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Have you ever felt that since you’ve been a stay at home mom that you haven’t been able to get as much done or feel productive through out the day?
Or, maybe you get tired (or stressed) and feel unable to get everything done that you know you should? Like, there’s this huge weight weighing on you, making you feel stuck, or just plain unmotivated; unable to shrug it off and actually be the high energy super mom you wish you could be!
Well, guess what, you’re not alone! At one point or another we all feel that way. We get stressed because we’re stuck at home with the kids all day, or stressed that they just won’t stop talking (and I mean 24/7 non-stop talking)! It wears us down. And, why wouldn’t it? If you were at work and had to listen to the same person talk ALL DAY LONG; you’d be worn out, too!
But, being at home with our kids is different than being at work! We’re responsible for our kids, and we need to teach them how to act, how to learn, and basically how to do everything! And, we need to do it in a way they understand and react positively to. Or, in other words, we need to keep our cool, be happy, stay sane, and be extremely productive all day long to keep our homes up and our kids growing and learning!
Who’s ready for their 5th cup of coffee for the day!?!
Let’s take a look at what it means to be Productive as a SAHM
There’s been a myth going around, for who knows how long, that being a stay at home mom is easy. I say myth because, haha, being a stay at home mom is the opposite of easy! Even if you’ve been daydreaming at work to be able to stay home with your kids all day (like I used to); being a stay at home mom is the most challenging career you can want. But, it’s also the most rewarding!
The job details are all over the place, unlike a traditional job. From changing diapers to paying the bills, caring for a sick child to meal planning. The list of responsibilities is ever growing, just as our children grow.
We never get a break, not even when our kids are sleeping! They may rest, but our brains and to do list never do. And, if you’re a millennial mom, you’re probably trying to find a way to make money at home, as well; we can’t help it, we’re educated and addicted to pinterest and facebook. We have cravings to be social and more productive, but, take a look at what’s on some of our to do lists:
- make coffee
- make breakfast
- greet our children happily when they wake up
- feed children
- clean children up and keep them entertained til snack time
- make sure our husband wakes up and gets ready to go to work on time
- change diapers as needed
- potty train our children
- bathe our children and make sure they change into real clothes for the day and pj’s at bedtime
- brush our childrens teeth two to three times a day
- kiss any boo-boos there may be
- pay bills (deal with everything concerning the income for the household- including telling our husbands they can’t eat out everyday for lunch; it’s too expensive and unhealthy)
- meal plan for the week
- cook dinner every night
- meal prep, at least lunches
- bake (and let our kids help, which creates a bigger mess for us to clean up)
- remember all appointments, special events that are coming up, and any important dates
- file paperwork
- grocery shop
- set the tone for the household
- host play dates
Honestly, the list goes on and on, but I hope you’re starting to get the point; there is a lot to do! So, if we’re unhappy and unproductive, things won’t look too good in our homes. Sometimes, we’ve had it and are just exhausted; we’re only human. So, make sure you appreciate all that you do, even if it seems like no one else does…
Let’s get to some ways you can be a little more productive during the day as a stay at home mom!!
Make it a Point to Wake up Before Everyone Else
I don’t know when your most productive time of day is, mine tends to change with my youngest daughters sleep schedule. But, it’s always either the early morning before both my girls wake up, or late at night after they both fall asleep. If I try to do something that takes brain power in the middle of the day; it’s not going to work out too well. The middle of the day is for mindless tasks like cleaning, cooking, or taking care of my girls (basically, just being a mom).
For the past month or so, I’ve been waking up at 4am. I’ve been able to write and get things done on this site that I wouldn’t be able to if I didn’t get up early. I get peace and quiet for about an hour to an hour and a half; I can’t even start to explain how amazing that is. I’d love for it to be more time, but I also enjoy getting more than 6 hours of sleep! And, I even get to eat my breakfast without two little kids eyeballing my food!!
The morning, before everyone else wakes up, feels like a magical time. I’m always in a better mood when I’m able to get up early and have some me time. Getting up early ensures that I’ll have a little bit of a better day, even if everything else falls apart!
I’m able to be more productive when I’m the only one up, and that productivity motivates me through out the day to get more done! Maybe not all day, but at least enough to get the basic things done through out the day!
Create a Daily Schedule that Everyone can benefit from
…and don’t get upset when it gets messed up! Because, with kids, it will! Being a stay at home mom, life can have surprises, activities we schedule can take way too long, and our to do lists can get longer by the minute!
But, everyone does better on a schedule. I wouldn’t recommend having strict times for everything on your schedule, but more so of just a flow of how the day will go. This way everyone knows what to do when and what to expect next.
If you want to know more about why we should have a daily schedule, check out 5 Reasons Your Child (and You) Need a Daily Schedule
Or, if you need help creating a schedule, make sure you read How to Create a Weekly Schedule that Actually Works!
Live by Routines
Morning routines. Day time routines. Bed time routines. These routines we have can basically turn into habits to make our lives much easier, and therefore more productive because we have more brainpower for other tasks during the day! If you and your children don’t have any routines in the day, then you’re missing out!
Start with one routine, the bedtime routine, and then start adding in more. They will make your life easier!! Being a stay at home mom, we need easy. Routines, like habits, use a different part of our brains once they are instilled. It’s more of a muscle memory than will power. Think of what you do before bed; I pick up the house a little, set the coffee for the next morning, brush my teeth and get in pj’s, and then go to bed. Do you really think about what you do before bed, or do you just do it?
Now, imagine having more routines in your day, for the mindless tasks that you don’t really enjoy! Or, having your kids on routines.
Say, they get up and play quietly til you get them for breakfast; or, they wash their hands before lunch and sit at the table quietly til you bring out their food, and then they take care of their dishes and clean up their place at the table after eating without being told to do so! Wouldn’t that be amazing? That is the power of routines! Use them!
Write down Everything that NEEDS to get done
Writing down everything you need to do during the day seems like an obvious thing to do to be more productive. And, it is also one of the most important things you can do!
If you didn’t write down what needed to get done, then you’d probably be trying to remember everything in your head. We can only remember, on average, about 7 things at one time. So, if you have 7 things on your to do list and then you’re asked to do one more, or a few more; all of those things you were trying to remember, that we’re stacked so nicely in your mind, are going to crash down like jenga, and there goes your to do list!
Stop using brainpower for remembering your to do’s, you’re bound to forget at least a few of them; write them down instead. I have a master list of to do items, and then another list for the things that absolutely need to get done that day. Maybe a notebook for all of your to do’s, and then a white board on your fridge for the need to do’s for the day. (That’s what I do!! I love lists!!)
You can’t be productive if you don’t know what needs to get done during the day!
Get out of your PJ’s!
One of the benefits to being the stay at home parent is that you could literally stay in your in pj’s all day long! That is, if you wanted to; no ones going to tell you otherwise! But, that’s also the one thing you can do to kill all productivity for the day.
We associate pj’s with sleeping, or maybe even lazy days at home. How can we be productive when our bodies feel our pj’s on them and are sending the message to our brains that it’s alright to wind down for the day and get ready to relax or go to bed?
So, do yourself a favor and change into real clothes during the day, and have your kids do the same! Everything you do during the day will feel more important and worthwhile, even if you’re just wearing jeans and a t-shirt!
Clean Up After Yourself and Kids Throughout the Day
One thing that kills my motivation for productivity during the day is being overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done; my 5 year old is the same way. Seeing dishes in the sink from the entire day makes me simply not want to do them; just like when my daughter takes out all her toys and then doesn’t want to clean them up.
I’ve been trying to teach her to take out one toy at a time and then clean before taking out another toy. She hasn’t been doing that, and it may be my fault. It may be a little bit of her little sister’s too, because she also takes toys out, and doesn’t pick up by herself yet.
I need to clean up messes around the house right after they are made, like washing dishes right after they are used, and making the beds in the morning (which I’ve actually been doing lately!). This way my motivation doesn’t dissipate by just the thought of a sink full of dishes, and then my daughter can see me cleaning up right after a mess is made, before going onto something else. Kids learn best by example and watching their parents, not by listening.
So, if you want to be more productive through out the day, and help teach your kids to do the same, then be the example that they need in their lives!
Teach Your Children to be Independent
Along with teaching your children to pick up after themselves, we need to teach them to be independent. We don’t always need to be right next to them 24/7. At some point, we need to start trusting them to play in their room alone, or go to the bathroom alone. As much as we don’t want them to grow up, and want them to stay our little kids forever, they will grow up, and they need to be prepared for that!
This can be hard at first, like potty training, but think of the outcome! You no longer have to change diapers or help your child wipe themselves when done going potty! It’s kind of freeing to know that they can do it all by themselves. This leaves you more time to be productive and get other things done during the day.
Reset Your Home Before Bed
Besides getting up early, one thing you can do during the day to ensure productivity, is to reset your home each night before you go to bed. Resetting your home before bed includes, but is not limited to:
- picking up around the home and putting things where they go
- setting the coffee for the next day so it’s ready for you when you get up
- getting the kitchen ready for you to make breakfast
- making sure dishes and other daily chores are complete
Resetting your home like this before you go to bed will make you feel at least 10 times better in the morning. When you can wake up and do what you want, instead of having to spend the first 15 to 20 minutes cleaning up and making coffee; you can feel more at peace each day.
It’s these little things you do before bed that can make the next day just that much better and put you in a good mood at the start of everyday!!
And, if you’re in a good mood, you’ll be more productive, and your family will be in a better mood, as well. Remember, you set the tone for your household!
If you need more of a guide on how to set yourself up for a peaceful morning, read How to Create a Stress Free Morning (with my 9 simple tips)
Take a Break and Appreciate ALL YOU DO!!
Being a stay at home mom is hard, and sometimes stressful. At times it feels like no one appreciates all the hard work you put into it. Sometimes, you need to take a well-deserved break (even just 15 or 20 minutes) from your career as a stay home mom. Simply to appreciate yourself for how much work and effort you put into everyday.
Not only do you raise your children and teach them almost everything they know; you also make sure your home stays in a livable condition, pay the bills, file paperwork, and remember everything. If the physical work you do during the day isn’t exhausting, then the mental work of it all is. And, yes, sometimes it’d be easier if you weren’t the one who had to know everything. But, that’s what us moms do.
Even when I was the working parent and my husband stayed home with our girls; I still felt like I was the one who had to know everything. When my girls had doctor or dentist appointments; I was the one reminding my husband to take our girls to them, or that I’d be taking a day off so we could all go. I was the one who did laundry and had to know what everyone wanted to eat. Because, I was the one who went to the store after work (at midnight) once a week to get groceries.
So, even just being a mom, whether you stay home or work, or both; you need to appreciate what you do for your home and for your family. Others in your home may not know how to show their appreciation for all that you do!
So, to Keep up your productivity…
…there are plenty of tips I can give you to stay productive during the day, but it’s up to you to apply them in your life!
And, unfortunately, not every tip will work for everyone. You could try your hardest to wake up before your kids, but they sense when you get up, and get up with you. You could try to create the perfect schedule and live by routines and write your lists, but still get barely anything done. But, you’re a mom, so you can’t give up on being productive!
Productivity, fortunately, fuels more productivity! So, with every productive thing you do, such as getting dressed in real clothes, and cleaning up throughout the day, you’ll have more energy (or motivation) to be more productive! Which is great, because we can get all the energy, or motivation we can get, especially as moms!
So get dressed and do what you need to do to get things done through out the day! And, don’t forget to appreciate all you do through out the day. Cause guess what, even if you don’t realize it, you’ve done quite a bit and you totally deserve a little time at the end of the day to relax before going to bed (if you can get it)!!
Do you have any other tips to be a more productive stay at home mom? If so, comment below and let me know! And, make sure to pin this so you can come back to it when you need it!