We mamas of littles are in short supply of a regular routine.

Don’t get me wrong, we constantly do methodical things over and over — laundry, dishes, chauffeuring to ballet class. But in the midst of that, we’re putting out fires left and right, stopping our chores to put on an impromptu puppet show with the kids, and answering email and phone calls about who-knows-what.

It helps to have a predictable, regular routine, just for yourself.

And while it might indeed be “for yourself,” in reality, it’s for the benefit of the whole family. Kids and the spouse appreciate a mom and wife who’s pleasant and has her act (somewhat) together.

Doing the same things, again and again, first thing in the morning in order to prepare yourself for the day has enormous blessings. You focus on your priorities. You have a few minutes of quiet to yourself. You channel your efforts on preparing your day, instead of letting it prepare you. You’re on top of things.

I’m not necessarily talking about habits, though for you, it could involve changing them. I’m talking about those things you’re probably doing anyway — you're simply choosing to do them in a deliberate, predictable way.

In the morning, I make breakfast and coffee, check email, shower, get dressed for the day, read my Bible, take vitamins and meds, check my to-do list, and finally get the kids ready for the day. Without a routine, I do all these things haphazardly, maybe not getting to them until noon. Things that aren’t necessarily important get my best energy, leaving the dregs for the stuff that really matters. I feel meh all day.

But when I wake up and do these most essential things first, I feel like I've won the start to my day. Even if the rest of the day is a mess, at least the morning was some semblance of sane.

I like having five things I do the same way, in the same order, every morning.

Here’s my routine right now (which changes monthly with a baby in the house):

  1. Wake up, take my meds and vitamins, and start coffee
  2. Read my Bible and pray
  3. Check email
  4. Shower + get dressed for the day
  5. Make breakfast

After these five things are done, I feel like I can truly start my day. On the days when this routine doesn’t happen first thing, I just feel… different. I’ll be fine, I don't beat myself up — but I’m just not as on top of my game.

Massively important about your morning routine: it is not your taskmaster. While the point is to establish a routine to your day, life happens. Especially with tiny kids. When someone needs something, we often need to set our routine aside for the benefit of those we love. We can try again the next day. It’s important, but it’s not that important.