Love your days with this stay at home mom morning routine, plus get a free SAHM daily schedule template inside to help you build your own powerful routine.
I had this completely crazy moment this morning. It was 8 am. I was sitting drinking (still hot) coffee, doing my best dramatic presentation of Green Eggs and Ham for my 3 year old.
The house was picked up.
There were no dishes in my sink.
The counters gleamed as the morning sun swept across the kitchen. The dryer hummed cheerfully in the background.
Had I just been transported into some other life with daily maid service?
I had just completed my morning routine. It is a simple morning routine that has completely transformed the vibe of my household, and most significantly, my stress level so I can enjoy the blessing of being a stay at home mom.
And it all started with making the bed.
First though, for you to fully appreciate the transformation, you should know that for the previous three years, things around my home were not looking so good.
Not only were dishes and laundry constantly piled and breakfast crumbs were still scattered across the table by lunchtime, but things inside my head weren’t looking good either.
I was constantly berating myself, “You’re a smart, hard-working person, how can you be so horrible at homemaking? Why can’t you even manage to get the simplest things done?”
I stressed all the time that I couldn’t manage both a home and a work at home job. There didn’t ever seem to be enough time or energy in a day, and that didn’t make for a very happy mommy.
Now, maybe it’s just that I’ve hit my 10,000 hours, and now I suddenly rock at this homemaking thing.
Then again, probably not.
I have to attribute this fantastic change with my new morning routine and I just couldn’t wait to share it with you, in case this is something you’ve been struggling with too.
How to Build Your Stay at Home Mom Morning Routine
My inspiration for creating a morning routine comes from a combination of the writings of some of my favorite bloggers and authors, but I finally decided to jump on this morning routine bandwagon while reading Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Money Saving Mom’s Crystal Paine. (affiliate link)
Here’s what I’ve learned. Those basic homemaking tasks that I’ve struggled to complete really are simple, but they’re never going to get done unless I have a plan.
Luckily, making a morning routine is simple, too.
1. Pick about 5 tasks you want to do every single morning
These could be anything from working out to praying to getting out of your PJs. You get to choose what’s most important to you.
The key is keeping it extremely simple, so you can realistically complete it on almost any morning, no matter what craziness is going on with your family. For the most part, pick things that you struggle to get done consistently.
Here are some examples:
- Make your bed
- Start a load of laundry
- Unload the dishwasher
- Write down one gratitude
- Track yesterday’s spending
- Get dressed
Pick the things that, if they were the only things that got done that day, it would still be a good day.
The first task of the day should be something very easy to achieve. When you enjoy that little hit of success first thing in the morning, you’ll be motivated to complete your list.
2. Keep your list where you can see it
Otherwise, you’ll be stumbling through your routine every morning trying to remember what to do next and then getting distracted. (Ask me how I know, no wait, don’t.)
For a while, I kept a simple list on the side of my refrigerator. Later, I created a daily schedule and put it in a picture frame and used dry erase marker to write on it.
If you’d like to do the same, you can get your free SAHM Schedule Template here. I’ll explain more in a minute about how to use this checklist to help you stick to your new routine.
3. Build on an existing habit
While most of your routine should be made up of chores you don’t yet do easily, you should also include at least one thing that you do every day without fail.
You can use this existing habit as the foundation of your morning routine.
For instance, if you always brush your teeth in the morning, then you could use this as a trigger to remind to do 10 jumping jacks as soon as you’re done.
4. Give yourself a reward to establish the routine
In the end, we’re all still pigtail-wearing first graders who want to get our homework done and please the teacher.
We like checking things off our to-do lists, and the good news is these small rewards help you associate your routine with good feelings of success that make you want to keep doing it every morning.
If you put in the effort to stick to your system for a couple of weeks, it will become a habit that will happen almost without thinking, but including an incentive at the end of your morning routine will help cement the routine even faster. (I’ll show you how I do this in my morning routine below.)
That way, you can use our precious energy and will power for more important things like enjoying time with your children and tackling bigger projects like paying off debt.
For instance, one thing I recommend to my Budget Breakthrough students is to reward yourself for tracking your expenses by pairing it with your daily cup of coffee.
My Simple Stay at Home Mom Morning Routine
By now, I hope you’ve begun to formulate your new morning routine. Now I want to give you an example of how to implement the steps above to make your routine as quick and effective as possible.
Here’s what my morning routine looks like with a toddler and baby at home:
1. Wake up 6:20 am and make the bed
For years, 30 to be exact, making the bed seemed like a total waste of time to me. You’re just going to un-make it at the end of the day, right?
Despite my mom’s best efforts at teaching me this habit, I never appreciated the power it held.
Here’s what I finally discovered.
Making the bed sets the tone for a productive day. It looks so nice and tidy, so it builds momentum to move onto the next task and keep putting things in order. (Making the bed is also a good thing to do when your bed resides in the middle of your living room!)
As I mentioned above, it’s a great idea to kick off your morning routine with something incredibly easy to set the tone of success for the day and keep you moving forward.
2. Serve breakfast and wipe counters
My husband usually makes breakfast before he runs out the door which helps a ton! That way I only have to focus on feeding the kids and after-breakfast clean up.
3. Unload and load the dishwasher
Being debt-free rocks, but I never want to go back to life without a dishwasher. After 21 months without one, I almost enjoy the task of unloading and loading the dishwasher every day.
This routine has been great for my kids too. My 3 year old’s first chore is putting away the silverware while I unload the rest of the dishes.
4. Wash any other breakfast dishes
We eat eggs for breakfast every day, so the cast iron pan needs to be washed.
5. Get dressed and brush teeth
I know this seems extremely basic. However, if you have little ones, you know what a feat it can be to get this done.
When you stay at home, there’s nothing stopping you from staying in your pajamas all day. However, I’m finding that getting dressed early (or at all!) makes us ready to make the most of every day.
6. Switch the laundry
I make sure to keep the laundry train a-movin’ in the morning, so it’s ready to fold after I’m done working in the afternoon.
7. Make coffee
Of course, I’m definitely not the first to write about morning routines or the power of making the bed, but I haven’t seen anyone else who talks about putting ‘make coffee’ on their to-do list.
However, this step is important.
Having a reward to look forward to helps build the habit, and it’s a nice way to fit a tiny bit of self-care into an otherwise very busy day. Our brains literally get hooked on this kind of positive feedback (and no it isn’t just the caffeine).
I love how this habit has already started building on itself. Now the calm post-chores coffee time has become coffee time with God as I spend time reading my Bible or reading it to my kids. That is something I always thought I didn’t have time for before making my morning routine!
Read More: Our Kindergarten Homeschool Routine
What to Do When Keeping Up Seems Too Hard
Please know that I am sharing this with the utmost grace in whatever season you’re in right now. Our daily routine went smoothly when I had just a toddler at home, but as our family grew it became harder to keep up with everything.
Due to my POTS syndrome, there have been times when I could do little more than get out of bed in the morning. It was exhausting just to sit up and read my children a book.
So if you have a newborn at home or if you’re having personal struggles of any kind, please be extra kind to yourself as you make your morning routine.
That said, it is still so helpful to have these routines in place to keep us feeling positive and productive, even in the hard times. And it can give you an anchor when life seems chaotic.
If including five tasks feels like too many, then choose three, or even one.
Two morning routine mistakes moms should avoid
If you’ve tried a morning routine before but have struggled to stick to it, you might be falling into one of two common pitfalls.
The first is that you haven’t given it enough time
While the myth of ’21 days to make a habit’ has been debunked many times, it does help us understand that it takes sustained effort to build new practices into our daily lives.
Plan to spend extra time and energy every morning to complete your routine. Don’t be surprised if it feels like a lot of work and you want to give up.
This is completely normal.
Habits are like making popcorn.
Think about how long the kernels sit in the microwave or air popper cooking before you ever started to hear that satisfying pop, pop, pop.
A lot of heat (energy) must be added to the kernels before they finally explode into being.
It’s exactly the same with any new routine you want to start. It takes effort at first, but then it becomes easy and enjoyable.
Or you might be trying to do too much
As one reader, Gina told me, she was reading other blogs that put wiping the baseboards on the weekly cleaning list. Then she always felt completely inadequate when she couldn’t get it done.
Life as a stay at home mom is full of distractions and unpredictability and setting up a system that is unrealistic only leads to feelings of failure and defeat.
If you’re like me, you probably are getting all excited about how much you’ll be able to accomplish at home with your new routine. However, let me caution you to stick to five simple tasks that are realistic for you to accomplish almost every day, so you can feel successful and will want to continue on.
Once you master these, you can add on if you want to.
Let’s review how to build your morning routine
We’ve covered a lot, and now it’s your turn to put this powerful tool into practice in your home.
- Use one tiny and manageable task to launch you into a productive day (like making the bed)
- Then include only the basics that must get done to make this a great day (start with 3 to 5 tasks)
- Include at least one existing habit in your routine to serve as the foundation for new ones (like making coffee)
- Give yourself a reward to help establish the routine (checking tasks off a list works well)
A couple of weeks into my new routine, there came a morning where I realized I had finished the whole thing without having to check my list once.
I actually didn’t even remember washing the cast iron pan, but there it was, clean and dried waiting on my stove for the next morning’s eggs!
Moreover, I didn’t dread or drag through any of the chores on my list. I just did them! My mind was free to wander, coming up with new project ideas and planning for the day ahead.
With all of my basic chores out of the way first thing in the morning, I am free to spend time with my kids and then get down to work without the guilt of a mess piled up behind me.
Plus, just like starting to pay off debt, taking that first baby step gets the ball rolling for completing bigger goals. By accomplishing a few small tasks, I’m motivated to get more work done at home.
Free Stay at Home Mom Daily Checklist
I created a free printable worksheet to help you create and stick with your own daily routine. It helps so much to see everything at a glance. You can print it out and framed it. Then you can fill in the details and enjoy the accomplishment of checking everything off each day.
I look forward to hearing of your success as you harness the power of a morning routine in your own home.