Trying My Best

Today I made my coffee as usual (or so I thought). Somewhere in the chaos of getting the kids’ breakfast, breaking up fights that were already occurring, and unloading the dishwasher, I stopped for a second to take a sip of coffee. Yuck! It tasted like coffee water, which was when I realized that I brewed my coffee with yesterday’s coffee grinds. Not pleasant.

I am so not a morning person, so I didn’t even realize something was wrong with the coffee immediately. I’m assuming had I looked at its color, that would have been my first clue. But nope, I had to sip the bland coffee water before I realized.

I can sometimes force myself into being a morning person for short periods, but overall it’s just not me. You would think that after working the morning shift at Starbucks for years, meaning waking up at 3:30 and being at work by 4:30, I would have become a morning person, but no. It helped me learn how to function while tired, but not become a morning person.

I would say I’m a night owl by nature, and if I could, I think my biological clock wants me to sleep from like 2 am to 10 am. But alas, the life of a mother does not allow you to keep such schedules. Maybe when I have teenagers. (Haha. I hear you mothers of teenagers laughing at my insanity.)

Anyway, I feel like I’ve read over many times that the key to being a successful mom is to wake up before your kids and have a great morning routine. No matter how hard I try, this never works for me. If I try to wake up early to get up before the kids, they just wake up earlier. So I get nothing done by myself, I am extra exhausted, and I feel like a failure because I somehow convinced myself that only people who wake up earlier than their kids and have a relaxing morning routine are successful.

Sometimes I wish I could be that mom that wakes up before everyone and has a peaceful morning sipping coffee alone while praying, leisurely makes a to-do list for the day after completing an hour-long walk in nature. Or the one that makes real breakfast for everyone every morning. Or even just the one that showers before the kids are up. Is any of that real life? I’m not sure.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.,” said Teddy Roosevelt, which surely applies here. I am starting to finally realize that it’s ok not to be a morning person or wake up before my kids or have a morning routine that includes anything other than making the bed and stumbling to the coffee maker. I’m trying my best, and that’s all that matters.

I’m trying MY best.

MY best is different than anyone else’s. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. We all have different crosses to bear. There isn’t just one way to do something, and what works for someone else might not work for me, and that is ok.

What does work for me is having a nighttime routine that sets me up for the morning.

Here is my current nighttime routine:

1. Pick up anything left out.

I start by going around and picking up anything scattered around our main living areas. There’s always something or many somethings.

2. Make breakfast

During the week, I never make a hot breakfast. (Actually, even on the weekends, I rarely make hot breakfast.) I usually make a batch of overnight oatmeal for myself and Purplelicious enough to last four days. (recipe at the bottom of this post.) I will sometimes make hard-boiled eggs or muffins. Mike likes hot oatmeal in the crockpot, so occasionally, I’ll use this recipe to make it. (The extras freeze well to reheat). Animal Lover and Chaosman rotate between whatever I’ve made or bagels or cereal. 

3. Make Lunches

This is the step of my nighttime routine I end up skipping most frequently, but I always have the best days when I’ve done this the night before. I probably end up only doing it for half the week, though. We have sectioned containers with a lid for each kid, and I use those to pack lunches for the next day. Usually, it’s whatever vegetables and fruit we have and cubed grilled chicken.

4. Set up coffee

I set up the coffee, so all I need to do is fill my glass with ice cubes and hit brew in the morning. (This works better if you actually replace with new grinds, unlike I did this morning.)

5. Sweep/ Wipe Counters

Then I wipe down the counters and sweep the floor for the like 37th and final time of the day. Side note: Am I the only person that has to sweep this much? I read a cleaning schedule once that said to sweep or vacuum once a week. I can’t even imagine what our floor would look like if I swept once a week. It looks bad enough with me sweeping after each meal.

5. Run dishwasher

I try to fill the dishwasher all day, so we don’t have a pile sitting at the end of the day, but sometimes there’s still a pile after dinner. Either way, we fill what’s left and run it. We run it every night, even if it’s not full. However, it’s pretty much always packed. That way, it also forces me to put them away in the morning to fill it again the next day.

I’m not always successful with my nighttime routine. ( Hence the coffee water this morning.) But this is what mostly works for me right now. When I get it right, it makes life so much easier for my overtired next-morning-caffeine-needing self. So I’ll keep trying my best.

Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you have any morning or night time routines?

Here’s that oatmeal recipe in case you want to give it a try:

Overnight Oatmeal Recipe (inspired by The Yummy Life )


  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vanilla or plain greek yogurt (or any flavor you like)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (or any other fruit you like)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds


  1. Add all ingredients into a pint sized mason jar. (Or any other container with a lid.)
  2. Close the container and shake it all up until mixed well.
  3. Refrigerate at least overnight, and up to several days depending on your fruit choices. Blueberries last at least 4 days, but cut fruit like strawberries seem to be best when eaten within 1-2 days.

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