My Mama Morning Routine
Lately...these two have been keeping me on my toes.
Now that L can stand up on his own, there's even more for me to do.
Like...making sure they don't hurt themselves when they swap toys.
Or, keeping little yogurt hands off the window and the window sill (because baby brother and doggie would have loved to join in on this fun if I hadn't cleaned it up in time!!)
The story behind this one? Oh yeah, lemme tell ya!
I asked her if she wanted yogurt for a snack. She said, "YES!"
Well, because she's a BIG girl now, I left her on her own to eat. L was content playing on the floor, so I thought I'd get a minute to myself so I sat down in the living room on my nice, big comfy chair and put my feet up. Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!
During this time, I'm hearing a very happy 3 year old singing the sweetest tunes out loud.
I soon turn around and then I see her, pretty much right behind me, doing this to our window.
Oh boy!! I freaked inside. All I thought was, "DANG!!! I GOTTA CLEAN THAT UP NOW!! MORE STUFF FOR ME TO DO!! I CAN'T EVEN SIT FOR 5 MINUTES!!"
But, I kept my cool. I learned this from my teaching days...GRATEFUL for that!
I got up, and she says, "NO MOMMY! Don't get rid of it, it's beautiful!"
Oh, her sweet words made me smile and laugh.
I said, "Yes! It's beautiful, but next time, let's paint on paper, OK!"
Then I thought to myself, "guess I shouldn't of taught her how to finger paint with yogurt when she was 2." Ha!
My life with my littles is exhausting, super busy, non-stop and can really make me feel like my brain is going to mush.
But, I'm happy to say, so far I've survived almost 10 months with my baby and my toddler and I'm pretty darn proud of that, but at the same time, I'm SO much more aware of how I need some major stillness in my life.
Since my time is SUPER DUPER limited right now (hubs is literally working his butt off day and night and weekends) I've been going within and asking myself what is it that my body, mind and soul truly need right now.
The answer is ALWAYS finding more time to create calm and stillness in my life.
Now that L is sleeping through the night, I've been getting up at 5:30 am for the past 3 weeks.
I NEVER, EVER thought I'd get up at 5:30 am. I love my sleep andI'm usually trying to sneak in as much sleep-in time that I can get, which is harder than ever now that I'm a mom!
When I slept in (meaning, I got up right when the kids did), I'd take my shower with the kids with me in the bathroom, which I did super fast because I didn't want them to get hurt doing anything they shouldn't and then, once I was out and getting ready, both kids (and dog!) needed me ASAP, so I turned up the "get ready speed" to an even faster level.
After all that, I was always left feeling super frazzled, angry, frustrated, exhausted and short tempered.
So I've finally committed to getting up before the kids to start my day, because I've had a taste of what it feels like to wake up to a quiet house in the morning and my day goes 10x better when started this way.
Once the alarm goes off, I do my guided morning mediation.
Then after my hubs leaves for the day, I shower, dry off and do a self coconut oil massage.
I don't get ready just yet, just some comfy clothes to do yoga in. I tip-toe out of the room (C is sleeping on a air mattress in our bedroom because she's still in the "afraid of monsters" stage) and I pour myself an ice-cold glass of lemon water (I crave cold water in the summer and hot water in the winter) and then I do my 20 minute Rodney Yee AM Yoga DVD.
Once yoga is done, I take the last few minutes and head out onto my patio with my lemon water.
No phone. No computer.
Just ME, my water and the sounds of nature. (I haven't taken a picture yet of my morning view, because no phone...no nothing, but this was a time during the day on the weekend when I was able to sneak in some "doing nothing" time while C was playing with my hubs inside and L was napping).
I put my feet up. I watch the clouds roll by. I listen to the birds sing. I look at the different shades of green on the grass and on the leaves from the sun shining on them, and I soak in the calm and stillness of the morning.
Sure, nature is moving, but, to me, nature moves gently. Something I need more of...gentle moves. But, really, I need more of just BEing...sitting still...no reading, no thinking, no talking, no loud noise, no movement. (And, I especially LOVE this time because all of our neighbors dogs are quiet, too!! They bark all day and night long).
The first few mornings I did this, I found myself in tears because I can't even remember the last time I actually sat still and watched the clouds and it felt oh-so GOOD.
(And, it made me realize just how important slowing down and soaking in the present moment is to me. And, that life just gets SO busy that it literally passes by. Living in my head, all the to-dos, not making time to slow down...not good in my book!)
Usually when I'm out on the patio, my kids are rolling by me, playing, singing, yelling, talking, screaming, throwing, banging and just BEing the awesome kids they are.
I'm usually on my phone trying to catch up on blog posts, reading articles and, I'll admit, checking FB a bunch of times. Sometimes I try to read a book or journal my thoughts down in notebook, but that's SUPER hard with my kiddos playing around me.
So, yes, this quiet. This stillness. It made me cry happy tears.
Because the one thing I truly need right now, in my crazy, mama life, is the practice the art of doing nothing.
(Have you ever read or seen the movie, Eat Pray Love? Oh man, it's been awhile since I've read the book. But it was on TV a few weeks back and I taped it. I didn't know it was on, just so happened to see it really quick while searching for a kids show for my daughter. I didn't get to tape it from the beginning. Well, I sat down for a mama second and started it and it was this part...the sweetness of doing nothing part...my favorite part of the book and movie!! Definitely a big time sign...and this was before I started my morning routine! SO COOL and SO GLAD I listened!! ).
When my daughter wakes up, she comes out and climbs up on my lap and I'd tell her, let's listen to the birds sing and I rock her back and forth.
We sit for maybe 5 minutes or less before she finally gets her jolt of "I'm awake!" energy. But, I'll say, I do love ending this moment with her because she's quiet and we get a moment together before we get baby brother up.
The rest of the day, I feel SO much CALMER! My emotions are more tame and I just feel so much lighter and happier.
Because I LOVE those feelings, I'm motivated to keep doing it!
It's easy to keep going and not taking breaks to relax, especially with taking care of little kids all while living in a society that promotes doing nothing as being lazy and not successful, but it's this type of living that makes me feel more drained and frazzled.
I don't have enough "doing nothing" balance in my life and my body and mind NEED more of it.
I do have some mornings where both kids are up, but I make sure to get my mediation and shower in before I tend to them, because doing something is still providing me the stillness benefits that I crave.
If they're up at 6 or 6:30, I'll do yoga with them (which is definitely a whole lot different from when I do it by myself, but my body needs the stretching SO bad. Lots of aches and pains from carrying baby brother and tending to big sister 24/7).
I'd much rather do the yoga with them than take a shower and get ready with them, that's for sure!! TOO CRAZY for me!! :)
On those days, I don't get to sit outside on the patio by myself, and it does make me upset, because out of everything I do in my morning routine, this one is the most nourishing to me.
I've been trying to tell myself to get up 5 am. But, that hasn't happened yet.
I'm just super left-brain when it comes to this...I have to do this routine in order because of the FEELING it provides me.
Sitting outside, in nature, in stillness, in quiet, after mediating, showering and stretching my body is the most amazing feeling in the world.
And, yeah, if I had WAY more time on my hands, I'd add in gratitude journal writing, vision/manifest writing, doodling, or, even better, doodle painting,go for a walk around my neighborhood, eat a nice, homemade, seasonal breakfast slowly...
AAAAAHHHH!! SO many things I wanna do before my kids wake up....things that I wanna do alone!! lol.
This season in my life where I'm taking care of everyone else before ME seems SO stressful and nonstop, but everyday I do find little moments that make my insides sparkle (and, of course I take pictures of them, because photography is a huge inner sparkle of mine!) and that truly remind me that not every moment is exhausting and mundane and that taking care of my littles is the best thing I could ever be doing in my life right now because I get to witness moments of stillness in their lives as well...moments that actually open up a few moments for ME, too.
Like here, when big sis brought her table, chairs and basketball hoop into her bedroom (we have these in our living room) and she said she was playing school with her stuffed animals. She did this for almost 30 minutes!
And, here, where I was looking all over the house for baby bro and eventually found him in his sister's room playing with a toy happily and oh-so contently.
Now, this may have not been a quickie mama ME time moment because I was pretty frantic trying to find him (because you know when it's quiet in the house that's not usually a good thing!), but when I found him like this, in his sister's room, I was able to stop my hectic mama life for a moment and soak in this beautiful time in my sons life as he's beginning to build his confidence and move his way all over our house that probably looks GINORMOUS through his eyes. (and of course, with Rusty right by his side!).
I'm SO passionate about taking the time to just BE and I'm SO happy that I've created some time to reconnect with how I FEEL when I just sit and do nothing in nature. I can't wait until even more time opens up and I can go to the beach and watch the sunset, something I've always LOVED and done while growing up in south Florida.
Nature IS the #1 calming nourishment for my body, mind and soul.
And, who knew that I'd actually look forward to 5:30 am, because, like I said, there's nothing better than waking up to a quiet house before the little kiddo day starts!
C + L...I'm SO grateful you've shown me the way to amazing nourishment of early morning rising brings me. You both have changed me in so many positive ways!!
So, tell me...
When's the last time you stopped and watched the clouds roll on by?
Until next time...
Life IS creatively calm...SAVOR it up!