Being a stay at home mom can be a huge adjustment from working full-time.
I have always worked. When I was a preteen I babysat and as soon as I was old enough to work I did. I was used to routines and schedules and someone else telling me what to do. I never expected to be a stay at home mom. Even all these years later I still struggle with figuring out a schedule, but I have found a few things that have worked for me.
Start off with a bedtime.
This is for your children and yourself. The more sleep you get the better you will feel. The better you feel, the better you will handle all the crazy chaos life hands you each day as a stay at home mom.
Get up early.
This one is painful at first. This is literally the only time of day I get to myself. I homeschool so my boys are always around except for their other activities and sports. As hard as it was to start getting up before everyone else, I now look forward to it. I love how quiet the house and peaceful the house is in the morning.
Figure out your priorities.
What are the things on your to do list? What are the most important things you have to get done each day? Make a short list of about 5-6 things that must be done each day to keep the mess down to a minimum. Add in a couple of errands or extra things and that is all you concentrate on each day. If your To-Do list is too big you are setting yourself up for failure before you even start. Here is an example:
- Clean the kitchen
- Pick up the living room
- Feed and water the pets
- Make Dinner
- Do a load of laundry
Get dressed or showered!
This one goes along with the picking up of the living room. How many of us stay at home moms and dads walk around in sweatpants and yoga pants all day? We barely bother to do our hair, let alone our make-up. Seriously, this one is huge. If you do this, you will feel so much better about yourself.
Figure out Dinner.
It is 6 PM and you still have to figure out what to make for dinner. Either it is too late to cook and you end up eating out or you make macaroni and cheese from a box for the 3rd time that week. Take the time to plan it out in the morning or early afternoon. It will save you so much stress later.
Finish up school and everything else.
This is when you finish up school with your homeschoolers, chores, homework, church obligations, etc. Set a time aside each day, it really helps if is the same time each day and complete these tasks. If you can’t get everything done, that’s Okay, you just do it tomorrow.
Take time for yourself
This is really hard. I mean really, really hard especially if you have small children. There always feels like there is no time. But I am telling you there is. There are those moments in the car when you are waiting for your son to finish up soccer practice. Or 5 minutes sitting on the back steps while your daughter is napping. There are audio books to listen to when you are cooking dinner. This one is HUGE. You have to take time for yourself or there will be nothing left for you to give your children.
Go to Bed
Yes, spend time with your hubby or wife first, but then go to bed. You will thank me for it later.
One of the things I noticed for myself is I rarely take breaks during the day. The average worker takes 2 – 15-minute breaks and a lunch every day. In fact the law requires them. But as a stay at home mom or dad, do you take breaks? I don’t mean grabbing leftovers off your toddler’s plate and counting that as lunch. I am talking about sitting down and eating a decent snack or stopping to read something uplifting.
You have to take breaks. You have to stop convincing yourself you aren’t good enough or doing enough. Your children love you for the memories they are making, not how clean the kitchen is.
Last Helpful Hint
I figured out a while ago that if I managed to keep up on the living room and the kitchen, then I would be a lot less embarrassed when people unexpectedly stop by. If the rest of the house was in complete disarray at least no one else sees it. I could calmly handle the unannounced visitors instead of acting like a crazy person trying to hide what I didn’t want them to see!
Adjusting to being a stay at home mom or dad is hectic and crazy. But it also can be the best part of being a parent. Let me know your thoughts and what has helped you with your schedule.