Dascha Polanco Details Her Back-to-School Morning Routine

Dascha Polanco attends MTV "Beyond The Wall" Installation at Herald Square on October 10, 2016 in New York City.
Dascha Polanco attends MTV "Beyond The Wall" Installation at Herald Square on October 10, 2016 in New York City. Brad Barket/Getty Images for MTV

Jail break! Dascha Polanco spends most of her day as inmate Dayanara Diaz on the set of Orange Is The New Black, but at home, she’s more like a traffic cop — especially during back-to-school time. The mom of two takes Us Weekly through her morning routine of marshaling Dasany, 15, and Aryam, 7, on their way out the door.

A hip-hop song — set as her daughter’s cellphone alarm — is the first thing Polanco hears every morning at 5 a.m. The New York-based actress laments, “Nobody wakes up at 5 a.m., so at 6 a.m., it’s still going, ‘Go best friend. That’s my best friend!”

Dascha Polanco and Dasany Carter
Dascha Polanco and Dasany Carter Dasany Carter/Facebook

Once the hour passes, Polanco goes to nudge Dasany, “like pulling off her sheets,” before brushing her teeth and tossing on clothes. “My favorite thing to wear to take them to school is my scrubs from when I used to work in the hospital, a little tee, my hair is like whatever,” she says. “I don’t care if I look like a hot mess.”

Her son doesn’t require much nudging to get out of bed, usually around 7:15 a.m., but he does need reminders to hurry up in the bathroom. “He has to shower, do his hair,” she explains. “He’s got like a whole little production, so I have to be on top of him like, ‘You’re going to be late.’”

Dascha Polanco and Aryam attend Levi's Kids Rock! Runway Show at The Dock, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 8, 2016 in New York City.
Dascha Polanco and Aryam attend Levi's Kids Rock! Runway Show at The Dock, Skylight at Moynihan Station on September 8, 2016 in New York City. Thos Robinson/Getty Images for Nike/Levi's/Rookie USA show

Both kids request the same breakfast on a daily basis: an egg sandwich with a runny yolk. “Sometimes I’m naked,” she admits. “We’re very free in my house, so it’s not like, ‘Mom’s making eggs naked!’” They’ll sit down to eat around 7:40, but if they’re still running behind, she wraps the food in foil so it can be eaten at school. Around 7:45 a.m., the Dominican Republic native, 34, reminds her daughter to walk the family dog.

Dascha Polanco and her family attend Disney On Ice presents Frozen at Barclays Center on November 11, 2014 in New York City.
Dascha Polanco and her family attend Disney On Ice presents Frozen at Barclays Center on November 11, 2014 in New York City. Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for FELD Entertainment

This year, her kids are packing their own lunches — often turkey or PB&J sandwiches for her son. “I appreciate that my parents taught me independence,” she says. “It’s important so that the day that I’m not here, they know how to take care of themselves.”

She leaves just enough time to drop off her son by the 8:15 bell, then heads home for a workout — or an episode of The Maury Povich Show. Says the star, “That’s my time.” 

For the latest celebrity entertainment, news and lifestyle videos, subscribe to Us Weekly’s YouTube Page.

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!