One of the things that surprised me the most about becoming a stay-at-home mom was how quickly time gets away from you. I woke up in the morning thinking that I had all the time in the world to accomplish a few chores. Then, by 4 PM I was rushing to get dinner started. Plus, I felt like I hadn’t done a single productive task. After a few weeks of this rushed lifestyle I felt drained, overwhelmed and kind of like a failure. I quickly realized that I needed to work on managing my time as a stay-at-home mom. Even though I was the boss of my own day (kind of), if I didn’t practice time management, my days would escape me. I created a loose schedule for my week, and days. It helps me get stuff done while also leaving tons of playtime with my kids. Plus, time for myself. The weeks that I can follow this schedule my house is cleaner, things run smoother, and most importantly, I’m happier!
Time Management Tips for Moms
Have a Plan
I sit down sometime on Sundays to plan out my week. This includes: chores I need to accomplish, appointments we have or fun activities going on locally, meals I plan on cooking and blogging tasks. I have a notebook sized planner from Day Designer that I use to plan. It includes a calendar for the whole month and then one for each week. The weekly planner has a place to write out a daily schedule and a small To Do list for each day. There is also a place for the week’s Top Three goals. I usually leave the planner open on the dining room table for quick reference throughout the week.
Wake Up Before Everyone Else
I try to wake up before my kids every morning. It gives me the opportunity for a little time by myself each day. I follow a morning routine that makes my life easier. After I wake up, the first thing I do is make coffee. I sit quietly with a book or working on blog tasks while I eat and drink my coffee. Then, I make breakfast for everyone and get the kids up. While they eat I empty the dishwasher and finish my coffee. Then they play while I clean up the kitchen. After that we get ready for the day. I drop my oldest off at school and bring my youngest back home. Our day could include playing at home, running errands, a play date, whatever.
The Afternoon Schedule
Around noon we have lunch. Then, it’s quiet rest time! Both of my kids have outgrown naps, but they do have quiet time. My little one plays quietly by herself in her room for about an hour or two each day. After quiet time, I pick my oldest up from school. When we get home, the kids play and I start cooking dinner. We eat around 5 pm most nights. Then we hang out as a family until the bedtime routine starts at 7 PM. The kids clean up their toys, bathe, and get ready for bed. Once the kids are in bed, I finish cleaning the kitchen. Then Ispend the rest of the night working, hanging out with Jesse or watching TV. I start my nighttime routine around 10 PM.
Specific Tasks for Each Day of the Week
I get the bulk of my stuff done during quiet rest time. On Mondays, I clean and do laundry. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are reserved for blog stuff. That includes taking photos, writing, planning out future posts or social media stuff.
Thursdays are usually spent outside of the house, so I spend the afternoon relaxing. I like to do a little self-care or catch up on any TV. On Fridays we try to schedule a play date or go to the park. After lunch, I do a quick “refresh clean” of sweeping, wiping counters and general tidying. I love going into the weekend with a clean house!
Meal planning takes the stress out of dinnertime. When I sit down to plan my week on Sunday, I also make a meal plan. Every evening after school pickup I know exactly what to cook. We usually eat the same meals on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. Monday is salmon, rice and asparagus. Tuesday is takeout Taco Tuesday. And Friday is homemade pizza night. We usually get takeout on Sundays too. Really, that just leaves planning Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Having a meal plan helps me feel more prepared each week. It also makes the week more relaxing.
Weekends are for Family Time
We spend the weekends hanging out as a family. We like to go to the park and usually have ice cream. I feel more relaxed on the weekends and am not distracted by chores. I just hang out with my family. My attitude is totally thrown off if I don’t feel like I had a productive week. While it may seem annoying to have a schedule during the week, it really does keep me feeling happier and more accomplished.
Having a loose idea of what my week looks like helps me manage my time as a stay-at-home mom. I glance at my planner and know exactly what needs to get done that day. It allows me to spend more time playing with my kids, plus more time for myself. My days end with a feeling of accomplishment. These time management tips for moms will help any mom feel more productive and relaxed at the end of the day.