When I was a kid, our Saturday morning routine was usually the same. My father was always the first to wake. I’d listen to the clang of pots and pans as he made his own breakfast, the smell of fried eggs and the brew of cafe tempting me to get up. Sometimes he made me breakfast if I asked or I’d make myself a bowl of cereal before returning to my room. I’d turn on my black and white TV and quietly watch Saturday morning cartoons until my mother woke up and told me to shut it off. She’d make breakfast, clean up a little, and urge us to get ready so we could start our day.
Before I was a mom, my Saturday mornings were spent sleeping until noon. And when I woke up, I was only responsible for myself. I could get ready and be out the door in less than thirty minutes. There were no chores, no supermarket, no loads of laundry to be done.
Ever since becoming a mom, my Saturday mornings are drastically different. And as my son Norrin has gotten older, they keep changing. Saturday mornings used to be about diaper changes, early morning bottle feedings, and maybe a stroll in the park. After Norrin was diagnosed with autism, we spent our Saturday mornings with occupational therapists. But this last year, our Saturday mornings have been just for us. No more early morning appointments with therapists. And our freedom has been nice.
What Does a Typical Saturday Morning Look Like for Us? 1 of 7
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Rise and Shine! 2 of 7
5:46 AM. This is usually the time Norrin jumps into our bed. Which is strange because during the week, we have to fight to wake him up. But on Saturday mornings, the kid is up and ready to go. I spend the next few hours sleeping with one eye open, fighting with Norrin to stop hogging the covers and asking him to lower the volume on his iPad.
Surveying the Damage 3 of 7
By 8 AM, I realize that there's no use in fighting. It's time for me to get up and start the day. I peek into Norrin's room to survey the early morning damage. Actually this morning wasn't too bad. It could have been worse.
Before Any Work Can Get Done 4 of 7
I need a cup of coffee (sometimes two). I can't wash a dish, check an email, or pick up a toy without my morning cup of Joe. I also don't cook in the morning. Norrin gets a bowl of cereal or nuts or fruit with milk.
My Never Ending Task 5 of 7
Laundry: a mother's Sisyphean task. Saturday mornings almost always consist of sorting clothes, washing clothes, or folding clothes. I always try to get something done or at least started before heading out the door. I am grateful we have a washer and dryer in our apartment. I can't tell you how many Saturday mornings were spent in the laundromat.
Image: iStock Photo
Our NEW Summer Saturday Morning Routine 6 of 7
Recently we bought Norrin his first bike. On Saturday mornings, we've been taking Norrin outside so that he can practice riding. Early mornings are best since the neighborhood is still quiet and fairly empty—none of the other kids are out yet with their bikes or scooters. Sometimes we all go out, other times my husband Joseph will take Norrin out for a while, so I can get some work done around the apartment.
And Now The Day Can Really Begin! 7 of 7
I've had my coffee. Norrin's had his cereal. His room is clean. A load of laundry has been done. He's had some exercise with his bike. There is still so much stuff around the apartment to do. I have food shopping to do and still more laundry but it's going to be a hot one today. And we're ready for an afternoon at the pool. All that other stuff can wait. It's Saturday and I want to enjoy it with my kid.
So does any of this look familiar? What does your typical saturday morning look like?
Read more of Lisa’s writing at AutismWonderland.