My Morning Self-Care Routine (with a kid!)
Self-care and parenthood don’t always go hand in hand. Getting the time, space, and quiet to do your self-care practice (without immediately collapsing and turning on Netflix) can be really challenging. Especially for moms. Especially for parents of young kids.
That being said: it’s not impossible!
Right now, I’ve got a three-year-old AND a morning routine that actually works. So I wanted to share it, step-by-step, minute-by-minute (including what my kid is doing while all of this is happening).
Your mileage may vary:
My husband and I only have one child (who goes to day care), and we both work from home, so your mileage may vary.
Our Morning Routine:
6:40am: Wake up.
…If we’re not up already. We usually take turns getting up with kiddo on the mornings that he wakes up early. Make the bed. Open the blinds.
But at this time, husband goes downstairs feeds the cats and makes breakfast (and coffee!). During this time, I’m hanging out with kiddo, who is definitely awake by now. We make his bed, read books, play with cars, and chat. We might also pick out his outfit for the day.
7:05am: Eat breakfast as a family.
Do our gratitude practice. Breakfast is either oatmeal (made in the rice cooker overnight) or eggs. Once kiddo is done with breakfast, he goes to play by himself in the next room (where we can see him, obviously). Husband and I finish our coffee slowly and catch up on anything noteworthy.
7:30am: I get in the shower + get ready for the day
This is the best part of my morning. Hot water, alone with my thoughts. This time is essential for me to relax, work out any tight muscles, and have some time to collect myself before I start my day.
I get dressed, blow dry my hair, put on makeup (or not!), and do any other “getting ready”. I get dressed in “real clothes” even though I work from home and/or hang out with a toddler all day.
During this time, my husband and kiddo are unloading the dishwasher, cleaning up breakfast, and (then) playing or reading.
8:05am: We get kiddo ready.
I make kiddo’s lunch and pack his school bag (often he also helps me the night before). Kiddo dresses himself: nothing has to match, but it has to be (mostly) clean, and he (mostly) has to dress himself.
8:10am: Yoga practice.
My husband and I do yoga, while kiddo either hangs out near us or plays independently. Sometimes the timing on this changes, but we get at least 15 minutes of practice each morning.
8:25am: Play time.
I play with kiddo (or read books, his choice) until it’s time to leave for school. At this point, my husband has his own self-care time for showering and getting ready for the day.
8:40am: Shoes on and getting in the car!
Usually, getting us out the door is my terrain. Kiddo is pretty independent at this point in terms of getting shoes on, putting on his hoodie, and getting his bag. We listen to music on the way to school and chat about things he’s excited about doing/seeing at school.
8:50am: School drop off!
Big hugs and saying goodbye to kiddo. Usually, I drive kiddo to school (which is about 12 minutes from our front door to their front gate). Some days, we switch things to be a few minutes earlier, and my husband will bike kiddo to school, depending on the weather and other factors.
9:00am: Get to work! (+ start-the-day rituals)
At this point, I’m back from school drop-off and my husband is getting to work.
Self-care with a kiddo isn’t impossible!
It just takes some preparation, like establishing strong boundaries and a rhythm that works for everyone.