5 Easy Ways to Simplify Your Morning Routine

The first few weeks of September are always hectic. It means back to school and back to a regular routine. Before my son was diagnosed with autism, I never appreciated the importance of consistency or routine. I’ve been putting my 6-year-old son Norrin on the bus to school for the last four years and I’ve learned that preparation is essential for an easy morning.

school routine

Prep clothes for the week.  Sunday is my big laundry day. And as I fold clothes, I put together outfits for the week. Once I gather a shirt, pants, socks and underclothes, I fold them up and place them in a draw. Every night, I take out an outfit. If your child insists on picking out his/her own clothes – have them do this.

Get up before the kids. Have a cup of coffee or quick breakfast. I wake up at least an hour before my son wakes up. I drink my coffee, check emails, take a shower, and watch the news – it’s my quiet time. I find that on mornings when I am able to get myself together first, getting my son ready is a whole lot easier.

Have a designated spot for shoes, book bags and coats. There is nothing worse than rushing around at the last second looking for shoes, bags and coats. Every day, when my son comes home I tell him to take off his shoes and socks and put them in their place. I have designated areas for his things so that in the morning, we both know exactly where they are.

Don’t make breakfast complicated. While breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s the hardest one to try and prepare when rushing to get out the door. So keep breakfast simple. And simple and quick doesn’t mean unhealthy. As much as I would love to make pancakes, bacon and eggs for breakfast every morning I know it’s impossible. And honestly, at the time my son wakes up, he isn’t interested in a big breakfast. So we make do with cereal and milk (on the side) or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I keep nuts, fruit and yogurt on hand for the mornings he’s being extra fussy. I also send snacks to school just in case he needs something to tide him over until lunch.

Give yourself enough time to get ready. This seems basic but it’s so easy to overlook. I have three alarms, all set for different times. I keep one in the bathroom set for me – it’s an hour earlier than the others and it forces me to get up. I have to be exhausted to get up out of bed, hit snooze to return to bed for another ten minutes.  Then I have the regular alarm – it’s set for the ideal time to wake up and start our day. The third alarm is crunch time alarm. It’s the alarm that reminds me how important it is to prepare everything ahead of time.

 

 

Lisa Quinones-Fontanez is secretary by day, grad student and blogger by night, and Mom round the clock.  Her writing has been featured on several blog sites including Parents.com.  AutismWonderland is also ranked #10 on Babble’s Top 30 Autism Blogs for Parents.  In between work, school, blog writing and advocating for her 6 year old son, Lisa is also working on a historical fiction novel (working title) A Thousand Branches.  A chapter excerpt (The Last Time of Anything) from A Thousand Branches received Honorable Mention in Glimmertrain’s Family Matters October 2010 competition.

3 thoughts on “5 Easy Ways to Simplify Your Morning Routine

    • Thanks Jessica! The extra sleep is really nice – some mornings I do treat myself…but on those days when I’m trying to get myself ready and Norrin and my husband has to get ready too…it’s CRAZY! Plus, we live in an apartment with only 1 bathroom…

  1. We’ve found that Lily needs to get up as early as possible. That gives her a chance to get used to the idea of awakeness and start becoming aware of hunger. If we wake her too close to leaving, she won’t eat. . . and everything goes downhill from there!

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