If you’re a stay at home mom and are simultaneously trying to build a business or chase your dreams at some capacity, you’ve gotta have a productive morning routine. Before I get into the breakdown of my morning routine, let me share with you my dreams. My dream is to be a mom who is fun, present and energetic who is also building an amazing brand and business. My dream is that I work hard and play hard and when my son is old enough to be aware, he is inspired by not only his daddy but his mommy too. As you know, because you’re reading it, I have a blog. I’ve been building this blog for over four years now and have been blessed to have the opportunity to start building the business side of it the last two years (basically partnering with brands I love and getting paid to do it). I also own a women’s clothing boutique, Bella Magari, which I launched last June that is online and currently in one location in Cherry Creek, Denver. Doing those two things takes quite a bit of time, I’d say probably the same hours as a part time job would. So the question is, where do those hours come from? Well first, nap time of course! I don’t know what I’d do if nap time didn’t exist. When he falls asleep I typically get right to work and try to be productive the entire nap. Honestly though, those hours aren’t enough so the last few months I started to wake up earlier and created a morning routine that helped me get more work done. For example I am writing this post at 6:00AM, I’ve been up since 5:00 and both the sun and my son are still asleep. I’ve found that if I start my day productive, I am less stressed throughout the day and am more present with Giulian because my head doesn’t feel bogged down with to-do’s. If I wasn’t implementing this in my life I’d feel so behind and overwhelmed.
I think it’s important that I say that no way in heck am I doing this super productive morning routine when my kid doesn’t sleep. So, when he was a newborn this was not happening, and because Giulian sometimes decides to sleep terribly at the age of almost two, I choose sleeping on those days. If you’re a mom with a kid that doesn’t sleep, meaning you don’t sleep, don’t you dare compare your morning routine to this one. There have been a few times where Giulian will sleep terribly and I’ll still try to wake up at 5:00 to start working and it’s completely unproductive. For one, my head isn’t clear and I create crappy content (not even worth it), and two I’m a worse mom for it because I’m just overly exhausted and that leads to me being less patient with him. So basically my rule of thumb is if your baby sleeps well, wake up and hustle!! If not, try and sleep while the baby sleeps and don’t guilt yourself for it (your mental health is important too).
MORNING ROUTINE BREAKDOWN / SCHEDULE :
5:00AM - Wake up.
I have an alarm on my phone that is titled “DREAMS” to remind my sleepy self why on earth I’m waking up so early, and that is to chase my DREAMS.
First things first, COFFEE!
The very first thing I do is make coffee. DUH! Typically this required me loading and starting the pot, but sometimes it’s already made if I wasn’t too sleepy the night before and remembered to prep it.
Get To Work.
It’s so tempting to grab my phone, scroll through Instagram or Facebook or check my email, but for me the early mornings are when my brain seems to be the most creative and sharpest (after the coffee kicks in of course), so I don’t want to waste that precious time devouring useless content and doing none of my own work. I was listening to the Goal Digger podcast by Jenna Kutcher and she said something that really hit home, “create before consume”. That is her rule. She creates her own content and works on her own goals before she looks at anyone else’s content, Instagram pictures, etc. She said it helps her be original in her own content, and helps dodge the comparison game we can all get caught up in. I’ve tried to implement this into my own life, especially in the mornings. I might as well still be sleeping if all I’m gonna do in the mornings is scroll through social media feeds like a brain dead zombie. The point of waking up early is to be PRODUCTIVE. I will also add that another point to my morning routine is to start my day in a more intentional way than having my screaming kid wake me up. As Rachel Hollis says, you want to start your mornings on offense instead of defense.
“Create before consume” - Jenna Kutcher
Baby Wakes Up.
Giulian wakes up at random times each day, so 5:00 am might be two hours before he wakes up or it might be 30 minutes before he’s bright eyed. Nick and I have decided that if I can get two hours of work in each morning (5-7am) then I will have enough time each week to get done what is needed. I probably do this about 5 days a week, so that is ten extra hours each week I have to work on my blog or boutique stuff. So that means that if Giulian wakes up before 7, it’s Nick’s job to get him and hang out with him while I work. Nick is a self employed business owner, and his schedule is super flexible so this routine is actually great for us. Nick is typically out during the day and evenings doing meetings, so him getting to spend one on one time with his son in the morning is a great thing.
Once I’ve gotten about two hours of work in, it’s time for Nick and I to get our workouts in. This looks different every day. Sometimes we go to the gym together and bring the baby, he loves his little friends at the gym daycare. Most days however, we switch off going to the gym. I think once cold and flu season is over we will bring him to the gym daycare almost everyday we go, but in the winter months I try to keep him from catching colds (which clearly isn’t working since my kid is sick so dang often). I am currently training for another half marathon and Sundays are the long run days, so on Sundays Nick doesn’t typically go to the gym and I’ll get my long run in (which can take quite a bit of time in the later weeks of training).
You think I’m kidding?… NOPE. Somewhere in here is typically a family dance party. Nick and I believe families that play together, stay together. We pop on some Michael Jackson, disco music and sometimes even some Tay Swift (if mommy gets to pick) and dance away! Giulian loves it so much, the moment he hears music playing he immediately smiles. One of my daily affirmations is “I am a fun, energetic, playful mom”, I want to live that every day and dance parties sure to help. I also find that dancing is a great way to transition from work mode to mommy mode. Brendon Burchard talks about the importance of transition time when switching between roles in your life, I think dance parties and meditation/prayer are the two best ways.
After the gym we typically come home and Nick has to shower and leave for meetings. That means it’s mommy + baby time for the rest of the day (not all days but most). Like I said before, I love getting some work and my workouts done in the morning, that way I can be present and focused on Giulian when I’m with him. I don’t like being on my phone or computer a ton while I’m in mommy mode. I’m not perfect when it comes to that but I am always striving to be more and more aware of my screen time while with him.
I receive help some weeks from my mom and my mother in law, which is amazing to have those extra hours to get stuff done whether it be house work or business work. But sometimes it’s super inconsistent, a few months ago my mom had a surgery and for a while couldn’t help with the baby, and my mother in law is helping to take care of her dad who is sick so at times her coming can be inconsistent. I realized that I needed a schedule that would help me stay on top of things whether I had help from my family or not. When they help out it’s an added bonus and is valuable time to help get ahead in work.
An important thing to point out about this schedule is that we’ve found what works for us and our schedule. If Nick had to be into work every day by 8AM it’d be pretty different. Or if Giulian slept in later we would probably have Nick go to the gym while he was still sleeping. Or if I needed more hours for work then maybe I’d have to wake up even earlier than 5. What I’m saying is you’ll have to create a schedule that works for you based on your circumstances, but no matter the circumstances it’s possible to create and stick to a productive morning routine.
I truly think you can be a full time mom AND pursue your dreams. I don’t think it’s an either / or situation. I think you’ve got to be creative with your schedule and super disciplined in sticking to it, but if you do that you can absolutely have it all.
I hope this routine is helpful to you! If you’re reading this and have tips for how my morning routine can be more productive, drop a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!! Thanks so much for reading!