If you have recently found yourself as a Stay at Home Mom or a Work From Home Mom and you are about ready to tear your hair out, I TOTALLY get it! Even though I chose to be a stay at home mom, there are days I question my sanity. What I expected it to be and the reality of it was very different.
Expectation vs. Reality of Staying at Home
Maybe you are like me and dreamed of staying home with your kids. Maybe you have recently found yourself forced to be at home with social distancing and are working at home. Either way, I am sure what you expected it to be like and what it has turned out to be like are two very different realities.
- Clean all the time
- Time to work on your “someday” projects
- Fun crafts with the kids
- Read all the books on your list
- Prepare healthy meals each night
- Well behaved kids
- Tired as all get out because you binge-watched Tiger King 3 nights in a row
- The dishes are piling up and there are no clean forks left
- The family has been living out of the laundry basket for the last week
- Schoolwork is nothing but a battle
- Way more screen time than you ever imagined
- Kids screaming and fighting constantly
- You’ve eaten frozen pizza, PB&J’s, and cereal for supper 3 days this week
How to Keep From Losing Your Mind as a Stay at Home or Work From Home Mom
Figure Out Your Top 4 Daily Priorities
I thought there would be an endless amount of time to get things done when I started staying at home. I would make plans to get SO much done, then beat myself up when it didn’t happen. Don’t fall into that trap! There is NOT enough time in the day to “get it all done.” Pick your top 3-4 “non-negotiable” things that need to get done to help you keep your sanity. Here is mine:
- Alone time with my coffee before the kids wake up (see this post about why this is important)
- Household Chores (get my cleaning schedule here)
- Quality family time
- Work (like writing this blog)
Find the Best Time of Day
Some moms work better in the early mornings, while others work better in the evening or night. When you are thinking about a schedule, when are you more likely to be short-tempered and when are you more likely to have more patience?
For me, I need my morning time and sometimes nap time to get things done around the house. I find that I do my best “brain work” (writing & other business-related work) in the afternoon and evening after the kids are in bed.
What My Schedule Looks Like
Here is what has been working for me:
5:30 – 7:00 am: Wake up, drink coffee, clean kitchen if it needs it, or journal and work
7:00 – 8:00: Kids wake, we have breakfast together
7:30 – 8:00: Kids play while I do dishes (I unload the CLEAN dishes from the dishwasher and load up the breakfast dishes, if my toddler doesn’t try to “help”)
8:00 – 9:00: Get everyone dressed & ready, start schoolwork, and switch the laundry to the dryer
9:00 – 11:45: This segment of time is kind of fluid. The kids do schoolwork and playtime and depending on the level of attentiveness the kids need, I try to get more of my scheduled daily chores done
11:45 – 12:45: Lunch and Lunch clean-up (Get all dirty dishes into the dishwasher if possible)
12:45 – 1:30-ish: Nap time for the toddler, outside/playtime for the older kids (if weather permits) and finish up household chores, like folding laundry, or work
1:30-ish – 3:00: Schoolwork or more playtime for the kids
3:00 – 3:30-ish: Snack time for the kids AND myself
4:30 – 5:00: Kids play while I start supper. (I try to include the kids but I don’t always have the patience for it and they aren’t always into it either)
5:00 – 6:00: Family Supper Time
6:00 – 7:15: Clean up supper – the kids help clear the table and wipe it off – playtime, chat with my husband, kids clean up their toys
7:15 – 7:45: Get the kids ready for bed, read books, bedtime
7:45 – 8:00: Kids are in bed, unwind, go on social media
8:00-10:00: Right now I spend this time to work but my goal is to spend this time reading, spending time with my husband, or crocheting
10:00: Bedtime – this is what I aim for but it is currently 11:05 pm and I am still working so it is a work in progress
Tips for Success as a Stay at Home Mom or Work at Home Mom
Don’t get hung up on exact times! Things happen. Kids wake up on the wrong side of the bed (I do too sometimes!). You can still have a productive day and feel accomplished even if you don’t follow the schedule. View your schedule more as a guide to help you accomplish what is most important to you. You might have to play around with it a bit before you find the one that works best for you.
The Last Thing You Need to Know About Being a Stay at Home Mom or Work From Home Mom
This time in your life right now is not permanent! You might have little ones at home that demand A LOT of attention or you might have elementary or high school age kids at home. Whatever the situation, it isn’t permanent. Whatever is happening right now that is making you feel crazy, it won’t last forever.
- Focus on the 3-4 most important tasks of your day and put them in your schedule (I use this calendar to help with my tasks and keep me on track)
- Nothing is set in stone! Be flexible and find what works best for you!
Always remember, Wonder Woman has dishes in her sink, too!
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