Working Mom's Morning Routine

Updated on August 04, 2011
T.B. asks from Bloomington, IN
19 answers

I got a job! This is my first time working with 2 kids to get up and ready in the morning. My husband is out the door around 5:30, so he is long gone before we wake. I wondered what your morning looks like? Do you shower the night before or in the morning? What time do you get up? The kids? Leave?
I have to be at work at 8 and have a 10-15 minute drive, not including dropping the kids off at daycare. When I was working before I had a 45-50 minute commute, which was an hour with daycare.

I have a 4 yo and a 1 1/2 yo, so I have to get them up and help them dress.

What can I do next?

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answers from Orlando on

Congratulations on the job! I hope I am as lucky, I'm waiting for an offer (cross fingers!). When I was working (and when I go back), I always liked to shower and get ready in the morning and let my little one sleep as long as possible. She would hear me when I finally made it to the kitchen and made coffee and breakfast. I would get her ready and then back to the breakfast. She isn't really hungry first thing in the morning, so If she didn't eat I took something for the car ride. I packed lunches the night before, and had everything else ready to go too. Much easier than doing all of that in the morning. You'll find a good routine. How exciting! Congrats again!! :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I get up early enough to shower and get ready before getting them ready. I also have a 15 minute commute plus have to drive an extra mile both ways for daycare drop-off so I leave my house at 7:20 so I am not rushing. Gives me commute time, allows for extra traffic or a quick conversation w/ teachers at drop-off and still gets me to the office before the office opens.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from New York on

Most important - get everything ready the night before. There will be times when you're exhausted but it will save you precious time in the morning. Line up the bags, get the lunches made, bagged & in the fridge. The night before make sure what you're going to wear in the morning is good to go the same for the kids.

I always showered in the AM - it helped my wake up. The kids would wake up as I was getting my make-up and hair ready so I actually began doing that stuff in the living room so I could keep an eye on them as they watched Arthur or Sesame St. (I used one of those long door mirrors and leaned it against the ottoman or coffee table believe it or not!) I always made their breakfast after my shower and before they work up and had it ready for them - "finger food" that htey could handle themselves - cut up fruit, cheerios, american cheese stacked and cut in tiny pieces, even cut up left over grilled chicken or tiny pieces of meatballs. Omelette or hard boiled egg cut into tiny squares. I've always been big on making sure they have protein in the morning to carry them through.

A word of caution - I never put my clothes on until we were ready to walk out the door - I learned that after many accidents, spills, kid toothpaste or boogers on my shoulder and having to scramble for a new outfit at the last minute. So once everyone was ready to go, dressed, hair & teeth brushed then I'd run into the bedroom and put my work clothes on.

Encourage your 4 yr old to dress huim/herself and cheer him/her on while you dress the little one. Help your 4 yr old select clothes the night before and tell him/her how you know he/she's going to be able to do alot of things for herself in the morning and you are so proud that he/she's growing up in to a big kid. Set the expectation, encourage and praise and you may find that the 4 tr old will do more than you expect.

Also - plan that you'll have a melt-down mornings once in a while. Like us, there will be days when the kids want to stay home and don't want to go to "school". Those will be the tough mornings - there may be tears. Know that ahead of time and try to plan how you'll handle it when it comes. Every working mom has had mornings when we handled that kind of situation really well - and we also have those regrettable days when we're stressed and worry about being late and we handle the situation just horribly. We yell at our precious little kid. The more we try to rush our child, the more they dig in their heels. You'll beat yourself up over those few mornings and wonder why you went back to work. I found that when one of my kids didn't want to go or just wanted to hang out on the couch if I got down to his/her level and listened to their little heart a,d gave hugs and kisses they ended up being fine and off we went. But I confess I didn't always handle it quite that way!

You will find out what works best for you - and you'll get a rythm. Good luck mama!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Congratulations! I'm in the same boat as 1babygirl ... can't stop looking at the phone after my interview last week.

Thank you for asking the question. So much good advise. It can be kind of overwhelming. I was thinking about my son in preschool these past two years, and the days that I remained calm (no matter how late I felt like we were), were the best for everyone. Getting everything ready the night before was a complete lifesaver. I do much better when I shower the night before. i have really thick hair that will take 20 minutes or more to dry using a hair dryer, so I'm so much better off washing it the night before. It's also a great way for me to relax a bit after getting the kids to bed and before climbing in bed myself. Also, I just love being clean and climbing into a bed with clean sheets (love it!).

As someone who struggles with being on time, one suggestion I read that was incredibly helpful was to seriously understand how long it's going to take you to get out the door. Don't think about what time you need to pull out of the driveway (big mistake). Rather, think about what time you need to begin loading the car. Take that time, then work backwards. I used to think, "Ok, we need to be out the door at 8:30," but really we needed to be pulling out of the driveway at 8:30. We needed to be walking out the door at 8:15, because it takes time to carry everything to the car and strap the kids in and you just know someone is going to need to go potty or need a diaper change. I also had trouble being realistic about how long it would take to get everyone up, dressed and fed. You could try to pay attention to how long that takes now and give yourself some extra time during that first week. It won't take long to figure out what time you really do need to get up.

I am so excited for you. Wishing you all the best.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

When my kids were little, I tried to get their items ready the night before. I would get up an hour earlier and do what I needed to get me ready and then wake the kids and help them. We had the TV on but it was for news while we got ready in the morning and it was our timer so that I knew where we needed to be to get out the door on time. No cartoons were allowed they will get used to the routine. Give yourself 30 minutes to get to work which includes dropping kids off.

You probably would do best helping the younger one get ready and monitor the older one dressing him/herself, breakfast and out the door.

No routine is perfect and you have to allow for a few bumps in the road.

Good luck and it will take about a month before it all feels normal.

The other S.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I have to shower the night before or I would be late every day.

Wake - 6:25
Quick rinse off in shower, not inc hair
Makeup, brush hair if nec
6 and 7 year olds up no later than 7
Out door by 7:20
Take kids to day care - takes us 20 min to get there and drop off
Kids eat at school, parents eat at work
At work no later than 7:50 each morning ( I cannot stand walking in right at 8 with everyone else. I have to be early)

We have a 7 and 6 yr old and a 9 mo old baby, so our mornings are crazy, without fail. I have tried getting up earlier - it just doesn't work for me. I need at least 7 or 8 hours and I am often woken in the middle of the night by one of the kids.

My advice - go to bed the earliest you can and get up the earliest you can. Even an extra 10 min in the morning will help you feel less rushed.

Lay out your clothes the night before - and the kids' clothes.

Prep as much as you can the night before - it will be so worth it.

Congrats on the job!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

First of all, CONGRATS on your new job!! I hope you have a lot of success and happiness with it.

The transition into being a working mom is not easy, but you'll find a rhythm that works for your family.

Our situation is a bit different in that my husband takes DS to the sitter, so -

- We get up around 6

-Husband showers while I tend to getting DS up, pack his bag, etc (this is best done the night before - even if you're dead tired!)

-Get DS a breakfast snack

-Husband and son are out the door by 6:50

-I get 40 min ALL TO MYSELF (?!!) to shower and get ready. I know that's a luxury!

-I'm at work by 7:30 (well, I really try to be...=)

You didn't mention how old your kids are, but if they're old enough they can help pack themselves at night or dress themselves in the morning if you need the extra hands.

It's crazy at first - just be prepared, try to get a good night's sleep, and know that the transition phase doesn't last forever.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Everything I can do at night. I do at night. I pick out clothes, pack the bags, make the lunches, wash the babies, sometimes I shower at night myself (other times I have to shower again in the morning ;-) thanks to cute husband). I always wake up at least 1 hour before the children. I'm not a morning person and need that time to pull myself together. I make the breakfast before waking the kids and get their bags minus lunch to the door. Then I wake them up. Get them fed, then get them dressed. I get their food and mine to the door. Put their bags and mine in the car. Get them in the car and get out. This was my routine when they were small. Thank God the youngest is now 15 and all the kids get themselves up and out on their own. They actually wake me up on time every time. It's nice.

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answers from Washington DC on

This will be the first year I have an adult partner in the house, so I'm looking forward to NOT having to do this all on my own.

Having done the single, working, mom morning routine for some time, I'll offer this advice.

I'd get up at 5:30 when your husband is leaving. You'll get to say goodbye which is an added plus.

Take your shower then. Make your coffee. Relax for a minute and drink it. GET YOURSELF ALL READY FIRST.

THEN wake up the kids. Have their clothes laid out the night before. Will they eat breakfast at home or daycare? If at home, choose easy things that don't take too long to eat, or can go in the car if needed.

I'd leave by 7:15 or 7:20 so you don't feel like you have to throw your kids out of a moving car at the sitters :-P If you end up with too much time, you can always stop and grab a coffee or something (can you tell I like coffee).

Hope this helps.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


When I worked outside the home, this is what I did:

The night before I would:
Make our lunches
Make sure the coffee pot is set (if you drink coffee)
set out our clothes for the next day - I have my kids still do that for school.

On Sunday I would make sure we had fast morning breakfasts - pancakes, waffles, french toast - yeah - they were frozen - but still liked to have something other than a bowl of cereal...

I would ensure my bag - lap top, keys, purse, etc. were always in the same place and ready to go so that when I woke up in the AM I didn't have to run around like a chicken with my head cut off!


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I get up at 5, my husband gets up at 6, so do the kids. I shower as soon as I get up & begin getting dressed. While hubby is in the shower, kids go into their highchairs to eat breakfast. After they are fed, they get dressed, hubby & I pack our lunches and we are all out the door by 655. I have to be at work by 730, and have a 30-40min commute. Hubby doesnt have to be to work till 8 so he drops off kiddos at the sitter. I tried taking a shower the night before and found for me that doesnt work ( my hair ends up looking like it hasnt been brushed in a week and it takes more time to try to fix it than taking a shower & blow drying in the morning does) Congrats on the new job!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I work 2 days per week.

I try to have son's clothes "ready" the night before. Same with backpack, homework, etc.
I make sure I get up earlier than he does so I can shower, do hair & make up & get dressed first. (My husband starts work at either 4 or 5 am so he is loooooong gone!)

While he eats breakfast, I pack our lunches.

I always try to leave (I drop him at school the days I work) 5-7 minutes early b/c there is a strange time warp somewhere in our basement/garage area! LOL

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My routine when I was working part time (on maternity leave now) is get up before the kids (hopefully) and get myself all ready first. Shower, dress etc.
Prepare everything for the kids and yourself the night before, ie DH and I always pack lunches, I make those at night, so they're ready to go. If you have daycare bags for kids, pack them up night before, and even lay out their clothes for the next day if you want. Get yourself ready, then get the kids up by 7 and dressed and ready. I assume they eat breakfast at the daycare? If not, then you need more time for that too. I can't shower at night, I never feel awake if I do that. When I was working, I had to be at my office by 8:45, it was 30 min away. We had a nanny at our house, so I would wake up around 7:30, get dressed and ready by 8 and then bring food in the car and eat en route to work. The kids usually got up somewhere between 7:30 and 8 and came and snuggled in my bed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

Ours is probably a little a-typical because my husband goes in later then me so he's always around..BUT in general our morning goes something like this:

1/ 1/2 year old up 6ish, meanwhile I'm showering, etc..while she either follows me around or watches Super Agent Oso..:) while she eats a little, etc...My 3 /2 son gets up 6:30-7, watches TV a bit while I finish getting ready, dress them both and get out the door by 7:30 to take him to DC. My little one goes to Gma's next door.

It's "easy" now, cuz no one argues with me about what they are wearing, or getting dressed cuz I just do it with/for them. I know in a short while it will get much crazier. My husband is there pitching in as well, so again that makes it easier...but I do lay out their clothes the night before, baths at night, etc...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I get up around 5:15am. I work out until 6am, then take a shower (usually 15 minutes to get ready). Then I make lunches for myself and my son. I wake up my oldest around 7am and have his breakfast ready. He gets dressed and eats. While he's doing that I get my youngest up and dressed. By 7:20am we are out the door. Son is dropped off at school, then daughter dropped off at daycare. I get to work around 8am. I usually either eat my breakfast in the car or at work when I get there. My son is 7 and going into 2nd grade and my daughter is 4. This is our schedule during the school year. My daughter eats at daycare so I don't have to worry about breakfast. Sometimes the kids are slow so we leave a little later. I just make sure to have clothes picked out the night before for everyone. Makes things easier.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I would say that you need to be gone by 7:30. If possible I would shower you and the kids the night before this will elimate a ton of time in the mornings. If you also lay your and the kids clothing out the night before this will help too! I get up and get myself ready to go outside of putting my clothes on before I get the kids up. I get up at 6:30, get them up at 7:00 and we are out the door at 7:30.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I get up at 630 and take my shower. I get the kids up after that and we go down to the basement to let the puppies go outside and feed them breakfast. While the kids are doing that (mine are 8, 6, and 4) I do my makeup and hair in the basement. We all finish about the same time and go back upstairs to get dressed. Then we grab our lunches (packed the night before) and head to daycare. We leave abotu 730-745. I don't have a set time to have to be at work right now, but we'd just get moving a little earlier if I did. Find out what works best for you, and make sure that you leave time for traffic, dirty diapers, etc. If they eat breakfast at daycare that would be easiest. It saves me a LOT of time when we can do that!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

i take my showers at night. i get up about 7:15 and get dressed. Then i get my son up, in the shower and while he gets dressed, i pack lunches and get the tv on so he can watch martha speaks and curious george. he gets breakfast and we have to be out the door by 8;30 to drop him at camp. During the school year we have to be out the door by 8;30 also to catch the bus on time. i usually pack lunches the night before.
This coming school year, he starts a lot earlier and my company won't let me change my hours so my husband is going to get him up and ready for school and on the bus. he can change his hours to work 7;30-4;30. i am so glad he has to do this so now he can sort of walk in my shoes.



answers from Cleveland on

I have working since my children were little, they are older and can stay home together, which is nice. Plus my parents are around the corner, should they need anything, extra nice! I have always showered in the morning, get up at 6:00, showered, got dressed, did my hair and then got my children up at 7:00 and ready. I set out clothes, even now, for myself and the children the night before. This saves lots of time. I was fortunate, my children never knew any other way, so they got up, got dressed or I helped when needed, did their hair, ate breakfast and out the door by 7:35. Dropped them off at the sitters and went to work. On school days, lunches are packed the night before and all book bags are packed with all necessary items the night before! Once you are in a routine, you will be fine!!!! Good Luck at your new job!!!

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