I was a working mom. I had a career. I went to college, got my undergrad degree and just because I like punishment, continued on to earn my masters degree. My career was important to me. Education was important to me. I guess it still is, but I have different priorities now.
After I had my daughter, I took off work until she was 6 months old. I didn’t receive any pay during this time and it was hard. Really hard. We pulled from our savings more than we ever thought we would. But we made it through. I went back to work and sent my little baby to daycare. This was agonizing. I hated not being with her and even though I loved (LOVED) her teachers at daycare, I still couldn’t help but wish I was home with her.
After my boys were born, we did the math and realized that daycare costs for three kids would be almost equal to my salary. So I stayed home. All three kids and me. Everyday. 7 days a week.
Some days it’s hard. Other days it’s even harder. Taking care of two screaming infants while my two-year-old runs around demanding my attention and making a mess of things in general can be agonizing. I went through months of chaos before I lost my mind. I couldn’t handle the insanity anymore. So I started researching “How to survive as a stay at home mom.” Laugh all you want but my house is a war zone and I’m just trying to make it through the day without any injuries to myself or my squad.
Here’s what I found. Mommy Schedules.
Wait. What? I’m not on the clock anymore, why do I need to have a schedule. Can’t I just get up whenever I want and wing it through the day until my husband gets home and I can throw the kids at him and finally get some me time?
Technically, yes, if that works for you. But that didn’t work for me. At the end of the day, I felt like I had accomplished nothing. So, I came up with my own mommy schedule.
After a few days of following it, I started noticing that I felt much better at the end of the day. As a bonus, my house was cleaner, I had some clean clothes, dinner was cooked, and I was in a MUCH better mood!
I have put together the essentials as well as an example of the schedule I am currently using (it changes every few months). Use the following tips to get you started. Then, tweak it to fit your day. Remember, it can always change.
Wake up before the kids
Okay, so I might have started with one of the hardest ones, but, it’s also one of the most important to getting your day started. Nothing makes for a long and lazy day like waking up to a toddler’s face in yours who then drags you- still in your jammies- to the living room to sit on the couch and watch cartoons. You have no motivation to get moving. Waking up before the kids do allows you time to get yourself together before grabby hands are pulling you in sixteen different directions. It also gives you a few minutes to yourself and Lord knows we moms need a few of those!
Shower and put on clothes
This one obviously goes along with getting up early. When’s the last time you had time to shower when the kids were awake? Two months? Three? Personally, I think I took a shower last month once when the kids were distracted only to be summoned by a screaming child who had rolled onto his back and couldn’t figure out how to roll back over. You get the point. Shower when they’re all still asleep and you’ll feel like a million bucks.
Once you’re all clean and brushed up, put on some clothes. Something other than your jammies. It will help wake you up and help you feel refreshed. This doesn’t have to be fancy going out clothes…throw on some yoga pants and a t-shirt. Just being out of sleep clothes makes it harder to snooze while your watching Mickey Mouse.
Makeup and hair
Just because you’ll be at home all day with your kids doesn’t mean you need to look like you’ve just emerged from a cave. Throw some lotion on your face. Good? Okay now swipe some blush on your cheeks. While your at it, swipe the blush on your eyelids as well. Looking better? A dash of mascara is next. Done. Now, don’t you look and feel better? The blush gives you the color of someone who actually got a good night’s sleep, which I know you didn’t. It’s okay to fake it. The mascara opens up your eyes so when you look in the mirror you LOOK awake. Again, it’s okay to fake it. Then, brush your hair at least. Personally, I like to throw my hair into a bun or braid it out of my face. There are hundreds of tutorials that will help you with quick and easy hairstyles that keep your hair out of your face and away from sticky hands. Voila! Now your ready to tackle the day!
Get the kids ready
Do this for the same reason you got yourself ready. Not going anywhere all day? That’s okay, throw a comfortable outfit on your kids. And make sure you change them DAILY. You might be the only one that sees them all day but they shouldn’t smell. Teach them good habits from the beginning. Get them clean and get them dressed. If they have teeth, brush them. Daily. Morning and night. I know it’s easy to skip. My toddler fights me 2/3 of the times I brush her teeth. Keep at it, it gets better. Don’t forget to brush their hair, too and pull it up if possible. Tangles can ruin anyone’s day and it’ll help keep breakfast out of your kids’ hair.
Laundry and dishes
These are non-negotiable. Do them every day!! Having said that, I also live by the “OR” rule when it comes to laundry and dishes.
- Load OR unload OR put away the clean dishes beside the sink (You know you have them)
- Wash and Dry a load OR fold a load OR put a load away
You don’t have to break your neck trying to be a perfect housekeeper. This just helps you keep up with the work so it doesn’t pile up on you. I always throw a load in the washing machine right away. I bring everything in from the hamper and throw it in. That way it is started and I can transfer it into the dryer after breakfast. With dishes, I do them whenever I get a chance. Sometimes that isn’t until I about to go to bed. That’s okay too. Just make sure you do SOMETHING with dishes each day.
Schedule in play time, TV time, and music time
This is just to keep you from binge watching Netflix or obsessing over Pinterest all day all the while ignoring your kids. So make time for them. Pick times when your kids are fed and rested. Let them play with chalk, or color, or roll a ball around, or go to the park. It doesn’t have to be big, but it does have to be about them. You know what they love to do, make time for it and enjoy these precious moments with your babies while they’re young.
I usually do this in the morning (Post on freezer meals coming soon- follow to be notified when it gets posted). Know what you’re going to make. Thaw it out and prep it. That way, when dinner time comes around and the kids are all over the place, you don’t have much work to do to get a healthy meal on the table.
Not going to lie, I hate this one. And it is the one I skip most often because I hate it so much. But I try. Really hard. Honest I do.
I don’t have time during the day to clean my whole house. I can’t even find a day within the whole month to tackle everything that needs to be wiped, scrubbed, and sanitized. So I do ONE room a day. It usually takes 15-20 minutes for me to tidy up and wipe down a room. I steal these minutes when my kids are down for naps. It makes cleaning less agonizing and much less daunting since I know I only have to do ONE thing and then I’m done for the day. Thank goodness, too, because I hate cleaning my room as much now as I did when I was fifteen. Here’s what my weekly cleaning schedule looks like.
Monday are terrible for everyone even if you aren’t working. Why not get the worst out of the way at the beginning of the week? Spray down the tub/shower. Bleach the toilets. Wipe counters and mirrors. Sweep and spot clean the floors.
Tuesday- Living Room
Sanitize and pick up all toys. Assess damage and toss ruined toys. Wipe down couches, tables, and entertainment center. Vacuum floor. Do all of this and understand that it will all be undone as soon as your kids wake up from their naps. At least its sanitized for now.
Wipe counters and cabinets. Sweep and mop floors. Do all leftover dishes (yes, today you do them all) Spot clean appliances. Check fridge for old food to toss out. I think I still have leftovers in there from last week but at least a weekly clean up keeps it from getting moldy.
Thursday- Foyer, Dining room, and Den
Sweep and tidy up. Clean off dining room table (when’s the last time you oiled the wood table? Thought so…try coconut oil for a chemical free shine) Scrape off food from floor underneath high chairs that the dog wasn’t able to lick up…that stuff is like tar.
Friday- Master bedroom
Basic stuff. Wipe, vacuum, put away clothes piled in that chair…oh! And wash your sheets! Then, wait till your significant other gets home to help you put the sheets back on the bed…they love it. 😉
Saturday-Sunday- Kids’ Rooms
I leave this for the weekend because it’s an easy one. Quick tidying up of toys and clothes. Change their sheets. Empty their trash cans. This only take a few minutes per room.
There you have it, the basics for creating a SAHM schedule. Try it out, change it. Make it work for you. And don’t stress if you completely mess it up, there’s always next week. Do you have a mommy schedule? What works for you?
**Check out my post on breastfeeding twins. Pumping is part of my daily schedule. Find out how I make it work by clocking the link below!