My Stay-at-Home Mom Daily Schedule
As a stay-at-home mama to two boys under two, I'm fully aware that some days are going to go more smoothly than others... but I've learned some tricks along the way to help me increase the chances of a successful day. And my biggest tip is to have a routine, even if it's just a loose one.
Without an alarm clock, a boss waiting by my desk, or a school bus schedule to remind me to get up and ready, the mornings often started whenever. When I started paying attention, I definitely noticed a difference in my energy on the days where we "slept in" and lounged in bed.
(I'm not saying we don't do this occasionally, but I try to make sure it isn't a daily thing... after all, there's a reason we look forward to sleeping in on Saturday mornings—because it's a treat!)
Lately, Leo has been teething terribly and waking me up multiple times a night to nurse for comfort, so I've had to shift my morning schedule a bit. Right now, I wake up when the kids do, between 7-8am.
Once we pass this phase of teething, I'd love to get back into the routine where I wake up about an hour before the kids. I love the quiet of the morning, it's the best time for some "me time".
Now that Ryan is in preschool five days a week, it's done wonders for enforcing a routine on those days. We have breakfast, take vitamins, and run out the door around 8:30am.
With little Leo in tow, I usually spend an hour or two of this time on work calls and emails, planning blog posts and social media, and running errands. We'll play games in between every task, and take lots of nursing breaks. I love having mommy and Leo time in the mornings! (It goes back to the guilt I've mentioned before about having lots of one-on-one time with my first, Ryan, and not nearly as much with my little lion.)
Around 11:00am, I'll make a quick meal for the family that becomes lunch and dinner, or warm up leftovers from the day before. We try to have lunch around 11:30am to be on the same schedule as Ryan, because he gets to eat at school. Before I know it, 12:15pm has arrived and it's time to pick Ryan up!
Some days, I'm fortunate enough to have help, and I'll be able to sneak in a workout or a mani/pedi in the morning while Leo plays with his grandma at home.
Once we pick Ryan up, we usually head home for playtime and snacks. But, lately, he insists on staying at the school playground an extra 30-45 minutes to play with his school buddies while Little Leo and I wait (and catch up with the school moms)! It's getting harder and harder to pull him away and get home.
At home, we've been enjoying riding cars (myself included!) around the house while we pretend to be Paw Patrol characters and superheroes. We're also really into building with Legos. Sometimes we'll head out to the park in our neighborhood or play in our backyard for some outdoor fun times!
As our loud and silly time winds down, we sit together for a snack. (Tip: Ryan is less picky about his food when he's been at school all day, so this is the best time to sneak in the things he doesn't always like but needs to eat more of!)
After snack time, we spend some more time learning & playing. Unfortunately, neither of the boys will take an afternoon nap, so we substitute quiet time instead. We close the curtains to dampen the sunlight coming in, read books, play puzzles, and try to rest our bodies and minds a little bit.
We usually wait for Daddy to come home from work and have dinner together as a family. Our typical dinners are loud and chaotic but fun.. Leo's eating with his hands and he's an impatient little lion who roars when the food isn't coming fast enough!
Ryan is super chatty at dinnertime which we love because he tells us all about his day at school and shares what his friends are up to. He loves to talk non-stop, and we think it's because he knows we're close to bedtime and he wants to make sure to get all of his thoughts out.
Daddy and I rarely get a word in to each other before the boys are tucked into bed. If we try to talk to each other, one (or both!) jump in and interrupt for all of our attention. Anyone else have kids who can't stand listening to the parents talk to one other when they're around or is it just us? ;)
We don't really mind though, and love hearing from our little guys... one day they will be teenagers who will grunt a few syllables at us, so we cherish this hour in the day when we're all together at once.
Around 6pm, it's time for baths. For a while, I was bathing Leo first while daddy helped Ryan second, but we've recently been able to put the boys in together. Leo's stronger and not slipping in the bath as much, so it's fun family time with all four of us at bath time!
Once PJs are on, we let them play with one last toy, give them a small snack (usually yogurt!) and they fall asleep around 7:30-8:00pm.
After the boys are sound asleep it's time for "me time". Right now, that consists of a shower and work, work, work! Oh and usually some laundry, too. Work, work, working is not what I preach, and I SHOULD use this time for some self-care as I have in the past.. but right now I'm in a busy season of creating the best experience for all of our mama attendees at the Happy Mom Conference, so all of my time away from the boys is devoted to work right now.
It's OK though because the Happy Mom Conference is a passion project that fills my heart when I get to my laptop to work on it. Sometimes self-care comes in the form of professional fulfillment, and that's the case with me right now.
Creating structure in the day for baby and for you is a great way to feel more in control of a sometimes chaotic and unpredictable day. But, it also has to work for you, too. I've seen so many detailed stay-at-home-mom schedules out on Pinterest that had me feeling like I need to step up my game... but then I realized that I like our routine. I enjoy going with the flow. It works for us, and I enjoy the time I have with my little ones!
You do you, mama.
If you're looking for a day to break the routine and a place where you can find inspiration and connection with other moms... sans babies, join me for the Happy Mom Conference on May 6th. You can learn more here.