Early Morning Routine: How to Make Mornings Run Smoothly


I am not a “morning” person by nature, so it takes structure to help me ensure my family’s early morning routine runs smoothly.  This is true for our “Normal Life” when I need to get all three kids to school on time to three different campuses.  It is equally as important for our “Quarantine, Work-From-Home, Shelter-in-Place, Home-School Life”.  Either way, for me routine is important to prevent chaos, stay organized, and to help us all get started on the right foot.  It also helps me to stay on top of my responsibilities while carving out time to take care of myself.  Organization has also helped me to oversee three Home-Schoolers to ensure everyone’s work gets done.

Tip 1: Offer Grace to Yourself and Others

There are many days where I am not disciplined enough to implement my routine.  Give yourself grace. Not every day is the same. I think we have all learned this lesson in recent weeks.  You can always try again tomorrow.  Giving yourself Grace sets a positive tone instead of getting frustrated or down on yourself.

Tip 2: Implement a Routine that Works for your Personality

What works for one mom and family may not be as effective for another due to the difference in our strengths, weaknesses, and priorities.

Also consider the personality and needs of your husband and kids. Some people are natural born “morning lovers” (my husband) who jump out of bed and begin the day with a smile and spring in their step.  Others of us hit snooze ten times and need at least an hour or more to wake up and be considered coherent.

Tip 3: Clean the Kitchen the Night Before

Waking up to a clean kitchen helps the morning run smoothly.  A clean kitchen helps making breakfast and lunches more efficient.  Making school lunches the night before also helps the morning to be less chaotic. It still helps me in Quarantine to wake up to a clean kitchen.  It makes me happy.

Tip 4: Pick Out Clothes the Night Before

This mostly works. I found it to work well, but I also found it was challenging with a strong-willed child.  My youngest also finds it efficient to put on her clothes the night before and sleep in them.  She finds it takes her less time to get ready in the morning.  I do NOT condone this, but we all work with what we have. Enough said.

Tip 5: Designate a Place for Purses, Backpacks, Keys, & Phones

I have an area called a “Mud Room” where all these items have a special spot. If these items are packed the night before and in their correct spot the morning is much easier, and I am not running around like a maniac looking for lost items.  If I do not implement organization, I easily loose things.  During Quarantine we also have a docking station where all school iPads are charged the night before so we can make morning learning more time efficient.

Side Note: If you are a mom, losing things happens. Items sometimes grow legs and somehow move during the night.

Tip 6: Early Morning Workout… I Know….Stay with Me…..

My workout is important to me so most days I make it a priority.  Some days I get up and get my workout done early before everyone else wakes up.  After an early workout I have more energy to handle our morning routine. I am also more alert and cheerful. I also work part-time and find I need to carve out time for myself in the morning in order to get everything done.

I Need to Offer Two Pieces of Realism

I can only handle early morning workouts at 5:00 a.m. two to three days a week.  Otherwise, I get too tired and burnt out.

Also……….I did NOT do this while I had babies.   I did make working out a priority, but there was no way I would have functioned with babies and early morning workouts.  I was too tired and needed my sleep.  I started early morning workouts when my youngest was two, and only did it out of necessity.  During that stage, I had a business, extraneous circumstances, and three kids 7 and under and the only time I could workout was in the early morning.

Now that we are in Quarantine, I typically stick to these tips except for Tip #4.  We are not going anywhere so I do not care what my kids wear or when they get dressed, as long as they get their work done.  Quite frankly, I have enjoyed wearing sweatshirts and yoga pants every day.

I also have enjoyed sleeping in more. I still get up earlier than the kids and get my work out done first thing…..well.. after a cup of coffee.  If I do not get my workout in and carve that space out for my own self-care, then it is too difficult to incorporate it later in the day while navigating home school.

Routine is important to help me manage a family of five.  I have learned organization helps things run smoothly.

Quarantine has taught me to stay organized but offer flexibility for myself and the kids.

Organization with added Grace helps everyone stay sane!


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Sarah lives in Waco with her husband, Mark, and their three children Seth (11), Hannah Grace (9), and Adalee (6). Sarah and Mark just celebrated 16 years of marriage. Sarah grew up in Coppell, Texas (a Dallas suburb), and graduated from Baylor University with a BBA in Marketing in 2000. Sarah started her career in Sales, Marketing, and Advertising, and spent five years in corporate business. She then chose to stay home when her first two children were born. In 2009, Sarah took on the balancing act of being a business owner while maintaining the role of “stay at home” mom. Sarah found the many aspects of creating and implementing business strategies very fulfilling, and loved working in the beauty and skincare industry. After seven years of juggling these roles, she sold the business and has enjoyed taking time over the last year to write and prepare for the next stage of her “crazy life” Sarah was born with a passion for music, and has been leading praise and worship in different capacities since she was thirteen. Sarah and her family are members of First Baptist Church Woodway, where she is on the praise team, and has the blessing to serve in different areas of ministry. Over the years, she has been gifted with opportunities to create music, and to work with organizations such as the American Family Radio and Gospel Music Association, while releasing original music an independent artist within the Christian Contemporary genre https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/everypage/id373073044. Over the years, Sarah has loved getting to know the women of Waco by being involved in organizations such as Junior League, and MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers). These experiences, along with being a mom, have given her a heart to encourage and relate to other women. Over the past two years, Sarah has felt led to begin to share some of her own experiences as a woman and mom to help minister and to encourage others. She recently started a personal blog www.saranelsonblog.com, which is still in the process of completion. Sarah is currently writing a series on dealing with crisis from a spiritual perspective, which is based on her own personal experience. Her goal with this project is to help others find hope in hardship. Sarah is beyond excited about being able to share, and to be a part of Waco Mom’s Blog. The last sixteen years have been an adventure! Eleven of those years have been spent living in Waco. Sarah and Mark moved away from Waco twice to live in Austin and Miami, and moved back both times for business opportunities. They are grateful to have laid down roots that have grown deep within the heartbeat of the city. They are thankful for their community, and dear friends they get to live life with. Sarah is beyond blessed to call Waco home.