Menu

5 ways to stress-proof your morning, mama

How to create the right morning routine for you

5 ways to stress-proof your morning, mama

Let’s talk about mornings.


Mornings can be rough, especially if you are a mom to school-aged children. There are tantrums about getting out of bed and getting dressed. There is chaos over what to eat for breakfast or pack for lunch. And there is never enough time before you have to rush out the door.

I cringe at the stressful mornings that were my past. I wasn’t happy kicking off my day like this and realized that something needed to change. In this case, it was my morning routine. A morning routine doesn’t need to be long and drawn-out, but it does need to be meaningful, intentional and consistent.

How to create the right morning routine for you

I know it can be overwhelming to think of yet another thing to add to your day. Remember to think of the routine as collecting the good habits you want to employ throughout the day, so it’s about blocking your time in a beneficial way.

1. Pre-prep

This is a suggestion for the evening before, but it still affects your morning. Pre-prep lunches, lay out the next day’s clothes for your kids (and yourself), sign homework and pack backpacks at night. You can even pre-prep breakfast. Then take a look at tomorrow’s schedule so you are clear on what you want to accomplish the following day. The goal is to get as much ready as you can the night before so you have a smoother morning.

2. Wake up earlier

I know you don’t want to hear this, so let’s just get it over with as the first tip. You will rarely find a successful person who doesn’t get up early. I’m not making this up (sorry)! People who get up early tend to be happier, be more productive and make more money. The simple truth is that you can’t fit anything else in your day if you don’t get up a little earlier. Start with 10 minutes, then increase from there as you’re able.

I don’t, however, want you to sacrifice sleep, so you might need to give up that episode of The Bachelor or Scandal and set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier. And you definitely need to change your paradigm: Instead of saying, “I’m not a morning person,” tell yourself, “This is my special time.” It’s okay if you don’t become a “morning person” who bounces out of bed joyfully every morning. As one of my friends says, “I don’t like getting up early, but I love being up early.”

What matters is that you get up and do your routine.

3. Create a ritual

Rituals are incredibly comforting. You can count on them each day, knowing they are like a best friend who always supports you. Here’s a suggestion of what to try:

  • Start your day with a cup of coffee or tea before anyone else is up.
  • Do not check your phone or computer, even if you think it will help you ease into your day.
  • Consider journaling, reading, or meditating. Many find this early morning quiet time to be a wonderful space for prayer or inspirational reading. Or maybe get yourself a set of good colored pencils and an adult coloring book and color your way into the morning. Experiment and see what you’re most drawn to, then make that part of your routine.

4. Exercise

Consider starting your day with movement. If you can get your exercise done before your family wakes up, you are golden for the day! Try an early morning Body Back class if it’s available near you, or if you have stroller-age kids, go to Stroller Strides with your little cherub. Exercise in the morning will pump up your energy and your endorphins, giving you a much more positive perspective for your day.

5. Write down your three most important things

Take a look at your calendar for the day and decide the three most important things you need to get done. Write them down, including when you will do them. This puts you in the driver’s seat. This gives you CONTROL. That sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Commit to this, and you will put yourself in charge.

Committing to a healthy morning routine can give you back your control and help you restore some of that much-needed life balance. It sets the tone for your day, motivating you and filling you with the energy you will need for later hours. With a morning routine, you start making small, good choices as soon as you wake up, and when it truly becomes a routine, you barely need to think about the choices—they become second nature.

Excerpt from The Empowered Mama: How to Reclaim Your Time and Yourself while Raising a Happy, Healthy Family, by Lisa Druxman.

In This Article

    These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

    It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

    When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

    But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

    I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

    So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

    It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

    But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


    Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


    Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

    Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

    Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

    Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


    This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

    Our Partners

    This post is brought to you by Staples. While this was a sponsored opportunity, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

    One of the biggest changes in my household once my daughter started homeschooling was that, suddenly, everything and everyone in our home had to start pulling double duty. While I was used to wearing a lot of hats (mom, wife and WFH employee, to name a few), suddenly our dining room was also pulling shifts as a classroom. My laptop was also a virtual teacher. Our living room hutch was also a school supply closet.

    If I didn't want my home to be overrun with an abundance of clutter, I had to find products that could multitask. Here are 10 products that are saving this WFH + homeschooling mama right now.

    Stylish storage cabinet

    Whether I need a place to keep the printer or just want to keep crayons and colored pencils organized, this pretty cabinet provides a mixture of exposed and hidden storage without clashing with my living room decor.

    White board calendar + bulletin board

    With so much on our plates these days, I need a visual reminder of our daily schedule or I'll forget everything. This dry erase version makes it easy to keep track of Zoom meetings and virtual classes—and I also love using the corkboard to display my daughter's latest work from art class.

    Natural Recycled 3-Ring Binder

    From tracking our curriculum progress to organizing my family's paperwork, I can never have enough binders. Even better, this neutral version is pretty enough that I can display them on the bookshelf.

    Bamboo storage drawers

    The instant you start homeschooling, it can feel like you're suddenly drowning in papers, craft supplies and more. Fortunately, these simple bamboo drawers can be tucked into the cabinet or even displayed on top (seriously, they're that cute!) to keep what we need organized and close at hand.

    Laminated world map

    I love this dry-erase map for our geography lessons, but the real secret? It also makes a cute piece of wall decor for my work space.

    Rolling 7-drawer cabinet

    When you're doing it all from home, you sometimes have to roll with the punches—I strongly recommend getting an organizational system that rolls with you. On days when both my husband and I are working from home and I need to move my daughter's classes to another room, this 7-drawer cabinet makes it easy to bring the classroom with us.

    Letterboard

    From our first day of school photo to displaying favorite quotes to keep myself motivated, this 12"x18" letterboard is my favorite thing to display in our home.

    Expandable tablet stand

    Word to the wise: Get a pretty tablet stand you won't mind seeing out every day. (Because between virtual playdates, my daughter's screen time and my own personal use, this thing never gets put away.)

    Neutral pocket chart

    Between organizing my daughter's chore chart, displaying our weekly sight words and providing a fits-anywhere place to keep supplies on hand, this handy little pocket chart is a must-have for homeschooling families.

    Totable fabric bins

    My ultimate hack for getting my family to clean up after themselves? These fabric bins. I can use them to organize my desk, store my oldest's books and even keep a bin of toys on hand for the baby to play with while we do school. And when playtime is over, it's easy for everyone to simply put everything back in the bin and pop it in the cabinet.

    Looking for study solutions for older children? Hop over to Grown & Flown for their top picks for Back to School.

    Work + Money

    25+ Halloween movies for kid, by age

    These capture the goofy, spooky and sweet aspects of Halloween. Boo.

    My family loves watching Halloween movies to get into the spooky spirit.

    Of course, every kid has a different threshold for what they consider too scary. With most of these selections, there are links to Common Sense Media, where you can read more about the content of the films (along with reviews from other parents and kids).

    Keep reading Show less
    Learn + Play