The post is a bit tricky for me to write, because the honest truth is I don't have a morning routine. I, we, don't have a routine at all. There's no alarm set at the same time every morning, because every morning is different.
Some mornings we have a full house, some mornings it's just me and the dogs. Some mornings everyone is up before ungodly o'clock because of school and tennis and international conference calls. Some mornings are slow, with newspapers in bed in the soft morning light and maybe, a little later, a giant family fry up with eggs and bacon and beans. Some mornings are not quite so calm, with I don't have any school pants and oops I forgot to print my homework and who is knocking on the door and making the dogs bark like crazy at this hour and dear lord I'm tired, is the week over yet.
This chopping and changing might sound like your worst nightmare. I'm pretty sure it goes against every bit of parenting advice ever, but it works for us. The benefits of the life we lead are huge - my husband works crazy, long hours and he travels, a lot. But when he's home he's really home. He's there with his boys in the mornings, and when they come home from school too.
And then, when I'm home alone, I get to do all the fun stuff I tend to postpone in the midst of family life. Things like blog writing and Instagram faffing, photo walks and late night yoga. Which in turn means that when the husband and step-sons are home I can really be home too.
Having a flexible, adaptable routine helps makes all that possible. Although - and here's one to twist your brain a bit - I reckon you need to be a bit of a control freak to go routine free. People often comment on how clean and organised our house is, but that's because it needs to be. When you don't have a routine, when everything is changing and fluid and day-by-day, you need to have a bit of order amongst the chaos. Or is that just me?
There are three other touchstones that keep me sane amongst the constant changes; three things that happen every single morning regardless of whatever else is going on who whoever else is around. First up, there's a cup of green tea in one of my vintage Pyrex mugs. On the busy mornings I normally make it two or three times before I actually drink it. But it always gets drunk, eventually.
Next is a shower. It doesn't need to be long, it just needs to happen. If you shower at night and not in the morning I can't possibly comprehend you. How on earth do you wake up and face the day without a shower?
And my third touchstone? Walking the dogs, of course. Partly because Elfi barks at me nonstop if she thinks I've forgotten (which is exactly as relaxing as it sounds) and partly because - even if it's just a fifteen minute stroll - there is something about starting the day with a walk that helps settle your mind. I highly recommend it, especially if you have some dachshunds in tow.
The My... posts are a way to get me writing more throughout 2015. There'll be one a month, each with a different My... prompt. You can play along as well, whenever and wherever you want. This month's prompt (March) is My Morning Routine. Next month's prompt (April) is My Sport. Interpret each prompt however you like - a story or a jumble of thoughts, fact or fiction, personal or not. Don't feel too constrained by the months either, if you like a prompt then have a go. And make sure to let me know if you do join in!