Inside: Being a stay at home mom doesn’t have to be overwhelming. These three simple tips will help you create a stay at home mom schedule you’ll love! Steal my sample schedule, or grab the free printable to get a head start on creating your own SAHM routine!
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Full disclosure: When people used to ask me what I did for a living I used to be embarrassed to announce that I was a stay at home mom.
Crazy right? But it’s true. In spite of my education, my experience as a teacher, and my years working out in the “real world,” I somehow equated being a stay at home mom as being “less than.”
I’ll chalk part of it up to immaturity, but this lack of confidence was also partly due to the overwhelm I felt in my day to day life.
Because here’s the honest truth: Sometimes being a SAHM will eat your lunch. It ain’t for the weak.
But here’s the flip side of that coin. When you’re walking in full confidence, when you’re stepping into your role through the power of the Holy Spirit, there’s nothing like it.
There’s nothing like those slow moments at home with your kids, knowing that this memory was lovingly designed for you and you alone to capture.
There’s nothing like seeing the fruit of your diligence when your baby goes down for a nap like a champ, your toddler surprises you with manners at lunch, or your preschooler demonstrates the kindness you modeled all those years.
Mama, there’s nothing like it.
So what do you do when you’re stuck in the overwhelmed phase? When you feel like every day being a stay at home mom is eating away at your sanity?
For me, it all starts with a simple schedule.
Let me help you create a stay at home mom schedule that will keep you sane and help you break through to confidence!
You were created for this purpose in this season. You’re not in this alone. Lean into Jesus, even as you think about something so simple as a daily routine!
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Put your trust in Jesus. I promise He will give you the grace and truth to succeed as a stay at home mom!
Ready to start loving staying home with your kids? Here are three simple steps that will transform your stay at home mom schedule.
Tip #1: Make Sleep Schedules Work For You
When you become a stay at home mom, suddenly sleep becomes important. Like, really important.
As you create a daily routine, the first thing to nail down is when your child needs to sleep.
For babies, this will be a predictable rhythm of eat, activity, sleep. For toddlers and preschoolers, you’ll be able to anticipate a good nap in the middle of the day.
While it’s tempting to just eek out one more errand or put off nap time a little longer, remember that your great day starts with your child getting the rest he needs!
This isn’t to say that you can’t skip a nap here or there or stray from your child’s schedule on those special days. But for the majority of the time, having a predictable sleep schedule for your little ones will work in your favor!
Prioritizing sleep for your child will help you stay sane and be able to depend on certain blocks of rest time throughout the day.
Need to nail down a sleep schedule for your child? These posts will help!
- Newborn Schedule (that includes tips for a toddler as well!)
- 3 Month Old Schedule
- 6 Month Old Schedule
- 9 Month Old Schedule
- One Year Old Schedule
- Toddler Schedule
- How to Make the Switch from Nap Time to Quiet Time
Tip #2: Embrace Balance
When I get overwhelmed as a stay at home mom, more often than not it’s because I’ve lost my balance.
Balance is so important with little ones! I like to think of my daily routine as a balancing act between two separate needs: together time and independent time.
Balancing these needs helps me:
- fully invest in the moment.
- focus on my child when we are engaged.
- fuel my own interests and passions.
- and find time for both chores and fun!
When these times are in balance throughout the day, I find that I am able to get things done around the house and work on my business and hobbies. And I don’t have to neglect my family to get it done!
As you work on balance, you’ll be able to fully commit to whatever you’re doing at that moment. You’ll be more present with your kids. You’ll be more focused in your work.
You need both together time and independent time to thrive as a stay at home mom!
During together time, my goal is to be completely focused on connecting with my child. Everything else is secondary. Sometimes we just play together, but together time can be spent in so many sweet ways!
Even if you’re just getting errands done or going to the grocery store, a simple mindset shift can make that time meaningful. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you creative ideas to connect with your child during these together times.
- Let your child help you sweep up or clean.
- Play I spy as you get some shopping done.
- Take a walk to the post office.
- Fold clothes and sing together while your little one “helps.”
- Play at the park.
- Go to the library or storytime.
- Get outdoors!
When I’m on the floor playing with my kids, I’m try to clear my mind of all those “to-dos” and “must-dos.” I know that I’ll have time to tackle it later that day. And in that moment my job is to soak up all those little memories with my child.
Related Reading: 40+ Ideas for One-on-One Time with Your Child
Feeling utterly exhausted at the end of every day? Chances are you’re lacking independent time in your daily schedule.
Listen, mama. You know that image you have in your head? The one with a mom draped over her couch, cleaning supplies in hand and children running her ragged?
That doesn’t have to be your normal.
You can carve out a few blocks of independent time during the day to keep you sane.
Independent time can obviously happen while your child naps. But you can also create independent time throughout the day!
Teaching your child to play independently is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself as a stay at home mom.
You don’t always have to depend on screen time, just start with a few minutes of independent play at a time and gradually lengthen out those stretches. Try these creativity-boosting toys that will help your child learn to play independently! Or download the printable card set from my shop: 101 Screen Free Ideas for instant boredom-busters!
Related Reading: Why You Cant’ Afford to NOT Declutter Your Child’s Toys
Here’s what I like to do during independent time:
- Get any heavy duty cleaning done.
- Do computer work, blogging, or writing.
- Get creative, craft, or paint.
- Read and relax!
Tip #3: Cling to Your Essentials
As a stay at home mom, I used to feel like each day was a game of roulette. One day would be great, the next would be a disaster. When much of your day depends on the temperaments of children, there are bound to be ups and downs.
But I’ve realized that my attitude and actions really do guide the mood of the whole household!
Chaos starts and stops with me.
What are Essentials?
So now that you’ve got a basic sleep schedule and a balance of independent and together time, you should be good to go, right?
But wait, this is real life we’re talking about. And even the best laid plans sometimes fail. So what do you do when your stay at home mom schedule is just wrecked for the day?
It’s time to talk about the essentials.
This idea of essentials is about being mindful. I identify those things that always make me feel good, bring joy, and help bring everything back into focus. On a particularly hard day, I use my essentials as “reset buttons.”
When in doubt, drop everything and do something essential.
If I have a day full of essentials, the rest of it kind of takes care of itself.
Even if I don’t get that chore done or that load washed, I’ll know I’ve focused on the truly important things that day.
Those items on your to-do list? Save those for those days where everything is going right. But the days where everything falls apart, run to your essentials and just keep it simple! You can always try again tomorrow.
Related Reading: Four Secrets to be a Happy Stay at Home Mom
My Personal Daily Essentials
For example, here are my own personal essentials: You’ll notice that they are a good mix of both together and independent activities!
- Wake up earlier than my children and enjoy quiet devotional time with Jesus.
- Read at least one book with my kids.
- Get outdoors for at least 30 minutes a day, weather providing.
- Do something creative.
- Spend quality time with my husband after the kids’ bedtime.
So, what do my essentials look like in the messy world of stay at home motherhood? I’m glad you asked! Here’s how I use my essentials to bring joy and peace to my day…
- I set my alarm for 30 minutes before my kids wake up, read my Bible and pray. If a kid is sick and wakes up early, I take my Bible along in the school pick up line and spend time with Jesus there!
- When everyone is getting crazy (late afternoon is when it hits the hardest) I drop everything and declare mandatory storytime. We all gather on the couch and read aloud. It helps calm everyone down, including myself!
- I love the phrase, “If you can do it indoors, you can probably do it outdoors.” Give your child a snack in the stroller and get outside for a walk. Read books on a blanket in the backyard. Nature has a calming effect on both adults and kids!
- Being creative brings me joy and helps combat the loneliness of being a SAHM. I write during nap time, or take along my iPad in the school pickup line to draw designs for my t-shirt business.
- Because we put our kids down at 7:30 every night (see our routine below!) my husband and I have a good couple hours to spend together before we go to sleep. This makes the world of difference after spending the day talking to little ones! It’s nice to wind down and have some adult conversation or just chill and watch a show together.
What are your essentials? Take a minute to write them down. You can even use the cute printable I’ve created just for you!
Sample Stay at Home Mom Schedule
This is what my daily routine looks like with a one year old and a preschooler. Your schedule will look different according to your child’s sleep needs.
Remember to check out those sleep schedules if you’re unsure of what your child needs. You’ll find more detailed sample schedules that fit those specific ages.
- 6:00 Independent time. Wake up, quiet time, Bible reading, and prayer.
- 6:30 Together time. Make breakfast, kids up and ready. Kitchen cleaned while everyone finishes breakfast.
- 7:30 School drop off for my son.
- 8:00-10:30 Together time. Outdoor play, light chores and independent play. Five minute “house sweep” right before nap time to declutter and clean up any items laying around.
- 10:30-1:00 Independent time. Set out protein to defrost for dinner, then work or get creative while my daughter naps. Finish any chores that are easier without kids around.
- 1:00 Lunch and playtime or reading time with my daughter.
- 2:00 School pickup
- 3:00-5:00 Together time, more outdoor play with my son, indoor play, sometimes we will do a craft or game during this time.
- 5:00-6:00 Independent time. Kids play around the house while I cook dinner and finish up any loose ends like laundry.
- 6:30 Together time. Dinner as family.
- 7:00 Together time. Five minute “house sweep” as a family to start tomorrow with a clean house. Baths, books, prayers.
- 7:30 Bedtime for the kids.
- 7:30-10:30ish Our time!
Creating a stay at home mom schedule can seem intimidating at first. Where do you start?
If being a stay at home mom is eating your lunch, drop everything at do this… First, turn to Jesus. Ask Him for help! Second, create a schedule that will bring calm and peace to your day.
Don’t forget to download and print the daily SAHM schedule printable! It’s the perfect reminder to stick on your fridge. Click here to access our printable resource library.
And finally, don’t stress… just follow these steps and you’ll see so much improvement in no time!
- Focus on sleep first.
- Balance together time and independent time.
- Write down your daily “essentials.” And cling to them when necessary!
Share in the comments below!
What are your biggest successes and struggles in your stay at home mom schedule? What are the daily essentials that you’ll be clinging to?