Are you at home during the day and looking for an awesome stay at home mom schedule? Here are some factors you should think about while making your own!
I remember being pregnant with my first child and thinking… oh puhlease…
I’m gonna rock this stay at home mom business.
Naturally, I will have things folded, ironed, and puffed. I will make interesting dinners and coif my hair and laugh at the days to come. It’s going to be so fun not to have a job and I will take a lot of naps.
I’m not quite sure when this whole illusion fell through… but it was hard for me.
In fact, my hormones got so out of control I had to meet with an anxiety counselor and she gave me a pearly pearl of wisdom.
Know what she said?
It’s the over-achieving Type A moms who often have the hardest time becoming moms, and an even harder time staying at home.
I immediately knew she was right.
You see, I was so used to controlling every thing in my environment.
Having a baby made me come face to face with a stark reality: there are many things outside my control.
And the truth is, knowing that made me want to have a better routine even more.
Knowing that so many factors of my day would be up to baby, then toddler, then preschooler, toddler, and baby… that it became of utmost importance that I purposefully crafted my day to benefit myself and the entire family.
There’s simply no way around it… without a proper stay at home mom schedule you’ll be running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
Things To Consider When Making Your Stay At Home Mom Schedule
As a mom at home, your stay at home mom schedule is very important. Here’s how to make a great one.
Prioritize Sleep (For You And The Kids)
I debated putting this first, but there’s no way around it.
If you’re a tired zombie then you’ll have a hard time functioning. No matter how great your routine is, if you’re missing vital hours of sleep you will struggle.
It’s hard to avoid when you’re experiencing sleep deprivation because severe exhaustion is akin to torture.
You’ll need to prioritize your children’s sleep and your own.
This means set nap times for the kids and maybe even a power nap for yourself.
How to prioritize sleep in action:
- Go to bed at a reasonable time, at least one (but preferably two) hours before midnight. Each hour asleep before midnight is worth two after (source).
- Maintain a rest time for older preschoolers who have dropped naps.
- Create effective wind down routines.
The more you sleep the better you will feel. And, the better you feel, the better the home atmosphere.
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Start Your Day Off Right
There’s always a lot of talk about getting up a lot earlier than your children.
The best stay at home mom schedule takes into account moods as well as times.
Let me explain.
When I woke up 2 or 2.5 hours before the kids I’d get so engrossed in my work, project, or activity that I almost felt resentful the kids woke up.
Because it interrupted my deep work flow.
Time management experts suggest having work blocks of 4 hours or so and having 2 or 2.5 to myself got me In The Zone and then…. BAM… everybody needed mommy.
I found a better solution.
Now, I wake up around 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes before the kids. I can drink a coffee, read my Bible, exercise, and then be ready to get the kids before I’m mentally committed to something.
No one likes leaving things undone so don’t wake up so early that you begin to tackle something you can’t finish.
How to take advantage of early mornings:
- Have a ritual. It may be cup of coffee with Bible or anything that means something to you. By having a ritual you enjoy you’re more likely to maintain this habit.
- Set up the night before. Have books, coffee, clothes, breakfast – whatever – ready so you can get up and get going.
- Create a boundary in your home that no one comes out of their room until you come to them… this prevents Morning Wake Time Creep where they wake up earlier and earlier since you’re up and at ’em.
Fill Necessities In The Schedule First, Then Add Extras
When sitting down to create your actual stay at home mom schedule, you’ll need to fill in the framework first.
The framework consists of things you feel are fixed and don’t want to move. This might look something like this.
7:30 | School Drop Off
12:00 | Lunch
1:00 | Afternoon Naps
3:30 | School Pick Up
7:30 | Bedtime
Every family’s will be different, but choose what times you want set in stone and schedule those first. Then you’ll see what time you have left and work around there.
The #1 problem when creating a routine is people try to over stuff it.
This means you don’t carry it out and think routines don’t work. They do work, they just need some breathing room.
Factor Downtime Into The Schedule
I am going to make a confession.
I’m not sure whether it’s good or bad, but here it is… I have trained myself to take naps in the afternoon. It didn’t happen on purpose, but I put all the kids to nap at the same time and then… I either work or nap.
On a good day, I do both.
If you create a schedule and fill every single minute you’ll drive yourself to insanity.
Your stress hormones will rise, you’ll feel anxious, and simultaneously guilty because your schedule will not work and you’ll feel like a failure. A much better idea is to create pockets in your day full of nothing.
This means you can fill them with activity or no activity.
How to factor in rest times:
- Enforce nap or rest times with your little ones. Then use that time to rest yourself.
- Make independent play a daily priority and use that for rest if you prefer to do household chores or work during the afternoon rest.
- Don’t save all your work for the evenings after the kids are in bed, use that time to connect with your spouse or relax.
You can use my daily mom log to make sure you get your self-care in.
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Daily Home System Routines
A large part of being a stay at home mom is creating and maintaining home systems. This means the cleaning, organizing, cooking, tidying, and overall maintenance of the home.
Hopefully you have a spouse who knows that helping isn’t doing you a favor.
But still, if you’re home all day you likely want to be accomplishing some of these tasks in an efficient way.
First, create some daily routines revolving around home systems. Here are some quick and easy tidy routines.
The routines in our own home include:
- Emptying dishwasher in the morning.
- No child comes out of their room until it’s clean with bed made.
- Chores after breakfast if there are any to be done.
- Tidy up before nap time and quick sweep.
- An evening sweep after kids are in bed.
As for laundry, I go back and forth. Often my mother will take clothes home with her.
Some weeks I’ll do 2 loads a day. Some weeks I’ll do 7 loads on one day.
I cannot decide what works for me, but I have accomplished victory in the laundry area because now – with 5 kids – I simply do not let it worry me. I just don’t.
This is the goal… to create and maintain routines that help run the house without running you into the ground.
Get 101+ chore cards to help your little one build life skills, confidence, and their hard work muscles.Learn More
Think Smart About Kid Schedules
I have 5 kids so… our schedule needs to serve everyone.
I don’t let the kids dictate the routine, I choose a routine I know will benefit us all and we go from there.
I choose the wake time and, if they wake a tad early, they play quietly in their rooms until it’s normal wake time.
Independent play is at the same time for nearly everyone and this allows me to either spend one on one time with a child or nurse a baby without worrying about what the others will be doing when I’m sitting down.
➡️ Everyone snacks at the same time, eats lunch at the same time, naps at the same time, then goes to bed at the same time.
Staggered so we get individual time with each child, but still in the same window.
Avoid the trap of letting each individual child create their own routine. Promoting independence is good. Giving your children control that you don’t need is good.
But the only way to have a harmonious home with multiple children is to have a routine that works for everyone, but first and foremost you since you’re the one manning the ship.
Routine cards you can hang up and help your toddler learn to follow their own routine.
Have Mini Routines Throughout The Day That Serve Everyone
The best routines are ones that end up on auto pilot. Even your toddlers can learn to keep their routine if you make it visual.
While mama is still in charge of keeping the flow of the day in order, having mini routines within the larger daily schedule helps children join in the fun.
These may be as simple as always clearing their plates when they eat. It may be picking up toys after playtime, or having a snack after cartoons.
By creating associations you do day in and day out, you decrease the amount of struggle your children have with transition.
Examples of Mini Routines Throughout The Day:
- Your morning routine before the children wake up.
- Breakfast routines. What to eat, where to eat it, what to do immediately after breakfast.
- Snack routines. Where to eat the snack, what happens immediately before and after it.
- Nap or rest time wind down routines.
- Post nap or rest time routines, this will likely include a snack.
- Dinner time routines. Who sets table, clears table, does dishes, etc.
- Bath then bedtime routines. Bath, book, bed, etc.
Being a stay at home mom is extremely gratifying. As a wise lady near me once said…
“It’s unpaid, but highly rewarding.”
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So let me just say…
If you’ve gotten this far then I know you’re a mama dedicated to having smooth, functioning, and fun days with your children.
If that’s the case, I’ve got some great news for you!
I’ve been helping moms with routines for years and, there’s one thing I know, it helps to have it written down and put where you can see it.
To that end, I’ve created a Stay at Home Mom Daily Routine Pack complete with printables for babies aged 6 weeks to 5 years, beautiful routine cards you can hang up to help your toddler follow the routine, as well as 101+ chore cards to help teach your little ones responsibility.
Get your Stay at Home Mom Daily Routine Pack here and start creating more peace and calm in your home today.
They don’t! Moms are pros at Majoring on the Majors and Minoring on the Minors. When staying at home with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers so much of the day depends on the kids and it’s nearly impossible to run a home like a drill sergeant while taking into account everyone’s needs.
The key is to figure out what things have to go in there – feeding, napping, meal times, etc. – and then fill the other time in with habits that help you stay well. This might be home systems and self-care routines as well.
For many women, there are a few “empty” years there where you are at home and not building towards your career. You can find a creative way to put stay at home mom on your resume and you can even find ways to have side gigs going so that your resume doesn’t seem as empty.
The key to efficiency and productivity as a stay at home mom is prioritization and routine. You decide what you want to happen on a certain day and then you create some organization routines around it. You’ll want some morning routines and bedtime routines as well.