A Simple Stay at Home Mom Routine-To Get Things Done
I used to think that to be a successful stay at home mom I needed to have a strict schedule and a home in perfect order at all times.
After a few kids, I was a little wiser; I realized that was simply not possible. Life with kids is unpredictable and unless I’m planning on cleaning all day, the house will never be perfect at all times.
Once I was able to wrap my head around letting go of a strict schedule and a perfectly clean home, I was able to relax and enjoy my life as a stay at home mom…even without a schedule ;)
As a stay at home mom, my purpose is to take care of my children, to raise them intentionally, to keep my home clean and tidy, and to feed my family, but more often than not, in the early days, I felt like I was spinning my wheels.
How To Get Things Done As A Stay At Home Mom
Being a stay at home mom and being home all day, you’d think that it’d be possible to accomplish a lot. Buuuuut for those of us that have had little people underfoot all day, we know it can be a miracle some days if everyone is dressed and fed at the end of the day…let alone dinner made and the house in order.
I remember those days; being on the go all day long…feeding, wiping, changing, chasing, hugging and picking up after the kids…and still in my pajamas at midday. Even though I had been busy all day, at the end of it, it looked as if nothing had been done. The things around the house I was really hoping to get to were getting neglected and I was feeling pretty crappy about being in pj’s most of the day which was not helpful.
It really bothered me. As someone who loves to have my house clean, organized and tidy…but not perfect (I let go of that ideal, remember? ;). I was tired of constantly scrambling to keep things in order and feeling overwhelmed with all that needed to be done each day. I wanted to figure out some way of keeping up my home and getting things accomplished, without spending the whole day cleaning, so I could spend time enjoying my family and the things that I love to do.
Stay At Home Mom Routine
It’s really easy as a stay at home mom to go into survival mode where we neglect to take the time to enjoy being a mom because we’re always trying to stay on top of things. It seems like we don’t have enough time to do it all.
A lot of the time the reason we’re in survival mode is not because we don’t have the time, but because we lack routines and daily habits that benefit our family and our homes.
It took me having a few kids, for me to establish a routine of sorts and some daily habits that helped me keep my home in order without me losing my sanity.
Was it perfect? No. There were still the occasional days I’d be in my pajamas until the afternoon and the house was a bit of a disaster because I was working on a project that week. That’s just life. As much as I loved my new routine, it wasn’t always going to be perfect and that’s ok. Real life isn’t perfect, but I did feel like I was making progress.
Establish Daily Habits
Here is what I did as my stay at home mom routine while the kids were little. It’s changed slightly over the years, but those good habits I started then, have helped me now as I’m even busier with homeschooling my 4 children and working 35+ hours a week from home.
The number one thing you need to do to accomplish the home life you want, is to make sure your habits line up with your goals, and that your goals benefit you and your family. To establish good habits, you’re going to have to do the work to make them stick.
If you want a clean house, you must put in the time to clean it or hire someone to do it for you.
Do you want meal time to go a little more smoothly? You have to put the effort into meal planning and meal prep.
What has been important to me over the years has been keeping my home clean and tidy, and making sure meals are taken care of each day. To make sure those things get accomplished, I have to make sure to be intentional with how I spend my time.
As a stay at home mom there are a few things we can do, to use our time wisely, and to take good care of our family and our homes.
How To Accomplish More As A Stay At Home Mom
Stay home more
It’s hard to get stuff done around the house if you’re constantly going out. To clean the bathroom, or make dinner, you have to be home ;). When we’re in and out the door all the time, our home tends to be a dumping ground in-between outings.
Your schedule should be serving you, not the other way around.
Just because you are at home doesn’t mean you have nothing to do. People may think “hey, she’s home, so she’s probably got lots of time to do more. She should help me with...”. I’m not saying don’t ever say yes, but make sure you’re not adding so much to your plate that you’re having a hard time keeping up.
When my children were younger, I didn’t have a ton of time to take on much more than taking care of them and keeping up the home, but as they’ve grown I’ve been able to take on more.
Turn off distractions and set limits
Social media, Netflix, Pinterest…whatever it is that is taking up your time. Turn it off, until you have gotten your first 5 things done for the day…or even wait until nap time, and then limit yourself. Social media is a huge time sucker! It’s easy to waste hours on there and then get nothing done.
Don’t wait to do what you can do now
I have a confession. When my children were little, by the time they went to bed at 7pm, I was exhausted. My kitchen would be a disaster after dinner, but I had no motivation to do the dishes, so my husband and I would sit and watch a movie for a couple hours.
This became a really bad habit.
I would wake up in the morning already feeling behind and discouraged with the state of my kitchen and it would take me all day to finally get to it, just to do it all over again.
It was an awful cycle. Sure, I was relaxing in the evening, but it was doing nothing for me in the long run. I was just wasting time.
Eventually I started doing dishes each night before bed. Boy did that feel good in the morning!!
The dishes led to me doing even more once the kids were in bed. Instead of feeling discouraged and behind in the morning, I was feeling like I could conquer the day…just from getting my kitchen in order before going to bed.
I loved that feeling so much I decided to make over my mornings and my evenings. I’m so glad I did because over the years my workload has increased which means I have to have habits and routines in place to help me juggle it all and actually be able to enjoy my life too…which I do.
Don’t do too many extracurricular activities
This will not be a popular opinion, but extracurricular activities are not necessary to life.
I think sports and activities are great for teaching our children new skills, and for getting exercise, but they can also add to the stress and chaos of family life.
We’ve put our children in very few activities over the years because it’s hard to get things done when you’re constantly on the go. I don’t like that kind of stress with our family being here, there and everywhere.
Keep the extracurricular activities to a minimum if you’re finding you don’t have time to keep up your home.
Focus on what’s important for that day
You don’t have to do “all the things” every day. What is it that you need to get done? Is it laundry, or cleaning the bathroom and making dinner? Whatever it is, create a list of your top 5 to-do’s and get them out of the way first thing.
There will be season in life when just getting the bare minimum done is all you can manage and that’s ok. Start adding more when you can.
Teach kids how to play independently
Mama, you are not meant to be your child’s sole source of entertainment. I’m not saying don’t play with them, but it’s good for them to learn to entertain themselves or play with their siblings. This frees you up a bit to get a few things taken care of around the home.
When they’re too young to let them play unattended, put them in a play pen with some toys in an area near where you’ll be working, so they can play, but still see what’s going on around them.
Baby is entertained, and mama can get things done.
Create a morning routine and a night routine
Routines are great for knowing approximately when and what will be happening next. Our routines can eventually become habits which we do without having to put much thought into it.
A morning and night routine can help you be intentional with what you do and help you stay on top of things.
What habits do you want to create in your life? Going to bed with a clean kitchen? Getting a workout in? Making sure dinner is not a gong show?
Create a morning routine that includes habits that will move you in the direction of your goals.
Do the same with your evening routine.
Establish a sleep routine
I know this can be a controversial topic, but when there is a sleep routine in place, we have a better idea of what to expect throughout the day. If you know when your children will be napping, we can better plan what we can do while they are sleeping.
If younger children are not at napping stage anymore, then implement “quiet time” where children can play quietly in their room or read.
I started sleep training pretty early on when my babies were newborns. They were all sleeping though the night (8 hours) by 4 months. People would say “oh, you’re just lucky”. Honestly, that was really irritating.
Yes, I was incredibly blessed with my sweet babies, but they were not naturally fantastic sleepers. I had to work at it.
3 out of my 4 children were in the hospital longer than 48 hours after birth. In that time, the nurses were very adamant about a routine for feeding and sleeping. I figured if it was important there that I should try it at home.
I am so glad that I did.
When a child is on a sleep routine/schedule, it is easier to know that your babies needs are being met and when you will have a chunk of time to get things done.
Use your time wisely
Save your big cleaning tasks for nap time, unless you need a nap too ;)
If you are feeling like you are overwhelmed and not getting enough done around the house fight the urge to check out (social media, shows, Netflix, etc.). Yes, those will give you a break, but it does nothing for you in the long run other than entertain you. Make a deal with yourself. Set a timer and tackle something you need to get done, and thenallow yourself some time to zone out if you still need to. You will feel so encouraged by what you accomplish, you will probably want to keep going!
Action begets action!
Preparation goes a long way. Whether you are getting the diaper bag packed for the next day’s outing the night before, or putting tomorrow night’s dinner in the slow cooker, preparing ahead of time is a great way to save a little time later.
Enlist the help of older children
Getting things done when the kids are younger can be much more difficult than when they are older. They rely on us for everything and we carry the majority of the workload at home. Eventually they will become more independent and helpful, but we need to teach them how to do things around the house, so that when they are older, we can enlist their help.
Need some ideas of how to get them involved? Check out my list of age appropriate chore ideas and free chore chart printable here.
Start the day off right
Get up a bit before the kids. If you are up all night with a nursing baby or sick child, then don’t worry about this. Once you are regularly getting a good night’s sleep, getting up before your children can do amazing things for your day.
Have a quiet time, enjoy a hot cup of coffee or tea, exercise, get yourself ready for the day or throw on a load of laundry. Getting even one or two things done before the kiddos are up and needing you, can have a big impact on your day.
All these tips can have a big impact on the outcome of your day. If you’re not sure where to start, pick 3 or 4 things to start with to get you started.
This was my stay at home mom schedule/routine when my kids were little and still napping.
· Get up
· Quiet time
· Start laundry
· Start dinner prep
Nap Time/Quiet Time(I don’t do all in one day)
· Cleaning (bigger job like cleaning the bathroom)
· Organizing project
· Make freezer meals
· Wipe counters and large appliances
· Prep next days breakfast (if needed)
· Empty garbage and recycle
· Sweep floor
· Quick mop (if needed)
Now that my children are older, we’re homeschooling and I’m working from home, our routine has changed slightly. The kids are more involved with helping around the house, and nobody naps anymore, but we still have a general routine to the day and the habits I put in place years ago are still benefiting us on a daily basis.
Creating Your Stay At Home Mom Routine
If you’re trying to figure out how to stay productive and thrive a stay at home mom, and what your routine or schedule should look like, remember that whatever you do should be serving you and your family. Keep these 14 tips things in mind to help you get things done as a stay at home mom.
1. Establish Daily Habits
2. Stay home more
3. Say no
4. Turn off distractions and set limits
5. Don’t wait to do what you can do now
6. Don’t do too many extracurricular activities
7. Focus on what’s important for that day
8. Teach kids how to play independently
9. Create a morning routine and a night routine
10. Establish a sleep routine
11. Use your time wisely
12. Prepare ahead
13. Enlist the help of older children
14. Start the day off right
These 14 tips will benefit you as a stay at home mom to get things accomplished without spending the whole day spinning your wheels, and they will serve you and your family for the long term.
Which tip would make the biggest impact on your SAHM journey? What would you say has been the hardest part for you about being a stay at home mom?
Leave your comment below.