You know the mornings that I’m talking about. The people that wake up to no alarm, the sun is shining and look pretty happy. There might be some kids strewn about, but really, who doesn’t have that? But after they wake up and smell that coffee (always Folgers) and enjoy together, it’s pure bliss. There is no rushing around. No arguing with kids about what they are going to wear to school or rushing to pack up lunches. They sound miraculous right?
Wait. Do these people have real kids? Real jobs? Real lives?
I’m here to break the news to you. They don’t. While the coffee they are drinking is likely very delicious, that image they portray in those commercials is often far from the reality of what many of our morning’s look like as parents. Rushing here and there. It could involve anything from not actually feeling like it’s possible that it’s morning because you didn’t actually sleep to dealing with a tantrum or two. Or even the hustle of signing permission slips, reminding everyone of the carpool schedule and practice times and running out the door. By the time you get to the door, you feel like you already need a nap. Is there a way to break that cycle? In the true chaos that mornings are for everyone, but especially parents, can you create your own version of a miraculous morning?
That’s a great question. I asked myself that myself this past March because I was at my wit’s end. I was already getting up to work out, but no matter what time I got up, I felt rushed, unbalanced and unprepared as the morning hustle went on and the minute I got to work, but mom brain was in full effect. Enter the book Miracle Morning. I saw some of my friends reading it. I love personal development stuff like that, so I jumped in. The book itself has lots of inspiriting stories from the author, Hal Elrod, and testimonies as to how people implement the practices, but when you get down to it, there are six simple things that Hal recommends called SAVERS. But my friends and I added another letter to form: SCAVERS.
The SAVERS acronym stands for:
(P.S. The “C” we added to make is “SCAVERS”, it stands for coffee. Because #duh)
Hal says that you can do these six steps in SIX minutes or an hour, depending on how long you want to spend on each of them. I was intrigued. My initial thoughts? The act of sitting in silence is so strange at first. But after setting a timer and siting in silence and breathing deep for a few days, I found myself oddly missing that true silence if my kids were to wake up early or I woke up later. It’s only a minute you say? Well, in the wonderful chaos that motherhood is, we all know that a minute can feel like an hour and sometimes it’s all we need to add some pep into our step.
Speaking affirmations out loud to myself in the mirror was not my favorite thing, but then again, I found my mind sometimes throughout the day going back to those quick statements I affirmed to myself and knowing that I have the strength to push through a hard situation. And the other odd one at first to me was visualization because I felt like I was a teenager making a vision board. My thoughts on that now? Don’t knock it until you try it. The mind can do some crazy, cool things.
Each day for a month, I set my alarm earlier than normal. Yes, even on those mornings when a kid or two (or the dog) were up a few times, I still got up and did these six steps. And while it was completely counter-intuitive to me because I was getting up EARLIER and adding MORE things to my morning, I somehow had a clearer mind at the start of my days. I was less frantic and more grounded. Feelings of strength would emerge to help me push through those moments where I would previously break (like when ANOTHER shoe somehow went missing for the seventh time or a blowout diaper the minute we needed to walk out the door or even a stressful situation at work). I wasn’t happy about those unexpected, unplanned things, but that short time I spent dedicating to me in the morning before everyone got up seemed to truly set a positive mental tone for the day. And it has truly been a game changer for me in all facets of life.
While the miracle morning steps might not be for everyone, what I would encourage any mom to do who feels rushed, out of sorts and just plain frazzled (which I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you’re probably in that club like I am most days!), is to take a short amount of time in the morning to set the tone of your day. It doesn’t have to be an hour; try to set aside six minutes of your morning and pour into yourself with quick things that build you up. While I cannot promise you a tranquil morning full of serenity and peace every morning, I think you might be surprised what a little bit of investment in your family’s biggest asset (yes, that is YOU!) can do to set the tone for your whole family.