As a working stay at home mom, I often feel overwhelmed that I’m not spending enough time with my kids due to online projects, laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc. There is such a long list of things to get done each day. I don’t want to lose sight of one of the major reasons I want to be a working stay at home mom, so I can be the one to read them stories, play hide and seek, kiss their boo-boos, and watch them grow.
I have to admit there are days where we are in our pj’s all day and cereal has been dumped on the floor while my kids are joyfully having a snack. It’s not a perfect life full of staged pictures, but more like a beautifully jumbled mess.
So for my sanity, I have created my top 10 list of tips for the working stay at home mom. These are things that I have found to be effective for our family so that I can take a shower, get work done, clean the house, and run errands.
I love nothing more than to make a plan! I like to write down a plan for everything from our meals for the week, cleaning routine, laundry rotation, and my online projects. Making a plan for me also involves writing To Do Lists, which I think you could say I’m obsessed with. I like to make my plans at the beginning of the week and adjust throughout the week as needed. This helps me stay on task and motivated each day.
2. Schedule Work Time
My kids are 4 and under. So I try to focus on a few things I can do during nap time each day. My blog and consultant work are at the forefront of my workload right now. So I spend each day with a focused time of 1.5 -2 hours dedicated to writing blog posts, social media, or consultant work. During this time, my 2 year old naps and my 4 year old looks at books, plays with a busy bin, or works on a craft.
3. Schedule Fun Time
I try to keep one day a week work free and focused on spending the whole day with my kids. We go to the library, swimming, playground, playdates, zoo, museum, picnics, visiting grandparents, basically something fun that’s all about making memories. It’s important to me to keep time open every day to spend with my kids, but I also want to leave room for doing activities that enrich our lives and develop our relationship. I could easily become obsessed with cleaning our house and focusing on work. So the honest truth…there is always a pile of laundry or dishes or both.
4. Cleaning Routine
I scoured Pinterest for some great ideas on how to get into a cleaning routine, but I would only stick with a routine for about 3 days before feeling overwhelmed. So then I decided to create my own routine that fits my personality and our busy little family. I try to vacuum, mop, and clean the bathrooms once a week. I do dishes the first thing in the morning, so I can spend time with my husband in the evenings after dinner. I run laundry a couple times a day to try and stay on top of the mountain!
5. Quiet Time and Prayer
I don’t always get to start my day with prayer and quiet time, but I feel so much better when I do. Having 3 kids ages 4 and under can make for busy mornings and sleepless nights. So I try to fit in time to refocus my heart and mind on Truth. It helps guide my day and sets my focus.
6. Get Organized
I like to get organized the night before. Usually, that means making lunches for Mother’s Day Out, setting out meat for dinner or freezer meals, getting clothes/shoes laid out for school or other planned activities. I try to do what I can to make the next day go a little smoother depending on what we have planned. Even if we don’t have plans to leave the house, I can pretty much count on having someone needing me constantly first thing in the morning. So it helps me to have some things prepared for the morning to make it an easier transition.
7. Knowing Your Problem Areas
Over time, I have figured out what our problem areas are for our little family. Shoes are a major problem for us! I can’t tell you how many times I have pulled up to the gym and my 4 year old didn’t have his shoes. We also have problems getting in and out of the car. So instead of allowing these to take over my day and put me in a bad mood, I have chosen to add extra time to getting dressed and our commutes. Finding the little things that can add stress to my day has helped me to take
I think it’s important to find something you can do for yourself. I have found that working out is something I really enjoy. If I can spend an hour a day at the gym it gives me extra energy and clears my mind. It can be a nice break from the crazy of my littles too. I’m so thankful for the staff at the childcare in our gym. They love my kids so well and my kids love playing with other kids.
9. Eating Healthy
Eating healthy gives me fuel for the day to tackle all the challenges that come my way. I try to focus on eating protein, whole foods, and healthy dinners. I also take a vitamin, probiotic, and usually have a protein shake for breakfast or a snack. You can see this post on my favorite healthy freezer meals and my favorite healthy breakfast recipes and snacks.
10. Accepting Reality
While I would love for these to all happen every day, the reality is that life happens every day and sometimes my schedule fits in with real life. My priorities can be scrambled fairly easily, but having a plan helps me get through the week. I have to roll with the punches, which means sometimes my work is on the back burner when caring for my family is my priority. There are times when I forget my priorities and I try to work more than is realistic.