What does a "normal" day look like for other SAHMs?

Jill - posted on 02/13/2012 ( 11 moms have responded )




I have been a stay at home mom for a year now. My children are 3 and 5. Even after a year I still feel like I have no idea what I'm doing and the kids might be better off going to daycare where theres other children, learning, structure, and activities.

I have yet to be able to come up with a healthy routine. I don't even know where to begin. Our days consist of them making a disaster of the house and then all of us cleaning up the disaster in the final hour before my husband comes home. That's pretty much it. They entertain themselves and i do my own thing around the house. This can't be right???

I was hoping i could gather some inspiration and ideas from the other moms that seem to know what theyre doing.


Sally - posted on 02/14/2012




We have the "keep busy" thing a little easier than most as we homeschool and due to allergies, we have to make all our meals (and often the ingredients for them), all our lotions, half our clothes, and most of our cleaning products. We also live right across the street from one of our cities many community centers. Your schedule sounds okay to me, but I've never bought the "mommy exists to entertain her children" routine and if mommy's constant "stimulation" really was required to produce quality children, my girls would be no where near as smart, healthy, happy, curious, and well-behaved as they are.

Our schedule depends on the day. Most days my 2 year old is up by 6:30 or 7, but the family alarm doesn't go off until 8 so she usually just quietly climbs mommy until I drag myself out of bed. We also have to arrange our afternoons around her nap.

Monday is probably our busiest day. We rotate the towels and sheets and try to have no dirty clothes by the end of the day. Since we're rotating the linens, it's a good day to clean the bedrooms and bathrooms. Since we have to stay close to home to keep the laundry moving, it's also a good day for canning or baking. In the morning both girls have Tot Time and in the evening, my 7 year old has ballet.

Tuesday is more Tot Time in the morning, Acrobatics for my big girl in the evening, and catching up household chores we didn't get to on Mon. Also, one of the local homeschool groups has a set of classes at the community center on Tuesdays. Most of them are geared toward middle and high school, but there are usually one or two my 7 year old can take. In the summer, we also try to get to our community garden plot on either Tuesday or Thursday afternoon. During harvest, sometimes we have to do both.

Wednesday my 2 year old has Story time in the morning and I have Belly Dance class and troupe rehearsal in the evening. In the summer we get out the wagon and walk about a mile to the local farmers market in the afternoon to pick up our CSA share and maybe buy some other goodies.

On Thursday my 2 year old has a nature class in the morning. Spring through Fall the wagon comes back out for a shopping trip. About a mile away is a strip mall with a grocery store, two of the three craft stores that send me coupons, and one of the two local restaurants we can eat at. There are also several other fun stores to at least look at if we don't need anything from them that week.

Friday is shoppin day. We get in the car and go to all the stores we need things from that are not within walking distance.

Saturday my husband has to get up early for Bible Study. As soon as he gets home, he takes the girls to swim class for my 2 hours a week of "mommy time". (Thats when I do most of my sewing.) On the first week of the month we also go to Home Depot for the Kids Workshop.

Sunday is Childrens Choir for my big girl, Sunday School, for all of us, then Church for all of us.

In between all these things, I'm cooking or knitting, or sewing, or canning; the kids are playing or reading or watching TV, or playing computer games; and we are all cleaning and learning. Both of my girls help cook and clean. They both have regular chores and can do extra chore to earn money. (That's more for my big girl than my little, but a two year old can stir a bowl or put small things in the trash can or sort socks.)

Hope this helps you

Corinne - posted on 02/13/2012




Hi Jill, my kids are 3 and 5 too. During the week we have a routine, weekends we kinda fly by the seat of our pants. A typical day would be

7am: up and at 'em, breakfast, bit of playing/reading

8am: get washed, dressed and teeth brushed

8:30 am: walk to school

9:10 am: brew time! Followed by frantic housework

11:30am: pick #2 up from nursery and walk home

12: lunch

12:30 pm: playtime! Anything from small world to pretend transformer battles in the garden (why am I always Megatron?)

2:30 pm: pack up and walk to school to pick up #1

3:20 pm: kids get changed into scruffs and play in garden or draw while I put tea in the oven.

4:30 pm: any reading homework (both kids) or spellings (Mia) or letters/numbers (Devon)

5 pm: tea time!

5:30 pm: we tidy the playroom or garden of toys, paints, pens..... then read a couple of stories.

6:30 pm: showers, teeth etc

7 pm: bed time! Followed by more frantic housework or exercise or C.O.M's, then find something for the hubby to eat when he finally hits home.

Weekends we tend to pack food up and spend the day at the park, or get paints or shaving foam out and have a messy play day. The kids also really like animals, so we go to the beach or by the creek and see what we can spot.

I hope you find something helpful :)

Jade - posted on 02/13/2012




Now, by no means do I always feel like I know what I am doing, but on most days, our routine is:

7:00 - son awake, daddy off to work, let dog out

7:00 - 8:00 - watch a little T.V., get breakfast ready, throw laundry in, have breakfast

8:00 - 9:00 - bath/shower, get dressed, teeth brushed

9:00 - 10:00 - Mommy makes phones calls, lists, and we play and read books

10:00 - 12:00 - if it is a shopping or errand day, this is when we do it, if not, we bake or do crafts

- we always have a snack during this time too :)

12:00ish - 1:00 - lunch, clean up, let dog out, tidy

1:00 - 1:30 or 2:00 (depending on how tired son is) - playtime

1:30 or 2:00 - naptime; I work from home so this time is a mad scramble to fold laundry, start a fire (we burn wood in the winter), check email, clean house, and finally, hopefully, get some work done.

3:30 or 4:00 - son wakes up, has snack, playtime

4:30ish - start prepping for dinner

5:00 or 5:30 - Hubby comes home and we have dinner and clean up

6:00ish - We go for a walk or play outside if weather permits; otherwise we go to our local Humane Society to see and walk the animals.

7:30 - Get ready for bed, brush teeth, stories!

7:30 - 8:00ish - Bedtime, when we relax, read, I work for a bit, or we do gardening or house projects together

Weekends we just go with the flow and see family a lot, put our routine pretty much stays the same. :) The best idea I can give you is that crafts and outside are always the best things to do during the free times! Imagine what you think they would get out of daycare and replicate it at home, it's fun and very rewarding! Try sensory bins, they are so fun for moms to make and kids to play with. :)

Amanda - posted on 02/13/2012




With my 2 and 3 yr old we get up around 6am.

Breakfast is between 6.30 and 7.

While the kids eat breakfast I put a load of washing on.

We then play for a while and I go to the gym and the kids attend the creche for an hour where they get plenty of social interaction and do atrs and crafts.

Then we come home and play or do more arts and craft or learning workbooks.

11.30-12pm is lunch time

After lunch we might play for a while, do board games, lego, read books. If the weathers nice they play in the garden or we go to the park.

By about 2pm I like them to have quiet time so I put the tv on and do abit of housework. Sometimes they might have a nap.

Dinner time is 5pm then bath at 6pm.

After bath time we read books, do yoga or sometimes I let them watch tv.

7pm is bedtime.

Mondays we go to a playgroup in the morning and spend the afternoon not doing much as they are pretty tired the same goes for Tuesday which is my shopping day.

If I have errands to run or have to go out I try and do it in the morning and get home by lunch time if I can.

Laurie - posted on 02/15/2012




I got stuck in that same rut a while back, so I know how you feel. The best thing I did was join a gym. Alot of gyms will let you go in to see the child center before you join, and out YMCA has a fantastic child center where they are well taken care of, and get some social time, during a quick work out. I got back into shape, and was happier after my short break from the kids. It helped them learn how to be a little independant before they started school also. You could also look into activities and sports in your town. My daughter was 3 when she started gymnastics, and they had practice in the morning. Having a scheduled activity can help you start working on a routine. I also bought the hooked on phonics kit for kindergarten, and started spending an hour a day with each of my kids. They were ahead of everyone with reading when they started kindergarten. There are also activity pages free online for learning to write. If you can just try to set certain times for specific activities, your schedule will work out for you, and the kids will appreciate some sort of structured routine.:) Good Luck!!


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Karen - posted on 02/16/2012




Hey Jill, it sounds to me like you got a pretty sweet setup! haha!

I don't have an exact routine, and I prefer it this way. I have a general time for certain things, like at the end of the day. Dinner and bath/bed are around the same time every night, but that's about it.

I TRY to get started on my house work after lunch, but sometimes it doesn't get started until 2. Like you, as long as I have it done by the time my husband gets home, I don't appear to be lazy lol!

Jenna - posted on 02/15/2012




We do have a routine, but my older kids are in school now, so that makes us have to adopt a routine for part of the day at least. We always get up at 6:30 and get ready for the day, including making lunches for the school kids and eating breakfast and anything else that needs to be done in the morning (chores like making beds, loading the washer, taking out trash, etc.).

I try to keep my errand-running to the morning, mostly because I find stores are less busy right when they open. Plus it's easier to catch a between-the-morning-and-afternoon nap time than waiting until the afternoon nap and having to take FIVE kids around on errands because the older ones are home from school. We also have a few different playgroups that we go to throughout the week that are all in the morning hours, around 10 am.

Other than trying to eat lunch at a regular time and keeping to a fairly regular nap schedule for the littlest ones, we don't have more structure than that. I firmly believe that kids need unstructured playtime, especially in the 1-5 year old set who learn primarily through unstructured play. Although, I do try to set aside about 30 minutes or so a couple times a week to do some organized learning activities with my older preschoolers at home (ages 4 and 5) while the baby naps. We do puzzles, bake something, play with math manipulatives like pattern blocks, do alphabet games, play on Starfall.com, etc.

I don't think that daycare is a better situation. Like I said, too much structure isn't a good thing. Young kids need LOTS of free time to play. It's how they learn. Dividing the day into chunks of time of play, snack, lunch, naps, is about as much structure as a preschool age child needs.

[deleted account]

I was never good with routine either. My main goal was to get out of the house and socialize at least 3 times a week, or once a day if I could swing it.

Our days usually ran something like this:

6:30--wake up and make breakfast. We'd eat as a family then dh was off to work. J would play on his own for a bit while I cleaned up the kitchen, put laundry on, and got myself dressed. Then we just sort of chilled until whatever time our activity was--most of them began around 9 or 10 am and lasted to 11ish am.

After our activity, we might go out for lunch then go home for a nap, or at least some quiet snuggle time. OR we would go straight home for lunch and quiet time if I knew we had afternoon errands.

Afternoons were usually spent at home. I had a little pre-school workbook that I worked with him in, he liked that and it was educational too. I would also let him do his own thing while I finished laundry and did some of the deeper cleaning. One or two days a week, I had to go out shopping in the afternoons.

About an hour before dh came home, I cleaned up the house--pointless to do it any sooner b/c J would mess it up.

Dh got home around 4, so he would retire to his home office to "change gears" so to speak, while I got dinner ready, then we ate dinner as a family.

After dinner, dh spent time with J so that I could clean the kitchen and get a short break for myself.

Stifler's - posted on 02/13/2012




I have 2 kids. They get up at 7, I change them and feed them, I let Logan outside let renae play, do the dishes, put some washing on, she goes for a nap i check facebook. tuesdays i have coffee with kristy. they both go for a nap at 11-12 until whenever then we often go to the shops, or park or visiting. I get washing off fold it and cook tea, do baths , damian gets home we eat, tidy the house and load the dishwasher/wash any pans and knives, kids go to bed usually at 7 and we relax.

Sarah - posted on 02/13/2012




My munchkin is 1.5 & I wonder the same thing from time to time.

Somewhere between 7& 8am: help DH rouse out of bed, make his lunch (most but not every day), & he goes to work

8am to 10am: Possible extra sleep for me depending on whether the parrot woke her up when DH was getting ready to leave.

After LO wakes up: breakfast, her in highchair, me at counter while wandering back & forth doing chores I can't do while she's "free"

After breakfast: either I do some household chores (laundry & such) or we sit watch a smidge of tv with alternate times of playing in her room. We have to alternate or the parrot gets pissed about being left alone.

Snacktime: sometime before naptime

Naptime(2 to 3 hours): when LO looks sleepy or no later than 2pm This is when I bake, Facebook, get on CoM, me time, kind of. Also parrot training time, ever tried keeping a parrot quiet for naps. God is good or I'd have grey hair by now. lol

Lunchtime: directly after naptime unless nap is realllly late in which case it is right before naps.

After lunch & naps: which thing I mentioned for AM but didn't do

Walktime (between 3 & 6pm sometime): 1 hour or less, mostly in stroller for her with dog pulling stroller, check mail at our complex box before returning home

Time for Mom to cook (somewhere between 5pm & 7pm depending on when lunch was & when Dad will get home from work)

Family dinner (somewhere between 7:30 pm & 9 pm) see above note about depending on when Dad gets home

Bedtime ritual (somewhere between 8pm & 9:15pm) brush teeth, butt change, hugs, lullabies

LO in bed between 8:15 & 9:45pm

These are just averages. You know how being a SAHM nothing is ever exactly the same. Hope it helps. Our schedule is a little late for a 19 month old but if it weren't she would only see her dad one day a week. He works ALOT!

Stay Strong Mama!

Proud - posted on 02/13/2012




My husband and I have a home business so we are both stay at home parents.

We get up around 7, our daughter sleeps till 8:30 or 9, she has a bottle and maybe some eggs for breakfast, do go into the office and work, have lunch around noon, do more work, eat dinner around 5 and then relax for the rest of the day,

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