Are you a stay at home mom struggling with finding time to exercise, prepare healthy meals, reach their weight loss goals, keep a clean house or just have a little “me time”.
If this sounds like you, creating a better schedule will be life changing.
It wasn’t until I created this stay at home mom schedule that I went from just surviving most days to really thriving.
And you can too!
Your home, your family and most importantly, your sanity relies on good schedules and routines.
This post is not to leave out working moms because every mom needs a good schedule.
But every moms schedule will look a little different.
Today you will learn:
- Your true worth as a stay at home mom
- The importance of a stay at home mom schedule
- How to prioritize your schedule
- Tips to stick to a good schedule
- Three examples of a stay at home mom schedule to help you get started
How Much Is a Stay-At-Home-Mom Worth?
If you are struggling to feel more valuable as a stay at home mom, let’s put into perspective how many hours a week a stay-at-home mom works and how much they would earn if they were paid for their services.
According to Salary.com, a stay-at-home-mom works about 98 hours or more a week depending on her family size and this work is often with little breaks.
And if a stay at home mom was paid for their services, they would make a medium annual salary of $178,201!
Whoa! That really puts things into perspective.
The Importance of A Solid Stay At Home Mom Schedule
If your days seem like one big jumbled mess and you are basically flying by the seat of your pants, improving your schedule just may be your saving grace. Here is why:
1. You Will Have More Predictability In Your Day
If there is one thing that is for sure about kids, it is that they are incredibly unpredictable making any chance of doing anything other than keeping them alive very challenging.
However, when you know exactly when your baby or toddler naps, eats, plays and even gets fussy, you are better able to plan your day around them.
Creating a better schedule as a stay at home mom will give you more flexibility to do things you want because you will be able to predict when your baby or toddler will be happy and content.
2. Your Kids Will Be Happier & More Cooperative
I say it all the time, babies and kids thrive on structure through established schedules and routines.
They need the predictability in their days just as much as you do.
Schedules help them to understand patterns in life such as we brush our teeth after breakfast and before bed or we take a nap after lunch.
A consistent schedule helps give children a sense of security, lowers stress and develop better self-discipline which is a skill they will carry for the rest of their lives.
A good schedule will ensure they don’t get over stimulated, are well rested and well fed which helps improve listening skills, reduces meltdowns and improves their mood!
3. YOU will be happier
Unpredictability is stressful.
Not knowing when you will be able to get your next meal or next workout in is frustrating.
When you have a schedule, you can rely on specific times of the day to get things done which will help reduce stress and frustration of feeling like you can never get anything done.
4. You Will Be More Productive
Without a schedule, you may find yourself falling behind on tasks because you never know what and when your baby will need you.
5. You Will Have a Better Sense of Accomplishment
Do you ever feel like your day is over and you have absolutely no idea what you even accomplished?
Me too and if you are anything like me, it can be a very frustrating feeling.
Having a schedule can help you see what you actually accomplished throughout the day.
How to Find Your Non-Negotiable Priorities
Hopefully by now you can see the life changing benefits of having a schedule as a stay at home mom.
The first step in creating a stay at home mom schedule is to brainstorm what I call your non-negotiable tasks.
These are things that will remain constant most days of the week.
Let’s look at things to consider when creating your own schedule.
You can use this time blocking schedule start blocking out your “non-negotiable” schedule items.
1. Prioritize Sleep
- Do you struggle with getting your overly-tired kids to bed or down for naps?
- Do you struggle with grumpy kids at get togethers, events or running errands?
- Do you struggle with finding any time in your day to get anything done?
- Do you often feel like your brain is overstimulated and on the verge of burnout?
Then you probably need to focus on creating a better sleep schedule.
Knowing when they are going to wake up in the morning, nap and go to bed at night gives you more opportunity to plan you day around them.
If you have toddlers or babies that nap, you want them to be on the same schedule every single day…TRUST ME!
My kids love their sleep schedules so much that they tell me when they are ready for a “night-night. How amazing would that be for you?!
Sleep should be your number one non-negotiable when creating your stay at home mom schedule.
Tips To Prioritize Sleep
- Recognize your child’s behavior and when they become tired.
- When you start noticing your child is tired, grumpy or overstimulated, it is probably a sign they need a nap. Start putting your child down at the same exact time every day.
- Explain that it’s time to rest
- Every single time I put my babies down to sleep, even as infants, I tell them it’s time for a little “night-night” so they know what is expected. Even now, my youngest who is only 18 months, tells me when she is ready for a “night-night”.
- Be patient but consistent
- Creating good sleep schedules doesn’t happen overnight. It takes trial and error, consistency and patience. Stick to the same times every day for at least a week. If it isn’t working, then adjust but don’t give up.
- Have some flexibility but also learn to say “no” to things
- When you have kids that still nap, sometimes you will have to sacrifice going places so your child can nap. If we were invited to something during our kids naps, we would have to respectfully decline. Our kids were so used to their sleep schedules that they would be a hot mess if we skipped naps which wouldn’t make anything fun! And no, my kids do not nap in the car. Do you take good naps in a car?
After you have blocked out your sleep schedules, add in any activities for your kids.
If your children are involved in activities outside of school, make sure you plan those with enough time to drive to and from the activity.
If you have more than one child, this can be tricky to plan around sleep but it’s possible with a little flexibility and creativity.
The number one most common question in my inbox is, “I am struggling hard to lose weight because I can’t find time to exercise.”
Not prioritizing time to move your body and clearing your mind is the fastest route to Mom Burnout.
Exercising releases those feel good endorphins that will leave you better equipped to handle your days and it needs to be a non-negotiable. Period!
When you have well established schedules and you are consistent with writing it on paper, you will better identify those small pockets of time to squeeze in a workout.
If you have to, drop your kids off at the gym daycare while you get a sweat in or try a stroller workout if you dont have the option to go to the gym.
Anything is better than nothing but exercising should be a non-negotiable in anyones schedule.
4. Home Maintenance & Management Stuff
I ran a multimillion dollar health care clinic prior to becoming a stay at home mom.
My job as the manager was to oversee operations of the healthcare facility, employee schedules, creating financial reports and creating organization in the facility to ensure operations ran smoothly.
These exact responsibilities carried over when I became a stay at home mom.
As a stay at home mom, I like of running my home like running a business.
This includes making sure that the house is cleaned, stocked, organized well maintained to help our days run smoothly.
Well, as smoothly as possible, right?
Studies show that a cluttered or messy home leads to more stress and anxiety because you can never find what you need, when you need it.
Staying on top of your daily chores such as laundry, dishes, and cleaning will actually free up MORE time in your day for more important things.
While your home does not always need to be picture perfect, spending just 15-30 minutes a day tidying up will keep the mess away!
5. Family Time
In a world of overstimulation and constant business, spending QUALITY family time can be tough.
Block out a time every single day to do something together as a family.
It could be as simple as having a movie night on the weekend, going for a walk or bike ride after dinner or even doing fun family workouts!
Making sure you have family time written down will ensure it actually happens!
Even just 15 minutes of distraction free family time will help you all bond and feel closer as a family.
Free Download: 101 Free or Cheap Family Activities-You’ll Never Be Bored Again!
7. Miscellaneous Stuff
Last but not least, don’t forget to factor in those small miscellaneous things like meal times, bath times or appointments.
For example, often times we forget to plan how long it will take to prepare meals, eat them and then clean up.
Give yourself a cushion in your schedule for things like preparing and cleaning up after meals or driving to and from appointments.
8. Down Time
Down time will look different for everyone but it is important to sprinkle some into your schedule, for both you and your kids.
Any job can lead to burnout and being a stay at home mom is definitely a full time job!
Schedule in a little down time for both you and your kids during the day. Being on the go 24-7 is not good for anyone!
More Tips To For Creating A Rock Solid Stay At Home Mom Schedule
The key to creating a solid schedule is to find rhythms, not rigidity.
Being too rigid in your schedule can be just as stressful as not having one at all.
1. Identify Your Most Productive Time of Day
Some moms are night owls and others function better in the morning.
When creating your stay at home mom schedule, it is important to think about when you are most productive to tackle the tasks that require uninterrupted attention such as working, meal planning, working on a budget or just planning out your week.
Then you can tackle those while kids are sleeping or at school.
Personally, my brain is fried by the evenings so I wake up between 4:00am and 5:00am everyday of the week for a little down time to workout, work and tackle any other task I know won’t get done while my kids are awake.
2. Adjust as Needed
You will likely go through some trial and error when creating your schedule and that is just part of the process.
As kids grow and seasons of life change, you will likely need to make adjustments along the way. However, once you have the habit of sticking to a schedule, make those adjustments will be easier.
3. Don’t Stress About Exact Times
With my first baby, I was so OCD with my schedule that I would stress if it was 5 minutes past her bedtime and we still hadn’t even started our nightly routine.
Now, after three kids, I’ve learned to find a rhythm instead of being so rigid.
Shoot for sticking to your schedule as much as possible but also give yourself a little grace.
4. Make The Schedule Visible For Everyone
Having your daily scheule up where everyone can see will help others know what to expect of the day.
Remember, you are basically the manager of the house and the one who ensures everything and everyone are taken care of, especially you.
And your husband can’t help with house maintenance if he does’t see what needs to be done!
5. Get Everyone On a Sleep Schedule
This is the number one best and most important thing you can do.
You will deal with less tantrums, happier kids, and you will feel much less stressed because you will have more freedom in your day to get things done.
6. Encourage Independent Play
One of the biggest struggles I’ve had as a parent is thinking that I needed to be playing with my kids 24-7.
Yes, we do need to be spending quality time with our kids but kids also need to learn to play independently.
Independent play allows them to really expolre their own creativity. And kids need a break from you just as much as you do them.
When it comes to playing with our kids, I believe that QUALITY of time together is better than QUALITY of time.
7. Have Mini Routines Throughout the Day
Doing the same things everyday will help your child adjust better to transitions during the day. You should have mini routines that become autopilot so you children know what to expect throughout the day.
Here are some examples:
Meal times: Where you eat, how you prepare your table to eat, what you eat, and what you do with your dishes after you are done eating.
Naps or Bedtimes: What you do to prepare for sleep times such as read a book, sing a couple songs or brush your teeth. Do the same things every single time.
Post nap or bedtimes: This will most likely include a snack and a small activity or educational show while they snack.
Evening Routines: Family time, bath, books, bedtime song, etc.
8. Don’t Give Up!
This is the biggest tip!
Creating an epic stay at home mom schedule can be tough.
But the payoff is well worth it.
You will feel much more control over your days and your kids will also feel a better sense of control over their days.
Keep adjusting along the way and you will find what works best for YOU and YOUR family!
Example Stay At Home Mom Schedule
Final Thoughts on Stay At Home Mom Schedules
The process of getting on a good schedule can seem challenging.
Don’t expect change to happen overnight but the payoff of your hard work will be well worth it!
Brooke is a certified Prenatal and Postnatal Exercise Specialist with a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology-Exercise Science. She is also a mom of 3 girls with more than 15 years of experience in health and fitness. Brooke’s goal at Struggles of a Fit Mom is to help motivate, educate and inspire other busy mamas who struggle with finding time, energy and motivation to take care of themselves in the chaos of motherhood.