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A lot more Moms these days (especially in our rural area) are staying at home with their kids. Many even choose to work from home so they can be with their kids more. Figuring out a Mom routine can be challenging no matter what you choose for your family.
While being at home seems like a dream situation it has it's own challenges that you don't realize until you are knee-deep in the abyss of at-home Mommy-hood. Finding time to work or practice proper self-care can be a challenge especially when you are at home. We are comfortable at home. We can easily become unproductive and get stuck in that loop without a routine in place.
Please don't take this to mean that I have it all figured out. I have days where everything seems to go wrong and all I can do is take a breath, give everyone involved grace, and love my children (and myself) where they are. It took some time to realize not to let these days derail the plans I have for the whole week.
I believe these tips will help the stay-at-home Moms, work-at-home Moms, and even outside-the-home working Moms come up with a successful Mom routine. Moms have a lot on their plates no matter the route they choose for their family. Incorporating a few of these tips into your routine might be just what you need to help conquer your day!
1. Plan your week/day
Lists are one of my favorite things! There are so many ways you can use lists in your Mom routine. The accomplished feeling of crossing something off a list is a great way to keep your momentum going. Do a brain dump of all the things that need to get done for the week ahead (I prefer Sundays). Then assign each task to a day of the week. By doing a couple of things on the list each day you don't end up as overwhelmed as if you were looking at the whole list each day. Start each day with 1-2 of the easier/quicker tasks so you get that awesome "crossed off the list" feeling and then move on to the higher priority items. You can also similarly plan your weekly goals.
2. Combine errands
We live in rural Wisconsin where the closest Walmart/Target is 30-40 minutes away. And while we do have a grocery store in town if we need to go to multiple bigger chain stores we plan them on the same day to maximize time, gas money, and everyone's moods. Even if you do live somewhere that is filled with local options for your errands no one wants to waste time when they have kids.
3. A good morning Mom routine
I didn't realize the importance of a morning routine until I read (well, more accurately, listened to The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod). He goes over an awesome morning routine outline that goes by the acronym, S.A.V.E.R.S. (get that routine checklist HERE). If you don't have a morning routine that sets your day up for success, I would HIGHLY recommend starting one! Part of what makes this work even better for Moms is waking up at least 15-30 minutes before the kids. I know, that can be SO hard (especially for those night owl Mommas) but it is so worth it to get things done alone first thing in the morning.
4. Bedtime routine
A consistent bedtime routine is not only beneficial for Moms but more importantly for kids. I have tested this out and have seen a difference when they do not go to bed around the same time & with a routine they can expect.
We made a saying for the first part of their bedtime routine to get them started and allow for some independence. We start the process by telling them it is time to "Go Potty, Wash Hands, & Brush teeth" (we will then go in and do a second + more thorough brushing). Then we all go upstairs, put on PJs, and read a story before being tucked in. I do not bath my kids every night. Honestly, that is WAY too much work with 3 kids to bathe at the same time (Chris works long hours and isn't always home to help with bath time).
After the kids are asleep, I take some time for myself to recharge. Chris and I will also spend time together in the evenings when he gets off of work (one of his Love Languages in quality time). This has become an important part of my bedtime Mom routine.
5. Cleaning routine
Now, I know this sounds awful, but hear me out. I use a cleaning schedule checklist that allows me to break up my cleaning throughout the week so I don't feel overwhelmed + exhausted from doing all my cleaning in one day. If I focus on the basic tidying + 1 room per day the house stays more consistently clean, and I don't get as frustrated wasting a weekend day doing chores instead of something fun with the family.
6. Teach the kids to help
I don't always think to ask for help especially doing my daily chores. One day, I was getting very overwhelmed with the chores I needed to complete. It suddenly came to me that my 2 older kids were already at the age where they could start helping out more. I created a magnetic chore chart for them, and I have been so grateful for the lightened load. Plus, I am doing my job by teaching them to be more self-sufficient.
7. Change of scenery
Getting out of the house is great for Mom + kids. Moms can get into a rut especially serving their family. Get out into nature, visit with friends, have a play date, and/or have the kids run around at a park to help them burn energy. I've noticed that when I get them outside at least a few times per week they are more content with whatever the rest of our weekly schedule entails.
8. Be flexible
Schedules clearly have the best intentions; however, life happens. You will need to accept this ahead of time and be willing to move things around as needed. Plan a "free" day/time block each week for anything that wasn't able to be accomplished or for anything that has come up that needs to be taken care of. Giving yourself this grace ahead of time will help with Mom-guilt or feeling like you failed.
9. Take a day OFF for yourself + as a family
As I mentioned earlier, I do take time each night to recharge. I also pick at least 1 day per week as a "day off". This is usually a day snuggling on the couch with movies, researching new DIY projects, playing outside, etc. We also choose one of the days that my husband has off to do something fun as a family.
By utilizing these 9 tips I have felt less stressed and more organized. I am also teaching my kids to be able to use these tools in their lives. Try them in your Mom routine and let me know which has made the most difference in your home. Also, please feel free to comment with any other tips that have helped you.