Before you actually became a stay-at-home parent, it's likely you had visions of quiet time punctuated by a few chores and even time to watch tv in the afternoon. The reality, like most things in motherhood, can feel completely different. Every stay-at-home parent schedule is unique, but one thing is universal: stay-at-home life can feel chaotic. That's why a stay-at-home parent schedule template can feel like much-needed structure to endless days of household chores from the second the kids wake up. Here are some of our favorite tips for building quality time into your days at home—from morning routine to nap time to all the hours in between.
Discover The Activity Breaks in Your Child's Day
Take notice of the tiny patterns you see within the your stay-at-home routine. Even if it's sneaking in one load of laundry, you'll have more time to actually sit down and eat lunch later. When you can only look to the next few hours, advice like this can feel overwhelming. Taking quiet time in between activities and your to do list can turn a day around. Your stay-at-home parent task list can always wait a little longer. Enjoy the silence of nap time or teach your kids to make their own beds. These time blocks built into daily routines can offer breathing room for the whole family.
Choose a Daily Schedule Format
It is important to determine which format is best to plan the week in advance. With Hearth, it's simple to get a glance of the week and everyone's activities within it. Young kids can use the tool to build responsibility through their morning routine and evening schedule. School-age children can benefit from seeing play time and family time in the future. Even if it's as simple as reminding kids when it's time for brushing teeth, a daily schedule has compounding benefits.
Fill in these tasks but don't overdo it
One of the biggest challenges of being a stay-at-home parent is finding a balance between your responsibilities and your own needs. It’s easy to get caught up in the never-ending cycle of cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing, but neglecting your own well-being can lead to burnout and resentment. To avoid overdoing it, it’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself and your family. Don’t try to do everything at once, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Take breaks throughout the day to recharge and prioritize activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Remember, being a stay-at-home parent is a full-time job, and it’s okay to take a step back and focus on your own needs. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to take care of your family in the long run. Being a stay-at-home parent can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it can also be overwhelming and exhausting. It’s important to remember that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your family.
Afternoon Routine with Kids
Here are some routine ideas for when kids get home from school. Depending on homework or after-school activities, getting kids ready for the rest of their day can greatly vary. Stacking doctors appointments, if you have multiple kids, can be a great way to minimize disturbance. Decide on a set routine for your kids to follow. This can include a designated homework time, snack time, and playtime. Having a schedule can help your kids know what to expect and make them feel more comfortable. Consistency is key. Make sure to stick to the schedule you have created. If something comes up, try to reschedule around the routine as much as possible. Include your kids in creating the routine. Ask for their input on what they would like to do after school. Giving them a say can help them feel more invested in the routine. Encourage your kids to follow the routine by offering rewards for completing tasks. This can include screen time, extra playtime, or a special treat.
Use Nighttime to Prepare for the Next Morning
If you know what you're going to make for breakfast, you can prepare some of it the night before. For example, you can cut up fruits or vegetables, make pancake batter or overnight oats, or even prepare a breakfast casserole that you can just pop in the oven in the morning. If your kids take their lunches to school, pack them the night before. This will save you time in the morning, and you won't have to rush to make something last minute. Pick out the clothes you and your children will wear while you get ready for bed. This will save you time in the morning, and you won't have to worry about finding something to wear.
Tag Team with Other Stay-at-home Parents
It's essential to create a community with all kinds of family, friends, and neighbors. It's also important to find other stay-at-home parents with children in similar age ranges. Get some fresh air. Meet at a park or for a walk with young kids in strollers. Getting another parent's take on your never-ending stay-at-home parent tasks can be helpful. Maybe they have a trick for household chores or a way to sneak in a little more self care. Either way, it's important to spend time with fellow parents in similar situations.
Create Systems + Hold Them Loosely
Be flexible and adaptable. While having a routine can be helpful, it's important to be flexible when unexpected events arise. Make sure your family understands that the calendar is a tool to help them manage their time, not a strict set of rules they must follow. Play time is just as important as a cleaning schedule. Bedtime routines interrupted by your youngest son asking Mom to go for a walk to the kitchen for a last-minute dessert can be a memorable connection. Finding a routine that works, and then holding it loosely, is key for a stay-at-home parent schedule.
Keep Your Home Schedule On Display
A family calendar helps to keep everyone on schedule. It is especially crucial for kids who may have a hard time remembering their schedules or when they have certain activities. When a family calendar is displayed in a common area, such as the kitchen or living room, everyone can quickly check it to see what is coming up. This helps to ensure that everyone is aware of what is happening and when, which can help to prevent missed appointments or events. When kids can see the family calendar, it encourages responsibility and independence. They can see what is coming up and know what they need to do to prepare for it. For example, if they have a soccer game on Saturday, they can make sure their uniform is clean and ready to go. This helps to teach them important life skills, such as time management and planning, which will serve them well as they grow older.
Consider Early Mornings and Night Routines
It's important, for kids of all ages, to maintain a consistent bedtime. Choose a time that works best for your family and stick to it every night. This will help your children establish a regular sleep pattern. Start preparing your children for bedtime about 30 minutes before their scheduled sleep time. This can include reading a story, playing calming music, or dimming the lights. Create a consistent order of activities that your children will do before bed. This could include brushing teeth, changing into pajamas, and saying goodnight to family members. Turn off all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime to help your children relax and prepare for sleep.