When you first become a stay at home mom, the transition is really hard. You go from school or working full-time, which comes with a set schedule and routine that you follow. Most often it is provided by someone else. You are told to arrive at a certain time, lunch at a certain time, end of day at a certain time. For most of our lives, schedules were provided for us and we went about our day in a structured way without having to think.
Then one day, you have a baby. You fall in love and decide to stay home with the baby. After the initial week or two of visitors and husband taking off work, everyone returns to their lives and your new life begins. For some, the initial down time is a welcome break to the hectic life they had lead before. But no matter what, there comes a moment when every stay at home mom looks around and goes, “oh my God, I am lonely, bored, sick of this house!”
So whether, you made it one day on your own or 9 months, here is a schedule that I have found works wonderfully for me, and many of the other stay at home moms I know.
5-7 am Wake up. For the type A moms, you are going to wake up closer to 5 and try to get a head start on the day. This is also for the moms that have very energetic babies. For the rest of us, make a goal of pushing this back as close to 6:30/7 am as possible. You and your kids will have a happier day.
7-8 Breakfast, bath, get dressed, brush teeth
8-9:30 Free play. Options include going for a walk, playing pretend, building with blocks or legos. This is the time, when you can get a load of laundry in or folded (notice not both), mop the kitchen, clean up breakfast, throw in dinner into the crockpot.
9:30-10 Travel to an activity. Most kid friendly events start at 10. There are some annoying ones that start at 10:30. Show up at 10 to make them aware this is annoying.
10-11/11:30. Activity. Examples: Story time, Swimming, gymnastics, art, music, mops or playdates. Most of these activities are baby friendly! If you are struggling to find things to do, play dates fill in gaps. If you are struggling to find mommy friends, activities are the perfect place to make friends for both you and your baby. See the circle. So here is the hard reality for all my introverted mammas. You have to sign up and go to something.
I remember sitting in the car outside the library with my oblivious 5 month old son, and thinking, you can do this, you can do this, you can do this. It definitely helped me bond with him, as it was us, going out into the big cold world together. Also, I am so so so glad I did. I have made some of the most amazing mom friends, who somewhere along the way, stopped being mom friends and just became friends and for a lot of them they became family.
Let me be honest, no one, is going to understand what you are going through that isn’t a mom. Not your husband, not your mom, not your pre baby friends, not your past co workers. The woman that are currently raising their babies, in America today, will understand, money problems, husband problems, fears, vax questions, and everything else that pops up. This is the most important part of your day as a new mom. Don’t hid at home.
11:30-1. Travel home, have lunch, clean up lunch and put baby or toddler down for nap.
1-3 Nap time. Go ahead and sleep mamma if you have one baby.
3-4 Wake up and have a snack
4-5 Free play
5-6 cook and eat dinner, clean up
6-7 We usually do a family walk or more free play.
7-9 Get ready for bed, read stories, talk about day and go to bed
9 – Do another load of laundry, clean the bathrooms, talk to your husband
10pm. Go to bed.
You may notice, there is no clean the house time, the reason for that is because you are constantly cleaning the house, picking up toys, throwing dishes in the dishwasher, folding laundry, wiping down the counters, swiping up crumbles. The deep clean days, those come on Sat morning, when you give the kids to your husband and iron and dust and vacuum. There are also no bathroom breaks, no down time, out side of nap time, this is the life of the stay at home mom. Once your a mom of two kids, there is no nap time anymore. So cherish your one baby life.
Finally, don’t look at this schedule all laid out and think, oh that’s easy. It is not, it is exhausting. Every day is different and every day involves a toddler who has different feelings. Eggs might be perfect on Monday but on Tuesday, you are the worst mamma for making eggs. There will be a hundred falls, a million tears in a week, there will be so much laundry you will bury your child under it. There will be so much food on the floor that you will wonder if you will ever get it cleaned correctly. There will be sick days and sick weeks. But there is also hugs after the tears, a thousand memories made, stories you will forever cherish and a bond that is incredible. Hang in there you will be great Mamma and remember you made the right choice!