We’ve all had that feeling before- the constant wondering, “am I doing enough as a stay at home mom?” And first of all- WE BET YOU ARE! But if you’re looking for a little something more, we’ve got some great tips for you on how to be more productive as a stay at home mom.
Being a stay at home mom is one of the more “interesting” jobs I’ve ever had (and that’s saying something). It’s this curious mix of overwhelm, exhaustion, and boredom, and it’s easy to get burned out.
As a former working mom, I miss so many aspects of my career. Concrete goals, finite tasks, and external recognition are not really things that we get on a day to day basis.
And some of us NEED that mix, for our personal sense as wellness as well as our mental health.
So if you are content with how your day is going as a Stay At Home Mom- we offer you our GENUINE congratulations. We’re so happy you’re doing something you love.
If you need to shake things up, we’ve also got your back. It’s not easy, but we can definitely show you how to get more done as a stay at home.
Read on for a full list of our best tips on how to be more productive as a stay at home mom.
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How to Be More Productive as a Stay At Home Mom
First up, you need to evaluate – what exactly is it that you’re trying to do? Do you have a specific goal in mind, or just a vague feeling of wanting more? We’ve been in both places, and either way is totally fine.
Either way, we have come a long way over our years as stay at home moms. We’ve found ways to keep our houses clean (enough), run a successful business, volunteer, and pursue our own interests.
It didn’t happen overnight, but we’ve found systems to help us get into our own grooves. And you can too!
Setting Priorities as a Stay at Home Mom
So the first step in being more productive as a stay at home mom is to decide what you want to work on. Don’t try to make everything better all at once. Pick one area at a time to improve.
Here are some ideas for areas you might want to focus on:
- Meal Prep or Grocery Budgeting– do you want to focus on eating less processed food? Or maybe cut down your grocery budget, or reduce food waste? This is a great place to direct some energy, as it will have a tangible benefit for your family.
- Child Development- We know you do this already. But maybe you want to get more intentional about something your kids are working on. Areas like art, music, outside play, or even early literacy are all great places to start.
- Health- Maybe you need to move your body more, or your kids do. Maybe you want to focus on drinking more water, or eating more veggies.
- Volunteering- Maybe there is a cause you want to give back to, or you want to get more involved at school or church. This is a great outlet.
- Housekeeping– this means different things to different people. Cleaning, laundry systems, organization- it can all be an important part of keeping a home.
- Pursuing Your Interests- We don’t give ourselves a lot of permission to pursue our own interests as stay at home moms. But you can do whatever the heck you want. Learn a language, play the ukelele, take up painting, start a side hustle. It’s your wild and wonderful life, and you get to live it.
Sometimes when I’m in a not-so-great phase, I’ll try to think about what the one thing that is making my life most difficult is. Then I actively work on systems, routines, or resources that can improve that one area.
Once I’ve gotten that down, I’ll pick the next most stressful thing. For a while it was cooking, then laundry. By chipping away at your biggest problems over time, you can make a big impact in how productive you are as a stay at home mom.
Make a Stay at Home Mom Schedule for Yourself
It’s easy to lose track of the hours, days, and weeks when they all seem more or less the same. Blocking out time for different activities helps to keep things structured, and make sure you make time for things that are important to you.
There are a few different systems that we’ve used, depending on our kids’ ages and needs, and that we recommend:
- Toddler Daily Planner- We know it sounds like this is for the kids, but really it’s for YOU, and your sanity. Blocking out activities for them means that you’ll be better able to find time for yourself, too.
- Work From Home Mom Schedule (Free Printable Template!) – Whether or not you’re working in the classic sense, you’ve got things you want to do for you! This schedule with printable template will help make room for your priorities, whatever they may be.
- Jordan Page’s Block Schedule System– This system is not your average “schedule.” Instead, it relies on blocks of time and the missions you want to accomplish during that block. This works well for people with young kiddos, or who aren’t as into structure.
- Bullet Journaling– We have used a Passion Planner as a bullet journal in the past. It’s a great way to schedule things out, but with lots of free space for dreaming, planning, and list making.
Try to Make Your Day as Well Rounded as Possible
There are SO many repetitive tasks involved with parenting small children. It can be really difficult to see the forest through the trees- or yourself through all the tasks.
It’s important to try to plan your day to have variety. Decide what’s important to you, and make room for it.
Some areas to include:
- Housekeeping– tidying the house, cooking, laundry. We’re pretty sure your days are full with this already, but it’s worth noting that some housekeeping should get done.
- Long term to-dos– Consider making time to tackle some long term tasks, particularly if they will make your life easier in the long run. Think organizing a closet, working outside, or stocking your freezer.
- Something educational- and remember that education goes WAY beyond the ABCs. Do a craft with the kids, attend a storytime, or plan a sensory bin (here’s some easy filler ideas). Rest assured that your kids are learning no matter what, but being intentional in this area can help you feel much more productive as a stay at home mom.
- Something fun for the kids- you don’t have to go over the top every day, but try to think of ways to make the day special. A playdate, trip to a play place, or park trip all go a long way in making memories!
- Something fun for YOU-Who said you can’t have fun, too? Read during naptime. Schedule a playdate with YOUR friend and their kiddos. Grab lunch from some place you like. Don’t forget to add in something nice for you once in a while!
Look at the Week as a Whole
Some days as a stay at home mom are more productive than others. Some days we are in our jammies and the house is trashed and all we did was play. (Spoiler alert: there is also HUGE value in that.)
But other days we run errands, sometimes we focus on cooking or baking, and some days are for adventures.
The trick to being more productive as a stay at home mom is to look at your whole week, not one day at a time. You don’t have to do everything in one day to be considered productive.
You can be more intentional about this by assigning a focus to each day. Here’s what mine looks like (yours may vary):
- Monday: Prep Day- errands, groceries, and tackling to-dos.
- Tuesdays: Social Day- storytime, park play, or playdates.
- Wednesdays: Meal Prep Day- Cooking, baking, stocking the fridge and freezer.
- Thursdays: Cleaning Day- Deep cleaning, organizing, tidying. Get the kids involved when you can!
- Fridays: Adventures- go somewhere special or fun.
Track Your Wins
So much of being a stay at home mom is repetitive. Some tasks are tedious, and some are fun, but many of them leave you feeling like you didn’t do much all day.
We’ve found that goal setting and using trackers is HUGELY beneficial to our idea of what “productivity” means as a stay at home mom, and helps us see all the good things we do each day.
I literally print my trackers out and put them on my fridge so I remind myself of all I’m doing. You can also insert them into a planner or bullet journal if that’s more your speed.
Some ideas for productivity trackers for stay at home moms:
- Track your time outside. Being outdoors is a big priority for our family. I found myself caught up in tracking how many hours my kids spent watching TV (spoiler alert: a lot). Instead, we started tracking our time spent outside. It put a positive spin, and helped me see all the good I was doing with my kids.
- Track books read. This site has a cute tracker for books read to kids, and one for books read as an adult. Either way, it helps you see the literacy wins you are achieving as a family.
- Track exercise. Print an exercise tracker, and give yourself some credit for all those miles walked while pushing a stroller, or working on your health at the gym.
- Track money saved. As a stay at home mom, it can be easy to think of yourself as “not contributing to the household.” Prove yourself wrong by tracking the money you save your family (on groceries, childcare, housecleaning, etc.) You’ll quickly see that you ARE contributing to the household financially (even if you’re not bringing in an income).
- Make a tracker for whatever your family prioritizes. Is it miles biked? Storytimes attended? Playdates? Dinner parties? Whatever your family prioritizes, make it a point of setting goals in this area, tracking your progress, and celebrating those milestones.
Our Best Advice for Being Productive as a Stay At Home Mom
Honestly? As our kids get older and we look back, our best advice for being productive as a stay at home mom is DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT.
You will not remember the mess in your living room right now. You will not remember whether or not you were on top of laundry all the time. You will not remember how many nights a week you cooked.
You will remember the storytimes, and dressing up the Barbies with them, and the walks to the park. So if that’s all you do every day, that is enough.
If something is making you crazy, for sure, fix it. Get enough done to feel sane and whole, and ignore the rest.
You are doing a wonderful job, just as you are. Hang in there, and be kind to yourself. It gets easier.
There are lots of ways to be more productive as a stay at home mom. Find the ways that work for you, focus on one area at a time, and before you know it, things will get easier.
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