Let me just start out by saying that being a stay at home mom isn’t always what you expect.
I worked full time the whole first year of my daughter’s life and while it wasn’t awful, it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. I wanted to be a stay at home mom, it’s what I had really always wanted to be.
The chance came for me to be able to stay home and I jumped on it.
Then reality set in and I realized that staying home full time was nothing like I had expected it to be.
I quickly discovered that having at least some sort of routine was really helpful for me and my daughter.
The way you start your morning can affect your whole day.
You know those days when you roll out of bed at the same time as your kids and then nothing goes right the entire day? Those are the days that having a routine is going to help you avoid.
Now don’t get me wrong, you are still going to have those days but having a routine can make you have less of them.
Find what works for you
The first thing about making a morning/day routine as a stay at home mom is finding what works for YOU.
You can read everyone else’s mom routines all day long and you can even try to implement them but if you don’t find a routine that works for you and your specific needs, then you are never going to enjoy it.
Now let’s get into the things that I recommend you do for your daily routine…
Wake up before your kids
I know, I know, everyone says this. It’s so much easier to just lay in bed until the kids wake you up, especially if you’ve been up at night with a baby.
Trust me here, your day will be off to a much better start if you wake up before your kids. It took me sooo long to grasp this concept but I slowly started to implement it and I noticed I was so much happier and more productive on days when I woke up before my daughter.
Now I will be honest and say that I don’t always do this because like I said staying asleep is so much easier but I’m trying to get better because I’ve seen the impact it has on my days.
Now when you wake up before your kids, you want to do a couple things that fill your cup. The rest of the day you are going to be doing things for others so take this time while no one else is awake and invest in yourself.
For me I like to get dressed and ready for the day first. I feel so much better if I don’t stay in pajamas all day. I try to at least put on yoga pants and a tshirt to make me feel more productive.
Other things I do in the morning include devotions, planning and sometimes reading.
You could also workout, drink coffee, go for a walk or so many other things. You just have to find what makes you happy and what fills your cup.
Self care is so important so take some time first thing in the morning to just care for yourself.
RELATED: 10 Free Self Care Ideas for Moms
Start the night before
Another way to make your morning/day go smooth is to start planning for it the night before.
One way to do this is by doing a quick straightening of the house right after the kids go to bed. I know I feel a lot better in the morning if I wake up to at least a semi clean house.
You could put the dishes from the day in the dishwasher, pick up the toys, do a quick declutter or whatever you need to to make your home feel clean and straightened.
Another thing I recommend doing is to make a to do list the night before. I’m a list person so this is huge for me.
I make a weekly list of all the things I need to do and mark them off as they get done. Each night I go through and put stars beside 3-5 of the tasks that I want to for sure get done the next day. This helps me focus and not get overwhelmed by alllll the things that need to be done.
Try to only pick 3-5 things for each day so you don’t get overwhelmed. If you finish those and have time to do more then great but if not, you won’t feel so bad because you got the things accomplished that you planned to.
You could also time block your day if that’s your thing. I find this hard for me to do with a toddler at home but if I know there are certain things that have to get done then I definitely will do this.
I also sometimes go through and write time limits beside each thing. For example I’ll give myself 30 minutes to check my email and respond to things. This keeps me from getting distracted and then getting nothing done.
A cleaning schedule is another way you can plan ahead to make your days go smoother. I’ve created one that’s super simple to use and you can even customize it to fit your cleaning needs.
RELATED: Ultimate Guide to Natural Cleaning
Get your kids up and ready
The next step is to get the kids up, dressed and fed. This doesn’t really need any explanation though so moving on…
After breakfast I like to try to get my daughter set up with an independent activity. This could be something like a sensory box, coloring, painting or just getting out some favorite toys.
My daughter has been loving playing with her baby dolls lately so I’ll get all the baby stuff out and she just plays away.
While she is doing that I like to get some laundry started.
Then I move on to any tasks that I might have that require a little bit more concentration. Since my daughter is pretty occupied it gives me a chance to focus and get some work things done.
When she has let me know that she is done playing by herself (or in toddler terms, started whining and trying to climb on me), I will stop my tasks and go play with her for a while.
Now jumping to nap time
During nap time I try to spend half of the time getting things done and the other half refilling my cup. Taking care of kids can be rough some days so I like to take some time to decompress and just enjoy the quiet.
When my daughter wakes up from nap I like to spend time with her because I know the rest of the night is crazy between dinner, bath time and the bedtime routine.
There are so many things you can do to help your day go smoother.
One thing that I think is super important is getting outside for at least 15 minutes a day.
This can be hard when it’s cold or rainy but most days I try to get outside for at least a little bit. Fresh air is good for everyone and kids love to be outside.
Meal prepping lunches and dinners can really help your weekdays go smoother.
My husband and I prep freezer meals at the beginning of each month. This way if there is a day where I really don’t want to cook then we just grab something out of the freezer and put it in the crockpot of defrost and heat it up on the stove.
I’ve included a meal planning sheet in the Mom Planning Freebie!
This is a general overview of my stay at home mom routine. Everyday doesn’t look the same and some days are just survival mode but I’ve found that having a routine makes us have way fewer of those days than before.
Do you have a daily routine? I would love to hear about it in the comments!