Like most every person, I decided to take the New Year as an opportunity to better myself, but it didn’t come as an easy decision. I’m terrified of failure, and would like to believe that I’ve got everything together — but I don’t. I absolutely don’t.
So it took some convincing to get me to a point where I could actually bring myself to come up with some sort of “resolution” for 2020, despite my fears and reservations. After deciding I needed to set a goal, it didn’t take long for me to decide what kind of goal that would be: a new routine.
Total honesty here: I’m a complete novice when it comes to routines. My husband and I pride ourselves on our spontaneity, which in some circumstances can make things more fun and enjoyable, but when it comes to day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month tasks, especially with kids, we’ve come to realize that routines are necessary. This realization, however, was not an easy one to get used to.
A little background: about a year ago, my husband found out that he had a spontaneous pneumothorax (aka: a collapsed lung). We had a 1.5-year-old and six-week-old at the time, and our home life was so chaotic — granted, we had a six-week-old whom had just started sleeping through the night, but it was through the added chaos from this totally random medical event that we realized we were in desperate need of some order in our lives. Our wonderful parents spent the time we were in the hospital taking care of our girls and cleaning our house, which, although totally embarrassing, was a good kick in the pants to get us to realize we were drowning and needed a solution.
Ever since, we’ve worked our butts off to establish routines in all areas of our life. It’s only been a year and we’re definitely still newbies, so a new routine coming into the new year really seemed appropriate.
(And in case you’re wondering, the hubby is totally fine — who knew a 60% collapsed lung would only require a 48-hour hospital stay and absolutely no recovery time?)
So there I was, ready to tackle a new routine. One thing I have always struggled with is motivation, and lately I’ve been hearing a lot about the idea of a “Miracle Morning” — basically the way you start your day determines how the rest of it will go.
So I decided, why not start a morning routine?
I had a few ideas, like getting up before my girls in order to provide me with a chance to accomplish some things beforehand (although the idea of sacrificing sleep in return didn’t exactly thrill me; but hey, I was willing to try it).
I also decided to Google some good SAHM (stay-at-home mom) morning routine tips to gain a bit more insight, which actually proved to be incredibly helpful, as well as somewhat detrimental. First of all, I got some great ideas, like making the bed as soon as I wake up (maybe a no-brainer for some, but not for the routine novice like me) and identifying the top three things you need to get done that day to function and/or maintain your sanity.
There was one blog post in particular I found to be pretty helpful — it was chock full of great ideas and, after reading through them all, the blog writer even detailed her own morning routine.
Great! I thought. Now I’ll have a good idea of what regular, everyday SAHMs like me do every morning.
Boy, was I in for a ride.
It started off normal enough — she wakes up every morning at 7 a.m. and drinks a cup of warm water with lemon.
Lemon water — check!
Then she goes on to talk about taking a swig of sesame or coconut oil for what she referred to as “oil pulling.” Okay, I’m not exactly one of those coconut oil fanatics, but I guess if that’s her thing, whatever.
Then things started getting a little… interesting. Next, she dry brushes her skin and, if she has time, hops in the sauna with her hubby.
But that’s not all.
The rest of her morning involves taking a shower using homemade soap, cleansing her face with oil, washing her hair with clay shampoo, rinsing her mouth with salt water, brushing her teeth with remineralizing toothpaste, and — I wish I was joking — making time for “wave vibration” using a red light that she said would help her lymphatic system function optimally (her words — not mine).
At this point, I stopped reading. I hadn’t even gotten to the part where her kids wake up and I was already overwhelmed. I had questions — lots of questions.
Am I missing something?
Should I be doing what she does?
What in the world is the lymphatic system?
Is this what normal SAHMs do every morning?
All of a sudden, I didn’t feel like doing any more research. I put my phone down for a second and forced myself to stop my head from spinning. Although I didn’t know what half those things meant, it didn’t matter. Somehow I knew that it didn’t have to be that way; my morning did not have to look like that.
Now, for the record, if you’re someone that does any of those things, that’s awesome. Kudos! I’m sure it is super beneficial. But for me, that just ain’t gonna happen. My goal every morning is to keep the tiny humans alive — anything else I accomplish that morning is just a bonus.
So, keeping everything I had found helpful in planning my morning routine in mind (while attempting to keep what I had read in that last blog out of my mind), I solidified my routine and decided:
Alright, tomorrow’s the day. I’ll wake up early, make my bed, eat some breakfast, do devotions, maybe a little yoga, and I’ll be set. Here it goes.
And then I woke up with an incredible stomach ache and nausea that can only come from what everyone knows to be the dreaded stomach bug.
Needless to say, I was completely and utterly down for the count all day.
That whole idea of establishing a morning routine definitely didn’t go as planned. I’ll admit, I was a little annoyed. Not only could I not implement a morning routine, but how in the world would I ever live up to the women that hop in the sauna and sit under a red light to improve their lymphatic system every morning?
What in the world am I doing with my life!?
But then — who cares? What standard am I trying to live up to: my own, or someone else’s? This whole process of creating routines for my life is just beginning, and I’m certainly seeing its fruits, but why should I beat myself up about how someone else is living their life?
My goal this year is to establish a morning routine, but at the same time, I know it won’t be perfect. I am not a perfect mom, I am not perfect at creating and managing routines, and I am never going to have the perfect life.
So maybe my overarching 2020 resolution isn’t going to be what I can do, but what I can’t do — I can’t be perfect, so I’m not even going to try. What I will do is try my best to make that morning routine happen at some point, and that’s the most perfect, not-so-perfect New Year’s resolution that I can think of!