I first shared this post a few years ago and since then, it has been one of my most requested posts so I wanted to re-share it with today, as it hasn’t changed much over the years (it works well for us).
What is the daily schedule of a stay at home mom? Well… I am a stay at home mom of four kids. Before this, we both worked outside of the home, so we’ve been able to experience both sides of how things work.
Before I start, I wanted to let you know that I send out tips about once a week via e-mail. You can sign up here if you’d like to recieve them, too.
One of the the questions that I get MOST often is “What is the daily schedule of a stay at home mom?”
Here is my daily schedule:
7:00 WAKE UP
I wake up for the day around 6:45 or 7:00 (during the week, but weekends are a little later. 🙂 ). Yes, I should get up earlier and some days I do. I really feel so much better when I get up 30 minutes before the kids, but I find myself tip-toeing around the house, trying not to make a sound, so it’s just not worth it to me.)
On the days that I don’t wake up early, I’m up with the kids. (Our kids are not allowed to get out of bed until 7:00… If your kids are waking up too early, try doing this.) We started this when they were young, because I didn’t want them to be walking around the house without my knowledge (safety reasons).
7:00: I make my bed before I leave my bedroom (before I even get dressed for the day). This has been a habit of mine and I promise you it just helps you to feel better & more “put together” the minute that you wake up. I get ready for the day before I go downstairs.
7:10: Throw a load of laundry into the washing machine. A load a day keeps the chaos away. Just throw it in every morning. It forces you to finish it later. 🙂 LOL!
7:15 I’m downstairs by about 7:15 and immediately unload the dishwasher. (We usually have to do it twice a day, so I do the mornings & the kids do the afternoon).
Once the dishwasher is empty, I make breakfast for the kids (usually Pepperoni & eggs or oatmeal – those are the favorites in our house) If someone isn’t hungry, I’ll at least have them drink a Carnation Instant Breakfast before heading off, but that’s rare. Usually they do pretty good about eating breakfast.
If the kids aren’t up by 7:30, we wake them up.
Now we just rush around & get ready for the day: breakfast, brushing teeth, getting dressed, hair fixed, backpacks ready to go).
If they finish early and have time to spare, they can watch TV until it’s time to leave the house (Use this chart as a reference).
8:15 Older Kids Leave For School
We used to have them ride the bus, but now we take them to school, which is about 2 minutes (no exaggeration) from our house. Either way is fine with me because it’s so close.
9:00 Preschool Drop-off
Once I have finished the preschool drop-off, I try to workout for 45 minutes and then come home to get some work done, clean, or use this time to run errands- like a trip to the grocery store.
Tip- I try to order my groceries online to Walmart or Harris Teeter so I can just swing by & pick them up in the morning.
10:30: This sounds crazy, but if you can make dinner now, it works out to your benefit. I can’t tell you how much it helps when that 5:00 time rolls around and I can say “Oh- yep… it’s in the crockpot.” Or “Tossing the casserole into the oven now”, instead of “Oh no! What should I make tonight? What’s thawed? Oh man- nothing. Who wants chicken nuggets?” :).
Check e-mails, FB, etc… during this time.
11:00: One morning a week, I try to volunteer in our kids’ classrooms. I taught at the school where they go to school, so it’s a joy to go back and see my old co-workers while I’m meeting my children’s friends & getting to see what our kids are doing. We have four kids so I’ll try to rotate which class I’m in each week. I also try to limit the time to an hour or two, because of preschool pickup time at noon. (Preschool is about two minutes from the elementary school.)
On days when we don’t have preschool:
We still do what we need to do – run errands, etc…
If we can, we will just stay home and play! I am a play therapist and I was a teacher before I had our kids, so I completely understand the importance of playing and working with our young children. It makes a world of difference. I also know how important it is to teach them to entertain themselves, so she will go to her room for an hour at a time and just play with her toys while I get things done (clean, fold laundry, prepare dinner). I don’t have to say anything except “Go ahead and play for a little bit and then we’ll ____ later” (bake cookies, go on a walk, swing on the swings…) and she runs off to play with her princesses or dolls.
12:00 Pick Up Time
Once preschool is over, we have lunch at home and just play & have free-time for the afternoon. This is more free play, since preschool just needed. I usually allow a show after preschool. (Wild Kratts, Curious George and Peppa Pig are favorites for our younger kids) then I just say “no more electronics” and that’s that… off to find toys or draw or paint. This is when I get some housework done, respond to e-mails, make calls, schedule appointments, etc…
Allie, our youngest, will help me with little things like matching socks or dusting with my thieves spray… although most days I’ll find her having a tea party with her dolls.
3:30 Kids Home From School
We have a snack (all 4 kids have one).
Snack tip: Have fresh fruit & veggies cut & on the table when they walk in the door. They will eat them because they will be so hungry from a long day at school.
After a snack, some questions about school and about 30 minutes of relaxing time (TV, iPods, hanging out on the back porch), we start homework. We work on sight words, math, reading and writing. If they don’t have homework, they just read for 20 minutes. I was a teacher & 20 minutes a night will help your kids SO MUCH.
As soon as they finish their homework, they can play before dinner.
4:30 – 5:30 Dinner (4:30 if practice, 5:30 if nothing)
I am a big fan of easy dinners. I pin every meal that I make here. They are usually simple things like casseroles, crock-pot meals, pasta meals or baked chicken. After dinner, the kids help Mickey and I clean up the kitchen. Everyone does their part and takes their things to the dishwasher. If they wanted ketchup, they put it away. If they asked for butter, they put it back, etc… everyone helps & it makes cleanup fast.
I run the dishwasher and the kids unload it (2nd load of the day).
Sports practice usually happens after dinner, so if only a few of our kids have practice, they go with Mickey (he is an assistant coach for all of our kid’s teams) while I get the little ones ready for bed.
Some nights, we have baseball & football on the same night, so we just divide & conquer. If it’s wrestling or lacrosse, the three boys all go together and I keep our daughter home. If it’s her dance night, they all come with me because it’s at 4:00. Just depends on the sesaon & the sport. 🙂
Bedtime routine: We have a snack, then head up for bath time. Our kids get a bath or shower (almost) every night- it’s part of their routine. After bath time, I send each of the kids to their rooms to play or read until I come in. One at a time, I go into their rooms, read one book (or they read one to me), we read the Bible or a devotional and then I sing them a song. I tuck them in, chat for a minute and then kiss them goodnight.
While I’m with one of our kids, Mickey is with another, until we’ve each seen all four kids.
I put our younger kids to bed at 7:00 and have since they were babies. Once our kids turn 9, I move their bedtime to 8:00, but no later, unless it’s a night of sports. You can read that post here: Why I put my kids to bed at 7.
If it is a night of sports practice, our younger kids will be in bed before the older kids get home. Our older boys get home shortly after and I give them a snack (cereal, oatmeal, smoothie) and send them up for a shower and they can read in their rooms for 20 minutes until I come to tuck them in.
“Us” Time (work, clean, relax).
I will clean up the downstairs, whatever is leftover from the day (the kids help throughout the day). Mickey usually does some yard work and then we come in to hang out, watch a show & I work on the blog while we watch TV.
Ps- Interested in blogging? You can learn how to start on here.
We get everything ready for the next day before we go to bed. (I even lay out my own outfit & the kid’s outfits every night before bed because it makes the mornings less stressful).
On that note- I’m sure I’ve left out a ton, but it’s enough to give you a good idea. 🙂
Start Again tomorrow.
TOOLS THAT I LOVE THAT WILL HELP:
I use my Catch All Planner every day: It has pages for menus, school, weekly planner, sports, meal plans, homework, budget planning, daily schedules, shopping lists & more…
You just download it, print it & get started… right now. No need to wait for it.
Here is an example of the cleaning section… It has this for EVERY section.
You’ll be so organized, trust me! 🙂
Now for my tips:
SAVING TIME TIPS to make life easier:
- Don’t Iron – Yep, I never iron. I use wrinkle release spray for everything. It takes too much time to iron and I hate having to have the iron out, waiting for it to cool. I like to keep it put away and off of my bathroom or laundry room countertops. If my husband wants something ironed, he does it (not because I don’t offer- he has just been ironing his own clothes since college, so he has kept on doing this himself) – fine by me.
- Getting the kids involved in doing chores (age appropriate chores)
- Prepare the kids for school the night before (here is a post about getting thekids ready quicker in the morning)
- Do more online. I do a lot online now… emails, birthday party invitations, banking, even grocery shopping (I order a lot of my groceries to our local grocery store and I can drive up and have them delivered to our car with their pick-up line.).
- Don’t get online when I am cleaning! If I have chores to do, I have to stay offline and keep the TV off or I will only get 25% of my things accomplished. This one is huge.
- Stick to my schedule. Every day. This is really important. Kids need this as much as I do- I realized this during my first month of teaching. Kids need a routine. It makes the whole day flow nicely.
- I have a course that I run called Freed from Clutter Course and it gives you daily tasks to have your house be clutter free. Thousands of moms have taken the course with me (I help them in a Facebook group) and have come back with stories of success & emotional healing (because clutter is actually linked to depression).
- Make crock-pot meals to free up time (like this french dip sandwich recipe!)MORE POSTS YOU MIGHT LIKE:
If you are getting ready to potty train, my potty training tips walk you through just how to do it (with a schedule to keep you on top of it.) We don’t want potty training to take up all of your time for weeks on end… do it all in one weekend.