Although the idea of a daily schedule can seem a little restricted and stuffy to some people, having a daily or weekly agenda as a stay-at-home mom can really help you stay more organized and allow you to get everything crossed off your to-do list.
But planning a stay-at-home mom schedule doesn’t have to be difficult! See how easy it is to plan out your days and weeks with just 5 simple steps.
When I first became a mom and decided to stay at home with my baby full-time, I thought that life would be so much easier, because I would have all day to get all my housework done, prepare delicious meals, and take really good care of my baby by reading to her, playing with her and taking her to places like the library so that she would have wonderful brain development.
And, of course, I would do all this while exercising regularly to stay fit and showering, washing my hair, and putting on make-up everyday to look my best for my husband.
Yes, it was going to be a piece of cake.
The reality of being a stay-at-home mom
I’m not sure where that stereotype of the bon-bon-eating stay-at-home mom came from, but in my experience, it couldn’t have been based in real life.
My days certainly didn’t allow me to lay back on the couch, eating candy in the afternoons. It seemed I was constantly frazzled, feeling like a failure in every area: housekeeping was a joke, I couldn’t keep on top of the laundry, and we ate dinner out more nights than we stayed in.
I didn’t know where all my time went…all that time I thought I would have to get everything done. But I knew that I had to do something different in order to get back some control of my life.
That’s when I decided to start doing some planning.
And while it started out by just planning meals once a week, it slowly morphed into a full-fledged plan each week of what I was going to do in terms of cooking meals, handling household tasks, taking my kids on outings, and tackling my own personal development.
Now I can proudly say that my house is organized and (mostly) clean (most days), the laundry gets done like clockwork, dinner is cooked each night without a lot of fuss, and I’m regularly have time to work on all my personal goals.
Just from making a plan.
Not only do you benefit from having a set schedule, but your kids will too. Children can really thrive with a schedule, because knowing what is going to happen everyday helps them feel secure.
Here’s how you can make a plan for your days…it just takes 5 easy steps:
Step 1: What goals would you like to reach?
Before you start planning out a schedule, you need to sit down and think about what you need or want to accomplish each day or each week.
What household tasks do you need to get done? How much laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning do you need to do?
Do you belong to a playgroup? Is there a Bible study that you want to be a part of?
What outings do you feel are important for your family? For example, do you want to take your kids to story time at the library or visit museums regularly?
Don’t forget to consider time for yourself…do you need to schedule some down time to read or visit with girlfriends or exercise?
Make a list of all the possible things that you might do on a daily or weekly basis so that you can plan a schedule around them.
Step 2: Consider your family’s sleep habits
As we all know, the amount of sleep we get dictates how much we can get done each day. And of course, when you have young children, the amount of sleep we can get each night is never predictable!
What I’m trying to say is that the amount of sleep you and your kids get will really affect your schedule. And as your kids age, your schedule will change to reflect that.
For example, when you have a very young infant and are up every 3 hours for feedings, it’s unrealistic to expect that you can get up at 5 a.m. to tackle a bunch of household chores.
Likewise, if your toddler needs a nap every afternoon, it’s probably not a good idea to schedule an outing for that time day…unless you like dealing with grumpy little ones 😉
So take into consideration how much sleep you and your kids need when planning out your schedule each week: What time do you want to get up in the morning? What time should you go to bed? What can you get done while the kids are napping?
While getting up before your kids to have some quiet time for yourself before the day begins is great, you might have to wait to do that until the kids are consistently sleeping through the night.
Step 3: Plan your mornings
Having a well-planned morning can really make your days go so much more smoothly. Most moms have the most energy in the mornings (if they get enough sleep at night!), so it’s a good idea to use that time wisely to set yourself up for the day.
When my kids became old enough to sleep through the night, I started getting up about an hour before their normal waking time to have a quiet hour to myself.
Because I am able to sort of ease myself into the day with a nice cup of coffee in the quiet, instead of rushing around as soon as I wake up, my attitude and mood are much more pleasant when my kids do wake up. 🙂
I also use this time to read my Bible and whatever book I’m currently working through. Since I love to read, this is really a treat for me.
Breakfast and lunches, if needed, are made, and I prep whatever I need for dinner that night, which usually just involves defrosting meat or putting ingredients into the slow cooker.
After breakfast, I clean the kitchen, start the dishwasher, and begin the laundry, if needed.
And then I start on whatever cleaning I need to do for the day. I used to clean one area of the house each day so that it would only take a few minutes each day, but now that the kids are older, I usually clean the whole house on one day.
This routine is now habit for me, but it took some time to develop. If you need help creating a morning routine, I would really recommend you take the Make Over Your Mornings course, which helped me a great deal (this is my referral link).
Step 4. Plan your evenings
Just like having a good morning routine is helpful, so is having an evening routine.
Getting dinner on the table, straightening up the house and putting toys away, and bath/bedtime routine for the kids are all included in our evening routine.
Having set times for play, dinner, bath time and bed time have really helped the kids settle down for the evenings and go to bed without argument…because they know what to expect.
I also use this time to prep lunches for the next day (unless I’m planning to make them a hot lunch, which gets done the next morning).
And because we use this time to straighten up the house and clean the kitchen after dinner, we wake up the next morning to a tidy house, which helps me feel less anxious.
Step 5. Write it all down
Once you have your list of goals written down, know approximately how much sleep you are getting on an average night, have an idea for a morning routine and an idea for an evening routine, you can now go about setting down a schedule.
I find…and science shows…that writing down your schedule can really help you put it into place.
When you physically write down your goals and schedule, you clear out the mental clutter and have a record of your goals…making you less likely to forget to work on them.
You don’t need a fancy planner to do this…a plain piece of paper with your schedule written down will work just fine. Others, like myself, like having a planner to write in each week.
Not only does this help me remember any kids’ activities that we have to drive to, but I can also keep track of my family’s doctor/dentist appointments, hair appointments, and school functions.
I can also keep track of the weekly menu plan that I create each week so that I never have to scramble to figure out what to make for dinner every night.
You can also keep track of your schedule on a digital app or calendar too, whatever works best for you.
Hopefully you’ve seen how easy it is to create a stay-at-home mom schedule that not only helps you organize your tasks and goals, but also helps you to run your household more smoothly.