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I'm the mom of a toddler (21 months) and am expecting our second baby in June.  My partner works at a local non-profit and I am lucky enough to stay at home with our son.  Before our son was born I also worked; I had a director level position at a national non-profit and was pretty career oriented.  I actually never imagined I'd be a stay-at-home-mom, but an ill-timed layoff turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  Now my days are filled with playgrounds, snacktimes, and crafts - and I'm not looking back.  

I take my responsibilities as a stay-at-home-parent very seriously, and try to approach the role as though it were a traditional job.  I set goals for myself each week, look back over the day and evaluate my performance, and try to maintain some accountability for myself.  That's not to say that I don't take advantage of the flexibility and freedom of being at home and setting my own schedule - and there are days when I skate by with the bare minimum (keep the kid fed/dry/alive and don't let the house burn down), but I try to make those days the exception, not the rule.  

In order to assess my days and set goals I've come up with a list of components for a successful day in our household.  Here are the main goals for my days as a stay-at-home-mom:

1.  Prepare and serve healthy and nutritious meals.  Ideally hitting all the colors of the fruit/veggie rainbow throughout the day.
2.  Make the house a little better than it was.  This is beyond basic upkeep (dishes, sweeping, laundry) and should include something like a home improvement project or tackling a long overdue organization task.
3.  Get out of the house.  Go to the playground, grocery store, library, thrift shop, zoo - anywhere.  Just get out.
4.  Do something enriching with my toddler and give him my undivided attention for a span of time.  This can be as simple as singing songs, going over colors, reading books - or can be an outing to the museum.
5.  Don't lose my temper.  This one I struggle with, especially when I'm burning through the other items on the list - but I don't want my kids to grow up in a household where yelling is the norm.
6.  Focus on my relationship.  Have a conversation with my partner without the toddler hogging my attention, make one of her favorite meals, or cuddle on the couch while we watch a program we enjoy after our toddler is in bed.  
7.  Do something for myself.  Work on my blog/writing, email an old friend, paint my nails, or do some yoga.  

RARELY do I hit all these goals in a single day, but I try to make sure I've covered the list over a week and the more items I can check off in one day, the more successful I consider that day.  If I have a day that misses the mark - or all the marks - I try and do better the next day.  The first trimester seemed like one long string of days that missed the mark - but that was alright, too.  One of the perks of this job is that my team of co-workers always have my back and are understanding on the days when I can't "juggle it all."

by on Mar. 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (11-20):
by on Mar. 7, 2012 at 8:12 AM

That sounds like my typical day...

by Michelle on Mar. 7, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Those are nice goals. I'm a sahm too. As long as no one has died I consider my day a success! lol

by Sarah on Mar. 7, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I try to set daily/weekly goals also. I think it really helps!

by on Mar. 7, 2012 at 12:14 PM

I'm a SAHM also and these are great goals! Even though I haven't written them down, I tend to have the same goals as a SAHM.

by on Mar. 7, 2012 at 12:46 PM
I work full time but I like your goals. If I ever become a sahm I will have to do this!
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by on Mar. 7, 2012 at 1:36 PM

 I love this... I wish I had to opportunaty to make being a stay at home mom my job !

I was thinking of how I would try to section the day. 1 hr crafts, 1 hour books, 1-2 hours outside, 2 hour nap, then some sesame street for 1 hour and then whatever he wants to do for the rest of the day before Bath and Bed. :)

by on Mar. 7, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Great list!!!!

I am a sahm mom for the past 2 years, It has its ups and downs. Sometimes I miss working and making money to contribute, but I do love the fact that I get to spend all day every day with my Baby girl(13 months old). With my older boys I worked days and was home at night with them.

by on Mar. 7, 2012 at 1:55 PM

I need to start making some.

Quoting splatz:

I try to set daily/weekly goals also. I think it really helps!

by on Mar. 7, 2012 at 1:56 PM

lmao, thats a great goal!

Quoting goddess99:

Those are nice goals. I'm a sahm too. As long as no one has died I consider my day a success! lol

by on Mar. 7, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Having goals is great. Accomplishing goals is even better. I'd say I accomplish my daily goals more than half the time. I don't have one list for everyday. My list changes are the needs of the household change.

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