A good start to the day.

Find Time For Yourself In The Morning (Before Your Kids Wake Up)

Are you woken up every morning by your kids, or have you moved onto the stage where you’re kicking their butts out of bed?

After a dozen years of abrupt early starts, I’ve earned my morning freedom and now officially choose how I begin each day. (Hurrah!)

I used to sleep until my alarm sounded –  springing straight into action and getting everyone up and out the door for school. But it makes me a cranky and impatient bitch.

I’m always much better off with a pre-morning ritual. (What I do before I’m officially on duty.)

Last year I set my alarm 15 minutes earlier and stayed in bed to write a daily gratitude entry in my journal. Then I began writing an intention for my day which evolved into writing a ‘how I will feel today?’ entry. It was a positive way to kick start each day and made a real difference to how I was with the kids at breakfast. There was a whole lotta love and connection going on!

Then I got super busy setting up Project Me and decided to spend half an hour tackling emails each morning. It gave me a head start on work each day, but certainly wasn’t great for my personal growth. I begrudged having to stop to get the kids up for school and felt agitated and snappy. Back to being a bitch again.

Last Spring DJ Daddy ordered the Insanity Workout DVDs and convinced me to join him every morning at 6:30am for the 60 Day Challenge! I was foul as I put on my workout gear and trudged downstairs half asleep, but within 10 mins I was wide awake and felt good that my exercise way out of the way and I had a clear day ahead to work. (Plus a fit body as a reward for my hard work!)

My latest morning routine is meditation. I’ve tried this on and off over the years and never quite got to grips with it. I’m always hearing how fantastically beneficial it is, but my monkey mind and aching sitting bones didn’t quite agree.

A friend recommended I take up the Deepak/Oprah 21 Day Meditation Challenge last summer and I decided to give it a go. A 15 minute audio guided meditation was emailed to me each day and I listened on my iPhone, propped up in bed with pillows.

There are differing views over how long it takes to form a new habit, but 21 days is certainly what it took to create my new meditation habit. I ordered a whole library of guided meditations and now have a wonderful pre-morning ritual.

It sure beats jumping straight out of bed and hollering out to my boys to WAKE UP while I rush around like a maniac from the get-go. It sets me up to be the peaceful parent I want to be. (Whew.)

Are you in instant “mommy mode” from the moment you wake up, or do have a pre-morning ritual?  How would you ideally like to start each day if it was completely up to you?  Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Laney | Crash Test Mummy on September 26, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    I would love to have the early morning start before the kids mastered, but I’m always too tired! Not a good combination with super energetic kids!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on September 27, 2013 at 7:28 AM

      Laney – this is only a very recent indulgence for me! Until now I have either had uninterrupted sleep or just super exhausting days and there’s no way I’d get out of bed even a moment before I absolutely had to. I’ve never been a morning person, but suddenly there’s been a real internal shift! Hang in there – your day will come 🙂

  2. Vicki Knights on October 11, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Your mornings sound much more productive than mine Kelly! My 2 are still little so I’m normally woken up with them bouncing on my bed at 6.30am while I try and grab them for a cuddle so I can go back to sleep!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on October 14, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      Believe me Vicki, when my boys were still waking me too early I was a living zombie and could have never dreamed of getting up BEFORE they did. I always fantasised about the day when I’d be waking THEM up (with a fog horn and jumping up and down on their beds!) – hee hee 😉

  3. Diana on January 29, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    I’m still in the “get woken up at least once a night” then start the day at 6 phase of parenting. I’m dreaming of the day that I can be up early and then wake my little guy up.

    Yes yes…enjoy it while they are still young and they grow up so fast…but zombie mama needs a good 8 hours straight of zzz and for more than a week in a row.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on January 30, 2014 at 4:22 PM

      You’re still deep in the trenches Diana! Keep dreaming of that day because it WILL come 🙂

      I hope you can get some support from someone willing to let you have a much needed lie-in. Sleep deprivation is an evil thing! x

  4. […] If you want to ‘start your day in a positive way’, set your alarm clock earlier than you need to and override all urges to hit snooze. (Work that […]

  5. Rea Alducente on March 3, 2014 at 6:47 AM

    I do it – 30 minutes before I’m scheduled to wake up, I should be up. And it gives me time to jump start my day (night actually, since I’m working full time in the evening).. It’s proven to be effective and I love that meditation is a part of your morning ritual! I usually just do a mind setting so that I can start my day right. 🙂

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on March 3, 2014 at 7:10 AM

      Good for you Rea! It’s made such a huge difference to my life to get into a waking up in a positive way ritual. Glad you agree xx

  6. Helen Butler on September 17, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    I’m sorry to say that my morning routine isn’t that good! I meditate in the afternoon just before school pickup (in the car – perfect way to use the spare time!) and/or in the evenings just before I go to sleep. I’ve tried mornings but it’s not ideal for me – I get more benefits meditating late in the day.

    Our son still needs help getting ready for school so maybe when he’s a bit older I’ll be able to have a morning routine. With summer on the way here and the sun rising earlier (and a new pool!) things might change! 🙂

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on September 17, 2014 at 6:27 PM

      I think it’s normal for our routines to change over time (and with our kids growing older!) and I like that my daily rituals chop & change. It keeps it interesting!

      I admire you for meditating during the day/evening. If I don’t do it first thing, it doesn’t happen.

      Helen – enjoy the change of season there in Australia – and your new pool!!! xx

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