Have you ever wondered what a real schedule looks like for a stay-at-home/ work-at-home mom? Years ago I wrote a series about a day in the life of The Happy Housewife.
It is still one of the most popular series on my site, over 10 years later! Personally, I think people are curious to see how others live and manage their time. I love learning how other people organize their days
Now that my kids are all much older, my schedule has changed quite a bit. I’ve updated it below. It’s funny to look at my schedule from 10 years ago and realize how much has changed.
A few schedule changes:
My youngest child is 11 and five children live at home. They are self-sufficient when it comes to meals (breakfast/ lunch).
My kids are enrolled in Virtual School now which means they have teachers online who do the bulk of the teaching. I still help Cora, but my older two girls are on their own.
My son goes to a private high school and is no longer homeschooled.
I work pretty much full-time from home.
My kids are all involved in extra-curricular activities in the evenings, so dinner looks different every night.
In a nutshell this is what an average day looked like when my kids were all at home and ages 1-16.
Thanks to everyone who has commented on this series. You are all an encouragement to me! This post is what many of you have been waiting for, my schedule or daily routine.
In an effort to keep my posts from becoming epic novels today I will discuss my schedule and write about the kids’ schedule later this week.
Homeschool Working Mom Schedule with Large Family
- Wake-up between 6:30-7 (usually closer to 7).
- Read my bible, check emails, and weather.
- Take a super fast shower.
- Start breakfast between 7:30 and 8.
- Breakfast, morning clean-up.
- Start school by 9 am.
- School with kids from 9-12 with interruptions for laundry, meal prep, and naughty children.
- Prepare lunch with help from kids.
- Lunch from 12-1. I make lunch and the kids clean up. I use this time to check email, catch up on a few chores, check school work.
- 1-3:00 School with kids.
- 3 pm – usually we are finished with school at this time. Three or four days of the week we have a project we work on together, cleaning, organizing, or fixing things around the house.
- 3:30 – 4:30 pm Free time for everyone. I use this time to work on the blog, pay bills, return phone calls or emails, work on school admin, or work on craft projects.
- 4:30 pm dinner prep
- 5:30 – 6:30 pm Dinner /dinner clean-up
- 6:30 – 8 pm kids ready for bed, devotions, general clean up of the house
- 8 -10 pm mom and dad time, this varies depending on the day, sometimes we will both be working on the computer, sometimes I bake or sew, sometimes we hang out and chat.
- 10 pm – In bed, I usually read for about 45 minutes to an hour after I am in bed.
Working Mom Daily Schedule with Kids at Home
- Wake-up between 6:00-6:30.
- Take a fast shower. (I only wash my hair 2x a week)
- Eat breakfast. I eat an egg white omelet every day.
- Wake kids.
- 8am – Start work
- Kids at home start school by 9 am.
- 11:45 – Lunch & check-in on kids
- 12:45 – Back to work
- 2:30 – Gym
- 3:30 – Pick up child from school
- 4pm – Dinner prep, school check, chores.
- 5pm – Eat dinner. We eat very early because my kids have practice in the evenings. If they don’t have practice we eat a little later, around 6pm.
- 6-9pm – Extra curricular activities, aka I drive the kids all over town.
- 9:30 – Read, bed.
I am not a morning person.
I am not a morning person. For many years I tried to get up at 5:30am but I just don’t operate well at that time no matter what time I go to bed.
I also end up getting really tired in the afternoon when I wake up that early. If I sleep until 6:15 – 6:30 I am able to make it through the day without feeling tired.
Over the past several years I have developed habits that help me wake up earlier and feel less tired throughout the day. It is possible to wake up earlier with some simple modifications to your routine.
I’m a big believer in eating breakfast. To save time (and brain power) I eat the same thing every single day.
When my children were young, we had hot breakfasts most mornings and I doubled the recipe so the kids could reheat breakfast on their own later in the week.
We homeschooled exclusively for 15 years. It was always my goal to have the kids nearly self-sufficient in their learning by middle school. This freed up my time to focus on the younger children.
I usually left time in the afternoon to check up on my older kids.
When my kids were little I made lunch for everyone. Now that they are older they have to fend for themselves. I typically buy bagged salads for myself and the kids eat whatever is available.
Everyone in my family has chores. The only way you get out of doing chores is if you have a cast. (Which strangely seems to happen a lot around here, lol). Some chores rotate, while other chores are done by the same kids on certain days.
Free time is possible, even if you are a working mom.
I try to make the most of my free time. Typically I have list (in my head) of things that need to get done and work in order of priority. Since my kids are having free time too, I rarely have interruptions.
When my children were exclusively homeschooled I planned for the next week on Fridays. Since their books were already out it works well for me to look over the next weeks lesson’s, write up school schedules, and plan for the week.
If I didn’t get it all planned on Friday, I finished on Sunday afternoon. As for grading papers and checking work I try to do it as we go, occasionally I get behind and will spend an evening catching up.
Menu Planning/ Grocery Shopping
Meal planning has probably changed the most since my kids were little. When they were young, I would plan my meals for 30 days at a time.
Now that they are older and I don’t to take them all to the store (or find someone to watch them) I plan our meals a week at a time.
I’ve tried a few menu planning services, but typically I stick to recipes that I know a majority of my kids like. (That’s actually fairly difficult)
Last year I completely changed how I grocery shopped. It ended up being a good thing because I never ran out of certain supplies during the spring of 2020. My new shopping method saves time and money, you can learn more about my grocery saving strategies here.
I stay at home as often as a I can
I realize this is not possible for many families who take their kids to therapy, school, activities or other appointments. However I do not run errands throughout the week. I go to the grocery store and bible study, that’s it. I am able to accomplish a lot at home because I am not in and out of the car.
If I do have to go out, I combine all my errands. It is not uncommon for me to go a month or more without going anywhere but my kids activities, the grocery store, and school.
I don’t watch much television
I use to never watch TV or movies. It wasn’t because I think they are bad, I just had other things that I thought were more important. For years, I didn’t watch ANY television.
Once my boys got older, I started watching sports on television with my boys. It was a way we could spend time together without my teen boys feeling like I was conducting an FBI investigation.
Having my evenings or mornings free from tv allows me to catch up on reading, or work on other projects after the kids go to bed. I can’t even imagine the number of hours I’ve gained over the past 27 years from not watching much television.
We clean on Saturdays
Saturday morning we all clean the house. On a good day we can clean the house from top to bottom in under two hours. If we have plans for a family outing on Saturday we clean on Friday night.
Everyone has assigned jobs and we all work together. Because we keep the house picked up throughout the week our house is never super dirty, so our weekly cleanings take very little time.
I pull a late nighter once a month
When I wrote this post initially, I would pull a light night work session once a week. Now that I’m a lot older, I can’t bounce back from late nights like I use to.
Still, every once in a while I stay up late to finish a project. It might be work, it might be something around the house. It just depends on what needs to be done.
Organize, Minimize, Simply
The less stuff I own, the easier it is to maintain it. De-cluttering is a constant battle I fight in my home.
I pay bills online so I have less mail to deal with. We have no debt so we have fewer bills. Fewer nic-nacs mean less things to dust. Less furniture makes it easier to vacuum.
If a toy is not played with frequently it takes a trip to Goodwill. If we have somewhere to go in the morning, clothes are laid out the night before. The diaper bag is always packed and ready to go. Library books are stored in one spot. Creating systems like these allow everyone to help out and make it easy for me to stay organized.
As I said before, I am not an expert, these ideas work for our family, they might not work for yours. My schedule doesn’t always go according to plan, but if I stick to the same core elements things go pretty smoothly.