22 Habits of a Productive Stay At Home Mom
Being a productive stay at home mom is important, but challenging at times. When I first became a stay at home mom I felt a little lost. I knew what I needed to get done each day and I would try, but sometimes I got to the end of the day and thought, “what did we do today?” I would start so many tasks and not finish any of them.
Does this happen to you too? You know you worked on a bunch of things, but you didn’t actually get anything done…
To get out of this slump I had to force myself to come up with systems, routines, and habits that were going to help us have better days and help me be a more productive stay at home mom.
I don’t think we ever have perfect days. If you’ve ever raised a toddler you know that is just impossible. But we mostly have good days. We get things done, we play, we learn, and we have a (mostly) clean house.
Today I am sharing 22 habits that you can implement to be a more productive stay at home mom. Don’t feel like you need to implement all 22. I bet you are already doing some of these. Strengthen the areas that you are already good at. Then, choose one or two other habits to start working into your stay at home mom daily schedule.
And remember… You were created to do this. This stay at home mom thing. It’s really hard to fail at something you were created to do.
At the end of this post, I will list all of the helpful resources that I am about to mention in this post. That way you can see them all together in one place.
Have A Cleaning Routine
Your house does not need to perfect. In fact, it rarely will be. We all know too well that 5 minutes after mopping, the dogs will run in with mud on their paws. Two minutes after picking up all of the toys the kids will dump all of their blocks on the floor.
Perfection is not the goal. A mostly tidy home is. Have a few tasks that you do each morning, each evening, and spread the big chores out throughout the week.
I have a very simple cleaning routine that you can implement in no time. Plus, I have a free ebook that teaches you how to make your own cleaning routine. I also have some printables and sample cleaning routines in my free printables library.
Declutter Your Home
I know from experience that the only true way to have a cleaner home is to go through and declutter your whole house. You’ll have fewer toys to pick up, and fewer things to dust around. You can spend your time actually cleaning instead of always picking things up. Living with a little less is how you can be an organized stay at home mom.
Again, I have lots of helpful resources to help you get started with this. Here is a list of 101 Things You Can Rid of Today. I also have an ebook on How to Declutter Your Whole House In Your Own Time.
Get Up Before The Kids
This one is definitely easier said than done and something I am still working on. I’m not saying you need to get up 2 hours before everyone else to be a more productive stay at home mom. Getting up even 30 minutes before the kids can make a huge impact on your day.
Imagine getting ready without anyone climbing on you. Imagine drinking a cup of coffee while doing a Bible study or reading a book, in complete silence. These things can easily be done in 30 minutes.
When you wake up before the kids, you’ve had some time to yourself, to get focused on the day. When you wake up with the kids you are still groggy while immediately trying to jump into your day. This can make for a crabby mom and a crazy morning.
Have a Simple Morning Routine
Have a system for how you and the kids start your day. Starting the morning off on the right foot will set you up for a more productive day. This does not have to be complicated. Here is my stay at home mom morning routine:
- Get up 30 minutes before the kids
- Get dressed and ready for the day
- Enjoy some quiet time reading and/or planning out your day
- Wake the kids up
- Eat breakfast and read the morning Bible study
- Morning cleaning routine (including kids chores)
- Get kids dressed, teeth brushed, hair fixed etc.
Have A Simple Night Time Routine
It is important to have a nighttime routine, but some moms tend to overdo it. You don’t need to do a million and one things before bedtime. This makes the evening feel like a race to the finish line. This can cause the end of the day to be even more exhausting than it already is. Here is my simple stay at home mom nighttime routine:
- Clean the kitchen up after dinner while kids play with dad
- Playtime/Go outside/Go for a walk
- Give the kids a bath (I do not do this every night and sometimes we do this during the day. This is not a strict part of my nighttime routine.)
- Watch 20 minutes of television
- Clean up bedrooms and toys
- Give daddy hugs and kisses goodnight
- Read a book/says prayers
- Kids go to bed
This productivity tip is always mentioned but it goes a long way. I don’t think you need to dress in your fancy clothes. I myself wear jeans and a t-shirt pretty much every day.
Staying in my pajamas tells my subconscious that it’s okay to keep lounging around the house. Putting jeans on signals me to get going with my day.
When I get dressed in the morning I’m more likely to get errands done faster or go play outside with my daughter.
The same goes for work out clothes. If you put workout clothes on you are more likely to get your workout done that day.
I find that as long as I’m not wearing bagging sweats or pajama pants, I’m triggered to be more productive.
So get up, get dressed, comb your hair, and put some mascara on. It’s not realistic to go all out every day, but a little goes a long way. You will feel better about yourself and naturally be inclined to be more productive.
My number one tip for getting ready fast is to simplify every step! Declutter your closet, your makeup, and have a fast hair care routine.
Let The Kids Help
Let your kids help with simple tasks. This will give them something to do while you are trying to get stuff done around the house. They can help instead of sitting down in front of the television. My two year old can feed the dogs, help with dishes, dust, and much more.
Does she do it perfectly? No. Does the task sometimes take a lot longer than I want it to? Yes. To be honest it takes a lot of patience for me to let my daughter help with things instead of getting everything done myself. However, I know she is learning from these tasks and that the few extra minutes is worth it.
It helps to build routines in her day as well.
Write Things Down
I think all moms are always trying to remember everything for everyone. This is why we also forget so many things. Writing things down really helps me out because I know I am not going to remember everything. I use a combination of different tools to help me stay on track. Notepads for to-do-list, and a planner for daily/weekly appointments. I keep track of a bunch of different lists on my phone in my Google Keep App.
Make a to-do list every day, write out important dates in your calendar once a week, and keep all grocery list and random ideas on your phone.
Here are my favorite planners.
You have to eat every day and you have to feed your kids every day. There is no getting around it. Meal planning will help you so much. It will help you save money, it will help you stay healthy, and it will save your sanity.
I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like blinding going into dinner time and throwing something together at the last minute. Take 30 minutes a week and plan out your meals. I have some free meal planning tools in my free printables library. Plus, you should read all of my tips for simple meal planning.
Less Screen Time
It is so easy to let your kids have too much screen time. We all know too much screen time is bad for them, but yet I still see moms leaving the television on all day long. And moms… Youtube is not a babysitter.
I get it. I’ve been there. You think, I really need to get this done so I will let her watch a couple of television shows. Or, I really need a break and look at how quiet she is being while watching a video on my phone.
Then a couple of shows or a few minutes of Youtube turns into hours of screen time. I know you know you this. I know you know it’s not good for them. But yet you still do it. We all have been guilty of it.
Sometimes it’s fine. In moderation, it’s no big deal. Sometimes we need a break and sometimes we really need to get things done and there really is no other option. I know this. But seriously, they are missing out on so many learning opportunities by having so much screen time.
I dare you to limit television time. Go a whole day without it and see what happens. I think you will see that your kids start to play more. That their imaginations grow and you have more conversations with them.
Get this book full of fun screen-free activities! We love it!
Put Your Phone Down
Kids are not the only ones who should limit their screen time. You need to limit yours as well. Social Media can be the biggest hindrance to stay at home mom time management. Learn to embrace digital minimalism.
Have you ever noticed that your kids start acting up more when you are scrolling through your phone? Surely I’m not the only one who has noticed this. Want fewer behavior problems? Put your phone down and pay more attention to your kiddo.
Not only will this help with your kid’s behavior, but it will help you be a more productive stay at home mom. It is so easy to get sucked into your phone and get trapped in social media land. I know this all too well. After I started blogging I had to set some strict boundaries for myself or I was going to be on my phone all day long.
Social media is a total time sucker and I’m willing to bet that you did have time to do that load of laundry or run the vacuum, but instead, you were on social media. I know this because I’ve been there. I’ve wasted hours on Instagram when it only takes 15 minutes to wash the dishes.
Prioritize where you are spending your time.
Don’t miss small moments with your kids.
Don’t Let The Laundry Pile Up
I use to let the laundry pile up until I was easily doing 5 loads in one day. That one day was exhausting and sometimes I still didn’t get everything done; causing the laundry to back up even more.
Now I do laundry every day. (Well almost every day.) Do one small load a day and it won’t back up. Plus, small loads are easier to handle. You won’t be spending an hour folding everything. Often times I only need to do laundry Monday through Thursday. It’s a much better system than I had before, which was no system at all.
Here are some other tips for getting laundry done.
Sunday Prep Day
Use Sunday to prepare for the week. Take 30 minutes or so each Sunday. Get your planner and notepads and write down all of the things that will help you be more productive this week.
Write appointments and regularly scheduled events in your calendar. Make your meal plan and grocery list for the week. Plan out activities you are going to do with the kids each day.
I find that when I have a small activity planned for each day it helps the days go smoother. This doesn’t need to be anything elaborate. It’s as easy as saying you are going to pull out the rice sensory bin on Monday and go to the library on Tuesday.
Have a Flexible Stay At Home Mom Schedule
Having a schedule for your day is a good thing, but I it can become too strict. This is why I like routines more than I like schedules. I do believe you should have a schedule for sleeping and eating. This keeps your kiddos happy and helps them feel like they have some control over their day.
However, you do not need to have every hour of your day blocked out. I used to think that. I was in the school system my whole life so I thought we could implement a tight schedule like that at home and it just doesn’t work.
It’s not realistic, at least not for my family. We have our routines and bedtimes, which I will always swear by, but sometimes an impromptu trip to the park is necessary, even if it wasn’t on the schedule.
Pause Before Reacting
I am by no means a discipline expert, but I do know that pausing before reacting to any circumstance is always a good idea. This can be a habit that is hard to form and that you may often forget, but it’s a good habit to start forming today.
In any circumstance as a mother (and wife) try to pause before reacting. I have the tendency to jump to conclusions, causing me to get upset about things more than I should.
Pause before speaking to your kiddo and you will be a calmer parent. This will help your kids mood, which will make the days run smoother.
Get Out Of The House
It’s so easy as a stay at home mom to get stuck in the house. When this happens cabin fever can start to set it. Find something that you can do with your children, outside of the home. Getting out of the house breaks up the monotony and keeps things exciting. Here are a few ideas:
- go outside
- go to the park
- visit the library
- grab a coffee
- get involved at church
- visit friends/family
- visit grandparents who are retired
As a stay at home mom, it is part of your responsibility to look after the finances. If you are at home, that means your family may only be relying on one income. Take time, at least once a week, to look over the finances and make sure your family is not spending more than you are making.
Find ways to cut back and watch what you are spending your money on. If it’s not in the budget, don’t buy it.
Find a different hobby other than shopping. Make it your hobby to only buy what your family needs and find the most cost-effective way to get those things.
Read this post on 7 Unique Ways to Be More Frugal or this one that gives you Tips For Living On One Income.
Find Ways To Earn A Little Cash
You are staying home for a reason so a part-time job is probably not the answer. However, there are many things you can do to help earn a little bit of extra cash from home. Here are a couple of ideas:
- start a blog
- join a Multi-Level Marketing Business
- sell items in your home that you aren’t using
- start an Etsy shop
You don’t have to have a full-fledged business or make another full-time income. However, I’m sure you can find some things in your home to sell. Every little bit helps. Then you can have some extra money for groceries or get those new shoes you have had your eye on.
Have A Hobby
It is important to still do things that make you, you. Stay at home moms can get so wrapped up in serving their family that they forget about themselves. I do believe taking care of others comes first, but I also think you need something to call your own.
What do you love doing? What did you use to do that you don’t do anymore?
It can be something as simple as reading, going for runs by yourself, or watching television with your hubby. Or start something new. I found a new hobby in taking pictures and writing a blog.
When you have some sort of outlet or some way to blow off steam, you will be a happier mom, which will help you be more productive.
Piggybacking off of the last idea, make sure you are taking care of your health. Again, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in your family that you forget to take care of yourself.
Set an example for your children by staying active. Start a work out routine, go for walks, go for a run, or run around outside with your kids.
Exercise and being active has an endless amount of benefits. You’ll feel better about yourself, which will help you be a more productive stay at home mom.
Ask For Help
Asking for help does not mean you are not capable of doing your mom duties. It does not mean you love your children any less. It means you are human. You are worn out from doing the same things each day. You are worn out from focusing so much on tiny humans.
Husbands will help when you ask, so just ask.
Grandparents and other family members are more than willing to spend time with their grandchildren.
Set aside your pride and ask for help.
A breath of kid-free fresh air is just what you need to get back on track.
Spend Time With Your Husband
Spending quality time with your husband will help you be a more productive mom because it will keep you happy. When you are happy and remember how much you love your husband, it’s easier to want to take care of the household duties.
He is your best friend, the person you chose to live the rest of your life with. You made these babies together. They are all equally as important, but one day your kids will grow up and leave your home. Your husband will not so don’t forget to take care of your relationship.
Make the kids have a bedtime so that you have time with your husband once they are asleep. Watch HGTV and eat chocolate chip cookies together. Do something that the two of you can call your own.
Here are some Date Night Ideas for those on a budget.
I hope you’ll start using at least one of these ideas. Motherhood can be overwhelming, but these simple systems will help you be more productive. You’ll feel happier as a homemaker and know that you are doing your best. If the Proverbs 31 woman could do it, then so can you.
Tools I Use to Stay Productive
Thank You! Need More Support?
Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you’ll stick around and read some more.
Here are some more ideas I have on routines and productivity.
My main passion is helping women build systems and routines that make homemaking simple. I find this possible through simplifying life, decluttering, and building routines that work for your household.
If you love all of that or want to learn more you should jump on my email list. I’ll send you a bunch of info on how I take care of my house, free access to my printables library, and a weekly newsletter with challenges and tips. Hope to see you there.
Either way, thanks again, and come back any time. 🙂
TaraJuly 19, 2020 at 2:54 pm
Hi there! I appreciate your blog post. One thing I’m going to add, /pleeeease/ don’t be advocating to SAHMs to join an MLM– these predatory businesses disproportionately target women & leave the majority of them in financial ruin. The rest of the advice you had seems really sound, so it was jarring to see MLMs being advocated for
KatiesKottageJuly 27, 2020 at 2:49 pm
I appreciate your input. Looking back, at the time I wrote this, I was highly considering joining one. I actually know a number of people in them that do REALLY well. But I would agree that most people who join just end up losing lots of money. Thanks again for bringing this to my attention. I may even go back and edit this post because I have always been so glad that I never ended up joining one myself.
JessicaNovember 24, 2020 at 11:02 pm
I’ve been a part of multiple MLMs and while I have realized they’re not for me I also don’t see how they leave people in financial ruin?