The Real Morning Routines of Working Moms

morning routines

It’s funny, I don’t know how many times I’ve tweaked my morning routine for the better. Or, at least attempted to. One month I might be on a meditate-in-the-morning kick (short lived, too sleepy). Another month, it’s get-up-and-work like a crazy woman (more on that to come in a later post). And I did have a time in my life where a 5:30 a.m. workout was a normal and usual morning routine for me (how did I do that?!).

But these days, well, sometimes I feel like I can’t be the only one looking for a little balance and sanity in the morning as a working mom, right? I mean, like what we were saying in this post about learning from each other — there’s so many ways to do it “right.” And the morning struggle with kids is real. So we decided to ask some of those same women — plus ourselves — what our morning routines are really like. Not only do the answers make you feel better (Yay! I’m not the only one who tries to get ready as quickly and without as much fuss as possible!) but they also might help you tweak something in yours to make it a little bit better.

Hey, we’re all in this together!

teddiTeddi Hernandez, co-founder and CEO of Solve KC

With five kids, I start the day at 6 a.m. — COFFEE right away, followed by turning on the TODAY show for my morning news! I get the dogs out, pets fed, I make the kiddos breakfast, pack their lunches, make a healthy smoothie for everyone (it makes me feel like I’m getting their day off to a healthy start), talk to my hubby for a few moments without interruption — and then help my daughter with special needs get herself ready for school. Once I have everyone out the door, I then get my kiddo no. 5 up for a morning of virtual school while I go to my office and start working by 9 a.m. Calls, emails and client work keep me busy until 11:30 a.m. Break for lunch with my daughter and then get her ready for her commute each day for gymnastics. I then work again (usually face-to-face meetings) from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. when my special needs daughter arrives home from school (I like to be there when she arrives).

katrinKatrin Heuser, owner Affäre

Shower, get dressed, do squats while blow-drying hair, make-up — my goal is to limit this to 8 to 12 minutes, then coffee. We try to take time to talk a little to get everyone off to a good day.

alyssa-rapAlyssa Rap, founder of Bottlenotes

Girls wake up circa 6 a.m., we play for an hour, and I work out from 7:10 to 8:10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Weekends we sleep in, make breakfast (crepes and waffles are family favorites), then head on a run or a hike or a swim playdate or otherwise, depending upon the time of year/what we’re all up to.

avivaAviva Ajmera co-founder, president and COO of Solve KC

Get up 6 a.m, — unless I need to get up earlier — spend a couple of minutes quickly browsing what emails are in my in-box in case there is anything urgent I need to respond to. Brush teeth, get coffee, sit at computer for 30 minutes, start to get breakfast ready for daughter, take her to school, go to gym.

fbg-55Erin Whitehead, co-founder of the Fit Bottomed World

We’re all up and at ’em anywhere from 6:45 to 7. (I’m still working on getting myself up earlier than everyone else because that would be ideal, but seeing as how most mornings are spent getting elbowed in the nose from 4 a.m. on by my 4-year-old, it’s a work in progress.) My two oldest ones are independent and can get dressed and teeth (mostly) brushed on their own, so I’ll grab the youngest and get her ready. I throw on my clothes and contacts, and then it’s breakfast and coffee. My neighbor and I share carpooling duties for the elementary school drop-off, so some mornings I have until around 8:30 before I have to head out for the other two drop-offs. Once those are done I get home for more coffee — and to crank out as much as I can until I start the pickup process for the little ones.

FBG-14Jennipher Walters, co-founder of the Fit Bottomed World

My daughter sleeps until about 7 or 7:30 a.m. (if I’m really lucky), so I try to get up no later than 6:30 a.m. and grab a cup of coffee and start checking emails and doing any work stuff that’s a top priority. I’m big on getting things done at night, so usually her lunch is already packed and I’m already showered (I’m a big fan of wearing a braid overnight — totally looks normal when I sleep on it!), but if that’s not the case, I’ll shower and make a lunch. Once Gwen is up, my husband changes her diaper and brings her downstairs and I turn the computer off and play with her. She’s extra happy and sweet in the morning, so we send daddy off to work, have breakfast, watch Today together (confession: I will multitask and check email or text or update social media from my phone on busy days) and play some more. If she wakes up early, sometimes we might have time to squeeze a morning walk or run in. Then I take her to school at 9:30 a.m. After that, I work my tail off in a mad dash (plus try to squeeze in a 10-minute meditation) to make the most of the alone time that I’ve got!

Get any new tips or find a working mom who’s your doppleganger? Teddi and I should watch Today together. And, I’m gonna have to start doing squats while I blow dry. Well, when I blow dry. Ha. —Jenn


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  1. I would LOVE to hear tips from working moms that work outside the home. Typically an 8:00 – 5:00 job and how they balance their everyday stresses of kids, work, meals and finding the time and strength to work out in the evenings. My day consists of getting up at 5:30, getting myself ready the same time as I’m moving along my daughter for school, who has to leave the house by 6:45. I leave the house at 7:30 for work at 8:00. Some lunch hours I go to the gym, but since a new puppy was brought into the mix, lunchtimes are at home. I get home at 5:30, immediately start dinner while I’m fielding everyone’s questions, adventures of the day and get me this, get me that’s. As I’ve sloppily prepared dinner, I then head to my Crossfit gym at 6:30 for a 7:00pm class. Don’t even ask me how I get ready for the 6:30pm classes. I then come home, usually around 8:30pm, clean up the dinner dishes, make lunches, help with homework, vacuuming, washing someone’s clothes and collapsing into bed at 11:00pm, because by 10:00, all that is done, kids are getting ready for bed and it’s the one hour of my day I have to myself ( I so need more sleep). Mon-Fri. Weekends are a free for all…

  2. I agree with Tina. I am up at 5/5:30am to get myself ready for work before my toddler wakes up at 6am. I get her up, changed and fed, and then my five-year-old gets up at 6:15/6:30am and I do the same for her. My husband handles lunches, hair and bus for the oldest, but I have to be out of the house no later than 7:15am to drop my youngest off at daycare and be at work by 8am. I don’t get home until 6pm (thankfully, my husband cooks dinner), and then we eat and clean up by 7pm, leaving us only 30 minutes for play time until the kids need baths and the bedtime routine. After they get to bed, I clean, do laundry, etc., and if I can be in bed by 10:30pm, it’s a miracle. There’s not much time for anything else.

  3. I agree with Tina. Is there anyone that works outside the house that would be willing to give us some tips? I am a new mom with an almost 4 month old and just started a new job outside the home.

  4. Feel so comforted and “normal” hearing these.
    I am a working mom of 2. Day starts at 5:30, COFFEE, then shower. Everyone else starts waking up about 6am. I too do squats or leg lifts as I put makeup on or blow dry. In between times making sure my son didn’t fall asleep in the shower! Once done, I make sure he has his breakfast going then it’s off to wake and dress my 4 year old who seems to NOT be a morning person accept on weekends. Brush her teeth and mine, eat breakfast myself then out the door to school and daycare drop off at 7am then to work by 8. Afternoons are no different.

  5. Afternoons are: Off work at 5-pick up kiddos from daycare or camp by 6pm, home by 6:30. Dinner starts, while it cooks we try to clean house, do homework, etc. We eat then depending on what idea we had on cooking it is time for one TV show or movie then its bedtime routine as in bath, story time, study time for my son. Oh, did I mention should he choose to play any extracurricular activities like football or basketball that too is added three nights a week to the mix. YAY!
    Luckily I do fit my gym time in at lunch for about 35 minutes. 1hr for lunch-get there dress out for 10–hit it hard-then wipe off dress back out for work. Non stop! I don’t think this mom thing gets easier ladies.