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Lori Eason with her two sons

How Special Needs Mom Lori Eason Spends Her Tuesday

Lori Eason is a Stitch Fix styling team leader and single mom to Cael, 15, and Thadd, 13, who has autism. The family—including their Yorkipoo, Betty—lives in Collin County near Lucas, just steps from the shores of Lake Lavon.

6:10AM Alarm goes off. Need a few more minutes.

6:20AM Out of bed. Make a latte and look at my work calendar. Start a load of towels. Grab Thadd’s whiteboard and write today’s tasks.

6:38AM Peek in to see that Thadd still has covers over his face. I’ll give him 15 more minutes. We’re feeling the schedule shift with the start of school. Cael is at his dad’s right now, but I imagine he’s also feeling that shift.

6:55AM Wake Thadd. Turn off the house alarm and let our dog Betty out.

7:12AM Return to see Thadd’s still in bed. Gently nudge him awake. Lay out his clothes for the day and remind him of his whiteboard tasks: get dressed, comb hair, brush teeth and, as we like to say, “deo for B.O.”

7:21AM I jump in the shower. I have a day of (video) calls, so makeup and hair are a must.

7:45AM Thadd appears, dressed! Hair, teeth and deo aren’t done. Part of his ABA program addresses latency, so getting even part of this done on time, with few prompts—a win. Usher him to the bathroom to complete his routine, then return to my bathroom to finish mine.

8:07AM Into my home office to start work. Work through emails, but move to résumé reviews for the two interviews I’m conducting today. Thadd asks about breakfast. I remind him to reheat leftover gluten-free protein pancakes. (We’re working on independence, and he’s killing it with breakfast!)

8:30AM Thadd cleared his plate (yes!). I’m wrapping up résumé reviews and realize Thadd needs to get signed into school. He’s not thrilled. Tell him to breathe . . . I breathe . . . we breathe. Print assignments and schedule; today there’s less Zoom time and more independent work. Get him started reading a worksheet. Hope for the best there—I must return to my work.

9:20AM Hear in the other room that Thadd hasn’t stayed on task and has grabbed his iPad. I have a 9:30 call, so getting him back on track has to wait.

10:14AM Call over. Get Thadd set up for his next class. Back to my office to check my team’s schedule compliance.

10:47AM Thirteen minutes until my first interview. Pop my head around the corner and see that Thadd has left his worksheet (and is upstairs with Legos). Look at his schedule and see that we don’t have to log into Zoom again until later. Phew. Back to the office to put a whiteboard up reading “Mom’s unavailable. Don’t disturb until 11:45am.” Interview is starting.

11:48AM Interview over. Thadd’s still upstairs with Legos. I have another interview starting in 12 minutes. Thadd’s home ABA therapist will be here at 12:30; I text her that I’m locking myself in my office space instead of my usual space. I also give her the scoop on the day so far and his lunch.

12:50PM Second interview complete—no interruptions! Can hear upstairs that his therapist is here. He needs to log in for school soon. She’ll spend some of his 2.5-hour session helping him stay on task (as part of his latency and independence goals). Realize I better get back to my office—1 o’clock call starting soon.

2:02PM Finished call. Check on therapy session. Very few behaviors so far today—woohoo! Return to my office for a 2:30 call.

3:03PM Call is done. Debrief with the ABA therapist. The last period of Thadd’s day is PE, so he gets a snack then heads out to the backyard to swim. I’ll work from the living room now so I can see him while on my last call of the day at 3:45.

4:27PM Last call done! Take my laptop outside to catch up on email and screen new applications and résumés while Thadd swims.

5:56PM Thadd says he’s hungry. I realize I haven’t eaten all day. Close laptop and go inside to start dinner.

6:10PM Put chicken in the Instant Pot for tacos. The Instant Pot saves the day!

6:45PM Sit down to eat and am told by Thadd that tacos are “too juicy”—a sensory issue for him. We work through it by him dabbing his tacos with a paper towel.

7:02PM Give Thadd a timeline for the night, including shower by 8:30 and bed by 9:30. He chooses to play on his iPad and draw before his pre-bedtime movie ritual.

7:30PM Kitchen’s clean (enough). I sit down with a glass of wine, return personal texts and calls, and check in with Cael since he’s at his dad’s. Realize Betty never got her soft food today (and she’s holding out on kibble), so I open a can for her. See the floor needs cleaning, so I run a quick vacuum over the hardwood.

8:20PM Give Thadd the 10-minute . . . then five-minute . . . then one-minute countdown to get in the shower.

8:31PM Hear shower water running. Success!

8:48PM Get Thadd set up for his movie in my bedroom (Lego Batman). Remember the towels in the washer from this morning.

9:20PM Go to give Thadd the 10-minute countdown and see that he’s already asleep. Don’t have the heart to wake him to brush his teeth, so I just turn off the TV.

9:37PM Fold towels.

10:53PM Yawn. Let Betty out, set our alarm and wash my face and brush my teeth. Collapse into bed, ready to do it all again tomorrow.

Fast Facts 

What she’s listening to Willie, Fleetwood Mac, Newer Country
What she’s watching Re-watching Downton Abbey for the third time
Favorite indulgence Really good pizza
She’s really good at Most things artistic—sketching, painting
She’s really bad at Remembering to eat during the workday
Habit she can’t quit Morning lattes
She wishes she had more time to Travel
Ongoing project My garden
Greatest fear Thadd not being independent one day
What she does when life gets stressful Turn on the music, head to nature
Beauty product she can’t live without Renée Rouleau serums and Tula 24-7 moisture cream
Favorite place for a night out Anywhere with live music
Favorite scent I can’t pick just one! Ylang ylang, vetiver, lavender, chamomile
Words she lives by Do what is right, not what is easy
No. 1 item on her bucket list Europe again—but this time hit France, Germany, Switzerland and Ireland
If she had to change careers, she’d be Back to my original career—architecture/design. Miss it very much.
Motherhood in five words Challenge. Reward. Grit. Doubt. Love.

Photo courtesy of Lori Eason.