As a stay at home mama, my life is anything but peaceful. Obviously.
The days are long, busy and extremely noisy. There is always something going on. There is always something that needs to be done. There’s school work, cleaning, cooking, playing, soothing, planning, worrying, screaming, crying – and then put all of this on repeat. When you think of the things I just mentioned that go into my day, it still doesn’t scratch the surface of explanation of what my days involve.
Being a stay at home mama isn’t as easy as many believe it to be. There are enough folks out there that will tell you that staying at home with your kids every day should be a walk in the park because you have all the time in the world to get everything, and more, done every day and that you have plenty of spare time for yourself.
It’s really not like that at all.
If you’re lucky enough to have five minutes of peace and quiet, consider it a great day.
I’ve just started my third year of being a stay at home mama and while I’m not an expert yet, I have a couple of things to share from my personal experiences so far.
From the time I started working, I always used a diary to help with organizing and reminding myself of important dates and appointments. It was always a great way to keep track of all the necessary tasks, work and personal, and was a good system to use to monitor my progress, having everything written down: past, present and future. If anyone asked for any information, I knew it was all jotted down.
When I started staying at home with my kids, I let go of the diary system. After six years of keeping a diary each year, I thought I was finally free.
Two months into the ‘relaxed’ routine and I realized quickly my planner system had to make its return if I was looking at making this new life work.
I cannot stress this enough.
As a stay at home mama, you really need a planner!
I know in the title I said ‘should’ and not ‘need’ because at the end of the day, it’s a personal choice. You don’t need to use a diary or a planner to organize your time and set up your to-do list. Another great system to use is a whiteboard, which I also use at home. Every Sunday I update the board for the coming week with things that need to be done and any appointments we may have. Sometimes my planner isn’t close by so I can quickly check the board and go on with what needs to be done. The whiteboard also allows Hubby Byren to keep track of what is happening, what needs attention and what the near future looks like for our family. While it sounds like double effort to keep two things updated each time, it works for us.
Perhaps you’re not a detailed mama, and keeping a simple diary is the best solution for you. That’s fine.
Perhaps you love to bullet journal and you use yours to keep track of your life. That’s fine.
Perhaps a whiteboard system works best for you. Also fine!
You know best what system will work for you and your family so keep doing what works for you!
If you’re wondering WHY you need a planner as a stay at home mama, you’ve come to the right place.
It’s easy to lose time in your day when you don’t have it structured around what you need to do at home, and out and about. While it’s not always easy to keep to time to the very minute, you still have an idea of how much time each task might require.
While there are days that are unpredictable and are never the same, you can create some structure and lay out your to-do list over a few days to make sure you create enough time for each task.
Staying at home every day really makes it easy to forget what needs to happen in the outside world, and also very easy to lose track of the day of the week. Before you know it, a week has passed by and somewhere along the line you’ve lost three days. Which makes it easy to forget about appointments. Jotting them down in your planner will help you remember the important days and help plan ahead for them.
Have family coming over? Have a rare coffee date with a friend? Keeping track of them is important as well so you can plan ahead of the time for those special days. Making time for yourself is important as well. Even if it’s not something that happens often. Scheduling some self-care time for yourself is always something to look forward to and you can plan ahead of time for it.
With a planner, you can keep of track of anything that needs to happen in the future. While some don’t plan that far ahead, I do because it helps to create monthly budgets in advance and lessen the load of things to be done in the current month.
I’m a visual person so I work better with things out of my head than in it. Let’s just say it’s like having a part of my brain spread out on paper. It helps me be more organized seeing the words on paper and knowing what my priorities are. My mind is constantly working in overdrive and it’s easy for things to be forgotten. As soon as it’s written done, I know it won’t be lost from my memory.
If you love being creative, it gives you an opportunity to get creative with your planner. Colors, doodles and if you have more time on your hands, anything else you want to add to it. When my planner is appealing to the eye, I find it more pleasing to use because it’s my own and it doesn’t get left forgotten somewhere in a drawer.
You can take it with your wherever you go. It’s easy to pack into your bag because it’s small, and you can use it any place to jot down any notes, appointments and schedules.
Do you use a planner as a stay at home mama? How has it helped you manage your life?