What Does a Stay at Home Mum (or Dad) Do All Day?!

As a stay at home Mum (SAHM) myself who works around her children’s school and classes schedule, some of my friends who work full-time envy me, while others look on me with pity! If you are a new SAHM or considering becoming a SAHM, or just generally wondering, What Does a Stay At Home Mum (or Dad) Do all Day, then read on!

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My Mum was a SAHM and I loved having her there when I got home from school every day but never really appreciated what she did for us until I became a parent myself.

So What Do Us SAHM’s Do When Kids at School ?

WalkingI walk the kids to school and take the long way home for a bit of exercise, shower (in peace) and then spend the rest of my time working until 14.15 rolls around (often too quickly) and I head off to collect the kids.

Then we are into lunch, homework, class runs, tea and work if I can get near the computer, family time and bedtime. And way, way down the list, housework, paperwork, grocery shopping and laundry (when I can fit it in!)

Here’s what some other SAHMs do…

Part-Time Work

Many of us SAHMs work from home when the kids are at school or playschool. These work arrangements allow us the flexibility of working when our kids are at school, and being there with them when they come home from school. And more often than not, working again in the evening time, after the kids are gone to bed.

This works for my family, and for many more SAHMs that I chatted to.

    • Working Mum“I trained as an accountant but found office work difficult once my children came along, says AR Mum of 3. “I now work from home as a bookeeper, I get to earn a salary and am there when the kids get in from school, which makes family life less hectic.”
    • “I work from home for an online store selling books” says JP Mum of 1 “I do have to travel to schools and creches but my own kids are at school so that works well for me.”
    • “I work mornings as a carer” says OH Mum of 4, sometimes I work weekends too, when my husband is off, it works well for both of us and the kids.”


swimming poolMany walk, take exercise classes, visit the gym or swim while the kids are in school.

  • “I work shifts as a Nurse” says JR Mum of 2, “on my days off I make sure to get to the pool and swim for at least 45 minutes. Afterwards I will sometimes meet a friend for coffee or brunch, bliss when I can take my time and don’t have to cut up food or share it and can have a conversation, with another adult, in peace”.
  • “I row on the mornings when my daughter is in school and I am not at my job” says IC Mum of 1, “I love to get out on the water with other adults for conversation, laughs and exercise of course, it makes me a nicer person to be around for the rest of the day!”
  • “I walk the dog” says CL Mum of 2, “my daughters begged us to get him but exercising him falls to me!”


Supermarket“We are not talking retail therapy here, but I love the peace of grocery shopping without the kids, no moans about how many aisles we have to go down or nagging for treats” says AC, Mum of 2.

“Definitely find that I can stick to my actual required grocery list, when I do the shopping while the kids are in school. No sneaking in comics, ice cream, treats, etc.!” says JB, Mum of 1.

Volunteer Work

  • library“The school can always use volunteers” says DC Mum of 3, who helps out in the school library twice a week and is also on the parents committee for her daughter’s school. “Fundraising is essential to keep the school running and organising everything from Fashion Shows to Bake Sale Days takes more parents than you would think”
  • “I like to be around when the kids come home from school, and am happy to help out other parents with pick-ups and class drops when they are stuck” says EL Mum of 3 and bump!
Recommended Reading: 50 Bake Sale Ideas

Housework & Laundry

  • Laundry“Neverending” says TD, Mum to 4. “I am not sure how parents who work full-time can manage, there just never seems to be enough hours in the day”
  • “How does the wash basket fill up so quickly?” says NT Mum of 2, “I seem to spend my life washing and ironing clothes”
Recommended Reading: Chores for Kids by Age


  • Mums at School“I am doing my PHD” says Mum of 3 FC “it is hard work trying to fit it around the kids, but I am doing this for me and will use it to get a full-time job when they (the kids) are more independent”
  • “I am re-training to work in childcare” says MS Mum to 3 grown up and 2 less grown up children, “My original degree helped me to get a job in finance, but the hours are long and there was lots of travel involved, which can be difficult to juggle with kids. I am hoping my new degree will help me gain a more balanced lifestyle.”

Clubs & Hobbies

  • Painting“I was tired of missing bookclub in the evenings, because of matches and swim meets the kids had to be ferried to, so organised a group who meet in the mornings when the kids are at school or childcare” says YL Mum of 2. “I will also admit to losing myself in our latest book choice from time to time and nearly missing pick ups!”
  • “I always loved painting but never got the chance to develop my talent. Now the kids are in school, I have joined an art group and we have our first exhibition coming up soon” says OM.

Catch Up

    • creative writing ideas“I set aside a copule of hours each week to catch up online with friends and family, I love Facebook for staying in touch” says PR.
    • “Ok I will admit to catching up on my recorded progams on days when I am at home without the kids, TV would be a thing of the past otherwise! ” says LM Mum of 2.
    • “Once a week I go for coffee or lunch with a friend”, SD tells me over coffee and a sandwich! (All in the name of research, honestly).
Recommended Reading: 30 Reasons Why Mums are Late

What Does a Stay at Home Mum Do All Day-!

Are you a SAHM? If so what do you get up to when the kids go to school? Let us know in the comments box below.

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Michelle is a Mum to 2 girls and co-founded Mykidstime.