actual cup of coffee in the morning instead of 2 or 3 like many mugs hold these days. I measured it against one of the “average-sized” coffee mugs and it holds 8 oz with room to stir vs. the majority of my coffee cups which hold 12-16 oz. with room to stir. (This also stops me from adding so much extra creamer!)
3.A Coloring Bible & Colored Pencils
I’m counting this as one “item” because one doesn’t fully work without the other. This is my new favorite thing when I want to meditate on a verse! This Beautiful Word Coloring Bible has lots of “coloring pages” that are Bible verses in pretty scripts and fonts. If you like to color or draw, this can be a great stress-reliever, but also can help with memorizing verses and meditating on them throughout the day. Here are the Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils I ordered, just a warning they are very soft which makes shading possible, and is helpful because the Bible pages aren’t super thick like normal paper. You definitely need a pencil sharpener too because the soft pencils wear down more quickly.
Waking up early so that I have time to sit and read my Bible has always been difficult for me, but when I can color on the pages as I read, I’ve found that it really helps me feel more motivated to start. This sounds terrible because obviously spending time in conversation with God should be my priority, but again, this has been a struggle when I’m exhausted, so I’m doing what I can to just get to that point where I am at the table with my Bible open. Another cool thing about this is that it is really interesting and engages my daughter when she sees me, so I’m modeling that habit for her as well.
And that’s it! Sitting down with my planner, a cup of coffee in my favorite mug and my Coloring Bible gives me a chance to do something I enjoy, relax, connect with God and take a moment to think about my priorities for the day, before the chaos of motherhood ensues! 🙂
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