March 4

3 Things to do Every Morning to Set Your Day Up for Success


For both of my maternity leaves, I had Big Plans. I was going to fix Everything in my life in my 3-4 months off work. I was going to get 100% tidy once and for all ร  la Marie Kondo. Because now I would have all this free time on my hands, right? HA.

I don’t think I even came to terms with the concept of how unrealistic my maternity leave goals were until about a month after my second leave ended. I completely wasn’t accounting for the fact that bringing a new baby into my life would most certainly disrupt any semblance of a routine that I thought I had under control before she was born.

I personally wasn’t able to accomplish much during those chaotic maternity leave days, and the number one reason was sleep deprivation. Now that I mercifully have both babies sleeping 12 hours a night, I get to reclaim control over my “first thing in the morning routine”.

Here is my list of three things that set my day up for success as a work at home mom. If I miss them, watch out. I can get pretty down about everything in life. But I have noticed that these three things are game changers for my mood and productivity for the rest of the day.

1. Get Up Before Everyone Else in Your House

If I’m not up before the babies, I feel thrown into reactive mode and that doesn’t seem to stop until their bedtime. Now that they are both sleeping in, I have a much better chance at getting in some precious quiet time first thing.

I also aim to get up at least an hour before my husband. I’ve been struggling with finding the motivation to do this, but when you have a dream and a plan, you can get yourself to do some crazy things. It’s 4:41 a.m. on a Monday and here I am!

Even if I can only manage to get up 30 minutes before him, and I only get 20 minutes to myself, that is still enough to set me on the path of feeling in control of my day.

2. Do the One Thing You Think You Don’t Have Time For

This goes hand in hand with getting up before everyone else. The reason getting up first is so important to me is because it’s time that I can use just for me. Just for something that matters to only me.

I have a chalkboard hanging in our living area with Rachel Hollis quotes:

“NOBODY is going to CARE about Your DREAM as much as you do. EVER.”

This includes your husband, and everyone else in your house. Of course they care about your dream, but they can’t care enough to make it happen for you. YOU must be the one who takes action on it. They couldn’t do it for you, even if they wanted to.

Use this time, even if you can only get 20 minutes, to work on your dream.

How do you decide what to do with this time?

If you got nothing else accomplished all day, what’s the one thing that would make you feel like you got to move your dream forward? For me, there are so many things: I want to lose the baby weight, get everything in our lives organized, and be a successful blogger. And I just can’t take action on all of those areas in 20 minutes to an hour.

But the thing that makes me have a breakdown if I’m not getting to it is the feeling that I’m doing nothing about my dream of being a successful blogger. And then I complain to my husband and anyone who will listen that I don’t have the time to make this dream happen for myself.

Not true. Not if I get up before my husband. What’s the one thing that you complain to other people that you don’t have enough time for? The one thing that you desperately wished you had time for, if only you could figure out how to get an uninterrupted 30 minutes to an hour every day?

That is the thing you must use this time for. I recently read a good article by Suzi at Start a Mom Blog about what activities to do during the various time slots you get as a work at home mom. She says do not use your baby’s precious sleeping time to do something you can do in 5 minutes.

You have to think ahead to this short amount of time alone and decide what you are going to do with it. Don’t waste it on Facebook, checking email, or sweeping up the floor (I have been guilty of all of these!). If you give it some thought ahead of time, you are setting yourself up for better chances that you will get something meaningful done during that time.

3. Put on Makeup

I have a super simple makeup routine. People are always saying things to me like “oh but you don’t wear makeup, do you?” Yes, yes I do. It’s just incredibly basic and that’s how I like it.

I put on makeup because when I see my reflection in the mirror later I feel put together. If I go out to the grocery store at some point, I feel ready to face the world.

I don’t put on makeup until later in the morning, well after I have worked on my one thing and had a few cups of hot tea. But once it’s on, that’s my ready for the day moment.

I know morning routines are crucial to setting the day up for success. I also know that I have to be flexible and forgiving when things don’t go 100% how I wanted them to. Having simple morning routine goals as a new mom can be very helpful to all other areas of life.

Do you have one thing you have to do first thing in the morning that sets your day up for success?



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  1. I have a newborn, so he definitely gets up before me right now. HA! But once we get into our routine, I really like that idea. My older daughter sleeps in late, so that actually wouldn’t be a bad thing. I could probably knock off a few things on my list right then in the peace and quiet.

    1. oh I know! During those first few months especially it’s pretty much impossible to get up first because you only get a small window of opportunity to sleep to begin with ๐Ÿ˜‰ But once they start sleeping through the night that is life changing! Looking forward to it for you ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Fabulous post. I just love this quote you pulled. โ€œNOBODY is going to CARE about Your DREAM as much as you do. EVER.โ€
    I really want to be doing this consistently every morning!

  3. I am working on getting up a little earlier to make mornings smoother but for the most part as long as I don’t over sleep mornings are good. I try to get a lot done at night after putting the kids in bed so my morning is ready to go.

  4. I especially love the tip of doing one thing you believe you don’t have time for and starting with that! It is when I do this that I find I get the most done easily. When I wait until the end of the day to tackle the same type of task, it either takes forever or doesn’t get done.

  5. This is great!
    Whether itโ€™s putting on makeup or real clothes- thereโ€™s definitely something about pulling youself together that helps lift the mood!

  6. I donโ€™t really have anything that I have to do in order to set my day up…however, I may have to start doing this. No way I can bring myself to wake up at 4am, but I can definitely be up before the kids. Itโ€™d be nice to exercise and shower every morning so I can stop skipping my workout. Ugh I hate making commitments like this, but Iโ€™m starting tomorrow.

    1. haha – well, no pressure ๐Ÿ˜‰ I tried getting up at 4 am at one point in life – a bit overly ambitious! Even 5 is a stretch for me. But it certainly is nice to get in even 20-30 minutes when possible. But go easy on yourself. If it doesn’t work everyday, that’s ok. There’s always tomorrow! I don’t make it to every early morning, and I am learning to be nicer to myself when that happens <3

  7. So great! I am NOT a morning person, but since my guy finally decided to start sleeping through the night and now, sleeping in, I LOVE getting up in the morning before the rush to get out the door!

    1. Ya! I know it is soooo nice to have some uniterrupted, quiet time. Especially when it might be the only chance for that day!

  8. These are great ideas… Having some quiet time yo yourself first thing in the morning goes such a long way! Even though I’m exhausted in the morning it does make a difference

  9. Yes! I love the advice you gave! I am a stay at home mom and I feel my best when I start my day early and when I feel put together. Some days it may be actually brushing my hair, some days itโ€™s applying light makeup. Lol

    1. For sure! When our second baby was first born, just getting in a shower was a huge win! The light makeup came later ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. These are such good tips! I just became a stay at home mom and I will for sure be using these to get myself in a groove in the mornings!

  11. You are inspiring. I am a total night owl and mornings feel impossible. I do like the motivation though. Maybe I’ll try setting an earlier alarm ๐Ÿ˜‰

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