Now that the baby is almost six months old, and beginning to appreciate things like melons, apples, pears and carrots — but not, let it be known, green beans in any way, shape or form — he’s slowly beginning to settle down into a daily routine. And while I don’t know what it is about routines, I do know that when I stick to mine, it has the power to complete change the course of my day.
So here’s my morning routine, which I’ve laid out in the back of my bullet journal, punctuated by red highlighter because don’t all happy things call for the use of dramatic, primary colours sometimes?
My mornings start at a time that largely depends on when the baby wakes up, but after he’s been changed and fed and playing downstairs safely enclosed in his playpen, I sneak back upstairs. I fold our pyjamas, tuck them underneath the pillows, and fold back the sheets. Then I open the curtains to let the light in, and open the window to let the fresh air in.
I change into some clean clothes, put anything that needs washing into the laundry, run a comb through my hair, and get ready for the day, which usually involves brushing my teeth and putting mascara on. I do a cursory tidy of the bathroom, head back into the bedroom to make the bed, then go downstairs to check on the baby.
If he’s doing well, I go into the kitchen and start tidying it up. I unstack the dishwasher, put away any clean dishes, wipe down the counter-tops, and put away any trash.
There are a lot of good things about mornings, and breakfast is, without a doubt, my favourite part. I mentioned before that I can be fiercely loyal to certain things in life, and it’s more than evident in the fact that I’ve had cereal for breakfast every day since I was fourteen. The type of cereal has changed, but the fact that there’s no way I’d rather start my day off than with something crunchy topped with milk certainly hasn’t.
Breakfast goes along with a handful of vitamins and a glass of cold water, and is only started once the baby has been given his vitamins, too. It’s enjoyed leisurely alongside a book, a YouTube video, some music, or planning; whichever I’m in the mood for.
After playing for a little bit with the baby – who has just now started to learn how to roll over, and is more delighted by the fact than we are – I head back upstairs to get started on the laundry. I usually take the baby along, tucking him in his rocking chair, and chat to him as I put a load of laundry on, and fold and put away any loads of laundry that I’d completed the night before.
And if there’s some available, I’ll do the ironing, as well. I’ve always found the job comforting; something about uncreasing fabric and the tuff-tuff-hiss of the iron, maybe.
With the laundry sorted, the baby and I head downstairs, and I usually tuck him in for his first nap. While he’s snoozing gently, I check his diaper bag and my own handbag to see if everything is packed. Homemade baby food, bibs, nappies, keys, wallet, receipts.
After that, I check the mail, and deal with it there and then if I’ve the time. Waste gets recycled or shredded, and anything that requires some sort of reply is either dealt with or put into a neat little pile on the dining room table for me to go over at a later time.
The final part of my morning routine is an optional step, but one that can nonetheless be quite important. I have a look at what I had planned for dinner and if there are any steps I can take now to make preparing it easier later on in the day, I do them. And after that, I let the day carry on with itself.
Of course, when the day ahead is busy, some steps may get rushed a little bit more than on those days spent leisurely at home, but since it’s such a simple routine, it’s an easy one to carry out no matter how pressed I am for time.
Do you have a morning routine? Is there anything you feel like you could be doing to make your mornings run smoother? I’d love to know!