What to Do If You Oversleep

Do you occasionally oversleep?  Does it seem to take way too long to get out of the house in the morning with kids?  Does your morning routine leave you on edge especially when you’re rushed?

When I returned to work full time following the birth of my daughter I needed my morning routine to be easy!  I enjoyed our evenings so much that we probably stayed up too late and as a result I wasn’t exactly springing out of bed in the morning.

Lots of time has passed since then.  I had a second child and stopped working full-time but many of those time savers I used then still work or have evolved and we are usually able to get out of the house in 30 minutes if we need to.

This is what I do when I put my glasses on, look at the clock and say, “Oh shoot!”

  1. I take a deep breath, calmly remind myself that it is okay to be late sometimes, and spring into action.
  2. I quietly get myself dressed and put my hair up.
  3. Then I go make the lunches and snacks and pack them in their respective backpacks (ideally they are already made and in the fridge but I’m not that good!)
  4. Also I prepare breakfast items for the car.  Milk or juice in a sippy cup, baggies with pretzels, cheese, apples, bananas (something easy to make and eat in the car)
  5. Then I load the car (note that the kids are still sleeping!)
  6. Grab outfits, socks, shoes, jackets, and a hairbrush, and bring them to the dressing station aka the couch.
  7. Here is where I take another deep breath and calmly wake ONE child and walk him or her to the bathroom; I do not leave their side to avoid distractions
  8. Then to the couch where I get them fully dresses, jacket and all.  After COMPLETING one child, I move on to the next.  If they complain, I promise rewards for their cooperation like the park or a treat after school.

*I try to move through these steps efficiently but without rushing to avoid getting upset or forgetting something.

I really prefer when we get up early and the kids have time to eat here and play or watch a show.  They really like that but it is not always the reality for us.

Additional tips for new working moms… 

  • I started showering in the evenings and adopted a low maintenance hair style, at least for that first year.
  • To save a little time, I would take the baby into the shower with me!  It helps to have another adult to pass the baby in and out.
  • I also mastered the art of nursing while laying down.  This way I could get much needed rest during those night-time feedings.
  • Check out my online shopping post which helped me save time and money and rely less on take-out.

Planning on returning to work after maternity leave or are you a working mother looking for more tips?  Definitely check out this book.  It is written by Linda Mason who is one of the cofounders of Bright Horizons (a really awesome daycare that I used for my infant daughter).  It is full of useful tips on how to make it work from the experts…  real working mothers!  Truthfully, this book made the idea of returning to work full-time seem possible for me!  By the way, there is a whole chapter devoted to the morning routine!

The Working Mother’s Guide to Life: Strategies, Secrets, and Solutions

After you’ve made the decision to return to work following the birth of a child, you may still wonder, “Am I doing the right thing for my family?” and “How on earth do I make this work?” Now, The Working Mother’s Guide to Life sets out to offer you hundreds of answers to these types of questions, from nuts-and-bolts advice, such as finding top-notch child care and stress-free ways to manage your household, to more complex issues like separating from your child without feeling guilty and creating a rich, strong family culture that will thrive regardless of whether or not you are working.

Author Linda Mason—herself a working mom and founder of an award-winning company that cares for the children of working parents across the country—provides a reassuring, practical, and comprehensive guide based on interviews with more than 100 successful working mothers from diverse backgrounds. Here are countless strategies and tips from these experts on everything from household chores and returning to work with a newborn to finding communities of support (Amazon Description).

* * * 

How about you?  What are your morning routine time saving secrets?  Please share!

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I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! doodlesandjots@hotmail.com. If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


  1. In my ideal world, or how it was last summer, I woke up earlier than everyone in the family, or after dad wakes up. Which isn’t that early because both of them work from home so their morning schedule is flexible. It just helps me think without everyone moving around or being aloud. You remember my post about my “waking up process” right? I’m super slow, so it helps when I have time to myself to get the brain working. Usually by the time everyone’s up I’m in full gear and already accomplishing things. When I wake up early, things really get done. I hope this summer is the same why, winter has a way of slowing me down. A lot!
    Larissa T. recently posted..May TidBits.My Profile

    • I think that is part of the reason I wait to wake the kids. It helps me stay calm if I can get things ready in a quiet, calm house. I am lucky not to have the type of kids that wake at 5, no fail!

  2. My kids have been getting up SUPER early, so the morning rush hasn’t been a problem this year – but last year, when they were sleeping in more, my saving grace was to put PACKED backpacks in the car the night before – works best if your kids only need to pack a snack, not a lunch, of course! I would also lay their clothes out (including shoes and socks) the night before.
    maryanne @ mama smiles recently posted..Exploring Geography: RussiaMy Profile

  3. I make the kids pack up their backpacks the night before … things like completed homework, instruments and music and stuff for after school like soccer bags.

    I really should pack snacks and lunch the night before or have the kids do that but luckily the school year is almost done!
    PragmaticMom recently posted..Sign Language for KidsMy Profile

    • It feels very nice to be that prepare! I wish I had done that with their clothes for today. I had the toughest time finding decent looking warm weather clothes for them to wear.

    • I definitely have to prepare myself mentally. I would much prefer a more relaxed start to the day.

  4. Having a routine works for us. My son has specific jobs to do and so do I.
    Of course getting out of bed on time helps. Sometimes I hit snooze button and just sit in bed to wake slowly. That can be ok if I do it once but more than that then we run into time issues which I don’t like.
    Oh there goes my alarm now.
    Time to get up!
    If we wake late we do a super modified version of our morning routine. I learned that from you Ann!
    Kris recently posted..Do the Most Important Thing FirstMy Profile

  5. Ok, I have this problem but no kids. So seriously, what’s my problem? Insomnia. Have had it most of my life. One thing that attracts me to stay at home writing is no official “office hours”. Maybe one day I’ll realize that pipe dream.

    In Hawaii, it is more common to take a shower at night. I sometimes shower in the morning too if it was hot. I do need to be better about prepping stuff beforehand (clothes, lunch, etc.) I have made myself lower maintenance too though and I’m still surprised how not fixing my hair has not affected my quality of life (ha ha…the wisdom of age & self acceptance).

    Great helpful post!
    Tania recently posted..A Beautiful Mess…My Profile

    • I am, in general, a morning person but I have a little procrastination thing working against me in the morning when I have to get out. I like the work from home thing too : )

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