My Real Life Stay At Home Mom Schedule with a Toddler and a Newborn
Are you a stay at home mom who wonders how other stay at home moms manage their day? I am too!
I’m mostly curious to see if there’s anything I can learn from other moms to help my day go a little smoother because, let’s be honest, the days can feel REALLY long sometimes. Most days end with me counting down the minutes until my husband gets home.
However, there are good days too! Days that go better than others and I’ve found that those are the days where we all stay busy and remember to be flexible.
Right now is tough because there’s a newborn involved and some days, she runs the show. However, I’ve still found that if I follow somewhat of a routine, it helps all of us.
Here’s a peek into my day and how I manage a three month old baby and a three year old (without going too crazy):
5:00am – Wake up time!
Now, this wouldn’t be so early if I didn’t have the baby but typically she is waking up around 5:00am for a feeding. After feeding her and playing with her for a bit, she’ll fall back asleep.
6:00-6:30am – Coffee break and “me” time.
During this very short time that they’re both asleep, I always start with some coffee. Then, I either wash bottles from the nighttime feedings, clean up anything I left from the night before or just sit and watch TV by myself for a bit.
6:30am – Toddler is awake!
We usually sit on the couch together and watch one of her favorite TV shows while she wakes up. During this time, my husband leaves for work.
7:30-8:15am – Breakfast is served.
Now, I say 7:30 very loosely. It’s really important to me to cook a healthy breakfast for my toddler which usually includes eggs and fruit, so I need some time to do this. Therefore, the time I start making breakfast really depends on if the baby is still sleeping. She usually sleeps until about 7:30, so I start cooking anywhere between 7:00 and 7:30 because I like to get that done before she’s awake (if possible). My toddler then takes about half an hour to eat.
8:15-10:30am – Feeding and awake time for baby and free play time for toddler.
By now, the baby’s usually awake and it’s feeding time. She will typically stay awake for about an hour. When she’s awake, I try to dedicate this time to her. We play together and I always talk to her as much as possible.
While I’m busy with the baby, my toddler entertains herself with either toys or an activity I set up, such as painting or Play-Doh. This part of the morning is independent play for her. On some days, this is when we’ll head to the park but honestly, that’s been happening much less since the baby was born. At the very least, I try really hard to keep her off her iPad and away from any kind of screen. (Check out my post, Five Educational Toys that Keep My Toddler Busy, to see what our favorite free play toys and activities are.)
10:30-11:00am – Snack time and preparing toddler for nap.
This is when I try REALLY hard to get my baby and toddler to take a nap at the same time. Honestly though, that only happens about 25% of the time but hey, a mom can try right? 😊
What realistically happens is that the baby usually falls asleep around 10:00/10:30. As she’s falling asleep, my toddler has a snack. Then, she’s off for her nap around 11:00am.
11:00-1:00pm – Nap time for toddler (and maybe the baby on a really good day).
Most days, though, the baby is awake during some of this time. When she’s awake, we do the normal feed and play time. When she isn’t awake, I usually take this time to make myself lunch and clean up from the morning.
1:00pm-1:30pm – Lunch time for my toddler.
My oldest wakes up anywhere between 12:30 and 1:00. Once she’s awake, I make her lunch. If the baby is awake, I put her down in the swing to get this done. (If there’s one item I can’t live without for my baby, it’s her swing. She loves it just as much as I do. I love that it has a mobile, some music and a mirror to entertain her safely while I step away.)
1:30-3:30/4:00pm – Get my toddler outside! Free play time again for toddler while newborn takes a long nap.
The baby has been taking a longer afternoon nap which gives me some time to focus on my toddler. This is where we try to get outside! She loves being outdoors and has the best imagination. You really don’t need a fancy playground or a bunch of outdoor toys. My daughter can entertain herself for quite a long time with just some chalk and bubbles.
Here’s where I also do some activities with her that require my involvement. My daughter has been eager to learn how to write her letters and numbers, so this is the time I try to do some more educational (early preschool) activities with her.
4:00-5:00pm – Screen time for toddler while baby is awake.
I know most parents are against screen time and I would LOVE to be able to keep my kids away from the TV or iPads too, but that’s just not realistic for me. Plus, I’ve found that there’s a lot of educational TV shows and apps for the iPad that really do help teach my toddler different skills. (Check out this post to find out our favorite apps for toddler.)
During this time, my toddler’s allowed to either watch TV or play games on her iPad while I take care of the baby and also start preparing dinner.
5:00-5:30pm – Dinner time for toddler and baby is usually still awake.
While my toddler eats, I try and finish making dinner for my husband and I. Unfortunately, we don’t all eat together since my husband gets home really late most days. I’m working really hard on changing this though, because I think there’s a lot of good that comes from eating together. For now though, my daughter eats before we do.
6:00-7:00pm – Bath time.
During this time, I try and give my toddler a bath. If I’ve finished making dinner, then I spend some time playing with both the baby and my toddler until my husband comes home, which is usually close to 7:00pm.
7:00-7:30pm – Toddler and baby (if awake) spend time with Daddy while I use this time to clean up the kitchen and the rest of the house.
7:30-8:00pm – Bedtime routine for toddler with Daddy while I take a shower.
My husband is in charge of putting my toddler to bed. This has been great because it gives them some much needed quality time together since he’s gone most of the day. He helps her brush her teeth, they read some books and he puts her to bed.
While he does this, I usually take a shower. If the baby is awake, I will stay with her until my husband can take over watching her. I used to hate taking showers at night and would still much rather shower in the morning, but I’ve found that it’s easier for me to get it done while my husband’s home. It also takes less time for me to get ready in the morning doing it this way.
After 8:00pm, we finally get some alone time! We’re both usually exhausted by this time, so we watch a little TV together and then we’re in bed by 10:00pm.
That’s a typical day for me! However, as much as it looks like I have a set routine, there are lots of things can throw this off. For example, some days, the baby just doesn’t want to sleep at all. These are the days that really test my patience. I feel torn all day between the baby and my toddler and also can’t stay on top of my work, cleaning up or cooking. On those days, though, I try to remind myself that I will get through it because I always do.
How about you? What does your day look like?