When you decided to become a stay at home mom, you might have been like millions (billions?) of other women—none of us had any clue what was in store for us! Of course, being a stay at home mom has so many perks and privileges. But anyone who has tried it knows that it can be a sanity-sucking job also. Whether you are a pro mom with 5 kids or a mom-to-be who is considering her options, there is one tool that makes staying at home with kids full time so much easier: the stay at home mom schedule.
The Importance of Creating a Stay At Home Mom Schedule
I know, half of you are probably vigorously nodding, and the other half is wondering why on Earth you would need a stay at home mom schedule in the first place. Trust me, you want one! Here is why:
- Creating a schedule will help you get your kids on a schedule. Kids, including babies, thrive on routine. This does not mean you have to schedule every single minute of every day, but it does mean that if your family holds to the same routine day in and out, you can minimize a lot of stress for everyone in the household.
- A stay at home mom schedule can help you increase focus. If you know you only have 30 minutes to get the dishes loaded and the kitchen cleaned between nap times, then you will find yourself getting things done a lot more efficiently than without a time blocked out for it.
- A schedule is a record of what you accomplished throughout the day. Ever feel like the entire day has gone by without a single thing being accomplished? Me too. Having a schedule laid out lets you easily recall what you spent your day doing, which is a great morale booster.
- Keeps you sane. Perhaps most importantly, a stay at home mom schedule helps the days not feel so long. Yes, there are so many sweet moments with your kids but there are plenty of times you want to rip your hair out, so seeing on your calendar that there are only 30 minutes left until a play date with a friend can help bring you some relief.
5 Things to Consider When Creating a Daily Schedule
Not sure how to even begin creating a stay at home mom schedule for the day? There are many things you should consider as you start the process.
One of the most important items to think about is sleep schedules. You’ll want to get your kids on the same napping schedule—trust me on this one! Additionally, you will want to consider what the ideal wake and sleep times for your kids are. Young children need about 12 hours of sleep at night (lucky!), so you can get them in bed early and up early, or have them stay up a bit later so you can have the mornings to yourself.
If you choose to participate in after-school programs or activities for young children, you will want to allot time in your schedule for those events. Make sure to consider the time it takes to drive there and back, as well as the time spent on wrangling kids into the car.
You know your child better than anyone else. So only you will be able to know how much time and interaction a child needs with you. Some kids are perfectly happy with an hour of independent play time or reading alone while other children need a more hands-on approach. Of course, younger children need more time and interaction than older ones, so make sure you work an age-appropriate amount of time with your children into the schedule.
This includes all those house-maintenance or other things that have to be done throughout the day like laundry and dishes. This also may include work hours if you have a work from home job.
Yup, you need to add some self-care time into your daily life! This can be a weekly massage during mother’s day out, 30 minutes to read a book during nap time or a nightly bath when dad comes home and takes over. Take care of yourself, mama!
5 Things to Include in Your Daily Schedule
Your stay at home mom schedule can be as detailed or general as you would like, but to help you have a starting point, here are some things to add into your daily schedule:
- Sleep. Humans—including moms!—need at least 7-8 hours of sleep nightly. Make your sleep a priority and schedule the entire day around everyone getting the rest they need.
- Downtime. Downtime can look different for everyone, but it’s an important thing to add to your schedule. Burnout at any job is real, and being a stay at home mother is certainly a job! It is also healthy for your kids to have some alone time and watch their mom do the same.
- Meal times. This includes making meals, eating meals, cleaning up after meals, and even meal prep. You’ll need to do some experimenting to see what works best for you, but there are many ways to prepare a week of meals in one setting should you so desire.
- Exercise. There are so many reasons exercise should be a priority! As you probably know, exercise produces feel-good hormones and energy, both of which are vital for a mother. You can drop your kids off at gym daycare or even get the kids involved in your workout by doing family walks or bike rides.
- Standing appointments or necessary appointments. The dentist, the doctor, your weekly therapy session—whatever it is, appointments should be kept as a priority with playtime and other activities filling in around it.
Sample Morning Stay at Home Mom Schedule
Morning time may be the best opportunity to stick to a schedule, particularly during the first few hours of the day. Your day will start a lot better if you try to wake up before your children—even 15 minutes to use the restroom and make a cup of coffee in peace can make a big difference. Here is a sample morning schedule to consider:
6:00 am – wake up, brush teeth, use the bathroom, etc.
6:15 am – do a quick workout followed by a shower
7:00 am – start breakfast and unload the dishwasher from the night before
7:30 am – wake up the kids, eat breakfast
8:30 am – get everyone dressed and ready for the day
9:00 am – play time
10:00 am – give the kids a snack. While they are eating, you can fold laundry, wipe counters, etc.
10:30 am – more play time until lunch
Sample Afternoon Stay At Home Mom Schedule
If you are unsure of how to spend your afternoons, this simple schedule can be a starting point.
12:00 pm – lunch, followed by high-energy play. The goal is to tire them out!
1:00 pm – nap time for the kids. Here is where you can add in some self-care or even catch up on sleep and nap as well.
3:00 pm – wake up the children and give them a snack, followed by play time.
4:30 pm – independent play for everyone. While kids are playing quietly or reading, you can catch up on household chores.
5:30 pm – start dinner while kids play.
Sample Evening Stay At Home Mom Schedule
One of the most challenging times of day to keep a schedule is in the evening. Luckily, by this point you may have another set of hands involved when dad comes home from work. Here is a sample schedule to try.
6:30 pm – dad is home and it’s time to eat!
7:00 pm – dad can have time with the children while you complete evening chores like dishes, trash, clear the table, vacuum, dust or pick up toys
8pm – get the children ready for bed – brush teeth, take a bath and read a bedtime story together.
8:30 – kids in bed
9 – Downtime for parents to catch up and/or watch a show together.
10 pm – bedtime for mom and dad. Don’t skimp on your sleep!
6 Tips for Sticking to Your Schedule
Still having a hard time sticking to the stay at home mom schedule? Here are a few tips and tricks that may help!
- Be specific and detailed in your schedule. if “cleaning the kitchen” doesn’t help you plan what to do, get more detailed. Break it up into “unload the dishwasher, wash dishes, deep clean fridge”, etc.
- Get the kids involved. Depending on their age, children may enjoy helping to create and enforce a schedule. Ask them what they would like to do throughout the day and add it to the calendar!
- Get everyone on a sleep schedule. Perhaps the best thing to do is ensure your kids are asleep and awake at the scheduled times as much as possible. If they wake up earlier they can quietly play or read in their room.
- Enforce nightly bedtime routines. Make every night similar right before bedtime—kids will soon know they must bathe and brush their teeth—no fights required!
- Find a calendar that works. Many people like to use a digital calendar on their phones, while others want a wall calendar. Other women prefer a printed planner that they can accessorize if they desire. Make it functional and beautiful and you will want to reach for it!
- Schedule downtime. Finally, make sure each day has a bit of downtime. A packed schedule is exhausting for everyone, including your children. Even just 30 minutes a day will allow time for rest or to catch up on items missed throughout the day.
5 Ways to Prioritize Self-Care
Ah, the allusive self-care time block on the stay at home mom schedule. It is hard to come by, but making self-care a priority in your daily life will make you a much happier mom which benefits everyone in the household! Here are a few ways to ensure it happens throughout the week:
- Make it part of your routine. If every day at 3 pm mommy takes time to read her book while the kids do the same, it just becomes part of the daily routine. You may have to enforce this quite a bit at the beginning, but eventually, your kids will embrace it as part of daily life.
- Utilize nap time to your advantage. Yes, nap time is a great opportunity to catch up on chores or work, but use at least a few minutes of it to do something for yourself. Despite your best efforts, it may be the only time alone you get all day!
- Make playdates a friend date. If you don’t have friends with kids, make some! Then you can let your kids go wild at the local park while you sit on the bench with your friend and chat.
- Turn up your favorite music or a podcast while doing chores. Or, you can do my personal favorite which is to turn on a great audiobook—I actually look forward to cleaning the kitchen now!
- Exercise with your children. Turn up some fun music and dance together, or take a family walk or bike ride. You’ll be able to spend time with your kids and teach them to enjoy exercise and self-care for themselves!
I hope this collection of tips and ideas helps you create a stay at home mom schedule that works for you and your littles. Remember to make sleep a priority, to be as detailed as you need to, and to schedule downtime and self-care so you don’t burn out!
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