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How to Create a Morning Routine for Moms (that Actually Works)

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Making a Stay at Home Mom Morning Routine Checklist + a Look at Our Morning Routine, and More!

If you’re still trying to navigate the stay-at-home life and feel completely overwhelmed first thing in the morning, then worry not, mama! I’m here today with a morning routine for moms — that actually works for you.

Because we know that what works for some random mom on the Internet isn’t necessarily going to work in your life.

And yeah, as much as I’d love to get up and work out right away, then take a hot shower and enjoy a cup of coffee while journaling — all before the kids get up — it’s just not realistic in my life right now

But if that works for you? Awesome! (Although, I suspect you wouldn’t be reading this if you already had it all figured out!)

So, how can you simplify your morning routine while making the most of the first hour or two in your day?


pinterest graphic for a morning routine for moms


Creating a Morning Routine for Moms

One of the best ways to start out your day right? (Hint: It’s not waking up early!)

Nope, it’s waking up feeling refreshed. 

So let’s figure out a bedtime and wake-up time that work for you (and allow you to get enough sleep each night).


How to Figure Out a Bedtime and Wake-up Time That Work for YOU

First, I realize that not every morning will be the same.

Some days, you might have to get up earlier to get your kiddo ready for preschool. Or, maybe you have an early morning doctor’s appointment.

You’ll obviously need to plan ahead and figure out what time to wake up on those days and adjust your wake-up time and bedtime accordingly. 

And even if your preschooler only has class a few days a week, you might want to consider waking up at the same time every morning for consistency (if possible).

Regardless, I like to figure out my wake-up and bedtime by working backwards.

Especially if you have to be somewhere at a certain time — then you’ll most certainly want to work backwards:


  1. Determine how long it will take to get there.
  2. Approximate how much time you’ll need to complete your morning routine checklist (more on this in the next section!).
  3. Set your alarm for the appropriate wake-up time.
  4. Figure out how much sleep YOU need to feel refreshed in the morning.
  5. Work backwards to set your bedtime accordingly.


I like to give myself a little wiggle room in the mornings in case things don’t go according to my plan. And when you have a baby or child who wakes up during the night, you’ll want to give yourself a little buffer (and get to bed earlier!).

Soooo, how do you figure out a wake-up time to make the most of your morning if you don’t have to be anywhere in particular?

Honestly, for many of us, getting up earlier than the kids can be near impossible. Do you find that waking up early means your kids are also waking up a lot earlier than normal?

It can be a little tricky to figure out how to get out of bed and start your day without waking the kids. If you want to give it a try, then start by determining your kids’ normal wake-up time. 

Realistically, I can allow myself 30-40 minutes before my toddler wakes up. If I’m not in the bed to nurse her back to sleep, then she’s going to be up for the day. 

My four-year-old is a little more unpredictable; sometimes, she’s up really early with my husband and sometimes she’ll sleep in a little later. But if she’s awake, she can easily occupy herself, thankfully!

Figure out what you’d like to accomplish before the kiddos wake (using the morning routine checklist we’re going to create in the next section). Then work backwards to determine a wake time and bedtime that work for you. 


Figure out what you’d like to accomplish before the kiddos wake. Then work backwards to determine a wake time and bedtime that work for you. Click To Tweet


And if you can’t manage to get up without your little darlings following suit? If you don’t have to be anywhere, then allow yourself to sleep in — without the guilt!

Just make sure to allow yourself a few minutes of “me time” sometime during the day.


Read more: Get a Good Night of Sleep on a Puffy Mattress


How to Take Control of Your Day With a Morning Routine Checklist

Grab a pen and paper! It’s time to sit down and make a list of everything you need to do in the morning. 

Let me first say that I’m all about “routines” — schedules are much too restrictive in my opinion. 

Creating a checklist of things you need to do each morning can help you keep on track without feeling too restricted. 

And once you have your checklist together, feel free to type it up and print it out if you’d like! You might even want to laminate it and hang it up somewhere you’ll see it every morning.

So, go ahead and make your morning routine checklist. List out everything you need to accomplish. Keep it simple — and realistic. (You do have children, after all!)

A few ideas:


  • Get dressed
  • Make the bed
  • Take a shower
  • Bathroom routine
  • Drink a glass of water
  • Breakfast
  • Diaper changes
  • Dress the kids
  • Pack lunch
  • Brew coffee
  • Check your calendar


These are just examples; obviously, you’ll only list whatever applies to your morning routine! 

(Don’t worry, we’re going to cover ways to fuel your mornings with things you enjoy in the next section 😉 

Now, next to each item, write down an estimated amount of time that it takes to accomplish each task. You’ll use this information to figure out how much time to allow yourself when working backwards and figuring out your wake-up time and bedtime.

Don’t put the pen and paper away yet, though! In the next section, we’re going to cover some ways to fill your cup, so to speak, each morning. 


How to Fuel Your Mornings With Something You Enjoy

Starting a new day on the right foot can really set the right tone for the day. But as parents of babies and toddlers, it can be hard to find the time for things you enjoy.

If you can manage to get up even a few minutes before your kiddos, why not make the most of those few minutes!

Add another item or two to your list — something you can do to fuel your morning.

Stuck for ideas? Here are a few.


  • Read a chapter or two
  • Read a Bible verse or pray
  • Write in a gratitude journal
  • Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea
  • Drink lemon water
  • Stretch or meditate
  • Work out
  • Eat something healthy


Hopefully you have a good idea of what you want your mornings to look like! Now we’re going to figure out an evening routine that makes your morning a little easier.


How to Establish an Evening Routine That Better Serves Your Mornings

If you’ve ever scrambled to find a clean pair of underwear or struggled to find something healthy for breakfast, you know how much it helps to think ahead.

Do some prep work in the evening to set yourself up for a successful morning!

First, look over your morning routine checklist and find all the items that you can prepare for in the evening. 

Here are some examples of what I mean:


  • Write a to-do list 
  • Prepare something for breakfast
  • Set out clothes (or workout clothes)
  • Run the dishwasher
  • Pack lunches
  • Set the coffee pot to automatically brew


It might help to create an evening checklist to complement your morning checklist, and you’ll be setting yourself up for an awesome morning!


How to Limit Distractions Until Your Morning Routine is Complete

Tell me: What is your BIGGEST distraction in the morning?

For a lot of us, it’s our phones — and more specifically, social media.

How often do you wake up in the morning and immediately pick up your phone to either turn off the alarm or check the time… And then start scrolling through social media?

(Yes, I’ve been guilty of it too!)

But I want to challenge you to put the phone down and stay off social media until your morning routine has been completed. 

A lot of us use our phones as our alarm clock. That’s fine, as long as you can put it down and get started on your morning routine right away.

But if you struggle to ignore the dings and whistles of each notification, consider getting an actual old-school alarm clock. Then you can put your phone away, somewhere you can’t see or hear it, until you’ve checked everything off your list.

Trust me, you’ll feel much better about your morning! Getting sucked into the rabbit hole of social media can leave you with an awful, unproductive feeling, and it doesn’t really set a great tone for the rest of the day.

Give it a try, and let us know how your morning goes!




Click to join the FREE 5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge



A Look at Our Morning Routine

As I mentioned earlier, I’m not a huge fan of schedules. Having a set “schedule” can leave you feeling like you’re a slave to the clock.

Instead, I prefer “routines”. 

Honestly, our routine changes ALL the time as our seasons of life change. And when you have small children, the seasons change frequently.

Here’s a brief outline of what my morning routine looks like on a typical week day:

4:30 – Husband’s alarm clock goes off, and my toddler usually starts stirring, so I nurse her back to sleep.

5:00 – My alarm clock goes off, and I’m usually out of bed about 5:15. Get dressed and go upstairs to get ready for the day. While I’m in the bathroom, I might put a load of laundry in the washer, or move the cloth diapers into the dryer (I usually wash them at night before going to bed).

5:30 – I’ve been trying to do a little bit of reading during this time. I had been using this time to write, but found that I was getting so little done and having a hard time focusing, so I decided to change it up a bit.

6:00 – The little guy I take care of is dropped off and he plays for a while. My girls start waking up anywhere between now and 7:30.

7:00(ish) – I do diaper changes and the kids get dressed (whenever both of my girls are awake). After getting dressed, we have breakfast.

After breakfast, the kids go between independent play, reading books, and doing activities (coloring, play doh, etc.) for the rest of the morning. Sometimes, we’ll try to get outside for a little while before the baby takes his nap.

Then, when he’s sleeping, I try to sit down and do a little work on the computer while finishing my coffee, in between taking care of the girls. Annnnd… Our morning ends with lunch somewhere between 11:00 and noon!


Final Tip for a Better Morning Routine

A good morning routine for moms isn’t necessarily waking up earlier or doing ALL the things before your kids wake up.

It’s about doing what feels good to you.

My final tip for a better morning: Stay flexible. Things aren’t going to be exactly the same every single day, and that’s the beauty of being at home with small kids. 

Soooo. What does the perfect morning look like for you? 

If you’re the type of person who needs more focus and organization in your life, then I really think you’ll enjoy the 14-day Make Over Your Mornings course with Crystal Paine.

Over fourteen days, you’ll receive actionable tips to help you:


  • Develop a morning routine and before bed routine
  • Streamline your morning tasks
  • Learn how to make to-do lists 
  • Create realistic, but stretching goals
  • Discover the power of accountability
  • Establish internal and external motivations
  • Find time to refuel your tank
  • Experience more focus, organization, and clarity


You can check it out right here.


Read more:

9 Tips to Perfect Your Daily Routine for Moms

What to Do With Children’s Artwork When It’s Time to Declutter

Guide to Getting the Entire House Clean + Organized


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  1. You wake up at 5:30?! OMG!!! I love waking up before my kids but with my late schedule the twins have become my alarm clock. I wish it wasn’t that way but with the late nights it’s been so hard for me. What time do you go to bed? I get a full 8 hours or so when I’m not having an insomnia bout…

    1. Lol! Unfortunately I do have to get up that early during the week (although I’m usually awake well before that). It makes for a loooong morning! I try to be in bed by 10-ish and if I actually get to sleep for at least 6 hours, I feel pretty good. (I prefer more than that, though.) Ugh! Insomnia…I’ve been dealing with it about one night a month all summer, thankfully not any longer than that. 🙁

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