“What Do You Do Every Day?!?!” is something I occasionally hear when someone is discovering I’m a stay-at-home mom with two little ones.
So, what are some things stay-at-home moms do?
Well, sometimes I do SO much and sometimes it feels like I do SO much and accomplish nothing, and sometimes I actually do nothing when my kids play in perfect harmony. That last one has happened once or twice, and it’s usually a lovely 10 minutes.
For us, every day looks different but looks pretty much the same too. I try to keep some routine and balance, and other days are just… messy. However, there’s some things we try to do every single day regardless of order.
My youngest is currently a terrible sleeper so our days can change drastically depending on how he slept the night before, what time he woke, and
how long if he naps.
Despite the variables, even in a regular day, there are some things I try do do every single day as a stay-at-home mom with my kids.
I found reading what other stay-at-home parents do in their daily routine helpful when creating my own schedule and activities.
Here is what I do with my young kids on a regular basis to give you an idea what I do all day as a stay-at-home mom if you are looking for ideas for creating your own daily thing:
I love reading books with my kids and it is something I do everyday. I will read a book (or two) before naps and bedtime, but I do try to incorporate books during the day too when we have more time and I’m not anxious for bedtime.
I find that early in the day works best for reading stories but sometimes, they’ll pull books randomly throughout the day and we will read.
I’ll gladly read anytime I have an audience! Kids sitting peacefully next to me, and I get to sit too! It’s a dream activity!
Sometimes I just start reading with no audience and see if I get any interest, especially if they have much more energy than I do at the moment.
Some of our favorite books are:
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- Little Blue Truck
- Big Red Barn
- Dear Zoo
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Jamberry (my oldest loves the illustrations!)
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
- Anything Elephant & Piggie
- Anything Llama Llama
- Anything Berenstain Bears
- Anything Curious George
We Play Together
I have a modest house which (sadly) does not include a play room, but I make it a point to sit down on the floor and play with my kids in the living room.
We will build blocks, play ball, run cars down cardboard boxes, etc. when we aren’t playing and building with Magnetic Tiles. My oldest can play with those things for HOURS (with and without anyone) and loves when we build a huge castle together!
We have a bunch of magnetic tiles… Picasso, PlayMags, and a mystery brand purchased from Amazon by the grandparents. They all work together fine, and none are the true Magna-Tiles, but they all work great! I think as long as the magnetic tiles look like they will work together (similiar kinds/shapes), they probably will work well together.
Magna-Tiles are great for playing together and quiet time too! We probably have around 200 pieces and they all get played with daily!
We also do some self play too, especially because it’s important skill to have, but I always make a point to carve out some play too!
As my kids are getting older (4!), we are doing more self play, but I strive to do some 1-on-1 play time with each of my boys at some point in the day.
We Learn (through Play)
We do a lot of playing at our house and I find that a lot of learning happens just through play!
I don’t do too much of scheduled learning for my young kids, but will incorporate learning through play. I’ll recite the colors, shapes, animal type, etc. when they are playing with different toys and repeat things often.
My oldest will also ask tons of questions, and we will talk all day long so I think learning by conversation is a great way to learn without putting too much pressure on it.
The learning may change to more organized learning as they grow older but for now we do most of our learning through play and through fun activities.
We Make Things
I try to incorporate some kind of fun activity in the day and it is usually a craft or cooking something.
The activity will change depending on the season and what is going on in a given day. If my younger son is sleeping, my older son and I might do a fun activity in the window.
If he gets to pick, he usually picks baking something, but I recently got diagnosed with Celiac Disease so we tend to do more arts and crafts as of late.
I tend to stick to easy craft projects such as:
- Paper and Markers
- A Box with markers and/or sensible scissors (when is a box not a hit?!)
- Large Canvas Paper (Sometimes I take the Amazon brown packaging paper so he can draw on that too)
- Painting (I’ll use the brown packaging underneath for paint projects too!)
However, sometimes I will do a special craft or activity, especially during different holidays, so check out my Toddler Craft board on Pinterest!
After lunch typically, we rest. My little one will go down for a nap, and my oldest will rest. When my oldest outgrew his nap, I would still put him in his crib (sometimes with books or toys if he resisted) and he would stay up there for an hour so to have some quiet time.
I don’t do rest time as well as I use too, as I let my oldest stay with my downstairs now while my youngest is upstairs sleeping, but I still try with some quiet activities like books, quiet play, or sometimes watching a little TV on the couch.
Rest time is a great way to break up the day, and I highly recommend scheduling some rest time in your schedule, because your kids (and you) need it!
We Sing & Dance
I find that dancing with my kids is a great mood changer and a great way to get energy out. I find that late afternoon window a little hard with a lot of snack requests, a lot of fighting, and a lot of messes. I find that putting on music will usually change the vibe… for the better! Sometimes after dinner we will have dance parties to get the kids tired for bed too!
We sing silly songs, and I’ll turn on the music and we will sing along, or sometimes we will have a Dance Party.
Outdoor Play (when possible)
We live in a four season state so it’s not always possible to play outside, but when we can, we go outside and play in our modest backyard.
My parents got my son this sandbox for his third birthday and it is a hit. He can be in a sandbox for hours, which is great because we also bought a playset with swings and a slide, and it is not used nearly as much.
We love to get outside and play in our backyard, to the playground, or go for a walk in our neighborhood or a park!
Playing outside is a great way of getting energy out and exploring nature!
We Get that Energy Out
I mentioned getting energy out already through other activities, but whenever we can, we get that energy out!
We dance, we sing, we run around outside in the yard, we kick the soccer ball around, ride bikes, go for a walk, jump on a trampoline, or go to a local indoor play space if we need to get out of the house and the weather isn’t cooperating.
Getting energy out is a great way for a great nap or early bedtime too!
We Clean Together
How do you do the dishes, sweep the floor, and pick up toys when you have young children? You involve them! My kids LOVE to help!
Now, it takes about 1000% times longer with little helpers and you’ll probably need to re-do a lot of their work, but my little ones love to “help”. I’ll grab the broom to sweep, and my kids will grab theirs and go along with me or help pick up the dirt with their dust pan.
Our Melissa and Doug Cleaning Set gets a lot of pretend play and a lot of practical use too! It’s one of our most use toys, and they do all the initiating. I don’t ever force them help me sweep or do the dishes at age 2, but they do want to help Mom at that age.
(I’m probably going to miss the “help” when they are older!)
I do (try to) make them pick up their toys each day, and we do make a game out of it to make it fun or sing the clean up song.
Sometimes they love to help a little too much! And sometimes I with they would love to clean a little more!
We Get Social
Since my kids are not enrolled in daycare, I need to make sure they get some interactions and exposure to other kids. Unfortunately, the only cousins we have live far and all my friends with kids similar ages live at least an hour away, so social activity doesn’t always happen organically.
Unfortunately, the social aspect doesn’t always happen every day in the winter, but I try to get them out of the house when we can and get a little social interaction and exposure to kids their age.
My oldest is now in preschool, so it’s a little easier to accomplish my social goals, but I do need to do a better job at scheduling play dates and impromptu playground visits.
I truthfully don’t do “social things” every day with my kids but I want to get so much better in this aspect that I put it on the list. If I write it down, it will come true, right?
We Eat Together
We eat all our meals together at the dining room table. I find that if I stand and eat, my kids will too. (I do need to get better at this!) I try to make it a point that we all eat together at the table, and have fun conversations about our day, what we are going to do, and favorite things.
I love eating together with my kids for our meals and feel blessed that it is something we can do together.
We do the Same Things Every Night
We have the same bedtime routine every night. The time changes slightly depending on when the youngest awoke from his nap and if my oldest fell asleep in the car, but it usually begins between 6:30-7PM and lasts around 30 minutes.
Bath, pajamas, brush our teeth, book, and bed. Me Time.
Some things are certainly easier said than done, but I try to incorporate the above in our daily routine with my toddlers.
We Are Kind
I think kindness is so important (especially these days!) and I try to lead by example with my kids.
But most important, I try to be kind to myself. I try not to beat myself up to much if we don’t make it outside to play, if we eat our lunch on the go, or don’t read as many books as I’d like that day.
Parenting is so hard and I try to be kind to myself and to other parents as well because you never know the struggles others are going through.
What are some things you do every day with your kids? I’d love to get some more ideas!
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