So, in the interests of getting to know one another a little better, I thought it might be fun to take you through what an average morning looks like in Casa Rhoades! I have learned over the years that starting my day hungry and in a rush does not make for a productive (or happy) day. In fact, I know if I leap out of bed, into the shower and out of the door (or straight onto the laptop as is more often the case), I’m pretty much setting myself up for failure. So here’s a little insight into how I try to get the most from my mornings with a baby in tow.
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – it’s drummed into us on what feels like a daily basis. So, it always astounds me the number of people who don’t eat before they start their day. Excuses range from ‘im just not hungry in the mornings’ to, ‘I don’t have time in the mornings’ or even, ‘I feel sick in the mornings’! Well, personally I’m pretty darn starving in the mornings! I’m not talking a little bit peckish here, I’m talking full on, stomach growling in protest hunger! So, (after Luna has her water and her nappy changed) food is my number one priority. I can quite honestly say that breakfast is my favourite meal of the day so I really go to town with a big bowl of warming porridge topped with lashings of fresh fruit, nuts and a generous drizzle of honey. Also tea…a big, unsophisticated, mug of tea!
Keeping Up With Them Fitness Goals
If you’ve read my posts regarding postpartum fitness, (check them out HERE) you’ll know that I have a bit of a love hate (actually it’s more of a hate hate) relationship with exercise. I am never going to be that girl who loves getting down and dirty in the gym – I’ve waited 30+ years, tried every regime going – it ain’t gonna happen! That being said, being on the wrong side of 30 and having (fairly) recently had a baby, I am in no way prepared to rest on my laurels! So, it’s at this point in the morning that I’m usually to be found having a stern word with myself as the devil on my shoulder systematically delivers today’s excuse as to why I can’t work out. I’m not going to lie – sometimes the devil wins out but more often than not, I suck it up and endure each and every painful minute. Personally, I find that it actually helps to have some level of accountability where fitness is concerned and the fact that I’m paying actual money to do it gives me one less reason to quit and one more incentive to stay on the productive path.
As a self-respecting Virgo, I love a good to do list and find it quite therapeutic to at least plan to be productive. The sleep situation is pretty dire in our house so I already feel a bit like I’m starting the day on the back foot so to speak. If I can make a rough itinerary of work to be done, housework that needs to be addressed and meals I intend to eat, then I feel as though I’m giving myself a bit of a leg up for the day to come (though inevitably, with a baby, things do veer off course more often than not).
Baby Comes First
Everything revolves around Luna – as it should. I can organise and make lists until my heart’s content but if she has other plans then those are the ones we’ll be going with. As she’s not a big sleeper I try to leave the jobs that require the most brain capacity for the half hour she deigns to have a nap (although there are plenty of occasions where the lure of a peaceful shower is too tempting to ignore). If things are going to plan then by mid morning Luna should be ready for a nap and I should be ready to make a start on my to do list.
Top Tips For A Productive Morning
- Buy a playpen. This has pretty much changed my life. No exaggeration. As soon as Luna started to move things became ten times more difficult as I couldn’t simply pop her down on the floor with her toys while I nipped to the loo/put the washing on. It may look a little draconian – putting your baby in what is essentially a cage – but the peace of mind it gives you when you need to leave the room for a moment is beyond priceless!
- Lists. I touched on this earlier but I find it so helpful to get everything that’s swirling around my head down on paper. That way I can organise my jobs and commitments in order of precedence and I know I’m giving myself the best possible shot at actually getting them done.
- Make a routine. Obviously, not every day will be the same but I think it can be really helpful particularly with a young baby to have a routine to fall back on so you both essentially know what you’re supposed to be doing and when. It certainly helps to keep my mind clear and allows me to move from one activity to the next without getting into that mind fog of ‘what comes next’.
- Create a happy space. In terms of getting work done I find if I’m wearing something comfortable have a nice hot drink and perhaps a lovely scented candle on the go then I feel so much more productive and inclined to knuckle down and get things done – for me, if I’m feeling uncomfortable or if I’m in a messy space then I really struggle to get my mind focused on the job at hand.
- Sleep. I know, I know, no-one is getting enough sleep and there is absolutely zero most of us can do about it! If getting more sleep just isn’t an option then I have a few ideas to keep you moving forward when you feel like your wading against the tide.
- Drink a large glass of water. It’s amazing the effect knocking back a pint of water (or liquid life as I like to call it) can have when you’re just about ready to drop.
- Get some air. I find getting some fresh air – even if it’s just stepping into the garden for five minutes can really give me a much-needed boost.
- Exercise. It’s usually the last thing you want to do after a sleepless night but getting straight into a workout, gets the blood circulating and actually helps shake that limp, boneless feeling that becomes all too familiar when you have a baby in tow.
- Product. A friend bought me the ‘Energy Boosting Kit’ from NEOM when Luna was born and it’s amazing how a little luxury and a zingy scent can really give you a lift.
Can We Talk About Tea?
If all else fails there is always tea. (Tetley, Skimmed Milk, No Sugar FYI). Tea is singlehandedly responsible for my sanity remaining largely in tact. I’m usually at least three cups down by lunch time. Tea is life!
I hope you have found some of these tips helpful. I’m acutely aware that there is definite room for improvement in my own levels of productivity and I would be delighted to hear any tips or tricks you use to stay focused, positive and productive. Leave me a comment – I’d welcome any thoughts or ideas.