I weirdly love knowing a person’s morning routine ….how people start their day and how they manage their time. For me, how my day starts has a big impact on how I feel and how the rest of the day goes. Not that crashing and burning before 9am can’t be redeemed (been there many a times), but man I love a good start to the day.
The way my mornings begin has varied significantly over the past 5 years. I think as we enter into different seasons of life, we value spending time doing different things and the amount of time we have to do xyz thing can change. The way my morning currently goes is in no way how it should go for you. It might be the worst way for you to begin your day. You know what is best for you! But I do hope it’s semi-interesting, perhaps helpful or maybe just enjoyable to read if you’re nosey like me.
The older I get, the more acutely aware I am that time is valuable so I’ve been in this space over the past year or so figuring out how to best utilize my time. And for a non-planner, type B like me….this has been a struggle & challenge.
Here’s a peak into my current best attempt.
There are a few things I like to do in the morning, no matter how short or chaotic my morning “routine” might be.
Lately, we’ve been in a sweet spot with Cal’s sleep and so I’m able to wake up early. Baby sleep is this weird mystery/science experiment. When he was 2-3 months old and giving us 7-8 hrs stretches I thought we were smooth sailing. ROOKIE MISTAKE. Baby sleep is not linear – the older he got the more disrupted his sleep became. But a few weeks ago, things took a miraculous turn (still don’t know how…mystery, I tell you) and he is sleeping till 5am-ish most days. THIS FEELS LIKE A MIRACLE THANK YOU JESUS.
So I’ve been going to bed by 9 or 9:30 so I can get up for the day when he wakes. On nights when he’s up 1-2x, I will sleep later because sleep is life. Having a “morning routine” is pointless if I’m sleep deprived. If I wake up when Cal wakes up and have less time in the morning to do work before Nick leaves for work, than this “routine” might be reading one passage of scripture for 30 seconds, quick prayer and sit down at my desk with coffee to do work. My point….this ain’t perfect. Life is messy.
Anytime between 4:45am and 5:30am I wake up. The time depends on when Cal wakes. I use to stand in the camp waking in the 4am hour is offensive but it’s feels weirdly awesome if I’m well rested.
I go in and nurse him and he goes back down until 6:45-7ish. Then I go put on the coffee and pump my other boob since it’s been 10 hours and they feel like they are going to explode when I wake up. Sometimes Nick is up and he makes coffee while I pump, but I love when it’s just me….it’s so still and quiet and I love it. I curl up on the corner of our couch with coffee, turn on the lamp and sit there for a minute or two in silence. I need to ease in.
Next up –> bible. How much time I have to do this has waxed and waned depending on life. In nursing school it was minimal or on the subway. Post school and pre-baby it was longer. Nowadays if I get up early, 20-30 minutes is the time I’ve got. Chaotic mornings…30 seconds. And that’s okay too. Lately, I’ve been reading through the New Morning Mercies devotional and then pray for a few minutes – this works with the shorter time frame. If I have time and feel like it, I journal a bit.
By 6 or 6:30am I like to be at my desk working. If I have a client, that is usually scheduled at 7 or 7:15am so ideally I like to get a hour of focused work knocked out before that. Most mornings I don’t have clients so after checking in with my team on Slack, I try to do my most important tasks in this 6am to 8am window. Research, writing, preparing a talk…the type of stuff that requires my brain to really function.
I’m currently writing this blog post at 6:31am on Tuesday morning. I work best in the early morning. Some people work best at night. Since the time between waking and breakfast is 2-3 hrs, during this time I’m shoveling granola into my face. The fat in the granola holds me over until breakfast. This is my all time favorite recipe and if you’re intimidated by granola, don’t be…this literally takes 5 minutes to throw together and it is 100000000% better than even the best store bought granola.
Nick cares for Cal in the mornings while I work so he usually makes oatmeal or toast if we don’t have baked oatmeal or something else already prepped for breakfast.
Around 8ish we eat breakfast. Cal loves himself a good hearty breakfast – that kid can slam oatmeal or pancakes like he’s 8 years old.
Sometimes though if I have a call or a deadline or the morning is a hot mess, I eat breakfast at my desk or whenever/wherever I can. Again…life.
Recently, it dawned on me that I needed fresh air in the morning. Nick would leave for work and Cal would go down for a nap shortly after and so I wasn’t getting out of the apartment until 10-11am most mornings. Even when it’s cold, fresh air is a game changer for me, even if it’s just to step outside for a few minutes. Now that his first nap is pushed back a little later in the morning (9:30ish) we have some time to get out. Nick works at WeWork (he works remote) and it’s about a 15 minute walk from our apartment so we’ve been leaving the house around 8:30/8:45 and walking there and back in the morning and LET ME TELL YOU. That fresh air walk in the morning is a dose of happy.
And that’s that.
A few things I’ve found to be really helpful for me when I’m feeling all disciplined and stuff ….because naturally, I don’t like rulezzz.
Not using my phone until our walk back home when I call Momma Coale. I find my phone to be so distracting. Unless I’m bopping on IG Stories to share breakfast or something, I try to just keep it charging in the kitchen in the morning. I’m always running on 10% battery so this is a win win.
Not checking email until Cal goes down for his first nap. When I was checking it in the early morning, I found it to be such a time suck and waste of those crucial focused morning hours. For me, email doesn’t require a lot of cognitive energy so I can bop on during a nap and plug away at email. Same for social media. It’s way harder for me to shift from being a mom into deep focused work during nap time.
Having Nick home to care for Cal. Thankful for that.
And Cal sleeping ….I’ll update you with a new routine when this miraculous season of sleep ends.
What works for one person doesn’t work best for another so I’d love to hear how you go about your morning in the comments!
So happy to see another post this week! Thank you for sharing! I also love to see other peoples morning routines – I’m such a morning person so I really enjoyed it! Have a great rest of your week! 🙂
Robyn Nohling says
Glad you enjoyed Rachel!
Love new morning mercies!! Slow mornings have been a game changer for me when the day allows for it. Thanks for sharing Robyn!
Robyn Nohling says
yes to slow mornings when they happen!
My morning routine typically includes listening to news-y podcasts on my walk to work, but with the news lately, I’ve found a need something bit more uplifting at 6 am… “Tunnels” by Melodime is both upbeat and a walking prayer–I find it shifts my mindset all day!
Robyn Nohling says
ohhh I’ll have to add that to my list!
Thanks for sharing! I’m a new mom to a 10 day old baby and it’s nice to hear about how you fit in feeding with your morning. I’m curious about how you handled social media in the early days of cluster feeding or when the baby would feed for a long time. I’m still at the point where I am trying to stay awake/entertained when he is eating and since we are still figuring out breastfeeding and positioning and all that it’s hard to be able to coordinate myself to do much more that scroll on my phone! But I find it to be really unfulfilling and wish I could spend that time in a better way.
Tonya, I see you, momma. When my baby was little, I was on social media/blogs whenever feeding and I realized (too late for me) that it wasn’t helpful. A friend suggested watching TV through my phone (earphones are the only hard part of that), it was way better for me. I wish I would’ve stayed off my phone more when my baby was little. Way too much comparison on my end. You’re doing great, momma! Truly.
Robyn, loved reading this. I was so curious how you were working the mornings with Cal. Can I ask what time Nick gets up? Is he ready when Cal wakes up to take over? I just went back to work (mostly from home) and I’m so curious how people do it. My morning routine fluctuates, but when coffee time before baby wakes is involved, I am so thankful! Also, I’m recovering from an ED and the morning time before breakfast has been a struggle for me. It was super helpful to know you did granola – it allowed me to have permission to do the same. Can’t wait to make that recipe!
Robyn Nohling says
Thank you for your kind comment to Tonya, India!
With our mornings, Nick is up by 6/6:30 and then Cal sleeps till 7. When Cal would wake up earlier Nick would get up with him so I could continue working (or if it was a rough night I would sleep instead of work while Nick got up with him) So Nick is on “Cal duty” from the time Cal wakes until he heads to work around 8:30/8:45 – since Nick gets home around 6 and Cal goes to bed at 7 it’s been time that Nick loves to spend with him too since he wouldn’t get to see him much otherwise so that’s been good
I hope that’s helpful – but do what works best for you and your family!
Robyn Nohling says
Tonya, congrats mama! 10 days old – so so sweet! First, you’re not alone and I totally hear you. I scrolled SO MUCH. some of it was healthy and encouraging and other times just mind numbing. You’re not the first new mama who does this during those hours upon hours of nursing. When I realized I wanted this to change a few weeks in I downloaded the Kindle App and checked out some free ebooks from my library. You could also check out audio books that you could easily just play (with or without headphones) or some good podcasts that are encouraging. When I didn’t have my phone nearby, I’d also just welcome in some silence and stillness …pray or just sit and be. Whatever feels best to you! You’re doing great! xx
I love this post! I appreciate getting a glimpse into how others live as well. I’m always up first and get our coffee setup (maker for me, French press for my husband). If Matt hadn’t got up to feed the cats (our babies), then I will feed them before making my breakfast. Lately, I have tried hard at changing my morning routine to not include my phone. I’m no where near perfect, but as long as I leave it upstairs, I can actually just sit and calmly sip my coffee while cuddling with our babies. If I’m in the mood, then I will read or, like this morning, finish a word find. It helps me to feel less chaotic from losing track with mindlessly scrolling. I work as an RD at a dialysis clinic only about five minutes from our town home, but I still have to work on my timing a little better. Thanks for sharing and allowing us to share our routines!
If you are ever looking for an amazing resource on baby sleep….read “Precious Little Sleep” by Alexis Dubief. It’s AMAZING! Written with a sense of humor, but is extremely evidence-based and truly is presented in a way so any family can adapt strategies to their own wants/needs/priorities. It’s a great book to listen to as well! 🙂
Just wondering… Why do you wait 2-3 hours after waking to have breakfast? Is it some sort of digestion thing?
I eat breakfast with Cal and Nick as a fam 🙂 Cal nurses around 7 and eats a little bit after
Oooh I love love LOVE this post! I also love getting a glimpse into other people’s everyday, and morning routines are particularly interesting. It’s fascinating to see how other people set themselves up for the day. I love routine, and my morning routine is very well established. First priority is feeding the cat, who complains vociferously from the moment I stir. Once she’s seen to I do a tiny bit of strength or yoga, or when its warmer out (I’m in Australia, so it’s winter at the moment) I’ll take a quick walk. Then I do 5-10 minutes of meditation, and jot down three things I’m grateful for. Then it’s on with tea and breakfast and the rest of the day! I used to fit in bible study as well but as my mornings have gotten more rushed that has slipped out. It’s something I really want to incorporate into my routine again, and I’m thinking of ordering New Morning Mercies – it looks really good.
Love to see more of these posts of glimpses into your day, if you feel like writing them! Do you have an evening routine too?
I like this post too! I like the part about eating granola *before* breakfast. I think I must have some food rules around eating before breakfast or more that I’m not sure what to eat to energize but not be overly full. I like to work out at a gym before going to work but that doesn’t always happen. On days it doesn’t I like to get in a few yoga stretches at least!
Emily Swanson says
I love how you structure your mornings with little distraction Robyn. I’m still not great at that, and I love how you center it around Jesus and loving on your family, like Momma Coale, Nick, and Cal.
This is beautiful! I love hearing other people’s morning routines as well. It inspires me to go within and ask myself what I may be lacking in mine and what my soul may need. I am wondering if you highly recommend the daily devotional that you have pictured above? Do you have any other recommendations for kind of a “newcomer” or a first bible/devotional for a young, single woman? Thank you for sharing! 💗💗
I love the Morning Mercies devo! When I was first starting out I really enjoyed She Reads Truth which is totally free and online! Email me as well if you have questions or need more recommendations! <3