Work can be chaotic. Being a mom is really chaotic. But put those two ideas together and it seems as though you will never reach the surface through everything that needs to get done.
I’ve been there! I’ve been a stay at home mom for over 10 years now. It doesn’t get any less chaotic! However, I know that taking control of the chaos and structuring your day can be the best alternative to letting the day run over you!
I am not only a stay at home mom, I am a work from home mother as well. Because of this, I pretty much need some type of schedule for my day so that I know what needs to be done for the day and what can wait.
This helps me to be aware of where my focus needs to be (self care, work, housework) and where I can take a small break. Rarely do I try to get everything done in a day. That stresses me out. I focus more on creating a flowing schedule throughout the week. This way I can focus on what needs to be done and I can let go of what else needs to be done but didn’t get done in that specific time frame.
Tips to Get Through Your Day When You Work From Home
So here is an example of a typical day for me when I schedule out my day. I use large blocks of time and I use those large time blocks as a focus for one or two areas. Most of my planning comes from what needs to be done on a daily basis. That would include laundry, dishes, homeschooling, housework, and any work I need to get done.
I try to get up in these hours each day. It’s a struggle with a 3 year old still, but I am slowly working towards getting up at this hour each day. This allows me to have quiet time and be by myself. I am an introvert, so adding quiet time into my schedule is a must. I use this time to workout, journal, eat by myself. Anything that I prefer to do by myself.
Tips for your morning:
Remember to take care of yourself.
Go with less sleep and give yourself some much needed time (shower, workout, read). I can now add this self care to my routine because I have older kids. If you have really young kids in the house, I’d advocate for more sleep since it’s so precious during that time.
This frame of time is for waking the kids up and getting everybody ready for the day. I don’t try to get chores done in this time block because it’s just too chaotic with the morning routine. Since we home school and I work from home, there is no great rush to get out of the door in the morning and I appreciate that. I also use this time for any appointments that need to get done or errands that need to be finished. I prefer shopping in the morning since the stores aren’t that crowded.
Tips for getting the kids ready in the morning:
Let the kids pick their own clothes
Have breakfast already planned
Don’t add too many items that need to be done to this time block
This block of time is for getting the majority of chores done. Dishes and laundry are a major pain for our home and I try to focus mainly on getting those two chores finished. The older kids have to clean their bedroom and bathroom and they help with sweeping and vacuuming.
I also use the early afternoon for more homework and I let the kids have a reward of some sort (usually giving them their tablets) for a job well done. My 3 year old is transitioning from one nap per day to no nap time and, if he does take a nap, this is the time it will happen.
Since my husband works nights, my final chore for the afternoon is making sure he has at least one meal to take to work. This means cooking an early dinner/late lunch and making extra for him.
Tips for your afternoon routine:
Cook an early dinner so there’s no rush
Complete chores during this time frame
Meal prepping really helps for these hours during the day
This block of time is for dinner for the rest of us. We usually spend the early evening time relaxing and watching TV. Once my husband leaves for work, I take it easy since I’m by myself all night.
I make sure the kids get their pajamas on and get ready for bed. I don’t tend to enforce an absolute bedtime. I find that too chaotic. I will slow the day down and turn off the TV and other electronics. If we have had a busy day, the kids are more willing to go to bed. If we have had a slow day, they are capable of staying up far later.
Tips for an early evening routine:
Slow your day down
As much as possible, turn off all/most electronics (this really helps show the kids that it’s time to slow down)
Encourage reading or coloring for an evening activity
Get the kids ready for bed even if they aren’t tired
9-Whenever I Go to Bed
Once the kids are asleep, I usually retire soon after that. I am more productive in the morning and I get up earlier so that I can get more done without kids. Evening time for me is usually sticking my nose in a book and then sleeping. I love my morning time and I need at least 8-10 hours of sleep. Since I know this, I make sure to listen to my body. If I am really struggling with a lack of sleep (so common with a 3 year old who dislikes sleep), then I will lay down on the couch and have the kids play in their bedroom. If I’m feeling pretty good with my energy levels, I will typically get back online and do some writing. Or, I tend to write notes in my phone in the evening so I don’t forget things that need to be done or things I want to remember for the next day.
Tips for an easy evening routine:
Listen to your body (if you are tired, don’t go onto social media or watch TV)
If you can’t get to sleep, don’t check your phone. Take a bath or put on some quiet music/nature sounds
This is an example of a typical day for us. I hope this helps to demonstrate how you can schedule your day out when you are at home all day. It helps to have some type of routine that you can focus on when life becomes chaotic.
I’d love to hear from you! Do you work from home? How do you schedule out your day? Do you work best in the morning or in the evening?