Q: Hi Melissa! This email is right on time for me. My husband and I have 3 boys…7 1/2, 1, and 3 months! We also are staying with family right now, as we wait on the Lord to give us a larger place of our own to live. It is very difficult to have a morning routine during this time and I often feel discouraged because I want to have my own home again…and make it a haven for my family.
Would you happen to have any suggestions for me and a morning routine, while my family and I are living with others?
I would LOVE to go on morning walks before my boys are up for the day, but I’m so exhausted the night before. My husband also leaves for work early in the mornings, so there is no one to stay with our boys if I were to go walking. – Debbie
Finding Time and Space for a Morning Ritual
A: Hi Debbie! Years ago, I was a divorced mom of three little ones and lived with my parents for a couple of years. Totally different situation of course, but I can certainly empathize with you on wanting your own space. I’ve also had more than one adult married kid with grand kids living with me for months at a time and I know how crazy that situation can be for everyone! I can’t say I was perfect in either role.
However, my suggestion for a morning routine would be to carve out your own space if possible. When I was living with other family members, I would retreat to my room when I felt the need to be alone. I still do that when we have company. I’m a total introvert and I need my space to be alone at times.
When your a mom of little ones, waking up early for quiet time alone is hard and may not be possible at the stage in your life. Instead of focusing on your expectations of what life should look like, embrace the season you are in right now so that you can experience more joy!
A morning routine where you have alone time sounds nice, right? Sometimes what we think would be ideal isn’t possible in our current situation. Remember what Paul said:
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12
So, even though your situation isn’t ideal, you can find ways to find peace and joy in your day. Your morning routine can still include these ideas from my post, 7 Morning Rituals for Tired Moms:
1. Warm water with lemon.
2. Prayer time and devotion.
3. Morning stretches.
4. Get in touch with nature.
5. Take a morning walk.
6. Count your blessings.
7. Check your household notebook or planner.
Let’s think of each of these items in terms of what they might look like for you. Since I don’t know your exact circumstances, I’m going to offer suggestions to get you thinking and then you can change the details to work for you.
1. Warm water with lemon. You can certain drink this with a baby on your hip or your mother-in-law standing in the kitchen with you. You’ll flush out toxins and start the day off right. You could also take your cup to the living room or even back to your bedroom where you can be alone.
2. Prayer time and devotion. You may not have a corner to retreat alone to if you’re living with other family members. You could find space in your bedroom since your husband leaves early and try to have a devotion time after he leaves. If your little ones are awake, go ahead and let them see you read your Bible or have a family worship time together. Jesus knows your heart. You can stay in constant prayer with Him all day long!
3. Morning stretches. You can take five or ten minutes after your devotion to stretch on the floor. If your little ones are away, let them stretch with you. They’ll think it’s great fun! You can check out YouTube for Mommy + Baby workouts like this one.
4. Get in touch with nature. If you don’t have a nice porch or patio where you can go outside to sip your lemon water or eat your breakfast, you can always spend a few minutes looking out the window. I have a chair by my dining room window that I often just sit by and gaze out on our yard. Of course, you can always skip this and don’t feel bad about it!
5. Take a morning walk. If you feel up to walking in the morning, but you don’t have anyone to watch your children, I would put the little ones in a stroller and head out the door. I used to love to push my babies in the stroller. Otherwise, you might want to take them to the park in the mornings. When my oldest kids were little we went to the park almost every day. It was one of our favorite things to do and going to the park is free! I would usually pack a snack or a picnic lunch and we would spend two or three hours at the park every day. It helped my son burn off some energy and let me relax. Sometimes we’d stop at the local pharmacy where they had an old fashioned soda fountain and get ice cream on the way home for $0.25 a cone!
6. Count your blessings. Of course, you can do this any time – not just in the morning. Take a few minutes before bed to think about your day and the many blessings you experienced. You can download my free printable Blessings Journal Pages below.
7. Check your household notebook or planner. You may not have much going on right now since you’re living with family that would require a planner. If that’s the case, you can make a to-do list of the things you do need to do, think about meal prep, or anything else that needs your attention during the day. This really should just take a few minutes.
Remember that this time will pass quickly. Your little ones will grow up before you know it – so enjoy these days! And, living with other family members is only temporary.
My name is Melissa Ringstaff and I've been blogging here at A Virtuous Woman since 2001. I'm a pastor's wife and homeschooling mom living in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of Southeastern KY. I believe in finding freedom from perfection and living life with purpose and I want to help you do exactly that.
I'm so glad you've stopped by to visit with me. I hope we can be friends!
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