COMMENTARY: Five 'Save The Morning' tips for moms of littles

by Jillian McNeely, |

Fellow Stay-at-Home Momma,

Can I share a few small tips for the morning that have helped me to be more productive and intentional—aka, off the couch vegging out—as I'm home with my young'n?

  1. Spend at least a few minutes chipping away at your Bible reading plan in the morning before your family needs you. This is when we plug into God, Who ultimately empowers us. I decided that I wanted to read the Bible chronologically this New Year. So far I'm on January 7th. But I'm determined to make getting into the Word a priority and habit, so I keep trying, even if I only get a few minutes of reading in before my "boss" (my son, Shiloh) gives me a new project.
  2. Along with that, brush your teeth and wash your face! I can't tell you how many times I have done these things for the first time in a day at around 4 p.m. But when I make an effort to do them in the morning (alright, usually during my son's early afternoon nap . . .), I feel SO invigorated!!
  3. Sometime soon after you do that, put on fresh clothes! I'll even put on earrings if I'm feeling extra "blah." Today I changed out of last night's jammies into . . . an oversized shirt and leggings! Still comfy and mom-functional, but helps me to mentally (and emotionally?) set the boundary between a groggy "I just wanna sleeeeeeep!" and "OK, let's tackle the day!" Putting on a fresh set of clothes in the morning is like eating breakfast on the day you're running a marathon. Kind of.
  4. Speaking of breakfast—eat it! You feed your children because they need sustenance and nourishment . . . Well, so do you! You work as hard as (if not harder than) anybody! Make it a point to eat an apple, drink coffee, whatever you can to get physically fueled for the day.
  5. Show yourself grace. Of course, this one can be done throughout the day. But as I just stated, being a mom is hard work (if we're doing it right). Selfless, constant, physically draining hard work. You're gonna be exhausted. Don't beat yourself up if you waste time here and there floundering around, trying to motivate yourself to get off the couch. Not to sound cliché, but do remember, God shows you grace!

So, Momma, I hope you'll try to incorporate these tips into the start of your day. There's nothing magical about them, of course, just practical (well, getting into the Word reaps spiritual benefits, too, if we're getting technical).

Hopefully, they will really influence your day for the better—not to feel like "Susie Homemaker" who has everything together, but to be a faithful mother who seeks to make the most of her time by being productive and intentional.

However, I know first-hand that sometimes the weariness of mothering can be so overwhelming that a minty-fresh mouth or 5-minute Bible read in the morning is just not "enough."

Sometimes what I need is more than can be "checked off" from a list. Quite frankly, sometimes what I need is to actually ask for God's Holy Spirit to empower me and sustain me. My dear fellow mothers, let's not underestimate the seemingly simple act of asking God for His divine help; I hope we will do so as liberally as we need to (morning, schmorning . . .).

And then after all that, maybe drink some coffee. :)

"The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him." Psalm 28:7

Jillian McNeely is wife to a sweet aspiring pastor and stay-at-home mom to a kissable toddling son. She is finishing up her undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies at the College at Southwestern, while her husband pursues his studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jillian enjoys all things domestic and loves when her day includes eating a sweet or two, singing with the guitar, or watching a classic Disney movie.

This blog article first appeared on, a ministry of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.