Whether you’re a work from home mom, stay at home mom, or a mom that works away from the house, we can find pros and cons of each. What we are familiar with is a working mom’s busy schedule; dropping off the kids at school/daycare, going to work, getting off work, picking kids up from school/daycare, grocery shopping, home. If the kids are old enough, we can’t forget to include sports and extracurricular activities.
What we don’t often consider, at least I didn’t prior to having kids, is the stay at home mom schedule. Is the schedule of a stay at home mom relaxed and less busy? As unfair as it would be to compare the two, I will say that both work tirelessly in positions that are far from easy!
Let’s admit it, whatever side of the fence we stand on, at some point we have been envious of the other. Whether mom guilt has consumed us, or our lack of patience makes us want to run to the nearest store to pick up an application just so we have a reason to leave the house. We all consider the alternative at some point or another.
Having a Schedule is Key
Wherever you stand as a mom, I want to remind you that you are doing a great job. The fact that you care shows that you’re considering what is best for you, your children and your family.
As a stay at home mom I quickly learned that in order to mark items off my to-do list and to accomplish tasks for my own fulfillment and personal business, it was essential that I schedule my days accordingly.
When I refer to personal business, I should clarify that as a stay at home mom, I am also a work from home mom. There are a ton of opportunities out there. Whether you are interested in a side hustle, wanting to pursue a hobby/passion or have a calling to volunteer, yet you doubt you actually have the time to commit – trust me, you can do it!
Keep a Schedule
I received some valuable advice that resonates with me more as a mother than at any other time. “Don’t ask someone for a favor who isn’t busy.” People (moms) are busy, yet they always find time to get stuff done.
Juggling the responsibilities of mothering a family is no easy feat. Prepping/cooking meals and house cleaning is the equivalent to at LEAST a part-time job! How do moms do it? They are superheroes in disguise! No really, doesn’t it feel that way?
In all seriousness, my schedule is often planned for the month. With two toddlers (4 and 1.5 yrs, plus one on the way), I have to plan ahead. This is not only for my sanity and personal goals but also for the enjoyment of my kids. At the beginning of each week (typically Sunday evening) I review what is on the calendar.
What my week as a stay at home mom looks like:
Our morning and breakfast routine is generally the same every day of the week. If I am able to pull myself out of bed, I workout before the family wakes up (between 5:30-6:30 am). After my workout, I shower and head into the kitchen to cook breakfast. I get the kids dressed by 8:30 at the latest, and I have help that arrives at 9:30.
By help, I am referring to a nanny/babysitter who comes over for a few hours to entertain the kids, while I’m able to check off tasks from my to-do list. This is helpful for errands and appointments that need to be taken care of.
The first few days of the week I like to commit to my business and personal appointments (i.e. dentist, and eye doctor). That way I feel like I have a short week and can use Thursday and Friday as fun days with the kids.
After the nanny leaves, I make sure that the kids have eaten plenty of food for lunch, so I can have them down for a nap between 1:00-1:30. This gives me even more time to catch up and complete those tasks that I didn’t finish earlier in the day…aka laundry.
Following nap time, we have a snack. After snacks, I have incorporated homeschooling tasks with my oldest daughter. I include my 1.5-year old by keeping a special set of flash cards that she can play with. We also use afternoons to do crafts centered around the curriculum we are learning throughout the week.
After we finish breakfast, I take the kids to swim lessons. We finish swim lessons about 11:00 am, then head home and again, it’s lunch followed by nap time.
Every couple of weeks we have an appointment with our midwife. I do my best to schedule these appointments shortly after swim lessons. This alleviates extra driving, risking that the kids fall asleep in the car. Luckily, we’re able to bring the kids into these appointments. Who doesn’t love when appointments are kid friendly?! There are even toys for them to play with!
In my stay at home mom schedule, I like to think of Thursday as a fun day. If the weather is nice we try to plan an outdoor play date, or we attend Toddler Time at the Spanish Springs Library.
We try to adhere to the same afternoon lunch and nap routine, for everyone’s sanity. Otherwise, dinner and bedtime can be full of unhappy chaos, as the kids become overly tired. Thursday afternoon is also saved for learning material, dependent upon the homeschooling schedule for the week.
Another fun day is Friday. Recently I enrolled my oldest in Little Gardener’s class offered by Urban Roots NV. This class is two hours long and only $5/session (talk about a steal!). So far we have only attended one class, but I’m excited to see what they have planned for the rest of the month.
Our Wednesday routine changed with a baby on the way. Rather than having the nanny come on Wednesday afternoon, I have her watch my youngest during this class. It allows my oldest and I some quality time together. Younger siblings are allowed to attend the Little Gardener’s class, so don’t let my scheduling deter you from enrolling if you have more than one child!
Extra Schedule Thoughts
There are a couple of things I didn’t mention within our weekly schedule. One being outdoor play time. Kids enjoy being outdoors in nature and taking adventures. I try to take mine out as much as possible, weather permitting, or we bundle up when necessary.
There are times where they resist, but once outside they love exploring, walking and checking on our garden. A lot of our learning and crafting can be done outdoors as well.
Similar to our morning routine, our evening routine typically stays the same. We eat dinner between 5:30-6:30 pm. Shortly after dinner, we begin our bedtime routine. Recently, our bedtime routine has been exhausting and longer than necessary (fingers crossed that it’s only a stage).
Once the kids are asleep it’s quality time with my husband…finally! Occasionally, if I am not completely exhausted, then I’ll use the quiet, uninterrupted time to contribute to my business and blogging.
Routine or Not To Be
Prior to having kids I never thought I would be one of those moms adamant about a routine. Now as my kids are older I realize they want routine.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the activities that fill our routine are the same. Instead, they differ from week to week, but the general timeline is familiar to them and keeps them grounded.
I feel like we are always on the go. This came as a surprise to me as a stay at home mom. Whether it’s an activity, sport, or another type of errand, we are always finding a way to keep busy and stay active.
Maybe it’s because I find it important exposing the kids to new places and situations. This helps teach them how people interact and instills a sense of manners that parents can only lecture on so much.
Ask For Help
As I’ve mentioned I have a nanny who comes and helps me throughout the week. You can trade off with a friend or ask a family member but having help when you need it is so important. It takes a village. Delegate what you can. Seriously.
Find what works for you
As you see this is only one example of a stay at home mom schedule. As a parent, mom or dad, it’s important to find a flow that works for you and your family.
We’re all in this together, striving for happy and healthy kids, yet facing challenges along the way. The next time you hear a mom or dad struggling to keep up, remind them of their accomplishments big or small. These reminders are invaluable for both adults and children.
Lacy Catao is a certified Holistic Nutritionist, former paralegal and Army veteran. Motherhood inspires Lacy to share her knowledge of nutrition and optimal wellness, while also providing lifestyle insight as a mother striving to parent with grace and patience. This California native planted her roots in northern Nevada with her husband in 2016. She contributes her love for country living to Idaho, which is where she spent most of her school-age years. Lacy is the mother of three girls and two stubborn Bulldogs.