Whether you’re suddenly working from home or it’s your long term plan, you’re going to need to find your groove to make it work. Here’s how we manage our work from home mom schedule (and a free printable to help you find your rhythm, too!)
When Christine and I first started our journey into the blogging world, we already had our stay at home mom schedule template down pat. But we never realized that this blog of ours would turn into a thriving, work from home job opportunity. We thought we’d get a creative outlet, sure, and maybe get a sponsored post or two. We didn’t realize that we’d soon be balancing a side hustle and family. .
And yet-by the grace of God- here we are.
Everyday we fight the good fight- we walk that line between being a working mom and a stay at home mom. We are expected to get all of our work done in a timely matter, but we are also expected to stick to a work from home mom schedule that keeps our houses running as if there was no job at all.
We take our kids to school (usually on time). We meal prep, we do laundry, we try to keep our homes clean. Finding balance sometimes means going with the flow, and sometimes it means keeping to a strict work from home mom schedule. There are days where we fall way behind in one area or another, but for the most part? We’ve found a way to make it work.
And you don’t have to work from home to need a proper schedule. Moms’ work comes in all shapes and sizes, and you may find yourself needing more structure to your days.
So if you find that your own side hustle is starting to leave that “side” part behind? If you’re struggling to keep up with the housework or fit in time for yourself? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here is the ideal work from home mom schedule (along with a free printable schedule template!), from two moms who use it on the regular.
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A Note About Our Work at Home Mom Schedule
We know a lot of you are becoming work from home moms for the first time. It’s not the easiest transition to make, and we feel for you. Give yourself lots of grace. Take it one day at a time. Know you’ll sleep again someday.
There’s no shame in doing what you need to do to get through the day. If that’s too much screen time or kicking your kids out into the backyard 80s style, do that. This is temporary(ish), and we may need to go into survival mode.
Also, we’ve been doing this work at home mom thing for a while now, and while this is the ideal schedule for us, it doesn’t always happen. Things come up, and life hits you in the face, and we go WAY off schedule. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do this right. You’ll figure it out.
5:30-6:30- The Miracle Morning for Moms
I’ll be honest with you- this doesn’t always happen. But when I’ve got a deadline looming or I’m all stressed out, there’s nothing like a Miracle Morning to get me recentered and feeling productive first thing in the morning.
You can read about the Miracle Morning here, or you can make your own miracle morning. Focus on tasks that are easy to check off your list- for me, it’s things like letterboards for our Instagram account or spending some time promoting posts.
The point is, drink some coffee. Find some peace. And knock out a few tasks that will be harder to accomplish once you hear the pitter patter of your kids’ little feet. (We recommend getting a Happy Planner or Passion Planner to help keep yourself organized. Or, sign up for our newsletter to receive a FREE printable stay at home mom schedule template.)
6:30-7:00- Breakfast Invitations
My kids used to watch TV in the mornings and I didn’t feel one bit bad about it. It was working so well- until it wasn’t. Suddenly, our mornings dissolved into fits, squabbles, and me yelling at the kids to hurry up or we’d be late for school.
I stumbled upon the idea of Breakfast Invitations from Days with Grey on Instagram, and I was instantly intrigued. The basic concept is that you set up an activity for your kids before they wake up (I typically set it up the night before) and so they jump right into an activity when they wake.
While kids are busy with their activity, I am able to accomplish a few household tasks (things like making breakfast, doing dishes that are leftover from last night, that sort of thing). It buys me the time I need to do the noisier tasks that I was avoiding during my Miracle Morning.
You might be skeptical, but for our two very different households, breakfast invitations WORK. Whether you’re setting out toys they don’t see often or having them work on more educational activities, they’ll start the day with their own productive activity.
And don’t be surprised if they transition to independent play MUCH better afterwards, too.
7-7:30- Get Ready for School
The kids eat breakfast, get dressed, gather their things, and brush their hair. This is rarely my finest hour of the morning- it’s the one in which I am most likely to shout or stress out- but we get the job done as quickly as possible and get on our way.
Related Post: How to Brush Your Child’s Hair (Without a Battle)
7:30-8:00 Head to School
This is one of my FAVORITE ways to sneak in a workout when I’m feeling unmotivated. Rather than buckling everyone into the car for the mile trek to school, I reclaim this awkward half hour for exercise.
We’ve got both a double jogging stroller and a bike trailer (both of which I got off of local Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook groups for $20 each), so depending on my mood and how much time we have I’ll either walk, jog, or bike my daughter to kindergarten at the local school.
It usually takes about 15-20 minutes to get there, and we’ll spend any leftover time playing on the playground there while we wait for the bell to ring.
It’s a great way to fit in exercise and get my kids a little more time outside. (Did you know kids are supposed to spend a whopping two hours a day outside? Whoa!)
8:00-8:15 Head Home
The way home always goes a little quicker once I’m down one kid. The little guy and I will sometimes stop at the park around the corner before finishing our trek homeward.
8:15-9:15 Errands, Screen Time, or Play Time
My favorite Work at Home Mom Hack is to never use my kid-free time to run errands. Grocery stores, banks, and post offices are great ways for kids to learn about their community. Sure, it would be easier to do errands solo. But I can manage doing errands with the kids in tow MUCH more easily than working with the kids around, so it’s a sacrifice I gladly make.
If we don’t have errands to run, this hour is pretty flexible for us. Maybe he’ll help me clean up around the house, do some activities with me, or (if I’ve got a lot on my plate) watch some TV. If he’s bursting with energy, I’ll often send him in the backyard to play while I work from the kitchen and spy on him from the window.
This time of the morning, it pays to be flexible. Toddlers and preschoolers are hard to predict, so you might need to change it up to make this hour work.
If you don’t work from home, you might use this time to play or work one on one with your younger child. Reading, fine motor skills, and sensory play (like our favorite playdough ideas) are all fantastic ways to play with your littles while your bigger kids are away.
9:30-11:30 Both Kids in School
While my older daughter is in kindergarten, my son attends a local co-op preschool program at a park a few miles from our home. One day a week, I volunteer as one of the parents in charge there, and the other four days I drop him off and head home to get some work in.
School may not be in the cards for your kids yet, but there are lots of creative ways to fill these morning hours for your kids (and get some work time for yourself). See our full list of child care ideas here.
Kids at Home Adaptation: Our kids aren’t going anywhere, for a long time. We need to give them the structure they’d have (and the quiet we need to work). This is the time to set up “school” for your kids. If your child has assignments, set them up work alongside them.
If they don’t consider purchasing Busy Toddler’s Playing Preschool Program to give younger kids structure. Rely on ABCMouse and Amazon workbooks and preschool busy bags and whatever it takes to keep your kids learning and engaged and busy.
Related Post: 10 Things Stuck at Home Kids Should Do Every Day
11:30-1:00 Picnic Lunch, Park Play
My daughter’s kindergarten is a half day program, so I pick her up at 11:20 and we dash off to get my son. Since his school is at a park, it makes perfect sense to stay a while after pickup and get those extra outdoor hours in.
I pack a simple lunch for all of us and we eat outside before sending them off to play at the playground. Not only do we avoid making lunch messes at home, but it’s my chance to socialize with other parents while my kids’ play. Sometimes a friend will meet us there, and some times I’ll chat with the other Co-Op moms, but it’s always a chance to talk to real live grown ups.
And for that I’m thankful.
Kids at Home Adaptation: Kick the kids into the backyard if you can for a picnic lunch and play (here’s our favorite outdoor toys). Go for a scooter ride around the block. Put on Cosmic Kids yoga or find GoNoodle dance videos on YouTube. Try to get some sunshine and some exercise in for everyone if you can!
Related Post: The Importance of Mom Friends
1:00-3:00 Nap Time and Playdates- or Screen Time
As part of making my life work, I swap care with another mom for our six year olds a couple days a week. So while Abe takes a nap, six year old Lila is sometimes at a friend’s house, or playing with a friend at ours. If you’re not used to drop off playdates, it might surprise you to hear that having an extra kid over is actually easier than entertaining Lila on my own.
Since some days she doesn’t watch TV during this period, it makes me feel better on the days she watches TV for all of Abe’s nap. Either way, we spend a couple of hours with Abe fast asleep and Lila entertained, which is prime work time for me.
Kids at Home Adaptation: Please don’t do playdates. We’re sorry. Set up an activity for the kids, or give in and play pretend with them. Finish up school, or do what you gotta do.
3:00-4:00 Playdate Continued or Play at Home
This is my least favorite hour of the day, if I’m being honest. The TV goes off, Abe wakes up, and everyone is a little cranky. If we’ve got a kid over for a playdate, it smooths the transition, but if not it’s a bit of struggle to get the kids back on track.
Sometimes we’ll play at home, sometimes they’ll play with their cool toys in the backyard, or sometimes we’ll head to the park. Sometimes they watch a little more TV. Basically, we do whatever it takes to keep the kids busy and happy while I do a power-hour of housework, laundry, and finalizing our dinner plans (including defrosting whatever we’ll need for the evening).
4:00-5:00 Kids’ Club at the Gym
We LOVE our local YMCA– although we very rarely work out there. Instead, we set up shop in their expansive lobby (featuring free WiFi!) and get our work done.
While our five kids play in the Kids’ Club, Christine and I collaborate on projects, talk about long term goals, and divide tasks between us.
And sometimes we just talk about our lives with our feet in the jacuzzi. Potato, Potahto.
Kids at Home Adaptation: If you’ve got a coparent in the house, switch off with one another to give each other a break. Assign each other an “out of the house” job for an hour, where they’re locked in the room and the kids have to pretend they’re not there. Or put on a podcast for the kids (we love Little Stories for Tiny People) and tell them Rhea, the host, is their mother now.
5:00-5:30 Dinner Prep
We get our kids involved in the kitchen with our dinner prep routines, and together we get ready for dinner. It’s the perfect chance for little hands to chop, wash, and prep (we use our learning tower to help the kids reach the counter and these kid safe knives to get them in on the cutting action).
5:30 Family Dinner
My husband goes into work early in the morning, which means he’s home in time for an early-ish dinner. The kids set the table with forks and napkins, we say prayers, and eat our dinner together.
It’s not always pleasant- drinks spill and picky eaters protest what’s being served– but it’s an important chance to connect with our family and check in with one another after a busy day.
6:00-6:45 Family Walk or Bike Ride
We either bust out the double stroller or put the kids on their bikes, leash up the dog, and head out for a walk around the neighborhood. It’s like a mini date night for my husband and myself while the kids race ahead, and it helps to tucker everyone out for an early bedtime.
6:45 Bath Time
We try to keep bath time interesting with innovative toys and activities (find our favorites here). Depending on how much time we have and how tired the kids are, we’ll sometimes just do a quick scrub and get out. Other times, we’ll spend more time playing in the tub before we get toweled off and into pajamas.
7:00 Bedtime and Homework Time
The six year old sits down at the table to work on her homework while my husband starts the three year old’s (ELABORATE) bedtime routine. I’m talking, three books and four songs and the Lord’s Prayer. It’s epic and long- but it’s my husband’s problem, not mine- so I’ll leave him to it.
While they’re busy with their bedtime routine, Lila and I will work on her homework, chip away at some of her longer projects, and practice sight words. Homework can sometimes be a struggle for us, but we’ve finally found the tips and tricks to make the day a success (read our best homework advice here).
7:30 Six Year Old’s Bedtime
It’s Lila’s turn for lights out. A couple of books (one for me to read, one for her to read), some girl talk, and she’s free to look at a small pile of books until she’s sleepy enough to fall asleep.
Related Post: How to Teach Your Toddler (or Preschooler!) to Read
7:45-9:00 Work Time
It’s time for mama to hit the computer. This is when I do my best writing, and when I am able to look at the bigger picture that is so critical to running your own business. If I’m on a roll, I’ll keep working past 9, but generally I try to call it quits around 9.
9:00-10:00 Free Time
Reading, movies, trashy TV- I do my best to have these live inside this hour each night. Sometimes I stay up too late if a new season of Housewives drops on Hulu, but I like to be in bed and ready for sleep by 10. I’ve got a Miracle Morning to get to tomorrow, and I need to get my sleep in before then.
It isn’t always easy (some days it’s a downright disaster), but most days? Most days, our carefully-constructed work from home mom schedule allows us to be both thriving business women AND stay at home moms. And for that, we couldn’t possibly be more grateful.
What other tricks do you have up your sleeve? Tell us in the comments how you make your life balance work- you just might see your ideas make their way into the post!
Want to get started on cleaning up your work from home schedule TODAY? Sign up to get our subscriber-exclusive stay at home mom schedule template here.
Need more resources? Check out these ideas next.
- Read the world’s best Work From Home Mom book- One Beautiful Dream
- Epic Working Mom Organization Tip- The Working Mom Command Center
- Making the Miracle Morning Work for Your Mama Routine