About a year ago, I started reevaluating and looking for ways to increase the peace and happiness in my life. Through this process, I began to create a morning and evening routine that ultimately helped me be more productive, less stressed, and more organized.
My new morning and evening routine changed my life in a way I did not expect! Fast forward to this summer as I was trying to look at ways to get my 3 kids on a better schedule, I decided to create a morning and evening routine for them as well. I don't know why it took me so long to figure this out! It took a while for them to get into it but when they did I could see the difference just a few weeks in.
Did they have a morning and evening routine before? Maybe... somewhat... let me be honest, not really...
The "old" morning routine consisted of me fighting with them to get up, rushing them to brush their teeth, wash their faces, get dressed, eat breakfast and hurry to school. (With the ride to school also being stressful with more complaining about why we were rushing.)
The evening routine was definitely nonexistent outside of doing homework, taking baths, and eating dinner. And I wondered why my life was so crazy!? The new routines have not only put a smile on my face but on their faces as well. I start with the evening routine first because I believe that having this routine really sets the tone for not only how well they sleep but also how they will wake up in the morning. We go through the typical routine of doing homework, eating dinner, and taking baths, but we started to incorporate an evening stretch and breathing exercises to help slow them down and get them more relaxed and ready to get in bed. And it only takes us 5-7 minutes to complete.
Next is book time! The three of them each take turns in choosing a book to read for the night. Since my oldest loves to read she has taken over reading the bedtime story most nights. This not only excites her but also helps to continue to improve her reading skills. There are nights when they still want mommy to read but they are starting to get used to their sister reading and she loves it. Next is prayer time. The kids take turns leading the evening prayer, even the 4-year-old enjoys taking the lead sometimes. Then lights out!
Now, when it is time to wake up, there is more peace and less yelling in the morning. Since the slow awakening helped me, I had to incorporate it into their morning routine as well. I sing a song my mom used to sing to my siblings and me when we were little to help wake us up. Now I did this from time to time with them before but now it is more on a consistent basis. When they start singing it back to me I know they are awake. Sometimes they need a little help so I start tickling them.
One thing I have eliminated altogether in the morning is TV. I would allow them to watch TV while they eat breakfast but that definitely slowed them down. Now, no TV at all in the morning. On the ride to school, everyone feels less rushed and more peaceful thanks to their new routines. In the car, we do the last part of their morning routine which is three things to help them start their day on a positive note. First, we say our morning prayer to have a great school day, next we go through 5 affirmations to help empower them, and lastly, each of them says one thing they are looking forward to that day. They love the affirmations so much they've added their own and turned them into a song.
The peace that these routines have brought to the kids and me is priceless. As a mom, I know it is tough trying to juggle everything. Anytime you are able to create some type of peace in your life, do it! Creating a morning routine and evening routine for myself and the kids has injected a small dose of joy into my life. Remember there's only one you, so always give yourself grace.