Inside: Today I’m sharing my stay-at-home mom morning routine (step-by-step). From how I find time to get myself ready, to managing 3 kids and their different schedules, and everything in between. Let’s get started!
Have you ever wondered what you should be doing as a stay at home mom?
Most jobs come with some kind of training or handbook, but when you become a stay at home mom, there’s nothing of the sort.
It’s not like there’s a supervisor to walk you through a step-by-step program and explain how to navigate this new job. Everything is learned through trial, error, and practice.
So today I’m going to walk you step-by-step through how to set up a morning routine as a stay at home mom (of school-aged kids and/or the baby or toddler stage).
After reading this post you’ll have an actionable plan to get started with and after implementing it, will notice a huge difference in your day to day life as a stay at home mom.
But first, if we haven’t “met” on IG, Hi! I’m Marla. I’m a SAHM to 3 little girls + a Cavalier King Charles. I teach a self-paced course called the Ultimate Stay at Home Mom Course that will help you take your stay at home mom life from absolute chaos to total control.
Inside the course you’ll learn exactly how to create a daily routine that allows you to operate your home with ease.
Once enrolled you can request to join our private Facebook group where you can ask questions, participate in challenges and learn from other like-minded moms.
Learn more or enroll here.
How do stay-at-home moms schedule the day?
When it comes to planning out your day, it makes sense to start with the morning and move forward from there.
Unsurprisingly, your morning routine sets the tone, and what happens in those first few hours can have a huge impact on the success of the rest of your day.
When scheduling your day, it’s helpful to think in terms of 4 blocks:
- Early Morning
- Late Morning
For our purposes today, we’re going to focus on the morning, and what can be accomplished during that block.
Using a Planner
It’s great to have an idea in your head of what your morning routine will look like, but at first, it’s even better to have it written out.
Rather than using an app or Google calendar, I prefer to use a paper planner that I keep open on my kitchen counter.
- Using a planner can help you keep track of the various tasks that need to be accomplished each day.
- When getting started with a new routine, it’s incredibly helpful to list out each step.
- By using an actual planner you’re limiting all the distractions from your phone. It’s also easier to see your full day, week, or month planned out without having to toggle each day on an app.
Our Ultimate Stay at Home Mom Course covers how to set up and use a planner to manage all of your home systems.
My current favorite planner is the Vertical Weekly Planner from Ivory Paper Co.
Here’s what your morning routine steps might look like written out:
-Put in contacts / get dressed in workout clothes
-Finish packing lunches / make coffee
-Do 20 minute Youtube workout
You are way more likely to follow through on a new morning routine if you start out by writing it down, then practice it every day, and eventually those steps turn into a habit.
I’ve been a stay at home mom for 8 years, and during this time I’ve had a variety of morning routines for myself and my kids, each one unique to my current stage of life.
Sometimes when navigating a new phase, such as my oldest starting school or adding a new baby, I’ve learned that in order to conquer the mental gymnastics, I simply need to write down an order of events, and practice it every day until it becomes a routine.
Related: My Stay at Home Mom Daily Schedule
What time should a stay at home mom wake up?
The “should” factor here will be very individualized based on the ages of your kids and their schedules.
For example: if you’re in the newborn stage, you’re basically on their time (and often recovering!), so there should not be any waking up early with an alarm on purpose 🙂
However, once their sleep is more established, you may find it easier to wake up earlier to have time to get yourself ready.
While scrolling Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen it all when it comes to morning routines.
Moms who wake up at 5 AM and get a bunch of stuff done, moms who wake up a few minutes earlier to make a quick coffee, and even moms who stay in bed and wait for their kids to find them (me on the weekends).
You can certainly model your morning routine based on what others are doing, however, it’s important to remember that what works for one mom, might not work for another.
- Let’s say you’ve realized that you absolutely need to wake up earlier in order to have a smoother morning, so you start trying to wake up at 5 AM like you’ve seen others do. Except now you’re exhausted from waking up, and you’re finding yourself groggy and snapping at the kids.
- It would appear that waking up earlier isn’t helping anyone. What might work better is teaching the kids to stay in their rooms longer, and waking up 30 minutes earlier, just to get yourself ready to go for the day.
You can read how I taught my kids to stay in their rooms until 7 AM:
Although no one ever wants to hear this: waking up before your kids is often the missing piece to the morning puzzle.
That being said, no matter what time you wake up, we can find a way to structure your morning routine.
- Use a notebook/planner
- Write down the steps of your morning routine
- Plan to wake up (a little) earlier than your kids
Related: 7 Ways to Make Being a SAHM Easier
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My Stay at Home Mom Morning Routine
Here I’m going to share with you my exact morning routine. This is something that has evolved over the years and has changed each time we’ve added a new baby, and especially once my big kids started school. I hope this routine can inspire you to create a plan of your own that works for you. The times given below are to help give you an idea of how much time is spent on each task.
6:00 AM – Wake up
I wake up every morning with an alarm at 6 AM. My two oldest girls are in elementary school so I need to be up to get them ready for school. Even when they were toddlers, I still woke up at 6 AM to have time to get myself ready for the day.
- Put in contacts
- Do skincare (usually moisturizer and under eye gel)
- Get dressed in workout clothes
- Finish packing lunches (grab my make-ahead lunch guide, here)
6:30 AM – Get Kids Ready
The big girls wake up at 6:30 to start getting ready for school. We always pick out their outfits the night before so there is less to do in the morning.
- Girls get dressed and put on their shoes
- Husband empties dishwasher from the night before and starts their breakfast
- I get their backpacks ready, fill up their water bottles, and put their Bento boxes in an insulated lunchbox with an ice pack
- After breakfast they brush their teeth and then I do their hair
7:15 AM – Husband Leaves for Work & Kids Leave for School
Depending on how well she slept the night before, my 21 month old is typically awake anywhere between 6:45 AM – 8 AM. It’s always easier if she sleeps in so I can get the big girls ready first. While my toddler is still sleeping I check my planner for the day, load up the dishwasher from breakfast and put away the laundry that was washed the night before.
Read: My Daily Laundry Routine
- Load the dishwasher / put away laundry
- Do quick 20 minute workout (I do the Tone it Up videos on YouTube)
- Make coffee and start breakfast
8 AM – Toddler Wakes Up & Breakfast
My big girls eat breakfast early before they leave for school but I like to wait and eat with my toddler since I also don’t like to eat before working out.
- Breakfast and book basket
- Clean up
- Walk dog
- Get toddler dressed
- Shower & get myself ready for the day
My toddler likes to play in the bathroom while I get myself ready. Over the years I’ve learned to prioritize putting myself together, even as a stay at home mom. It’s not about trying to impress anyone, it’s about taking pride in your job as a SAHM and saying to yourself “I matter, and I deserve to look good and feel good.” Trust me, it makes a big difference!
As my 21 month old gets older I’ll incorporate more focused activities into our morning routine, but for now, she loves to sit and look through a basket of books or just play, which is right on track for her age. You can learn how I did preschool at home with my first two girls, here.
By the time I’m done getting us both ready it’s usually around 9 AM and we’re ready to start the rest of our day. Sometimes that means running errands or doing a mommy & me class or just playing at home. Whatever the day holds I’m always glad that I got my workout in and got myself dressed!
Creating Your Morning Routine
Consider 3-5 variables that could have the greatest impact on your day. We all have different priorities in our homes, so this really depends on what would have the greatest impact for you.
They could be:
- Making the beds
- Time for prayer / devotionals
- Folding laundry
- Doing yoga
- Responding to emails
- Doing your hair/makeup
Often it takes a little bit of a mindset shift to remember that being a stay at home mom is a job, and jobs require structure, professionalism and commitment. Taking time for yourself is not frivolous. Staying on top of the household tasks is not meaningless.
You are running a home, and it is no small feat. The only way to make it work is by following a daily routine and showing up for yourself every morning.
As parents there are so many things out of our control. We can’t control what time the kids wake up, or if they get sick at school, or what the weather will be like that day (too cold or rainy to go out). However, we can control what we do with our mornings, and how we choose to spend that time.
After implementing a morning routine for yourself you’ll notice a huge difference in how the rest of your day flows. From there it’s easy to structure the next block and to get into a predictable flow for your entire day.
What’s your current morning routine like?
What to Read Next:
- Nightly Reset Routine for SAHMs
- How to Manage a Baby & Toddler as SAHM
- Simple Home Management Systems for Moms
- My Stay at Home Mom Daily Schedule
- How to Afford to be a SAHM on One Income