In 2021, I gave birth to my third child. I get to raise three little boys whom I so desperately love and want to connect with, to speak truth into, and to be present with on a daily basis. As a mother of three, daily rhythms are essential. I have always enjoyed structuring my days around rhythms and routines. They’ve always helped me to be productive and feel in control, sometimes at the detriment of spontaneity and appreciating life’s little surprises. Now, I find that these rhythms are less about control (if you’re a mama to any number of children you understand that there’s really very little you have control over) and more about freeing me to clear my mind and simply be. When my kids and I know what comes next in our day, we’re able to enjoy each other and take our time through our activities. We cherish our morning rhythms together.
Morning time is probably my favorite part of our day. I try to wake up early to get ready, have Bible study and prayer time, and read a little bit on the couch before the kids stumble out of bed. Typically my older boys will join me as I finish up and nurse the baby. Sometimes I’ll read scripture out loud to them, and others they bring a few toys out to play while I write out my prayers in my prayer journal.
Once I finish up this quiet time, I like to turn on some calm worship music or hymns and start on breakfast. Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day. I love sitting with the kids while we all nourish our bodies for a full day ahead. Our go-to breakfasts are eggs with toast and fruit, oatmeal, or blueberry muffins with some mixed fruit on the side. While we eat I read to them from a children’s bible (this one and this one are our favorites), go over their memory verse for the week, and talk about our character trait we’re focusing on. We have some great conversations and usually end breakfast by praying over our day. Then I sit for a few minutes and finish up my coffee while my big boys go play outside. I savor those few minutes of peace before cleaning up and getting everyone dressed and brushed!
Play + Read
The next hour, I try to spend time simply playing with the kids. Sometimes we build legos or magnatiles, others we go outside for a bit. We also love spending some time reading together, often curled up on the couch. I think we all look forward to this time together, and we make some sweet memories together. When I first started adding this into our routine, it was hard for me to be ok with not being “productive” for awhile. I’ve come to realize, though, that connecting with my children daily is just as, if not more, important than checking off all the items on my to-do list. Building these relationships is paramount, and simply sitting and playing is what they need from me in this season.
Once we’ve played awhile, it’s time for chores. This varies each day but includes laundry, cleaning, feeding my sourdough or baking something, etc. I try to get the kids involved (vacuuming is their favorite), but a lot of times they just play. I like to listen to music or a podcast to make it all a little more enjoyable, too.
Snack and Lessons
By this time it’s usually close to 10:30, and my growing boys are ready for a snack! I’ll make them something quick, like yogurt, crackers and cheese, or fruit with peanut butter, and gather our things for lessons. We’re getting started with homeschooling our oldest, and right now that just includes a little bit of handwriting, number practice, and preschool level reading. I didn’t plan on starting this early, but he asks everyday to do his lessons! I love his enthusiasm for learning, and we have a lot of fun in the 20 or so minutes of learning time each day. My two year old plays with stickers or colors while I work with my four year old, and the baby is usually napping in the carrier at this point.
After lessons and snack, the kiddos play some more while I catch up on my to-dos. These rhythms are, of course, sometimes interrupted by squabbles or moments of discipline. Overall, though, our mornings run really smoothly. On days where we leave the house, we still prioritize quiet time and breakfast together, and I try to get at least one household task accomplished before we go to swim lessons, appointments, or playdates.
I think that my children love our morning rhythms just as much as I do. Knowing what to expect helps them feel comfortable and safe and leaves little time for wondering what’s next. These developed naturally over time, and I’m sure that as the boys get older the routines will change. For now, I’m so grateful for the connection and comfort we find in our morning rhythms.
Mallory Bell is a maternity, newborn, and family photographer serving Huntsville, Alabama and the surrounding areas. If you would like to schedule a session, please get in touch here.