So, I’m a morning person.
I mean, I must be. I crash hard in the afternoons and I’m definitely not a night owl. So by process of elimination…
But that doesn’t mean that mornings are easy, and that I spring out of bed every day ready to greet the world. Small people are begging for breakfast and I’m trying to brush my teeth and do my hair and makeup and remember to take my medication (I forgot for several days in a row…we’ll talk about how that went later), and even though we technically don’t have to be anywhere by a certain time, at least 2 out of 3 people are hungry and cranky, everyone under 5 is ridiculously hyper, rebounding off the couch and wrestling each other, and the mornings quickly descend into a state of chaos.
That just doesn’t work for me.
I’ve been trying desperately to bring a sense of peace, order, ritual to our mornings. A little quiet time for us to calm down and connect makes a world of difference in everyone’s mood, and having a few moments of calm helps me tremendously to regroup and gear up for the day ahead.
So, without even more ado, my favorite easy-to-implement ideas for creating a peaceful mood: candles and soft music.
I first read about the idea of using a candle at mealtimes in Simplicity Parenting. It’s one of the easiest changes to try and it makes a noticeable difference.
There is something about the softness of candlelight that focuses attention without demanding it. It invites a certain mood–it’s a whisper, not a shout.
The boys love the ritual of lighting a candle (and of course, they beg to the one to blow it out when the meal is over).
I also usually play soft piano or guitar music in the mornings (thank you a million times over to the creators of Pandora. Station suggestions: The Relaxation New Age Guitarist, Classical Guitar, Solo Piano, and New Age Solo Piano.)
Now, I will be the first to say that kids are kids. They are just not programmed for long periods of quiet reflection. I’m not going to tell you that our mornings are now oases of solitude and peace, and that all shouting, wrestling, and fighting has been done away with.
But they’re better. And better is always good.
Do you have any morning rituals? I love the idea of sipping a relaxing mug of tea in the morning but our climate just doesn’t make me yearn for hot drinks. I do like me some iced coffee, though.