Moms, raise your hand if you could use a few more hours in your day—coupled with a few more ounces of sanity. As we know, being a stay at home mom is one of the toughest jobs around…if only our days were only about hanging out and loving on our kiddos! Unfortunately, things like laundry, dishes, and errands often make things a lot more complicated. And, hey, maybe you just want 20 minutes to yourself to nap or shower—that’s okay too! Here are some of my favorite stay at home mom hacks to help you maximize your days.
COME UP WITH A STAY AT HOME MOM SCHEDULE
While this stay at home mom hack is a little obvious, it is worth mentioning. How you display or track your schedule is up to you—many moms prefer to keep everything digital right on their phones while others need a paper version. Or maybe you’d like both!
If you are interested in a paper version, consider picking up a stay at home mom planner. Because SAHM’s need planners too.
Whichever way you do it, make sure you document any appointments first and choose things to do to fill in the time. For example, maybe you always grocery shop on Fridays or have a playdate on Wednesdays.
You’ll be surprised how much of a difference having a daily schedule can make. Routines are SO important for kids, and you’ll find that it’ll help your kids with bad sleep habits or mood swings.
Prep meals and snacks for the week in bulk. If you can use one nap time or one evening when the kids are down to bake, chop and mix food items together for the week, your days will open up. If your kids are old enough, enlist in their help! It can make for a productive “bonding” experience with them.
Not only will meal prepping save you a lot of time, but it’ll also help you make sure your family is eating healthy. The days you dont’ plan ahead are the ones that you’re more likely to feed them fast food or a box of mac n cheese. This isn’t a problem when it happens SOME of the time – but it can easily turn into a problem.
Plus, who doesn’t like stay at home mom hacks that help avoid the “I’m hungry” temper tantrum?
Related: Meal Planning for Beginners
GET YOUR KIDS OUT OF THE HOUSE
Yes, in most cases you will need to go with them. But a change of scenery does everyone a bit of good—while forcing you out of sweats! There are many low-cost or free activities you can do. For example, check your local library for free story time or check out a local park. You can even get a museum pass to your favorite children’s museum and take field trips.
For us, sometimes getting out of the house means taking a drive or going to the grocery store. Just make sure you aren’t in dire need of whatever you’re going to the store for – because sometimes a meltdown will prevent you from getting everything you need.
LET YOUR KIDS LEARN TO SELF-ENTERTAIN
There are a few ways to do this. First of all, when your child wakes for the day or from a nap, don’t rush to grab him or her. Allow them to lay in the crib and relax while they wait, or play quietly. Some kids could sit in there perfectly content for another half hour.
With older children, try an okay to wake clock which will turn green when they are allowed to get out of bed.
Related: Toddler Activities
Another way is to institute two-three 15-minute quiet playtimes throughout the day where everyone must do something quietly on his or her own. For us, getting some “special” toys for this time helped immensely. Your kiddo will be excited by the prospect of a new toy, and may beg you to start quiet time early on some days.
ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY IN A CREATIVE WAY
One of my FAVORITE stay at home mom hacks I have ever thought of was spurred by getting a new fridge. We had this giant box and my kid was fascinated by it. I had the best idea—I stuck him inside the box with a pack of crayons and let him get to work decorating.
He was SO happy (and so was I!). I know we don’t all have fridge boxes, but get creative—maybe grab an extra large Costco box on your way out next time!
FREE is often more fun than that twenty dollar toy you got last week. Encourage your little one to play with pots and pans and let them create a blanket-fort. There is so much that can be done with simple things you have around the house.
INVEST IN A PRESSURE COOKER (Instant Pot)
If you don’t already have one of these magic kitchen appliances, get one now! Why should you spend 30 minutes of your day cooking over a stove when you could spend that 30 minutes another way while your pressure cooker (get one here!) makes dinner for you? Trust me on this one!
Related: What to Feed a Picky Eater
If not a pressure cooker, consider grabbing a crockpot. They make cooking SO easy, and you’ll get to smell delicious food cooking allllll day long!
Look, I know it’s easy to get into the mindset as a stay at home mom that you have to do it all, but that is hardly fair or true. If there is something you absolutely hate doing, outsource it! I know a SAHM with 6 kids who HATED laundry—so guess what? They outsourced it to a company that comes to pick up laundry and returns it neatly folded and hung a few days later.
Or maybe you don’t have time to dust baseboards (who does!?)…hire a cleaning person to come in once a week and take over. If you really, truly cannot afford to hire anyone, barter with a friend (although hiring help may be cheaper than you’d think!).
I know this may sound counter-intuitive, but a big stay at home mom hack is to have less stuff to entertain your children. More toys lead to shortened attention spans, more mess and frankly, more drama.
Toy rotation is a great option here. If you haven’t tried it, you basically only keep one or two sets of toys out at a time. Everything else is boxed up and put away. Every couple of months you put away the current toys and get a new set out. It’s like brand new toys every time!
Who here thinks two screaming kids in a grocery cart with a massive list sounds fun? Yeah, me neither. Instead of navigating the store, simply shop online. You can order groceries to be delivered to your home, or take advantage of free curbside pick up at many places—it’s even loaded right into your trunk for you!
Related: How to Tackle Debt
Amazon offers something like this now. Amazon Fresh is a program where you can get a lot of different fresh food sent directly to your door via Amazon. The pricing is competitive, so check it out here!
GET UP EARLY
If you’re feeling like things aren’t getting done or you aren’t getting enough alone time, get up earlier. I KNOW this is easier said than done – but I promise it can make a world of difference.
Even giving yourself fifteen minutes of sitting in silence sipping a cup of coffee can make a difference. It will get easier with time, and you’ll find that you’re a lot more ready to take on the chaos of the day.
GET YOUR KIDS ON THE SAME SLEEP SCHEDULES
If you have more than one child, you are doing yourself a HUGE disservice if your kids aren’t napping and going to bed at the same time. It takes work, but once they are on the same schedule you will have 1-2 hours to yourself during the day to catch up or relax.
Related: Why my Toddler Goes to Bed Late
Some kids will talk or play if you leave them in a room to sleep together. If this is the case, put them both to bed a little bit earlier to account for the not sleeping time and try to let it go. Although it’s understandable to WANT them to be quiet – it’s just not realistic to spend an hour or two outside their door policing this. Plus, they’re bonding which is nice. 🙂
MAXIMIZE NAP TIME (OR QUIET TIME)
That being said, the biggest stay at home mom hack of all may be to learn how to make the most of nap times. Have a targeted plan daily for what you will use that time for, otherwise it will slip away, as we have all seen!
OR – you can always spend that time taking a nap. Because sometimes we ALL need a nap – and that’s okay.
What are your favorite stay at home mom hacks? I’d love to hear more about what works for you and try a few new things.
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