Daily Mom and Toddler Schedule

(Update from 2013: Let me get this out in the open. The following blog post is extremely optimistic. I’m not an organized person, and Life Happens. For a bit of a reality check to compare with the idealism you’ll read below, check out Mom Stress Test and Guilt-Free, Survival Parenting and Confessions of a Sleep-Deprived Mom of Two. And in case you’re wondering, I did make up a Mom and Preschooler schedule in the summer of 2013, but I’ve yet to have a day where something didn’t get in the way of our plan for the day.)

As a mom, I feel like I’m always trying to get my life together. I’ve been a preschool teacher, I’ve been a writer and a designer, and now I’m a mom that writes, designs, and takes care of my little man. Don’t even get me started on housework.

But I feel like I’m not alone. Most mom blogs out there talk about getting a good balance between ME time, KID time, HUSBAND time, and HOUSEWORK time. If you’re a Christian, you know you’ve got to throw some LORD time in there, too.

I’ve learned the hard way that even though I’m pretty free-spirited, I need structure in order to actually get things done. So today I took some time out and looked at child care schedules and adapted it for me and for my little man. I’m not a paid day care provider, and there’s only one of me, so I’m not going to be teaching or playing with my son 100% of the time—I’m the cook and the custodian, too.

Here’s our schedule. Already it’s going to be a bit flexible because we have things going on every night this week, and I’m going out to lunch later this week during his usual nap time, but here it is, ideally:

A few notes, in no particular order:

  • “Husband” is underlined in the chart because my word processor doesn’t like gender-specific words. The image is a screenshot because screenshots are easy.
  • Because we’d like to grow our family, I am starting to get Little Champ used to quiet play in the morning, when a baby might be taking another nap. Our family isn’t growing yet, but when it does, then it won’t be as big of an adjustment when there’s another napper in the house. Until then, it’s nice to get some quiet play, for both our sakes.
  • My time is divided between faith living, time with my son, time with my husband, cleaning, cooking, writing, design, drawing (something I need to work on), and reading.
  • Little Champ spends the day playing. I’d like to start structuring his play so that he has some artistic play, building play, and pretend play. Story time is also educational. I am a firm believer in the effects of imaginative learning—the more of your brain you use daily, the smarter and more creative you become.
  • How you spend your time is a good look at what is important to you. My husband and I are trying to be more intentional about living out our faith with our son, even at such a young age. We are also trying to make a point to eat together at meals. Families that eat together and pray together stay together; children who eat meals with their families are less likely to partake in drugs, underage drinking or sex; and intentional eating (opposed to distracted eating) keeps people from overeating and gaining weight.
  • Little Champ is a bit young to understand responsibility (he’s not yet 2), but he sees my husband and I cleaning, and we try to involve him. I let him help me put the clothes in the dryer, he helps me “sweep” with his own broom, and he helps us put away his toys. If he didn’t eat in a high chair, we’d be teaching him how to bring his plates into the kitchen. Maybe I’ll start looking into a little table for him to sit at, so he can learn to pick up after meals.
  • I’ve seen other moms’ schedules here in the blogosphere, and most of the time is spent watching TV. There’s a reason we don’t have TV. Educational shows or not, TV teaches kids to be absorbers, not performers; consumers, not creators. That’s why I highly value play time, and learning through play. I also want to teach my children to be active and responsible. I may allow my son to watch Shaun the Sheep (purely for fun) or Sesame Street (educational), but I limit it to 1 hour MAXIMUM per day. He probably watches about 2 hours per week.

Your turn. Are there ways you can see that I might improve this schedule? What has worked for you?

(Future me again, from 2013. Champ watches way more TV when I’m exhausted or when Lion is teething or sick. I don’t want to know how many times he’s seen every episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates and The Magic Schoolbus. Educational TV has helped his vocabulary and ability to empathize. However, he has far more fits on days I let him watch TV. So don’t feel bad if your child’s been watching a ton of television! Just be sure to get them creating, playing, and socializing in real life, too) 

22 thoughts on “Daily Mom and Toddler Schedule

  1. Pingback: My 3-Year Bloggiversary! | diary of a bewildered mother

  2. I have been searching EVERYWHERE for a mommy/toddler schedule that is as clear as this one. Thank you so much. I’m in grad school and a stay at home mom to my Angel Boy, Stephen (18 months). Finding a balance and not slipping into the “TV won’t hurt him” mindset has been the greatest challenge of my life. Stephen and I both work much better with a very direct and clear schedule. This has been the best gift!

    • I’m so glad! I hope it comes in handy! It worked really well for us. Now things are a bit crazy because I’ve taken on a couple freelancing jobs, but Champ plays well during the day and is constantly bringing me books to read to him while I’m working. He’s still learning, even on the crazy days :)

  3. This is such a refreshing schedule! I am so ecstatic it includes prayer time, this is so important to me as a single mom to emphasize and surround in our lives. This will help tremendously! I was in tears last night with frustration of our schedule that well is no longer, but now I feel re-mommygized and ready to tackle the schedule with a new look. Thanks, and God Bless.

  4. Pingback: Top 5 Posts of 2013 | diary of a bewildered mother

  5. Thank you do much for your post. It is exactly what I am looking for right now! My daughter is two years old and I am not very organized, but I definitely know she needs more structure in her life to keep her sane. Just have to keep thinking in terms of developing a creativity promoting daily plan.

    • Good luck! I am very much not a structured person, and we are still struggling with keeping to a routine. It’s an uphill battle, but it’s good to have a goal to work towards :)

  6. Hi. Initially, I came to your blog to get the breast pad patterns. Then checked out your love story out of curiosity. So awesome how God provides amazing husbands. I have a similar story to yours. Thanks for sharing. And on to the schedule. I have a 3 year old and newborn. Chaos will ensue when my husband returns to work shortly. I will be desperate for some organization…. Maybe more organized chaos. Praying I can utilize this schedule to some degree. I function so much better with something to aim for schedule-wise. Thank you!!

    • Thanks for reading and sticking around! I hope it works out for you. I tend to get grand ideas and end up not following through with them. Now Champ (now 4) is in part-time preschool, and that’s helped all of us get into a schedule.
      Just be flexible and don’t be afraid to adapt to your family’s needs!

  7. I love your schedule and really want to start doing this. My question is for pretend play/quiet play or the building/experimenting times, is he playing by himself or are u with him? If he’s playing by himself, how did u get him to start doing that? My daughter just turned 2 and needs me with her for all of her play and I trying to teach her to play without me. Any ideas or advice would be appreciatd!

    • Lion is way more clingy than Champ ever was—we have days where if he’s not climbing on top of me, he’s screaming—but if I need to get something done and I set out some toys for him, he’ll get bored of my “ignoring” him and start playing by himself. Just today I had to get some work done, and I told him to grab a book. He brought it to me, and I said, “No, you look at it. I’m not going to read one right now.” And he happily sat and flipped through the pages until he started playing with something else. It took a while to get to this point. First he’d sit on me all day, doing whatever, then I’d make him sit NEXT to me, and now he’s mostly fine being across the room—but as I was typing this, came over now and grabbed my arm, sat next to me, and wrapped my arm around him. As long as he’s getting cuddle time for part of the day (probably the majority—let’s be honest), he’s content to entertain himself.

      Different kids have different needs, so adapt to your needs and hers! Lord knows we don’t do a good job keeping to a schedule when left to our own devices.

  8. I just want you to know that even though we are not raising our children in a faith based home yet. (My husband is an atheist and I am a Diest.) I am using your schedule because it is the most structured that i have seen for a stay at home mom. Thanks for posting it!

  9. I recently started staying home with my 2.5 yr old and my “Lord” time has been the most affected part! Because I had previously just dropped her off at nursery I never knew how much work I had to do as a parent and the effect of some structure [we allowed her alot of TV due to working full time and having no time] but she gained alot of her words, love for numbers and nursery rhymes from watching TV/online videos. My yearn for structure led me to your page so with a few tweaks I would apply it, thanks a million :D

    P.S. I love how you later admitted to allowing some TV, I guess “moderation” is the key word

      • Wow our kids are same age cute! I’m really enjoying my time with her though and as much as I can’t wait to get a new job I will miss staying home with her…

  10. Your “future me” updates are pretty awesome. My first son started watching more tv when I was 31 weeks pregnant and I was so exhausted and trying to finish some projects before the baby arrived. Now, the baby is 10 weeks old and I am trying to rein in the tv watching and he does not really like it. But it will be worth it.

    Also, the hour for an outing… isn’t it so different with a toddler and newborn?! It takes an hour to get out the door and get to anyplace. Then the baby needs to eat at some point while we are out. It takes some serious managerial skills to maneuver an outing – even to the grocery store.

    I like the schedule though, and will be using it as a reference as we are needing a more structured day.

  11. Found your schedule today! We’ve had a pretty consistent schedule that looked a lot like this up until a few weeks ago when work got extra busy, my hubby was out of town, and we were rained in for 10 days! But I love everything about this blog post! Will make something of my own for my page and will mention you. ;)

  12. Pingback: 16 Schedules for Homeschool Moms

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