I always feel more emotional in the fall. Not only more sad, but more of every emotion. It makes me introspect. The season brings out my inner poet who sees the beauty of death and hibernation in nature around me. It makes me long for wood fires and cozy blanket cuddles on the couch. This fall, the smells and feels and tastes and look of the season changing around me evokes memories of last fall, when I was in the thick of the post partum period, cozied up in a cocoon of motherly love and stress.
I just finished drafting a blog post reflecting on my post partum period a year later (it will be published in a few weeks), and thoughts of that time in my life have been on my mind. As I get further from it, my memories soften. I find myself now looking back on it with fondness instead of a “how did I ever survive that” mentality. My whole entire world revolved around my baby, and I had support from all corners to ensure life went on as it should while I was entirely consumed.
Now, I’m still waking almost as many times a night for my one year old and I’m still entirely consumed with her well-being and care, but the support is gone and the expectations of me getting back to my pre-motherhood self have risen. But I’ll never be pre-motherhood again. I am forever changed, forever a mother. How do I get back to business as it was now that I am so entirely changed?
This fall, all I want is a do-over of last fall. I want Avery and I to focus on simply existing, together, with lots of cuddles and walks among the fall colours. I want lowered expectations of my work output, because I’m doing something so incredibly important instead – caring for a baby.
But we are all growing up… Avery, me, my friends’ kids around us… This fall is going to be tough. It’s full of new transitions and demands and life is barreling on by whether I want it to or not. Maybe this is why people have multiple children. This is me clinging to my baby’s infancy and trying to navigate yet another shift in my own identity, and it’s heavy. Fall is heavy. But it’s also beautiful and magical and this nostalgia is normal for me, so I suppose I’ll just ride it out. And of course, I’ll be extra mindful of every baby snuggle and late night nursing session and even every poopy diaper change, because it is all fleeting.