How would you describe your mornings as a mom?
Yeah, yeah, I hear you, mama.
So, when I started to attempt to create a morning ritual for myself, I had this expectation.
But it ended up more like this.
Because my little would wake up early, or the dog would freak out, or just reasons, reasons, reasons. (Like, hitting snooze 20 times after being up with the baby all night.)
So, instead of fighting to put something in practice that obviously wasn’t working for me or my family, I tweaked it — I began to see my mornings with a new perspective, and I took time for myself at other times of the day. And you know what?! Now that my daughter is 3-and-a-half years old, most mornings I actually can get up and meditate and journal and do all the feel-good stuff I love. But on days that I can’t? Well, I know it’s just a phase and do what I can when I can. (Re: naptime or in the car.)
Which is why I LOVE this guest post from award-winning author Ashley Brown. She interviewed more than 20 women to explore how they start their days and the positive impacts their rituals have on their lives for her book, A Beautiful Morning: How a Morning Ritual Can Feed Your Soul and Transform Your Life. And today we’re getting their best tips on how moms can work self-care and that good-vibes-morning-ritual feeling into their days — whether or not it’s in the a.m.
How to Have a Morning Ritual as a Mom, by Ashley Brown
A morning ritual is a wonderful way to take care of yourself first so that you’re better able to take care of others. It doesn’t have to take long; just a few moments can be immensely restorative. As life coach Koelle Simpson says, “Sometimes what we need could be just five minutes of sitting in bed before we do anything, and that can be a powerful morning practice.”
But often when you have young children, it’s hard to find even five minutes for yourself. When that’s the case, you can incorporate mindfulness throughout the day, like women’s embodiment and movement educator Cheri Dostal Ryba, who says, “As a new mama … my primary goal for now is to check in with myself and adapt to the day. My current meditation is a mantra practice while I nurse my daughter before bedtime. Adapt, flow, trust … all day long I’m practicing.”
Often mornings are the most hectic time. Wellness advocate, filmmaker, and entrepreneur Tonya Lewis Lee says, “If that’s your life right now, just try another part of the day. I believe you can create time for yourself no matter what. Just close your eyes and breathe — even if it’s only five minutes and you have to lock yourself in the bathroom. It’s even more crucial to carve out some alone time when you’re in that chaotic period of life.”
As your children get older, you can train them to respect your ritual. Owner of Healthy Conscious Mama Naomi Gottlieb-Miller has worked with her 2-year-old and 5-year-old to get them to understand that “this is Mommy’s time.” She says that it took a while to establish her routine of yoga and meditation.
“When my daughter was really little … I was still figuring out motherhood. I would nurse her at 5 a.m., go back to sleep, then slog through the morning. It would get to be 10 a.m. and I hadn’t accomplished anything, and that didn’t feel good. Then things started to shift and I began to create a routine. By the time I had my son, I had my routine down and my daughter was part of it. I would do yoga and tell her, this is what Mom does. You can play by me. Now my son does it, too. Recently I posted a video of them playing Legos near me while I worked out.” It’s helpful to prepare the night before by setting out breakfast and a toy or book to help keep them occupied.
Alright, mamas, do tell: Do you have a morning ritual? Well, you know, beyond coffee and school lunches? –Jenn