Before I share my morning rhythms and routines with you, I want to make it clear that it’s far from perfect. We have our off days, middle of the night wake up calls, and some days when I’m just too dog-gone tired to get up.
There’s grace for that.
I’m just an average autism mama, this isn’t meant to be a “how to guide,” but simply to share with you what I do.
I hope that this will help you to figure out what rhythms and routines would work best for your family, and YOUR situation.
If you’re finding it difficult to set-up your morning routines, I highly encourage you to to take a look at your evening routines. This has been instrumental in setting us up for better mornings. Our mornings are often a result of how well our evenings went. I’ve created a mini-guide to evening routines here.
Without further ado, here we go:
I usually get up sometime between 5-5:30am. Now, before you think I’m highly motivated, and an energizer bunny… lemme give it to you straight… it took a long time before I could get up that early. A lot of trial and error, but what has worked for me to get up early:
- having my phone as an alarm clock at 5am
- setting up an alarm clock on the other side of our bedroom for 5:15am
- drinking my first full glass of water right after turning off my alarm clock (I have a glass set up by my nightstand from the evening before.)
I’ll use the bathroom of course and wash my face. This usually helps me to be more alert. I’ll throw on a pair of earbuds, put on a podcast, usually Brendon Burchard. The bathroom in our home is right next to the laundry room, and it’s become habitual for me to run a load of laundry as part of my morning routine so I do that while listening to a podcast.
Next, I make a quick stop to the kitchen to mix my pre-workout protein. I have my tablet, and Bluetooth headset set on the tv stand in the living room from the night before, ready for me to get started on my pilates workout.
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I usually can get in a good twenty-minute workout, before heading over to the kitchen to grab my protein smoothie (mixed the night before). I’ll turn on the kettle to boil water for my french press or matcha tea, and hop in the shower while the water’s boiling. Throw on some clothes, and make myself a cup of coffee or tea.
While my french press or tea is steeping, I’ve made it a habit of unloading the dishes in the morning. That way the dishwasher is empty, and we can place the dishes in the dishwasher as we use them as opposed to allowing it to stack up in the sink. My girls are great at loading their own dishes, Jacob still needs a bit of prompting, but he’s getting there.
I came up with this idea to incorporate mundane tasks into my daily routines from reading the book The Power of Habits. I’m not a huge fan of doing the laundry (any laundry fairy godmothers out there?) nor doing the dishes, but it’s something that absolutely has to be done. I find that once you incorporate it into your daily routine, it becomes habitual and doesn’t feel like an additional task you have to do.
Because come on! You’re an autism mama, you already have a ton on your plate– mundane tasks like laundry, dishes, and making meals shouldn’t be something that demands more of your brain space.
Once I have the dishes unloaded, I’ll switch over to the CALM app, and enter into a guided meditation. I’m a novice meditator and can easily drift off to sleep if left to my own devices. This gives me time to get quiet, and centered, then I enter into prayer.
I thank God for the little and big things, share what’s on my heart, and ask for His Spirit to remain with me throughout the day.
Then, I’ll finish my morning time journaling, working through my power sheets and writing out my goals and intentions for the day.
After reading this you may be thinking that this must take me all morning to do, but honestly, now that it’s a habit, I’m able to complete all of this in less than an hour. I usually get done a little after 6, then it’s my cue to wake up Jacob for school.
Oftentimes, we tend to overestimate how long things will take us.
But really, it only takes like 5 minutes to load the laundry (if you already have all the dirty clothes in the laundry room), and 5-10 minutes max to unload the dishwasher. The kettle is doing the leg work of boiling water, while I’m able to take that time to enter into meditation, followed by a time of prayer.
Exercising, journaling down my thoughts, and writing out my goals/intentions for the day probably takes up the majority of my morning quiet time, but it’s some of the most life-giving things I can do to set myself up for the rest of the day.
I’m raising two children on the spectrum, and one child who is gifted, and I want to cultivate a life-giving home for my herd of not-so-tiny-humans.
It requires that I create intentions for my day. I also work part-time, and run an online business doing what I love! So, it’s crucial that I know that the most important things that needed to be done for that day get done, and they were done well.
Even when I was a stay-at-home-mom (I only started being a “working mom” within the last 18 months), having this morning quiet time for myself was and still continues to be life-giving, and the benefits of it return ten-fold.
I find I’m a more patient mama, less susceptible to whatever life throws at me that day– because of #autismmomlife. Phone calls from school happen, accidents happen, life happens… which is why I strongly encourage you to have rhythms and routines in place for yourself.
You’ll find that incorporating mundane tasks into daily routines will change you. I find I’m more grateful, and gracious. I’m a much kinder, and more pleasant person to be around (I hope!), and I just have more energy.
Remember, there are seasons for everything. If your child is simply not sleeping at night on a regular basis, there are a few ways you can still incorporate this into your routine– lean into your season.
Know when to give yourself grace, and be okay with the season you’re in.
But also know when it’s time to give yourself some tough love and get a solid morning routine in place so you can show up as the best version of yourself the rest of the day.
Again, if you’re finding it difficult to set-up your morning routines, I highly encourage you to to take a look at your evening routines.
When you feel good, you’re able to give and serve your family from a place of grace. And you’ll look good doing it.
You’re an autism mama.
Now, go be ausome!
Related: Trying to get healthier, but you’re constantly being bombarded by Beach Body coaches & Keto-diet advocates? Getting healthier doesn’t have to be that complicated.