February Rhythm Challenge: Bedtimes and Morning Routines
Welcome to February’s Rhythm Challenge! For more background and links to all the Rhythm Challenges please see this post.
This month I want to challenge you to create bedtime and morning routines that you feel great about!
For most families, a solid rhythm around bedtimes and waking times provides an anchor for peaceful family life. The rest of the day can fall into place when evenings and mornings are humming along smoothly. So let’s start there!
I’ll walk you through some questions below. You’ll get the most out of this exercise if you take a few minutes to write down your answers. Sign up here for your free Rhythm Challenge download.
Sit quietly for a minute with your eyes closed and ask yourself: How do I want bedtime to feel for our family? Write down whatever comes to mind.
I really want to encourage you not to skip this step - whether you’re thinking about your family’s bedtime routine or any other change. By taking a minute to quiet your mind and focus on how you want something to feel, you invite your heart to join you in decision-making.
Next we can look at what’s happening right now and how it’s working for you.
What is your current bedtime routine? How does it feel? What changes would you like to make?
What most helps your child relax at night, feel safe and cozy, and ready for sleep?
You might already have an answer to this but if not here are some ideas to explore:
- Bathtime with a drop of lavender oil
- Storytime in bed
- Singing a lullaby
- A verse for tucking in goodnight
- Candlelight at bedtime
- A prayer you say together
- An invitation for the sweet dream fairies to come
- A gentle routine that stays the same very night
What’s your favorite way to connect with your child at bedtime?
If you feel tired and rushed at bedtime, I encourage you to find just one small way to connect before your child goes to sleep. Having a short and sweet ritual for connecting can also help if bedtime seems to drag on and on forever! If you don’t have a favorite ritual yet here are some ideas:
- All of the above ideas plus -
- Give a hug and kiss
- Give your warm attention and be fully present
- Talk about your child’s day or about the lovely day you’ll have tomorrow
- Take turns saying your favorite part of the day
- Tell your child you’re so happy to be his mama
- Tell your child a family story about his birth or babyhood or when you were small
What time would you like to have the children all tucked in?
What’s your ideal bedtime routine?
Now let’s move on to the morning routine. Homeschoolers don’t usually need to be out the door early but that doesn’t mean it feels good to have a chaotic morning! A great morning routine can set a positive tone for the day, help you get some chores done, and get the day started at a reasonable hour.
Sit quietly for a minute with your eyes closed and ask yourself: How do I want waking up and getting ready for the day to feel for our family? Write down whatever comes to mind.
Then consider how things are going right now.
What time do family members tend to wake up?
What’s your current morning routine? How does it feel? What changes would you like to make?
What are the challenges in the early morning? Brainstorm some ideas for smoothing out the challenges.
Often just giving yourself permission to brainstorm and get ideas down on paper will lead you to a great solution.
What’s the one thing you could do consistently that would make for a more peaceful and connected start to the day?
Is it picking out outfits the night before, going to bed with a clean kitchen, making a meal plan for breakfasts, getting some quiet time before your kids wake up, or taking a walk together to start the day? Try picking just the one thing that will make the biggest difference for your family and work on that until it’s a habit. You can always come back and add in something else later.
What’s one thing you could do to connect and set a positive tone for the day?
Homeschooling is all about relationships, so what can you do to strengthen your relationships before you think about starting in on your activities for the day?
What time would you like everyone to be ready for the day? Work backwards from there - by what time does everyone need to be up and moving? Does that change your idea of when anyone needs to go to sleep?
What’s your ideal morning routine?
Write it all out in detail!