A Summer Schedule for Stay-at-Home Moms

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I’ve received some requests from readers for my summer daily schedule. Right now I’m doing a very poor job of following it, but when I’m feeling well, this is the plan I try to follow:

7:00 AM: Up. Change and dress Cakes. Bee dresses herself. Make breakfast for girls.

7:45 AM: Get dressed. Everyone gets hair and teeth brushed.

8:15 AM: Eat breakfast. Write blog post for the day. Check e-mails and comments. Girls – TV time (1 hour)

9:15 AM: Plan supper menu. Get food out of freezer to defrost, or start meal in slow cooker. Girls-room chores (make beds, pick up toys. Cakes makes a very half-hearted attempt at this, but at least she tries).

10:00 AM: Start one load of laundry. Girls-outside play (they play outside in the morning, because our backyard is blistering hot in the afternoon).

10:15 AM: Daily cleaning chores and lunch prep.

11:30 AM: Eat. Lunch clean-up.

12:15 PM: Cakesie-nap routine (rock, read books)

12:30 PM: Cakesie-nap. Bee-quiet reading time. Bible study and quiet time with God.

1:00 PM: Walk on treadmill 20 minutes. 10 minutes of weights. (Ha ha ha ha. Yeah right. This almost never happens).

1:30 PM: Shower and rest.

2:00 PM: Fold and put away clean laundry. Play time with girls (this is when we schedule outings like the park, pool or library).

4:00 PM: Girls- snack and free play. Supper prep.

5:15 PM: Eat supper (we eat early because Cakesie goes to bed by 7:30 PM)

5:45 PM: Supper clean-up.

6:15 PM: Cakesie bath, pajamas & teeth brushing

7:00 PM: Cakesie-bedtime routine (rock, read books, prayers). Bee-daily chores (tidy bedroom and playroom, put away any toys in living room).

7:15 PM: Cakesie in bed. Bee-free play time (usually outside).

8:00 PM: Bee-shower and bedtime routine (read, prayers, snuggle and tuck in).

8:30 PM: Bee in bed. Straighten up.

9:00 PM: Time with my husband (snuggle on couch, watch TV or movie, talk).

10:30 PM: Bedtime routine (wash and moisturize face, brush teeth and hair, floss, change into PJs). Read.

11:00 PM: Lights out.

Remember (this is important!) – I don’t follow my schedule to the minute, and neither should you. If you attempt to do this, you will drive yourself completely crazy with frustration! Instead, look at your schedule as a guide, a rough outline of how you’d like your day to go. Remember that you can’t predict what’s going to happen every day, especially with young kids. If there are days when your schedule goes out the window, that’s OK. Time management requires flexibility, and the important thing is to just try your best to get back on track the next day. Don’t beat yourself up!

A reader e-mailed me to ask, “How do you stay motivated to keep going. I get tired after a while and look around at all the things that still need to be done.

I’m going to be honest. Sometimes I don’t stay motivated. Sometimes I’m tired, or ill, or overwhelmed, or the kids are being little you-know-whats. I have days where I accomplish very little, and days when I accomplish a lot. I think we all do. I always tell people, especially if they are facing a huge mess, or a major amount of clutter to sort through, to just start. Start somewhere. Just do something, even if it’s something very small, like cleaning out one drawer. Often this leads to more and more things, but if it doesn’t, that’s OK too. When my husband and I were trying to purge and organize 20 years of clutter in his storage garages, he would often get overwhelmed and exhausted. When he did, I encouraged him to keep going, but I didn’t push him if he really wanted to quit for the day. I knew that if I did, he would get discouraged and give up.

Sometimes, if my house is really messy, I’ll just start in one room, which I divide into sections. I tell myself that I’ll just clean this one little section really well, and if I get tired, I’ll quit. I usually find that once I get going, I want to keep going, but if I don’t, then I quit for awhile and start again later. If you’re facing major mess recovery, and you’re feeling worn out and need a break, then by all means take one. Tomorrow is another day, and eventually it will get done. It might take 7 years, like it did for us, but if you keeping chipping away at it, I promise it will get done. And what a great feeling that will be!

Now, I’m going to make a confession. Sometimes, when I’m feeling really unmotivated to clean, I look at the pictures on this web site. Please understand, squalor like this is often the result of severe depression or other mental illness, and I’m in no way trying to make light of that. I just find that the fear of my house falling into a complete shambles is a pretty good motivator for me to get up off my butt and get cleaning!

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Heather is a minimalist in love with a recovering packrat. 7 years ago, she and her husband sold pretty much anything that wasn't nailed down in order to pay off their mortgage, and they've been living happily debt-free ever since. They have 3 hilarious little kids who were conceived with the help of in vitro fertilization, and they haven't had a good night's sleep in the last decade. Heather is an anglophile who loves all things British, and spends her free time looking at real estate listings in Cornwall. Every day, she and her family work toward a simpler, more meaningful life. Some days are awesome, some are disastrous, and you can read about all of them here.

Have a question? Need a listening ear? Contact Heather, or visit Want What You Have on Facebook.

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2 comments… add one

  1. Sasha April 29, 2012, 1:32 pm

    How has your summer schedule change now the kids are bigger?

    Reply
  2. Nadine June 23, 2013, 2:50 pm

    I found your blog the other day. Thank you for this schedule for the summer. My 3 kids have been out of school for two weeks and we have had no set schedule. This has caused frustration for all of us. Today I have been following your schedule and it’s been working out well. If you have time, we would love to find out your current summer schedule. Thanks!

    Reply

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