Need a Stay at Home Mom Schedule?
You know the stereotype – mom lies around all day in her jammies, watching soap operas and reading magazines… and sometimes you feel like that's your life. A stay at home mom schedule helps you gain direction and clarity – and most importantly, you'll set a great example for your kids.
You may resist setting a schedule because you want to feel free and spontaneous. Maybe you don't want a “rigid” schedule locking you into anything. Let me tell you a big secret: a schedule is your friend and a ticket to peace and sanity. That's right – you get more done and have more fun with a schedule than you ever do without one.
A stay at home mom schedule may seem counter-intuitive, but it's not. First, a schedule benefits your children. Children like to know “what happens next.” They take comfort in the day to day routine. A guiding routine makes them much more able to enjoy an occasional difference. They can even come to anticipate scheduled changes, such as one morning a week spent shopping.
A schedule or routine also keeps children out of trouble. Bored children tend to be the ones who find time to get “up to no good.” Or children act out when they feel like they haven't had enough of your time. A schedule lets you make sure you're giving them the attention they need (and you're teaching them to play cheerfully on their own for short periods of time). It also keeps them occupied, either with activities, time with you, or with planned free play.
Your schedule benefits you by defining your day. You know it's time to get up and shed those PJ's in favor of clothes. Your mealtimes are part of the routine instead of sporadic and thrown together. Want to spend time reading to the kids daily? It's in the daily routine. How about an arts and crafts time? An independent playtime for the kids while you work on your business for a little while?
You'll finally have time to do those things you really want to do (sewing, crafts, writing, maybe even reading!). You also fit in the things you know your husband really wants you to get done… and show him that you do more than change diapers 😉 (that's said in a joking way, ladies!)
So, how do you go about setting up a stay at home mom schedule, or a work at home mom schedule? It depends on the age of your kids, if they're at home, home schooled, or at school, and what your needs are. I always recommend setting times for the “pillars” of your day – wake up time, breakfast, lunch, supper, and bed time (for you and the kids). If you have young children you may have snack time as a “pillar” too. You fit everything else in around that.
I've written an article that gets more in detail: Nitty Gritty on Creating a Stay at Home Mom Schedule.
If you want more in-depth, detailed help with many real-world examples, the best resource I've found is the book Managers of Their Homes. The book is written for home schooling families from a Christian perspective.
I have never seen such a well-written book on scheduling for moms. I use the Maxwell family's system in my home and have been doing so for years – with great results. It's a “take what speaks to you book” – for instance I don't use the baby schedules as much at the Maxwells do, but there's great advice within the book.