Stay at home moms, especially with young kids, have a very interesting week flow. By that, I mean that pretty much every day feels exactly the same sometimes.
Once the day is over, it can sometimes still feel like you didn’t get anything done.
This blog post has 22 things to do as a stay at home mom, so you can keep yourself and your family clean, fed, organized and happy, while staying somewhat sane!
P.S., you can pin this post to Pinterest to save it for later! 👇
Go For a Walk, With a Plan
Sometimes my kids love walking outside, and sometimes getting them off of the screens is like pulling teeth! But, I found that if I print out a little “scavenger hunt” page, that gets them wanting to look around outside.
It also pushes them to interact with the environment, use their senses and expand their vocabulary.
Fantastic Fun and Learning has a bunch of free outdoor scavenger hunt printables for you to try when you go for your next walk. There’s even a SOUND scavenger hunt in there.
Break Out the Board Games & Card Games
To pass the time at home, I love playing random board games with my kids. We’ve amassed quite a big collection of games, and now we have something for pretty much any age of kid who comes over.
Here are some board game and card game options for kids based on age:
- 2-5 years old: Chutes & Ladders, Candy Land, Connect 4, Any Matching Game, Giant Puzzles
- 5-8 years old: Sorry, Trouble, Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, Giant Uno, 5 Second Rule Kids
- 8-12 years old: IncoHEARant Family edition, the Game of Life, Clue, Exploding Kittens, Monopoly Mario Edition
Over the holidays, we got an outdoor card game called Throw Throw Burrito Extreme. It is SO fun. It’s basically a matching game (so younger kids can play too) where you get to launch giant inflatable burritos at each other.
Learn a New Skill
Taking some time each day to learn a new skill opens up opportunities for us to try different hobbies and discover new interests. It can also be an outlet for creativity and exploration that can help keep us motivated during what can sometimes feel like a VERY monotonous time.
Here’s the best part about taking just a few minutes each day to learn a new skill…
It gives you something fun to talk about with the other grown ups in your life that ISN’T kid-related!
Here are some ideas to make it easy to learn a new skill, and give you a mental challenge:
Learn a language with Duolingo. I know the Duolingo memes out there are hilarious, but I’ve personally used it and I LOVE the reminders. Plus, the lessons are like 5-15 minutes long.
Take online classes from websites like Skillshare or Masterclass. There are online courses for literally anything you want to learn. I recently took an online hand lettering class with my 11-year-old, using just thick crayola markers we had laying around. She makes the best birthday cards now!
YouTube is also a gold mine of instructional videos. If there’s something you want to learn, chances are somebody already made a bunch of YouTube videos about it!
Make a Daily To-Do List
This is different from having a daily schedule or morning routine, because it should include tasks for that specific day, like phone calls, errands or appointments.
Your daily routine as a stay at home mom by itself is already packed. Try to keep your to-do list as SHORT as possible. Delegate anything and everything you can!
If you need help with figuring out what should go on your to do list, I have a few helpful blog posts about that:
- How to REALLY Use a Master To-Do List to Organize Your Life
- How to Plan Your Week To Be Productive: a Step-By-Step Guide
Skip The Grocery Store
Grocery shopping with kids can either be an easy way to get out of the house & learn a little bit, or a total nightmare.
On the days you are feeling like the kids just won’t cooperate on errands and you’d rather drive to the park instead, try an online grocery store option.
I have Amazon Prime so I order from Fresh (delivers) and Whole Foods (delivery or pick-up).
Some other options are:
I would google “grocery delivery near me” and see if your local stores offer a free pick-up or delivery option.
Learn to Make Your Favorite Drink at Home
Do you have a favorite drink or snack that you like to pick up when you are running errands? Or maybe you don’t always have a few minutes of free time to grab it?
Make it at home! The act of actually pouring and stirring and sipping can be incredibly relaxing, and then you have your favorite drink!
I have this cold brew coffee maker and it helped me so much in the summer. Especially during the days when something goes wrong, it’s the best thing to be able to still have and enjoy something I love. Even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Learn a HELPFUL New Recipe.
It’s time to make dinner much, much easier.
It’s easy to get carried away, buying a bunch of new ingredients and spending tons of time on a new recipe.
But, as a stay-at-home parent, it’s way more important to SIMPLIFY every day tasks. So, when you are looking for a new recipe, make sure you use the words “easy” or “simple” or “one-pan/pot” in your search query.
Look for new recipes that have less ingredients, and can be prepped beforehand. Perhaps ones that are so easy, your kids can make them!
If you need help finding some recipes, I have a list of over 100 dinner recipes.
Rotate the Toys
If your younger and elementary school aged kids are claiming to be bored even though they have a room full of toys, they may be overwhelmed with too many choices.
Rotating toys out once a month will help reduce the toy messes, and also keep kids interested in their toys longer.
Another idea which I do with my kids is to have them fill a bag with toys to donate right before a gift-giving holiday. I tell them it’s to make room for the new gifts, and they go along with it.
That way, you’ll have a nice declutter a few times a year, and the kids choose what to let go of.
Put On That Face Mask
I used to think that I couldn’t do “me” stuff while I’m with the kids. Like I could only
While it’s extremely important to have intentional alone time (more on that next), sometimes there are big stretches of time where that isn’t possible. Instead of putting things off, now I just throw on that face mask and walk around for 15-20 minutes or whatever.
Do I get weird looks from my kids? Yup! Do they say like, “get away from me with that”? Definitely lol. But I don’t care anymore.
I love my kids, and I love my skin too. If I don’t have separate alone time, I’m just putting on that face mask, and maybe playing monster hide & seek with my younger ones.
My kids think it’s so weird when I put hair removal cream above my lip, but I just walk around for 8 minutes going, “Ho, ho, ho, I shaved my beard, Merry Christmas!” And they laugh at me, and I make a core memory with them.
Set Up Intentional Alone Time
Intentional alone time can take many forms:
- you out of the house
- the kids out of the house, either with friends or family
- you in a different part of the house with the kids supervised by someone else
- trading babysitting with a neighbor or parent of your kids’ friends, etc.
The idea is to have time that is free from other people asking you to do something for them. The most important thing is to really schedule it into your week or month.
Now, intentional alone time is NOT for deep cleaning or decluttering – it is for YOU. Take a few minutes to take some deep breaths and imagine the things you want to do ALONE that will relax, rejuvenate, or otherwise fill your cup.
- scrolling TikTok,
- trying on everything in a store you love,
- watching a favorite movie or show,
- putting on that face mask,
- calling or visiting a friend or family member, etc…
….you’re making time here to do those things. Especially as a new mom or a working mom, where everything is everywhere and you have what feels like no time at all, reaching out to other grownups in your life to take the kids for a few hours will be incredibly helpful for you.
Spend Some Time With Family Members
If you have any family members close by, scheduling some visits is a great way to break up the monotony that sometimes happens when we get into a routine that is just the exact same thing day after day after day.
Extra points if those family members are near a park, have a big yard or a pet the kids can visit!
If your family is too far away to visit regularly, exchange some 30-second video clips, making funny faces, or jumping in a pile of leaves or something. It will help the kids remember faces & names.
*Now, don’t feel obligated to do this if you have rocky relationships with your family members. A WhatsApp video chat works just fine too. The kids can make up a scene or a dance to show off, and you don’t have to physically go there. I know what that’s like and sometimes the kids can sense tension, so if this isn’t for you then just pass on it.
Use a Daily Routine to Organize Your Day
Yes, daily routines look great on paper. But, trying to implement a strict daily schedule with kids is most likely going to backfire.
If stay at home moms have TOO MUCH structure, we are actually creating MORE opportunities for things to “go wrong.”
The truth is, you have a family. And families come with this baseline level of chaos, right? So don’t plan all of the hours out.
Instead, know the flow of your day:
- Wake up & bed times
- Eating times
- Nap times
- Cranky times, etc.
If you know when these are generally, you can fit day-to-day errands and fun around them:
- Outside time
- Independent play
- Dance parties
- Running errands
- Visiting family & playdates, etc.
Here are 30 stay at home mom routines, plus some great tips to help set up your own schedule helpful & fun daily routine.
My favorite way to structure my day is with a Block Schedule:
If you want a block schedule template, grab it here:
Make Some Dates With Your Mom Friends
Sometimes it’s just nice to talk to mom friends who are going through similar situations as us.
If you are including the kids, you can:
- have playdates at one of your homes
- meet at a park or field
- meet for lunch
- go for a nature walk, on a trail or at an outdoor museum
As a bonus, your kids are socializing, too!
If you are making plans with mom friends, without the kids:
- meet for a meal, drinks or coffee
- go to a local museum
- make a spa date or mani-pedi
- check out a paint bar or ceramic studio
I know with super-young children it’s hard to even hold a convo for five minutes with someone, because you have to keep your focus on the kids. In that case sometimes it’s better to go on a walk with strollers to get some fresh air and have space to talk while the kids are restrained lol.
Go Ahead & Scroll Your Social Media
We all need a quick break sometimes, you won’t get any judgment from me on this.
We can’t, and shouldn’t, be “productive” 100% of every day. Especially as a stay at home mom who has to be alert at all times, our minds and bodies can pay the price.
That’s why it’s perfectly okay to take time for some non-brain-using, social media scrolling during your day! If your kids are quite young, feel free to make sure they are somewhere secure, close to the floor, and without any choking or suffocation hazards.
Create Pockets of Independent Play Time For Your Kids
In my experience, my kids were far more likely to play quietly or sit for a movie if they did something active right before that, so I suggest scheduling independent play time right after a park run or a massive dance party.
Here are some independent play ideas:
- Netflix and Disney+ have kid-friendly animal documentaries
- Put them inside a big cardboard box with some crayons and washable markers
- Magnets on the fridge or on a whiteboard
- Blocks and other toys that don’t have an ”end” to the game
Take Care of Some Household Chores Throughout The Day
My favorite way to clean the house is to tackle one room each day. Now, I don’t mean move the furniture and scrub the walls….
I mean tidy, dust/wipe, and vacuum/mop. That’s it.
For tidying, when my kids were smaller, I used to either race to see how many toys (or whatever was on the floor) each of us could put away, or I would count out loud each toy as I was putting it away, and they would catch on.
For dust/wiping, we use either a damp microfiber cloth, or a dry one with some cleaning spray. We wipe all of the surfaces, plus any remotes, doorknobs and light fixtures. It’s very quick to work around the room.
Vacuuming/moping we do without moving any furniture unless it’s absolutely necessary.
If you get the kids and partner to do it with you, each person gets a job and the room is done in like 7 minutes. If you do it yourself, it’ll take about 10-15 minutes tops.
A great way to keep up with any other weekly household chores you have is to make a list of them, and whenever you have 1-3 minutes and are in that particular room, you can get it over with quickly.
- Wiping inside and under the toaster oven for crumbs
- Spray & wipe the bathroom mirror, or the faucet or cabinet knobs
- Start up the robot vacuum
- Sweep the front or back porch & stairs
- Wipe down one shelf in the fridge
- Start one load of laundry
One pro tip I have is to keep a set of cleaning supplies on every floor, and even in each bathroom. Remembering to wipe the bathroom sink and then realizing the spray bottle is downstairs, is the absolute WORST.
Teach Age-Appropriate Household Tasks to The Kids
Speaking of chores….
I am a firm believer in the idea that everyone lives here, and everyone helps out. Some kids need a reward system and I’m totally supportive of that and do it with my own kids, I just don’t love that cleaning your space is tied to earning money.
Teaching kids the proper way to clean different areas of the house is a necessary life skill. Not to mention when they’re living out in the world you’ll have plenty of other things to worry about. Spreading germs in the bathroom or kitchen, or them breathing in months of dust, isn’t going to be one of them.
You can try a chore chart with age appropriate household tasks sprinkled in.
Or, if you want something less structured, I LOVE chore sticks. It’s kind of fun for everyone (the parents too) to grab a stick and then scatter to each do their chore.
I also taught my kids how to do their own laundry by putting stickies next to the buttons:
Earn Some Extra Money With a Side Hustle
Do you have something you love to do or make or help with? You can turn pretty much any hobby into a side hustle now, thanks to the internet.
Etsy is the perfect example of using a hobby to make money. There are thousands of crazy things being sold there, from jewelry to digital stickers to clothes to specialty slime, you name it.
I guarantee there is a category there for whatever hobby you have.
No matter your financial situation, having a side hustle is a great addition to your stay at home mom day.
Hire Child Care, or Home Care
If you regularly feel like you are drowning and there is just too much to do and not enough time, then it is time to sit down and budget in some extra help.
Go into your local facebook mommies group and ask for sitter, mother’s helper, and housekeeper recommendations.
Personally before the kids were in school, I had someone come in every other week to dust and clean the floors. Even just that bi-monthly help was a huge time saver and helped ease the stress that comes with wanting to be on top of everything as a stay at home parent.
Now that the kids are in school and we have a good cleaning schedule, I sometimes hire a cleaning service like maids.com to come in for things I can’t normally get to. Things like wipe the floorboards, and I’ll have the furniture moved so they clean behind it, and they’ll clean inside the fridge and oven.
Work On Your Child’s Milestones
Call your pediatrician, they usually have a list of developmental milestones they can email to you.
Each day, spend a little time specifically on those milestones. For example, if crawling is a milestone, you can move yourself away a few inches at a time with a favorite toy, or make a tunnel with toys inside they can move through.
If the kids are older and socializing is a milestone, you can set an example by being obvious with your words and actions with the other people & kids in your house, or set up playdates with friends or cousins more regularly.
Use Screen Time Strategically In Your Day
I want to say that TV, computers, iPads and other screen time activities are awesome, I have no problem with them. Sesame street, Blues Clues, Odd Squad and Wild Kratts were regulars in our house.
The key is to regulate WHAT they are watching/playing. For example, I had only apps like Endless Alphabet or quirky math apps, not mindless games with inappropriate ads.
I don’t really believe in hard screen time limits. However, I DO believe in putting the screens away, like in a cabinet, when we are done so they aren’t laying out as bait. If screens are always available, then kids will choose them more often.
Screen time is also something we can lean on during tough times when we are overwhelmed and need a break. It’s a great tool to have in the home, as long as we know exactly what they are watching and doing.
Have a System For Your Laundry
Oh, laundry. Either the piles never end, or we all regularly run out of clothes for some reason.
This is one of my best tips for laundry….The number one thing to do is to make sure everyone has enough clothes to last however often you want to do the laundry. For example, if you want clean clothes once a week, then everybody needs to have at least 7 pairs of socks & seven pants, right?
Once that’s settled, I love to put a load of laundry in at night on a delay timer, so the actual cycle starts an hour before we wake up. Then, in the morning I just switch the clothes to the dryer and start my second load of the day.
Things To Do as a Stay at Home Mom
We covered a lot of tips to upgrade your day as a stay at home mom. I hope you find some great ideas to incorporate into your day!