These productivity hacks for stay at home moms will help you be successful at finding balance which will make you a happier and more fulfilled stay at home mom.
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My 15-month-old daughter is a total morning person just like me, but today she woke up screaming bloody murder.
On a typical morning, she’ll wake up and clap or talk to herself in her crib until I notice she’s awake.
But not today.
When I heard her crying I sprinted into her room and snatched her out of her crib to do a complete head to toe assessment like a typical mom who’s also a nurse.
I quickly realized why she was screaming to the high heavens.
She was soaked in urine from her abdomen down to her feet.
Usually, her diaper is barely wet, but today it was bursting at the seams.
I got her all cleaned up and threw her clothes in the washer around 8am.
I make sure to start her laundry early in the morning because I get distracted and forget to finish the laundry.
This is something I’ve learned about myself which helps me plan my tasks in a way that’ll increase my productivity.
Give these productivity hacks a try so you can maximize your day as well.
1. Wake up earlier
I love my sleep just as much as the next mom, but you know what I’ve realized?
The longer I sleep, the more tired I am.
Call me what you want but I love waking up at 5 am.
To be honest, this is my favorite part of the day.
My daughter doesn’t wake up until 7:30 so I get over 2 hours of quiet time before chaos ensues.
Without this time alone, I’m not a fun mom and I don’t get anything done.
And before you say, “I’m not a morning person,” try waking up 15 minutes earlier for a week and see how you feel.
Did I mention that I don’t even get out of bed sometimes?
Some days I lie in bed watching Netflix or listening to podcasts.
Having that time alone in the morning is crucial for my mood and productivity.
2. Block your time
If you haven’t heard about time blocking you’ll want to read exactly how I do it HERE.
The cliff notes version is that you create blocks of time for yourself to accomplish a specific task or group of similar tasks.
Ta-dah! Super simple, I know.
It’s so effective because you:
- Have a set time to get something done
- Know exactly what needs to be done
- Work more efficiently
Try it out and see how much your productivity skyrockets.
3. Batch similar tasks
Task batching is similar to time blocking minus the time blocks.
With task batching you complete a group of similar tasks that require similar resources.
Here’s the true story of how I began task batching.
I would pick up one room then vacuum, pick up the next room then vacuum again.
Cleaning was an all day event and I wasn’t even doing a deep clean.
Then I had a lightbulb moment.
“Why don’t you pick up all the clutter in the rooms and then go back and vacuum all the rooms?”
And that’s when I started task batching.
Now I task batch meal planning, cleaning, and shopping on Amazon (does that count?).
If you’re interested in trying this method you’re in luck! I’ve got a quick start guide to task batching HERE.
4. Create simple routines
If you’re a fan of YouTube you may have noticed videos like “morning routine with a newborn” or “my daily cleaning routine.”
Let’s be real, some of those videos are highly edited and over the top.
When you already don’t have the motivation to clean, you sit there and debate with yourself the pros and cons.
Pro: I’ll have a clean house that smells amazing.
Con: I’ll have to get off the couch and I may even start sweating and get out of breath.
Pro: I can listen to that new song by Taylor Swift and dance while I clean!
Let’s skip all of that debating and keep your routine simple AF.
At night put the dishes in the dishwasher, clean the countertops, and spot mop the floor if it needs it.
Wham bam thank you ma’am!
If you create this elaborate routine chances are you won’t stick to it. Start small and build your way up.
5. Wear your baby
When my daughter was a newborn our dishes rarely got washed.
I felt like a crappy wife at the time, but now I realize the insane amount of pressure I was putting on myself to have this spotless house since I was a stay at home mom.
Babywearing was a game changer!
I was finally able to get things done and my daughter still felt safe and secure next to me.
To find out my other tricks for getting things done with a newborn CLICK HERE.
6. Naptime challenge
A nap time challenge is when you choose a task and get as much done as possible before your child wakes up.
It’s so fun because it’s like you’re racing against the clock except that clock is a tiny human.
Try it out next nap time and get your adrenaline pumping.
7. Hire some help
Let me say this loud and clear for the people in the nosebleeds section, there’s nothing wrong with a stay at home mom having help whether it’s with childcare, cleaning, or whatever else she needs help with.
My friend recently started her 10 month old daughter in a mother’s day out program once a week and she felt so guilty.
“I’m so overwhelmed. I just need a few hours a week alone. Does that make me a terrible mom?”
To be honest, not having a break is what makes us grumpy moms.
Being a stay at home mom doesn’t mean you have to do everything.
Hire a babysitter. Hire a maid.
If you can afford it and it’ll improve your mental health, there’s no shame in that!
Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now.
8. Keep up with the laundry
Arghh the dreaded L word!
Doing laundry is equivalent to getting your nails painted and you smear the polish on your steering wheel when you get in the car.
Now you have a major decision to make.
Go back to the nail salon to get it fixed or say “whatever” and meet your bestie for lunch?
These laundry hacks are exactly what you need to keep your laundry the size of a small mound and not a mountain.
9. Know your productive times
Have you ever met a person who wakes up with so much energy and they don’t even drink coffee (besides your toddler)?
That’s me. I’m that person.
I’ve figured out that I’m most productive as soon as I wake up.
This is when I schedule most of my important tasks for the day.
As much as I would like to get things done after my daughter goes to bed, I know it ain’t happening!
10. Get dressed every day
“When you look good you feel good.” This is true on so many levels.
For the first 6 weeks of my daughter’s life, I spent a majority of that time sitting on the couch rocking her and crying.
Postpartum hormones are no joke!
But the way I was living wasn’t helping me to overcome these emotions.
I was the mom who was terrified of taking her newborn out in public.
It was an oddly warm and sunny winter. The sun was peering through the blinds, bouncing off our hardwood floors and lighting up the entire living room.
And with all this beautiful weather I was sitting on the couch. Crying.
So, get up, get dressed, and get out of the house.
Walk around the neighborhood. Go to Target (aka Heaven for SAHMs). Do anything that gets you some fresh air.
11. Plan your meals
A time-saving hack every mom should be doing is meal planning.
Sometimes my husband asks me what’s for dinner before he even says good morning.
This question is less annoying with meal planning because I actually know what’s for dinner.
And I know that whatever I’m cooking will be a quick meal because those are my favorite types of meals to cook.
Just because I’m a stay at home mom doesn’t mean I’m in the kitchen cooking gourmet meals every night!
If you’re not meal planning, this post HERE will help you get started.
12. Prepare for the week
On Friday or Sunday, I sit down at the kitchen table and go over our schedule for the upcoming week.
We don’t usually have much of anything going on so it takes me less than 30 minutes to plan our week.
But I love time blocking stuff like organizing the pantry or braiding my hair because if I don’t have it on the schedule I won’t do it.
Set aside one day each week to create a rough schedule of what your upcoming week has in store for you.
13. Prepare the night before
In the evening I think about what I want to get done in the morning and I go ahead and prepare everything.
I’ve been trying to work out at 5am so I sit out my workout clothes so I can’t use the excuse of “I have nothing to wear” as a way to stay in bed.
Whatever you can prepare the night before to make your morning simple, get it ready!
Oh, and here’s a few morning routine ideas for you.
14. Limit screen time
Are you guilty of this because I know I am?
Since I’m a meal planner I love trying new recipes. Most of the time I search for them on Pinterest.
I’m scrolling through Pinterest snacking on my plant-based cheese crackers and then I see this cute and casual “mom outfit.”
I love those shoes!
Not even joking, 35 minutes later I realize I’m on Amazon reading through 3,679 shoe reviews and my box of plant-based cheese crackers are 75% gone.
How does this always happen?
Our screens are engineered to be addictive.
Set app limits on your devices and have designated tv time.
15. Have quality time alone
As crappy as it sounds, have you ever been frustrated that your kitchen looks disgusting but you can’t even clean it cause your toddler keeps following you around crying but she won’t go to sleep?
I’ve been there and it’s not a good feeling.
This is the point when you need a break to refill your tank.
Ask someone to give you a break so you can get back into the right headspace.
Being a mom gets overwhelming.
Taking time for yourself doesn’t make you selfish.
It makes you a happier and better mom.
16. Keep your schedule flexible
Having a rough outline of how you want your day to look is an amazing productivity hack.
But trying to stick to a strict schedule is a recipe for disaster.
Plan your day knowing that it may not go as planned and that’s okay.
Be flexible and have a plan B in your hat full of mom tricks.
17. Be organized
My husband always laughs at me because he says I’m the most organized person he’s ever met.
And I still think everything is chaotic so he’s in for an organized surprise!
When I’m holding my daughter in one arm, her diaper bag backpack is falling off my shoulder and I’m running around looking for the keys which should be on the table, my mood shifts.
And not in a good way.
Everything in your home needs its own home so you’re not always looking for things.
Being organized makes life simpler.
18. Start saying “no”
Are you a people pleaser?
If you’re not sure, take this free personality quiz to learn a little more about yourself.
I was a people pleaser until I realized that every time I said yes to someone else I was putting my own wants and needs on the back burner.
When my friend would ask me to lunch at the same time I was planning to finger paint with my daughter I have to decide which one is the priority at that moment.
If I say yes to my friend I’m saying no to my toddler.
And vice versa.
When you’re saying “yes” to other people also think of who you’re saying “no” to.
As expected, I forgot my daughter’s clothes were in the washer so I didn’t put them in the dryer until around 6pm.
She starts getting sleepy a couple of hours later so I go to the dryer to get her bedtime clothes.
As soon as I walk into the laundry room it hits me.
I put the clothes in the dryer, pushed the settings I wanted, but never pushed start!
At this point I could’ve cried or told myself that I’m an idiot or whatever negative talk us humans tell ourselves when we make simple mistakes. But I didn’t.
Being a stay at home mom means going with the flow and not fighting against it.
Put your big girl panties on and push through the mishaps and difficult times!