Simplify Your Life: Stay at Home Mom Schedule

Feel free to read on, but I wanted to let you know I also updated our schedule since Little is older and I’m trying to keep him busier this fall. So here is our Fall 2012 Schedule!

I get asked from time to time about what our at-home schedule looks like. To be quite honest, creating one was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’ve always gone to school, attended college, worked jobs, and relied heavily on teachers, professors, and supervisors who created schedules for me. One the hardest parts of transitioning from the working world to the at-home world is the schedule shift. Not only the schedule shift, but also the concept of creating a schedule entirely from scratch with no outside direction for the first time in your life. For me, at least, this was daunting. And it took a really long time to come up with something.

When Little was really little, I felt completely lost. I would stay up late at night googling things like, “stay at home mom schedule,” or  “daily schedule for at home moms.” I landed on one blog with a misleading title that I thought would provide me with some sense of relief. However, the cheeky mommy blogger simply wrote for her post, “With four kids and a home to maintain, I’m too busy to sit down and write out my schedule!” Thanks for nothin’.

I didn’t know what I was doing. Thankfully, one of the beauties of Attachment Parenting is a child-led schedule. I didn’t try to force him onto an eating or sleeping schedule that was more convenient for myself, so he naturally locked into his own rhythm. I appreciated that.

But even in following his schedule and letting him lead, I found myself completely frustrated and exhausted. I was far behind on housework and often had Travis asking me {right before going to bed at night} things that drove me crazy like, “Did you happen to toss a pair of my khakis in the wash today?” Questions like this were entirely innocent, and well-warranted. I mean, I was at home all day after all. However, questions like these would make my hair stand on end and my heart race. I felt like a failure as I glanced over at the HUGE pile of dirty clothes and thought, “No! I didn’t do any laundry today… Or yesterday… What DID I do???”

When you find yourself at home, whether on maternity leave or full time, your world kind of turns topsie turvie for a while. You hang on as dearly as you can while solid realities like AM and PM suddenly become a blur. Your days are dictated by feedings, burpings, changes, and baby’s naps. Meals happen…whenever. Or not.

I always thought when I was an at-home mom, my life would be run like clockwork. I would be so organized, I could write books about it. No! Better yet, I would be so organized, people would peek into my life and say, “Kat, Kat! Save us from our daily muck of unwashed laundry and skipped meals! Please write a best selling novel to save us!” And then I’d just fit it into the schedule. Because I would rock.

In reality, I found myself often crying my eyes out in an exhausted middle-of-the-night meltdown asking Travis over and over, “What am I supposed to be DOING!?” The verbs in my day seemed to be missing. Those first six months, house cleaning went on hold, and I found myself simply holding, feeding, changing, holding, feeding, and changing Little. I tried to incorporate play, but I didn’t know how. I tried to incorporate cleaning, but again, I didn’t know how. At the time, I felt like a loser. I felt so unaccomplished, because I had absolutely nothing to measure myself against. I had no tangible accomplishments to show for my time, and I felt certain that at-home moms did more than that.

Now, I’m not saying that I know what I’m doing now… because sometimes I still run searches through blogs for sample schedules and come up with days that look much fuller and much busier than ours. But I’m still proud of how far we’ve come, so I thought I’d give some desperate moms like me a basic foundation to work off of.

Scheduling Tips:

1. Start simply with the basics

There are things throughout your day that are for certain: You and your child will sleep, you and your child will awaken, and you and your child will eat. This is the bare bones of any reliable schedule.

Simply figure out when your child is hungry around the same time each day and make a loose “lunch time” from that time frame. For us, it’s always between 11 am and 12 noon. Sometimes it’s earlier if he played particularly hard in the morning. Sometimes its later if he ate a big morning snack. But at least we have a window to work with.

2. Set your sleep schedule. It’ll save your sanity.

We head to bed at 9:30. Yep. Sounds early, I know, but I can’t survive otherwise. My body desperately needs sleep. At night I tend to have nightmares, wake up from anxiety, and suffer from back aches. I don’t get great rest in other words. So the earlier I fall asleep, the better chances I have of getting some decent rest in there somewhere.

Babies and toddlers should get about 10 hours of sleep. Figure out when your little one tends to wake up each morning and then count backwards from there to establish a good getting ready for bed time and a good in-bed time.

3. Base activities on the weather, the child’s mood, and their age.

I made this mistake many times: Plan an activity found in a book that looks super fun with Little, set aside the entire morning with no plan B in case of failure, and then get two minutes into said activity only to find it’s way too advanced for his attention span or skill set. Then what? Often that’s when the TV would come on. And then I’d spend the rest of the day feeling terrible amounts of guilt for allowing him to watch so much tv.

So if it’s going to be 104 outside by 10 am, then feeding the ducks at the park is not going to work. If it’s going to rain, then playing with sidewalk chalk all morning won’t work. If he wakes up really whiny and cranky, then play doh is not going to be fun. Always have a plan B, C, and sometimes even D.

If you’re looking for something to do with little ones, visit my growing list of ideas over on my Something Together page, and if you need a very detailed list of my {very inexpensive} crafting supply stock pile, check out my recent post Essential List of Crafting-With-Kids Supplies.

So here’s what our schedule looks like, in its most basic form:

6:30: Travis’s alarm goes off, Little is up on his own.

Breakfast together as a family

7:00: Travis goes up to the school. I usually start getting ready for the day and will start a bath for little.

7:30  Bath for Buggy every-other day. I get dressed {sometimes}, and make up the bed. I usually throw a load of clothes in the wash too.

8:00: Bath is all done, Buggy is dressed, teeth brushed, etc.

Free play while I pick up, empty dishwasher, etc.

8:10/8:15-9:00: Since I started homeschooling Little Bug, this is when we do our “school”.  Even on days where we aren’t having “school,” I’ll schedule a fun activity at this time. We sometimes go outside to play at this time too because in the summer it’s usually in the 90’s by 10:30.

9:00-10:00: Timing depends entirely on how successful {or not} our activity was.

Morning snack time, a little TV time, we might read. If the weather is beautiful, we’ll of course play outside at this time. This is also a great time for me to update my blog or get some chores done around the house while he plays independently.

11-11:30ish: Lunch for Buggy

11:45ish: I set out, reheat, or prepare lunch for myself and Travis.

12:00: Travis is home and we have lunch.

1:00: Buggy nap. I help him pick up all of his toys, put a blanket over his window so it’s dark enough to rest, give hugs and kisses, and then I turn on his lullaby CD, and he sleeps.

2:30-3ish: Little wakes up, and I turn on “Arthur” on PBS. He eats a snack and wakes up.

3:30-4: Free play, read books, play outside, etc. I may do a little bit of last minute things around the house. This is also a great time for us to take an afternoon walk if the weather is permitting.

4:30-5ish: Travis comes home, rests a bit, plays with Little, and then we start on supper together. Sometimes he cooks, sometimes I do.

5:30-6ish: We eat together at the table as a family. Buggy likes to pray and will remind us if we forget to.

6:30-45ish: Dinner finished, the rule is whoever didn’t cook has to clean up and put away.

7-8: Free play for Little, books, tv, colors, etc. Sometimes we go on walks if it isn’t too hot. Sometimes we’ll go out for a special dessert.

8:00: Pick up toys, clean up room, change into jammies. Bedtime for Buggy. Travis reads to him for 30 minutes from a chapter book while Little just listens and settles down. Then he puts it away and turns out the light and he falls asleep on his own. He’s already read through The Hobbit and is now on the Inheritance series!

9ish: I take a shower or bath and wind down for bed.

9:30: Shut down the house, put Molly in her crate, and head for bed. We may stay awake a while watching tv or talking, but I like to be in bed before 10.

So that’s it! As you can see, most of our schedule is based on meals and sleep times. Really, just find something that works for you and your little ones. There isn’t a right or wrong schedule. Some parents whose kids are in daycare find it easier if they base their at-home schedules loosely around their kiddos daycare schedules. Just be consistent with whatever you do and your child will never be without stability. You’d be amazed at how much even a rough schedule can change your entire day as a mom. I was. Some days I still look around and wonder what in the world I’m doing, but at least I know he ate and slept at a decent time. If nothing else.

Kat

*For more stay at home mom tips, see my recent post Stay at Home Mom Cleaning Tips discussing how to maintain a cleaning routine and keep up with little ones.

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58 Comments

Filed under Parenting, Simplify Your Life, Stay at Home Moms

58 responses to “Simplify Your Life: Stay at Home Mom Schedule

  1. Moms that live in 2 story houses can also make it easier by designating morning play time downstairs vs. afternoon playing upstairs while mom gets to do chores on the floor that aligns with whatever playtime it is…..of course that works out even better if all the bedrooms plus the laundry room are also on the 2nd floor….ok yes I’m extremely happy and bragging about that part :P

    Call me extremely lazy or just personality wise, I just find that once you put sleep times and eat times into your day the rest of the day works itself out…and one can do what they please and works for their family in between those times….(I’m one of those obsessed with meal times, but I have a child at or below the 5% in the weight category so that’s one of my worry areas that I make sure is never compromised on)

  2. Sherika

    This has been sooooooooo helpful to me. I’m sitting here at 1:03am trying to figure out a schedule and how I can become a better mom. I’ve cried to many times to count and I’ve often felt like a failure. I’m trying everyday to be better and I think once I put a few things in order it will work out fine. Thanks a million!!!!!!

    • Bless your heart, that’s EXACTLY how I felt when I first started out as a stay at home mom. Many of us go from careers to home and suddenly we have nothing telling us what to do between 8 and 5. I hope this helps. It’s hard to sit down and say, “Ok, here’s what you do” when I don’t know the lives of all of my readers, but I can give a vague outline of what works for us. I’m certain that once you have something you feel confident in, you’ll feel so much better :)

      • Jacqueline

        I honestly was feeling so guilty when I was typing in toddler schedules into google but once I read this and read all these comments, I realized im not alone! This is very helpful. Thank u so much!!

      • I´m glad it was helpful to you, Jacqueline! Don´t feel guilty…We´re all in the same boat

  3. courtney

    thank you soo much for ur blog post..i was just telling my hubby about how i felt i wasnt getting things done like i felt a sahm was supposed to..and i didnt know how they did it…i guess its with schedules not to do list haha…i have never ever been an organized person and im noticing it is something that i need to become. im just not sure how to do it. but i am going to try to make a schedule and see if i can finally get my house cleaned and organized because im thinking if i can get it organized i can keep it clean. but how do you get your whole house cleaned and organized when everyday your having to redo all the chores you did the day before? like dishes, living room, and taking care of a 5 month old?

    • Courtney, You aren’t the first person to ask such a question. In fact, I get more hits on my blog regarding the schedule and organization of a stay at home mom than for anything else! First off, let me say that all of you mommas looking for answers makes me feel less alone and confused. Secondly, I am going to write another entry regarding schedules and cleaning with a child at home to hopefully help guide more moms to a more organized life. You aren’t alone, and you’re doing a great job. Stay tuned.

    • Courtney, You aren’t the first person to ask such a question. In fact, I get more hits on my blog regarding the schedule and organization of a stay at home mom than for anything else! First off, let me say that all of you mommas looking for answers makes me feel less alone and confused. Secondly, I am going to write another entry regarding schedules and cleaning with a child at home to hopefully help guide more moms to a more organized life. You aren’t alone, and you’re doing a great job. Stay tuned.

  4. Amy

    Just found your blog, and i will be frequently returning to this site. :) I am a soon to be sahm of a 2 1/2yr old and a newborn, and have been doing the same internet searches as others have about sahm schedules and worrying about how/if i will be able to do it all with a home and 2 kids to care for. It is reassuring to know i’m not alone in my worries and fears. thank you.

  5. Last night my husband asked me, in a playful manner “so… are you just not washing my clothes anymore?” I looked at the overflowing hamper, sighed and said “I’ll take care of it tomorrow.” What I was screaming in my head was “Apparently not!” Today I found myself reading your blog (which I coincidentally stumbled upon by googling exactly “stay at home mom schedule), and saying “THAT is EXACTLY how I feel!” I just finished reading it to him, and we had a good talk. He gets it. I still feel like I’m failing at this stay at home momminess, but I no longer feel alone or hopeless. Thank you for putting into words what i couldn’t.

    • Lisa, you have no idea how much your words mean to me! I’m thrilled to hear that not only did my post give you some help, but that you completely relate to the feelings I expressed in that entry. Being an at-home mom is absolutely not easy. Boredom and loneliness set in, and it becomes difficult to handle the house and the kids and the meals and your own needs. We put ourselves on the back burner, and grow resentful of the tasks we just can’t get to. Things WILL calm down… I keep telling myself that. In the meantime, it’s so important to find other moms out there who are going through the same things you’re going through. You aren’t alone :)

  6. hillary

    Thank you! Even though i’ve been at home for 4 years (!!!) my scedule is ever changing as they go thru different phases so this helps. My kids are now 4 and 2 1/2 and our day looks a lot like yours though we get out of the house more often- usually in the morn around 10am (library, errands etc) and the afternoon again after my 2 year old naps (park, other kids activity). Getting out at those two times (10am and again at 2pm) saves my sanity. I’m not one to stay at home doing crafts all day- I really need adult interaction! Thanks again for the post :)

  7. hannah

    thanks for this! not only for the tough schedule but for sharing with us how lost you felt. I’ve been a stay a home mom for 3 years now and I’m still lost! we recently moved across the country so I feel more lost than ever since we haven’t anyone to have play dates with. this article touched me. btw it’s almost midnight and I found this by googling “stay at home mom schedule”

  8. hannah

    especially the part about not knowing what to play! I’ll think of something to play and 5 min into it I think “this is boring, I should be doing something predictive” but the predictive things are boring too! not sure if you’ve heard anything about creating a joy school but it’s something I’d like to start once I meet some moms in my area.

  9. Alysha

    So my google of “schedules for toddlers and stay at home moms” landed me her first off as well! My children are 4 1/2 and almost 3 and I just feel like I am failing at this stay at home thing. We are also having problems with my son’s behavior at Pre-School to the point where I am considering pulling him out and trying to do this at home. BUT I am scared to death to fail them and not be good at it! We have a very very loose schedule and it is going to be a huge change to get on track. Thank you so much for your blog and as I think about that load of laundry I should do now and how to commit to a schedule, I know I will be back here!

  10. Ursula

    OMG thank you thank you thank you!! Just like many of the mamma’s on here have posted, I was googling sahom schedules and your blog came up. While I was reading it I thought “how did you get into my head?!” I didn’t think any other mamma’s were out there like me all discombobulated just going off of the bare bones of wake up, eat, sleep. It’s so refreshing to read this and see all the mamma’s with the same thoughts as me. It gives me hope that I will find a better rhythm and next thing I know my little ones will be out to school and I’ll wonder where the time went.

  11. Nick

    Kat just wanted to say THANKS just had my second (12 yes apart) but first time as a SAHM and until I read this felt a. Like a complete failure and b. Like loosing my mind but this really gave me some hope I can get it together. Thanks again!

  12. Mrs Slocombe

    It took me ages to come to that conclusion, that as long as you are doing the basics (and I too struggled to include play in that to start with) you are actually doing ok. I still don’t think that I’m that good at, say, turning the TV off or getting out and about often, but when kids are little they need for you to stay sane and able to provide these basic things, rather than for you to be forever cleaning or stressing about how you should be perfect at everything. Socialising or talking endlessly on the phone isn’t that important (or good for your child, I should imagine. When you have two or more kids to look after, the amount of time you have to merely think is considerably less so you have to prioritise. There’s no choice! But we forget that. Instead of enjoying these precious few years of our children’s childhood we fret over stupid things. The best advice I had whilst pregnant was never to expect to ever do anything at 100% anymore. 70-80% is the best you’ll be able to do. This idea has stuck in my head and I don’t beat myself up about stuff that doesn’t happen perfectly. Also if u need help with clutter and household chores which I often need, visit http://www.flylady.net for real encouragement and sisterly help. Mums rock.

  13. The fact that I’m here tells you I don’t yet feel successful at the whole daily schedule thing. I’m a SAHM of 4 (2 teens & 2 toddlers) so I know from experience (but barely remember) that things get easier as they get older and that this phase will pass. But in the meantime, I’ve experimented with various ways of organizing my day, with mixed results. I was so productive when I worked – without all the distractions, I was able to multitask my personal stuff with work work and get lots done at the office. Now I’m constantly guilty about all the things I’m behind on: potty training my two year old, finding a sitter so I can go to my overdue doctor/dentist appointments, taking my teen daughter to see the ballet, mailing out the babies professional portraits from 4 months ago, getting those SAT flashcards for my teenage son, planning our spring break vacation, organizing a date night with hubby – and the list goes on and on. Forget about working out or cleaning (we have 2 ladies come in for 2 hours once a month to make the place livable and teens do minor stuff as chores on the weekend) or mommy play groups (when??). I can confidently say that everyone gets fed three square meals in my house on a daily basis. Beyond that, it’s hit or miss. Laundry, baby baths, showers for me, trips to the park, enriching play activities – all catch as catch can.
    Nap schedules are part of the problem because currently there’s no point during the day when one of them isn’t up with me and I need to be at home basically from 9:30-2:30. Everyone wakes at 6:30, breakfast etc. Baby goes down at 9:30 for her first nap and sleeps until 10:30. My older toddler goes down at 10:30 and sleeps til 12. Then we all eat lunch. At 1:30 baby goes down for 2nd nap until 2:30. Teen #1 out of school at 3pm – snack, homework etc. Teen #2 out of practice at 5pm – shower, chores, homework. I start prepping adult/teen dinner at 5:30 then stop and feed little ones at 6pm. 6:30 jammies and story time. Daddy home from office at 7pm to tuck them in. Then I go finish up dinner, daddy finishes up his work email and we sit down to eat by 7:30. We’re done by 8:30. If kids done with their homework we may then watch an hour of tv together. By 9:30, teen #1 in shower, I’m cleaning up kitchen mess and hubby is catching up with his personal computer stuff. At 10pm everyone in the house is asleep but me. That gives me 30 min to do my personal stuff – either stuff on computer or read. Then I try and hit the hay at 10:30. Weekends are slightly better since hubby around to distract little ones and do the grocery shopping. That’s when I’m usually able to shower, water plants, do laundry and hopefully do something fun with little ones, big kids and/or hubby (park, movie, farmers market, out to eat) along with normal daily stuff.
    So that’s it. Often feeling frustrated like a prisoner in the house during the day and then so busy I can’t even catch my breath in the evenings. So the challenge is finding ways to still get stuff done while the toddler is playing with daddy’s razor and the baby is pulling dirty diapers out of the diaper genie. As I write this, I’ve had to stop several times: to rescue the baby from the trashcan “house” the toddler put her in; kiss a boo boo caused by pulling all her books onto herself from her nursery bookshelf; retrieve baby from teen #2’s unlocked (again!!) room where was busy stuffing the remnants of last night’s art project into the printer; clean up peanut butter toddler was painting her sister’s door with; rescue baby from being strangled by toddler with mommy’s scarf in the hall closet – you get the drift.
    The craziest part is I wouldn’t trade this for anything! ;}

  14. S

    Hi,
    I know you wrote this post ages ago, but I had to comment. I googled “schedule for sahm” this morning after a horrible fight because my hubby couldn’t find any clean work clothes. I’ve been staying at home for almost two years now (I have an almost three-year-old). The last two years have been a nightmare, I’m surprised I still have a hubby. Every time I’ve searched for things like this, I find blogs of “naturally organized” women, who just list their own schedules and offer no ideas on HOW they got there…the schedules were just there, obvious to them. I had no idea how to make a schedule, and the career that I left really didn’t teach me the skill of organizing/scheduling in that sense.
    THANK YOU for posting the HOW. You will probably never know how much this has saved me. I just spent maybe 20 minutes using your steps, and came up with a decent schedule that I feel confident I can do.

    • S,

      I did write this post a while back, but I actually went in to update it just a few days ago, so I’m always trying to keep it up to date for anyone who might stumble across this post. I absolutely know how difficult it can be to establish a routine at home, and I hope that I can offer some words of advice or help to other moms out there. I’m so glad that it brought you some semblance of structure to your day, and I’m certain that as you lock in more and more to your new schedule it will start to take shape until it’s just habit. Thank you for reading, and God bless!

      Kat

  15. Carla

    I actually am about to join the ranks of a stay-at-home-mommy. I’ve been back to work for about a month and a half and have decided I’d rather see my little man grow up than work with a crazy toxic boss.

    While on maternity leave I had the exact conversation while crying to my husband about not knowing what to do all day, thinking I wasn’t doing enough, and feeling like a failure of a mother. I’ve always been the organized, put together, multi-tasking queen and all of the sudden my world was turned upside down and I was clueless how to manage. I’m starting to realize once I’m home I’ll need to come up with some type of general schedule and let my type-A personality just go with the flow for once. :)

    Question – What do you do on days you get out of the house? We live an hour from anything (seriously, even Wal-Mart) so when we go to the store or the doctor it’s an all day excursion. Those days are the scariest to me since the routine kind of goes out the window.

    • Carla, congratulations on the “job change”! It’s so hard to not feel discouraged as a stay at home mom. I still struggle with feelings like I’m not enough, not doing enough, not interacting with Little enough, etc. etc. etc. Those feelings lessen and lessen as time goes on, but if/when you struggle with them, just know you aren’t alone.

      Regarding your question about getting out, this is something we have to fight as well. The nearest large city to us is about an hour away. There’s a smaller city that at least has a Wal-Mart about half an hour from here, but still, with little ones that’s a long day. Either I start our excursions early in the morning to make it home by lunch (his naptime is at 1) or I will plan them after he wakes up from his nap. That way he still gets a good nap in there. HOWEVER if that isn’t possible, I’ll let him sleep in the car either while I drive around or I have actually been known to just pull into a parking lot and pull out a book and sit there and read with my seat reclined while he sleeps away. When he wakes up, we continue on with our errands. Skipping those naps can sure mess up a routine, so its important even when you’re out and about to try and stay true to the schedule you’ve created. Otherwise everyone will pay for it the next day. Grab some snacks, extra diapers, extra drinks, some toys that can be played with in the car, lots of sing along songs (I have several sing along CDs downloaded to my iPod), and some books or magazines for you. This way even if you’re stuck in a doctor’s office or grocery store during their normal snack time, you’re prepared. If you need to pull into a mall parking lot or a park somewhere and let them nap, you’ve got yourself something to do. If you have ANY friends or family who live in that town, get in touch with them and ask if it’d be okay if you stop by and let them eat or take a nap or have a change at their house on the days you’re out and about.

      Good luck~ you can do this!! :)

  16. I couldn’t agree more! I recently left the corporate world to become a SAHM with two babies and to start a graphic design business. This rule is how I wing it day by day; “Base activities on the weather, the child’s mood, and their age.”

  17. Hannahlouise

    I’d like to say a BIG thank you! I am a young mum and currently living with my boyfriend and 8month old at my dad and step mum’s (who has never raised a baby) to save money and get ahead. Although its been very tough and lately I have been criticized for not having a perfect routine. It has gotten me down and had me tears thinking I was a horrible mother, not having a precise schedule. Although now after reading your blog I see I am not alone and not doing such a bad job after all! You have saved my sanity and not to mention allowed me to have a peace of mind, so thank you so much! :)

  18. Meg

    Thank you much for being so real about how stressful life can be- everything else I’ve read up until now may help the “warm brownies when you come home from school” mom but not me. I find myself so upset at the amount of things to do that seem to never get done, or the the started but not finished tasks that seem to create more havoc. My son is autistic so that also adds another element as well as even more of a reason to have structure. I find I cry more than I am proud & have beautiful dreams of how my house should run- I could just never figure how to make it happen. I would be the best mother & wife in the world if I could just make whats in my head come to life. Thank you so much for simplifying a very hard task. I have worked in the office and also had 15 tables waitressing and still can’t manage a 4 person 2 child household. I am waking up tomorrow to hope THANK YOU

    • You’re so welcome, Meg. I too get frustrated with the “warm and fuzzy” stay at home mom bloggers. 99% of the time, our house is messy, my kid is getting into something {because I didn’t have an activity planned for him} and the TV is blaring. And then there’s me, still trying to stay on top of laundry and Little’s messes. It’s not that I do nothing, it’s just that doing it ALL is so hard! You aren’t alone. Hang in there. I hope today is better. :)

  19. casey

    Hey there! Just read this looking for a basic schedule as i am a stay at home wife (not mom) with a home career as well. One thing i would like to add for anyone reading this is to check out Flylady.net. She is amazingly helpful regarding setting up routines, not so much schedules per se, but it puts your life on autopilot. Plus the emotional support is amazing!

  20. Lacey

    I prayed last night for an answer to my schedule dilemma. Thank you for this post! God is forever providing answers and ideas for us stay-at-home-moms!

  21. Lynn

    I was able to work from home after maternity leave for the first 7 months of my baby. But my company closed down and I am now a stay-at-home mom. Sometimes, I really get lonely feeling unrewarded, un-accomplished, and wanting to scream to the world that I’m not just sitting at home. My hubby would ask me, so what did you do today?? I’m like I cleaned, make breakfast lunch and dinner, do chores, and played with our one-year old. Yeah I find myself vacuuming everyday cleaning the dirty trails left behind by my walking baby who also puts every little thing in his mouth etc. And it just seems like it’s just an easy task.. But it’s not! I wish some working moms would also not be bitter about sahm thinking like we all have the luxury etc..

    Bottom line, it made me feel better reading you comments and to this post. Thank you for this.

    • I’m so glad it was encouraging to you, Lynn. You’re right, filling those hours is hard. Battling boredom is hard. Loneliness is hard. Dealing with children ALL day is hard. Being a sahm is not easy, but you can do it.

  22. tara

    Thank u so much for this info. I love the fact that you googled the same stuff I have! :) u have given me some great ideas.

  23. Stephanie

    Four kids later and I’m still trying to figure out this SAHM stuff :) Thanks!

  24. Tabby

    I have been a stay at home mom now for about two years. I have struggled everyday with my schedule. Reading your post was refreshing and validating. I was always working or going to school and after my second daughter decided to stay home. It seemed easier to me having a boss or teacher tell me what to do and now I am at home with no direction. I have googled, bought books, asked my husband, and begged other moms to try to tell me what they do all day. Out of desperation I googled again and find your blog! What a blessing!! I was jotting down notes and filling my calendar in no time! Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!!! I can’t wait to start my week tomorrow!

    • Tabby, I´m so glad this post was helpful to you!! I HATE that feeling of no direction. It´s so overwhelming. In a lot of ways, having a boss and deadline and specific goals is so much nicer and easier than being a stay at home mom, but you don´t realize that until you´re in it. I hope this week goes much more smoothly for you. Let us know what tricks work for you in keeping it all together.

  25. Cassandra

    Im 8 months pregnant with my 2nd. I never had a schedule with my daughter and I regret it. Since Ive been pregnant I wanted to try a schedule to make my life easier as a stay at home mom. Especially since adding 30 minute daily walks and trying to cook more at home, I’m needing a schedule more than ever. Thanks for the tips because now i have a rough idea of what my schedule can look like with a toddler and a newborn. I went ‘with the flow’ with our first but that just doesnt cut it anymore!

  26. Selima

    I am a stay at home mom to almost 16 month little boy. I am realizing that I needed to get our lives on a schedule mostly for my sanity. It is hard balancing housework and 16 month old busy boy:) Especially when he will only sleep in the car:( But I am tired of a messy house:( So here we go to organizing our lives.

  27. Rose

    wow..you really are super mom! I am still struggling to get my little one to willingly take naps…By the way, when you make time for unwinding, you can try playing an online word game that rewards for finding typos. It is at TypoBounty.com.

  28. Becky

    Thank you so so much! I’m printing this out along with the comments. It’s such a comfort to hear other real moms and their struggles. I’ve cried a lot feeling like there’s something wrong with me because I can’t keep up. I have a three year old, 20 month old and three month old. (Our 3yo gave up naps shortly after our nb arrived. 3mo still eats every three hours…not one of those miraculous sleeping- through-the-night-at-8-weeks-babies!) There’s so much info out there that makes it seem like everything can be perfect if you only work hard enough. I’ll settle for a little better every day. Thanks for being real! :)

  29. Michelle

    I am so thankful I found your blog. I actually found you via Pinterest while looking at toddler crafts. I am a sahm Mommy of a 1 year old almost 2 and a 4 month old. I find it very hard to juggle everything and stay sane! I was had a career and have a degree but found it to be more important to stay at home with my children. My husband and I are also exploring homeschooling as well. We recently moved due to relocation for my husband’s job. it is difficult because our family and friends are 5 hours away. I am still dealing withe the fact that I am at home, I feel like I have nothing to give or accomplish because I have never been one to stay at home. Everyday I am getting better at this though. I want to do more for my daughter she is very smart and I feel like she needs more structure, I feel often like I am not doing enough for her. How do you find the time to clean your house and stay up on day to day chores, some advice would be most appreciated as I am always stressing about not being able to get things done, I feel like if I just do with the kids all day my house would be a wreck and I don’t like to live in a dirty home. Also hubby and I follow the attachment parenting style. We have never used cry it out either nor did we circumcise our son not that I want to get into that but we believe in the most natural parenting but I find myself failing to do so. I get so caught up with day to day chores and personal struggles that I feel like I am not doing enough. We have very little help and support especially since we have moved but didn’t where we used to live so it is mainly me and hubby helps a ton. What advice I really could use is how to be the best that I can structure wise. We have joined a sahm play group and homeschooling group as well. I so appreciate your blog. God Bless!

  30. Araceli

    Wow. This is awesome. I am getting ready to become a stay at home mom at the end of the year when we move to a new city. (Thankfully i have a friend who a,so stays home who just moved to that city) I googled things like “Becoming a SAHM” and a lot of what I read made me so nervous. Many sites talked about depression, anxiety, and anger that developed while being a SAHM. But your blog has really helped alleviate a lot of that negativity. My son is 2 and I feel like its so important to be with him during these formative years. No amount of money or things is worth only seeing him for 2-3 hours each day. I know it won’t always be a bed of roses, but I have high hopes that we are going to do just great! Thanks again for your blog!

  31. Leah

    I know I’m commenting a tad late on this…but your bit about conversation w/ Travis about “did you get to my khakis?” …I can’t even say how many times I’ve had almost that EXACT conversation with my hubby…and I have the same reaction. No…I didn’t do your laundry…or any laundry…or the dishes…or….what DID I do today!? This gives me new hope!!! I’m NOT THE ONLY ONE!!!! Thank you :) :) :)

  32. heather

    Im glad to find this, however Im a full time online college student. I am up every night brain dead till 2 am doing school work. I always say Ill get up at 5 to do work before she rises but I just cant manage that first step. My 2 yr old is very high attention/demanding of time. I dont want to neglect her. However I cannot study with her running around. I need quiet to do my work. My fella works overtime a lot so I never really have help, and no family near by and no money for day care. I love being at home but feel heartbroken because either my daughter is being neglected or my school work..but its really just me that is neglected. Im going to use your routine a bit and try to fit my own in there :)

    • Heather, I hope you find a schedule that helps. I’m also a full time online student. I’m finishing my degree online and am currently taking 10 hours. It’s certainly a LOT of work. I graduate in December, but there were some semesters in the past where I just had to take 6 hours. I simply couldn’t handle much more than that. I fit in school work during my son’s nap, or many times I’ll set him up with an activity that keeps him occupied for a while and then I can get some work done. This morning I put him in front of several puzzles while I worked on a paper. Good luck to you. Let me know what’s working and what’s not.

  33. Lauren

    Okay. I have a 14 month old. 90 percent of the time when I try to do chores he gets Whitney when I leave the room or has to help me so I spend more time trying to keep him out of things. My husband wonders what I did all day. Plus right now we keep gettig sick so trying to drag myself out of bed is so hard. How do I make him less co dependent!? The only distraction he loves is toy story movies. He won’t sit still for reading books either.

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  35. Denise

    It was 3 years in January that I left my job to stay at home with my daughter. This is the first time in those 3 years I feel like someone just identified with what I have felt every day. THANK YOU and preach on! I’m not a crazy nor am I a lonley failure!
    I smile when you discuss the first 6 months, I am living proof it can take several years to get your bearings! Oh how I wish I would have found this within the first 2 years.

  36. michelle

    Thank you! So so much. I know I’m echoing so many other comments but seriously, thanks! I’ve felt like such a failure at times especially because I did go to college and have been successful at my job. I knew how to arrange my schedule to get things done well, so why is a mommy schedule so foreign?
    You hit what I’ve been fighting against, which seems so obvious now. A plan B! In everything else, I’ve always just made it work. My little one is a year and a half so figuring this out now feels a little silly, but I’m so grateful that I stumbled on your blog.

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  38. mercyphoenix

    Thank you posting this. It’s 2:47 in the morning and I’ve spent the last hour searching for some sort of schedule or routine to get my daughter on. We just moved into a nicer apartment with a bit more space and I still have unpacking to do, I’m a full time student online I’m feeling so chaotic and out of balance right now. My husband will be awake in about 2 hours for work and then our daughter will be awake around 8. I have insomnia. Some nights I can’t sleep and my OTC sleeping pills leave me groggy the next day and it’s hard to wake up. I’m hoping following your advice I can get some routine or schedule down.

    • I can relate to the insomnia you’re going through. And like you, I HATE taking any kind of over the counter sleep aid because I feel the “hang over” in the morning. It’s awful. I’m gonna take a stab in the dark and guess that you’re staying up late because of A. Stress and anxiety and B. Lack of you time during the day. Maybe I’m wrong, but those are the two biggest things that keep me up at night. When I’m overwhelmed during the day either by stress or anxiety, I can’t sleep at night. And when I feel out of control at home and have no time for myself during the day, I can’t sleep at night. I sincerely hope this helps you! Please browse through the blog to find other helpful ways to fill your days {I didn’t mean to rhyme there :)}. Good luck!

  39. I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for this post. I am a 36 year old first time mom of a two year old who has worked a full time job my entire life and am now making the transition to being a SAHM. To say the very least, I’ve been frustrated, confused, and overwhelmed. I have found it very daunting at times thinking that it’s my responsibility to keep my daughter entertained, stimulated, and educated – FULL TIME. While I was working, that’s what I paid a day care center for and now that it’s up to me, I’ve felt completely lost and alone. This post really helped me to see that even though it is all up to me, I have choices – choices of flexibility that you don’t get in the workplace. I think it will take some time for me and Madeline to find our groove but we’re getting there and your blog really helps. Thank you.

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  41. M.Artusio

    Completely and exactly the encouragement I needed to hear right now! I feel much better now that our “little” one is 13 months, but I still have days where I just really wish someone wrote it out so that I could have SOMETHING legitimate to follow :)…there are many days where I feel as you said, “The verbs in my day seemed to be missing.” The Lord has helped me greatly. Thanks!

  42. whitnye

    so grateful for you creating this. . wishing I was asleep right now especially sinceI’m actually in bed early tonight. . Thank you for turning my tears of pain/guilt/shame into tears of happiness for the moment! Thanks to reading this and comments I’m feeling encouraged and hopeful for the first time in a LONG time. I have been extremely depressed for about the past year because I have unsuccessful and unworthy to even be a mother to my little angels. My husband recently started working for himself ( which is great &I’m happy for him). This means more money but he’s also more exhausted when he gets home and working a little more. Most of the time he’s the only one who even has clean clothes bc it’s most important since he’s only income. We had conversation just few days ago about me getting a job again. I told him I thought I should and he’s always been against it but this time he agreed and told me that my current career is not working. I know he didn’t mean it to be hurtful but he means bc my house has been a wreck and life has been chaotic without organization &direction.
    I grew up VERY spoiled. Never made a bed, never cooked, never washed anything or picked anything up. My mom was in a wreck that left her disabled and depressed for all my growing up years. My dad ALWAYS was working. So someone was paid to come clean and do basically everything for my sister and I. My parents divorced, my mom got on drugs to deal with it plus her chronic pain (7 yrs sober now praise GOD) and I had to move out at age 18. Completely helpless. I worked. I work well. I have always been workaholic and my house was in okay shape when it was just me. Then I became a wife and mom of 2. Now ages 3 & 2. it was easier when they were younger. But the older they get the faster they go different directions and I’ve just about completely lost myself to sadness and mindset of why even try to accomplish anything bc it’s just going to get interrupted or have to be done again tomorrow. . Sorry this was so long I’ll stop. But thank you. I am now encouraged to try and maybe I CAN do this one day at a time because once my kids are grown that’s it and I truly want to enjoy my life and time with them instead of everything being a worry or burden. I’m gonna pray for the strength, peace & wisdom to be a successful SAHM and for direction. for once I know I was doing the right thing for a moment bc I was supposed to read this. Thank you and may GOD keep blessing you!

  43. Katie

    This is exactly what I needed, thank you!! I got here by googling “schedule for stay at home mom” so I’m glad I’m not the only crazy one;)

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