Daily Schedules for Stay at Home Moms
Do you ever wonder how other moms get it all done every day? Well, first you need to know that none of us ever gets it all done. But, some of us do have productive days and manage to keep our sanity intact. Schedules for stay at home moms really make a difference in the flow of the day. Without a good daily schedule (or at least a solid routine) I would have been a mess when my kiddos were younger.
When you become a stay at home mom no one hands you a plan for the day. Of course, you’re mostly at the mercy of your baby’s needs in the beginning, but eventually it becomes necessary to calm the chaos of life with young kids. That’s when a daily schedule becomes vital.
Make Over Your Mornings for an Awesome Rest of the Day
Before I share my tips for scheduling your day and share my own daily schedule, I want to suggest that you check out the Make Over Your Mornings course. How you spend your mornings will set the tone for the rest of the day. Make Over Your Mornings helps you to get ahead of the chaos so you don’t wake up feeling like you’re already behind.
And, if evenings are a struggle, check out the Make Over Your Evenings course.
If you need both a morning and evening routine makeover, you’re in luck. I’ve got a special 20% discount for my readers.
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Daily Schedule for Younger Children
For moms of children under the age of seven, here are my tips for creating a daily schedule.
- Focus more on having a routine than following a schedule. Children are comforted by routine. A schedule may work for two days until your baby hits a growth spurt and needs to nurse constantly or your toddler gets sick and refuses to sleep.
- Plan your days so that one thing usually follows the other and keep it consistent.
- Keep meal times as consistent as possible for toddlers.
- Have a solid bedtime routine, even if you co-sleep.
- Relax about the housework. Your house isn’t suppose to be perfect when you have small children. Even if it was perfect, it wouldn’t be that way for long. Shoot for one chore per day that is not dishes or laundry. If all you can do in a day is dishes and laundry, then just do dishes and laundry!
- Make weekly (or monthly if you are an ambitious mama!) meal plans! Yes. Do it. Love it. Okay, you don’t have to love it, but do it anyway. I’ve created two free printable meal planners to help with this task and I show you how to make a meal plan, as well.
- If you still struggle to make meal plans, all is not lost. Real Plans is a real food meal planner life-saver! You can read my Real Plans review for more information.
- If you prefer a meal planner that lets you easily add recipes you find online, check out PlanToEat. I’ve used Plan to Eat for years and love it. (And it’s only around $4.00 per month!)
- Plan one or two “errand days” per week and limit errands to those days. Leaving the house five out of seven days per week makes you feel like an In-The-Car mom instead of a Stay-At-Home mom!
- Don’t feel compelled to answer the phone just because it rings. Friends and family tend to feel it’s okay to call stay-at-home moms anytime of the day simply because they are home. If I tried to have a phone conversation while my boys were still babies and toddlers, the house would have fallen down around me! Plan a time each day when your partner is home or after the children are asleep to return phone calls.
- Be strict with yourself about media usage. It is easy to spend hours online with only one eye and ear attuned to your little ones. Don’t miss their lives because you’re staring a screen.
- Implement a daily quiet time for preschoolers. Toddlers and babies nap during this quiet time.
Here is a sample of what my children’s schedule looked like when they were toddlers. (The preschooler version included actual preschool from 8-11 a few mornings per week and a little more independent play during the day.)
7:00 am – Wake up, nurse, hang out with mommy
8:00 – Breakfast
8:30 – “Help” clean the kitchen (or play close by)
9:00 – Errands, outside time, or following me around “helping” while I cleaned the house.
10:00 – Snack time (Don’t forget to bring a snack if you’re out on errands!)
10:30 – Reading or play time with me (unless we were still out on errands)
12:00 pm – Lunch
1:00 – Nap
2:30 – Snack
3:00 – Outside or big muscle movement time inside (run around or dance to music)
4:00 – “Help” to tidy up around the house
4:30 – Play nearby while Mommy cooks dinner
5:00 – Dinner
5:30 – Daddy Time!
6:45 – Bedtime routine begins with bath
7:15 – Read in bed, snuggle, nurse, etc
7:30 – Bedtime
Daily Schedules for Older Children
For those of you who’ve moved on from the constant chaos of little ones, but are still finding that you’re not able to a rhythm to your day, here is how I tailored my days for maximum efficiency.
For moms of children over the age of seven, here are my tips for creating a daily schedule.
- Assign chores. If you’re solely responsible for the housework and you have older children, let them take over several chores.
- Set meal and snack times. If I didn’t have set meal and snack times, my children would eat constantly. I cook most of our meals from scratch, so I have to plan carefully. When I know what time a meal will be, I can plan the preparation time accordingly.
- Wake up at the same time everyday. I allow myself to sleep in occasionally. And I seem to very little done on those days.
- Go to bed at the same time every night. Consistency works.
- If you never got the hang of meal planning when you had small children, now is the time to get started.
- I’d love to advise you not leave the house every day, but I know you’ve got to take this child here and that child there. A full day at home might be impossible. Instead, use the time you’re watching practice or waiting in the car line to return phone calls or emails.
- Don’t lose the daily quiet time! Older children don’t have to nap during this time, but they need to play quietly in their rooms or in their own space.
- Be sure to plan time in your time schedule just for you. I plan a long soak in my tub with once or twice per month. I read, play games on my phone, or catch up on Grey’s Anatomy (and even fall asleep sometimes), but it’s my time to completely tune out and be responsibility free for about an hour. It recharges me and I believe it is crucial for my physical and mental health.
Here is a sample of my homeschooled children’s routine from age seven and above.
7:00 am – Wake up, make breakfast (I still made breakfast when my older children were seven, but they could have made it themselves. I just had younger children to make it for anyway, so I did it.)
8:00 – Home school (Either with me or independently, depending on their age.)
10:00 – Snack, run errands, chores, then free time
12:00 pm – Lunch
1:00 – Quiet time
2:00 – Snack
2:30 – Finish any homeschooling or do history as a family (every other day)
3:00 – Free time
4:30 – Help with dinner or tidying the house
5:00 – Dinner
5:30 – Daddy Time or extracurriculars
7:00 – Begin bedtime routine
7:30 – Bed time (with books if they weren’t too tired.)
Routines and schedules make the day go more smoothly and facilitate to-do list completion. Write down what you need to accomplish daily and work those tasks into a manageable schedule.
Having a schedule will allow you to see extra time in your day or if you are truly as over-extended as you feel. Knowing that each task has been considered and accomplished can leave you feeling freer and more relaxed as you move from one thing to the next.
Resources for Stay at Home Mom Schedules and Routines
Steady Days is a wonderful book about how to manage your days as a stay at home mom. Her advice is solid for creating a flexible, but structure routine that allows you to get things done without sacrificing the precious few years that you have with your children as little ones.
Before I go, I’d like to share one tool with you that helped keep me sane through the years of parenting small children and one that helps me now that my kiddos are older. Motivated Moms has an awesome chore planner that will help you make sure that you remember all of the little things that come along with homemaking. Motivated Moms also has an app available now! Check it out!
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