Inside: You start off the day with all big goals, but between picking up toys, making meals and singing “just one more song”, you’re lucky if you get a few things checked off your list. Sound familiar? Here’s how to create a stay at home mom schedule that works.
“How on Earth do the other moms get it all done?” I wondered aloud as a ran around the house frantically picking up toys, dirty dishes, and mismatched socks.
Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar to you: You start off the day with all the aspirations to get 10 things done. But during the busy rush of picking up toys, making meals and singing “just one more song”, the day flies by.
You’re lucky if you get a few things checked off your list.
Sound familiar? Yeah, me too.
You see, I’m a hot mess mama. I’m all over the place. If I leave myself up to my own devices, days, weeks and months will fly by without me making much progress towards any goals outside of the daily grind.
There is one thing that keeps me sane and has allowed me to pursue goals without losing sleep — creating a schedule.
Setting up a stay at home mom schedule can make a huge difference in whether your days are chaotic and frustrating or calm and organized.
Schedules vs. Routines
Let’s talk for a few minutes about the difference between schedules and routines.
So often, we use the terms interchangeably. They are not the same, and this common mistake leads to frustration and burnout.
What’s a routine? A routine means doing things in the same order over and over again.
What’s a schedule? A schedule means doing things at a certain predetermined time.
Do you see the difference? A routine is doing the same things in the same order, and we all know young children love the security of a routine. They want to eat the same food every day (hello, mac and cheese!), play with the same toys every day and sing the same song at nap and bedtime. Every. Single. Day.
Young children excel when it comes to routines. You know what they’re not good at? Time management.
As any parent who has tried to get kids out the door on time knows, kids downright stink at time management.
The goal of instituting a routine is to bring order and calm to your world — even if a sea of toys covers your floor.
Expecting a young child to do anything at a specific time can be as fruitless as herding cats. It breeds unreasonable expectations which then makes mama lose her cool. (I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this!)
The Building Blocks of a Great Routine
Here’s the secret to setting up an amazing daily routine: decide what needs to happen at a certain time and what doesn’t.
While it might be awesome if kids worked like clockwork, the reality is far from this.
Some days you spend the morning snuggling with a teething child. Some days a friend asks you to watch their kids last minute. And some days you spend an hour searching for Puppy, who found his way into the fridge. 🤷♀️
Think of your daily routine as blocks, not pinpoints. Schedule out a general idea of how you want the day to go, but roll with the punches if things change (and things always change with young children).
Don’t feel guilty if not every single moment is scheduled out. You want to leave breathing room. It seems counterintuitive, but breathing room allows you to be more productive and effective.
Hate to clean? This is the best stay at home mom cleaning schedule.
Common activities to schedule at a (somewhat) firm time:
- Wake up times
- Bed and nap times
- Commitments or outside activities
Map out your routine by writing down these activities first.
What you have left are blocks. In those blocks, you can write down things you’d like to do, whether it’s bath time, folding laundry, or dancing to Baby Shark…again.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
It can be so stressful to find the right stay at home mom schedule that works for you and your family. You researched, read and pinned a thousand posts and the only thing you gained was stress. Why is that?
Here’s the problem: Other people’s schedules may not work for you because what works for one person may not work for another.
Like how not one, but two of my son’s preschool teachers pointed out he doesn’t like to color. What one kid finds interesting and will sit for hours doing, another kid scribbles for a split second and calls it good. 🤷♀️
So, while I could sit here and tell you how I schedule my day (and I do in this post about my 3 year old schedule), it might not work for you. This means you leave this post with no more knowledge, but probably much more frustration.
You might even leave this blog feeling there’s something wrong with you. I felt this way for years. I wondered why everyone had it all figured out and I was struggling to remember to put the wet laundry in the dryer before it started to smell.
Friend, you don’t have to be overwhelmed. There’s nothing wrong with you; you just haven’t found the stay at home mom schedule that works for you.
Raising kids doesn’t have to be super overwhelming. Let’s create a stay at home mom schedule that works, so you can enjoy your kids and spend more time on your priorities.
Focus on Progress, Not Perfection
Perfection is an issue and one we need to kick to the curb. Stop worrying about how every other mom in your circle seems to have it all together.
Instead, focus on making progress towards your goals. Tiny, consistent steps can have a profound impact.
Use a planner to schedule in the specific activities or chores for the day, but don’t micromanage every minute of every day.
One of the best things about being a stay at home mom is having more choice over how your days look.
If you’re on a roll, get all your chores done by 9 a.m. and decide to spend the rest of the morning at a park or hanging out with friends, great! Had a rough night and it takes everything you’ve got to put on clothes by 11 a.m.? That’s fine, too.
You got this, mama! Let’s let go of perfection and create a stay at home mom schedule that allows you to pursue your goals while in the thick of this crazy thing called motherhood.