2 Simple Rules for Great Mornings (Even If You Have Children)

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If mornings are easy for you, you’re never late for anything and you’re always in a good mood when you leave your house at 8:00 a.m., then you don’t need to read this and you can go back to your perfect life (and I’ll try not to hate you).

If you often feel like you’re ready to pull your hair out by 8:00 a.m., I can help. I’ve got some specific solutions to turn your mornings from frustrating and rushed to peaceful and workable. I’m not going to promise that you’ll love mornings (I’m not that crazy), but if you employ these two simple rules, you’ll find that mornings can be a pretty good way to start your day.

I’m going to be talking a lot about couples with children here (mostly because I think couples without children are only late in the morning because they were too busy having sex on the kitchen table, so I have no sympathy for them). However, even if you don’t have kids, these rules apply if you’re suffering through your mornings.

Rule #1: Start with Enough

You wake up in the morning to the sound of your alarm clock blaring by your bed. Your very first word of the day is a groan and your very first thought is that you didn’t get enough sleep. This is no way to start your day: you’re already “behind;” you already don’t have “enough.” Do you know what this kind of thinking does to you? You feel the way you think. So, if you’re already thinking that you’re tired, didn’t get enough sleep and that your life sucks, then you’re going to start your day feeling impatient, frustrated, resentful or hopeless.

I want you to start training yourself to stop that thought in its tracks: Notice the thought and then shake it off. Tell yourself that you’re going to have a good morning and get your head into a healthy place where both you and your amount of sleep are enough for today.

Rule #2: Have an Intention of Loving Service

Generally, there’s a “tone” in mornings that centers around “getting stuff done.” This applies mostly to women and moms, but men and dads are included here sometimes too. Excuse any sexism, but women are generally in charge of getting the kids ready and out of the house, making breakfast, preparing lunches and/or coordinating the upcoming day.

There’s a list of things to do and think about and this focus on “getting stuff done” creates frustration, impatience, anger, and - most damaging - controlling behavior. Yes, there are things that need to happen in the mornings, but I want you to stop, take a minute, and think about why you’re doing all this. Why are you so focused on getting all this stuff done? It’s because you want everyone to get where they need to go, with everything they need to get it done. It’s because you love them. The problem is that this loving motivation often gets lost in the mornings. 

Yes, there are things to do, but your actions and words will flow from your loving intention instead of a need to get stuff done.

Instead of focusing on “getting stuff done,” I want you to set an intention of loving service. I want you to set an intention to be warm, patient, and kind to yourself and your family members in the morning. Yes, there are things to do, but your actions and words will flow from your loving intention instead of a need to get stuff done. Therefore, you’ll be more self-aware, relaxed, and thoughtful, instead of on controlling autopilot where your only agenda is checking off what’s on your list and getting the hell out the door. You’ll still get things done, but the tone, feelings and mood will completely shift.

I’ve had MANY clients have huge success with this new way of thinking. Mornings become completely different as you hold yourself to this way of being. Your intention shifts everything.

When you’re in a state of “getting it done,” you’re in a controlling mind frame. When the people around you feel that you’re trying to control them, they react. They act passive aggressively (or just plain aggressively), get defensive, ignore you, or any number of other behaviors you don’t like. If you think about it, when someone is trying to control you, you probably act just like they do.

Have you ever walked down a street and saw someone coming towards you, and suddenly became vigilant? Maybe you watched them closely, felt your heart rate speed up, or crossed the street to get out of their path? You don’t do this with every person coming towards you on the street, so why this person? It’s because you picked up on an energy they were giving off. You picked up on their intention. People pick up on your intentions too. Your family members and loved ones pick up on your intention all the time and react in unconscious ways.

So, set the right intention and help make your mornings into a connecting, family time.

Kate Rufener