It feels only right to write my first blog on beginnings. Specifically, the beginning of the day.

In the past, my mornings began like this;

  • wake up to one or both kids crying.

  • make a bottle, weetbix and a coffee all while herding the kids into safe areas of the kitchen.

  • all of us fill up our bellies and we’d talk to Aunty Sarah who’s living in London.

It was never too long into the morning when I started hearing myself saying things like:

“Ahh, Maya, please stop hitting Teddy.”

“Don’t put your spoon in your brothers mouth.”

“If you don’t want Teddy pulling your hair then move away.”

I began to cringe hearing my own voice. How embarrassing! Is this the mother I want to be? Is this how I want to talk to my children? Where is the relaxed, fun, loving mum I thought I was going to be?

THINGS HAD TO CHANGE!! There was no doubt about it! I wanted all of us to start the day off in a peaceful, nurturing environment. I had always dreamed of being a Mum that is fully present, who never raised her voice (ummm, yeahhh) and one who approached every situation calmly (Mother Teresa goals right?!).

I was expecting the kids to also ooze peaceful morning essence but it wasn’t happening.

What Einstein had said hit me – “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. One thing was for sure, the kids weren’t about to change.

So, I put on my big girl panties and changed. Some things I changed have worked, some didn’t (nothing lost right?). So here are three of the things that I have found have worked…

Mindfulness Meditation

Every morning before I even step foot out of bed I turn on a guided meditation. The app I use is called Insight Timer. It’s AMAZING; its free(!!), has a plethora of options to suit your situation (even ones aimed specifically to mornings), and you can sort by length of time you have.

I have tried doing a mediation with my kids. This proved to be incredibly difficult. I think I will try again when their attention span is longer than 3 seconds as I really want this to be a habit they take on themselves as it encourages feelings of security, empathy and inner stability, and this, in turn, builds compassion, joy and self-esteem.

No TV/ Technology

This became a game changer. I used to put on a kids show for Maya to keep her entertained while I got everything ready. I thought it was going to allow me to be productive. I quickly came to realise that this was counterproductive to the calm, relaxing start of the day I was hoping for. She would get distracted and not eat her breakfast, get hyped up and the whole atmosphere would be tense.

This also meant giving up my long chats to my sister who lives on the other side of the world. Talking to my sister has become an amazing way to debrief, process and clarify my thoughts (yes, I am very much an external processor) so giving this up or even cutting it short is something I really didn’t want to do. Now instead, after everything is completed for the morning and if we have a few spare minutes before heading off for the day we talk to her then.

I found that I would be trying to talk to Sarah about stuff that I felt was important and Maya would be vying for my attention. This would end in us both being frustrated.

With turning off the technology and instead playing some relaxing morning tunes it sets the mood to us both being engaged in the now and feeling connected to each other.

Positive Speech

Lastly, I try to really watch my speech. I want my kids to begin the day feeling positive and empowered. I try to say between 3-5 positive things each morning (yes, some mornings it was “how awesome, my coffee is still hot!”). I find that Maya will copy and say things like “How awesome, I like grapes”.

All these things have helped to shape my mornings to be more fun, relaxing and calm. Maybe some might work for you too? I’d love to hear any suggestions that work in your house.

Peace and love,

O