I want to share something with you. I hate summer. I hate hot weather (and did even before I had multiple sclerosis, which means heat sensitivity that makes me feel like I have the flu when I get hot). I hate the disruption to my schedule that takes away from my already-limited work hours. And I really hate the feeling of being left out when I see people posting on social media about the amazing summer they’re having. (Yes, we all know not to rely on social media to show us the true representation of a person’s life, warts and all. But still.)
So, you might ask, what am I going to do about it? I am going to make the season I love — fall — the season of this mom. Fall has something for everyone! Don’t like hot weather? Check! Want a more regular schedule? Check! Love school and office supply shopping? Check! Love gorgeous foliage? Check (thank you, New England)! Love holidays? They’re coming! Love the most delicious apples and orchard fruit you’ve ever eaten? Check!
To implement my grand scheme, I’m going to have one underlying mantra: This fall is going to be MY season!
I’m going to set some guidelines to help myself out:
1. I deserve to make my happiness and health a priority.
I am able to be a better family member when I am taking care of myself. This includes time with hobbies and friends.
2. I’m going to ask for what I need.
Instead of assuming I can’t do something I want to do (because who else would take care of “x” task), I’m going to talk to my support systems to see if they will help me.
3. I’m going to seek help with tasks I’ve been putting off.
We all have things hanging over us that we can’t bring ourselves to complete because they feel too overwhelming. This fall, I’ll take care of those pesky tasks by hiring someone or asking for a favor. Or, think about exchanging skills! If you hate cleaning but love cooking, there’s someone out there for you! (Anyone want a custom bag made for them in exchange for some organizing skills?)
4. I’m letting go of perfection.
OK, I’m going to TRY to let go of perfection. It’s okay if we’re a little late, if the house is messy, if the kids don’t take a bath, if the kids are bored, or if they spend a day with a screen. The question I will ask myself is: Will this matter in five years?
5. I will be kind to myself.
Even on this mission to make fall my season, I am going to stumble, make mistakes, and be imperfect. I am going to get frustrated or feel like I haven’t accomplished what I said I was going to do. And that’s OK. I will remember two things: 1) Research shows that kindness and understanding are better motivators than harshness. And 2) I will treat myself like a friend. If this happened to one of my friends, what would I say to them?
Who wants to join me in making fall the season of mom? Do you have any tips or tricks to help the rest of us have a better fall? Please share!