In honor of the first week of October, I thought I’d share a reminder I’m giving myself as all things fall and holidays are upon us. I love this time of year. I would be completely satisfied if I could live in cozy sweaters all year round, and I am the first person to put my family in matching holiday pajamas. But as we enter into this exciting season, we have to remember that life happens, and sometimes things do not go according to plan.
It can be easy in this coming season to get caught up in the idyllic fantasy of it all; the coziness, memories to be had. And I am ALL FOR IT. I can’t wait to get dressed up for Halloween, get the house cozy for fall and Thanksgiving, and eventually celebrate Christmas. But this year, I am determined to actually make the memories, and not just work towards the dream of it. It can be so easy to desperately want the perfect picture or create unrealistic expectations for this upcoming season, when in reality that’s not what actually is most important. While all of the photos and moments are wonderful, and I plan to have many myself, if it doesn’t work out, we have to remember it is okay. If life happens and the dreaminess isn’t our reality, it shouldn’t determine whether or not this season is a good one. The desperate need to produce “proof” that this season was all that it could be only brings anguish. It creates a discontentment and can easily rob you and your family of such a wonderful time of year. I have consciously decided to repeatedly take a step back and ask myself if what I’m striving for comes from healthy motives. Sometimes, it’s actually better to skip the photo or eliminate something in the full schedule to really enjoy the people you love. On the other hand, maybe you are like us, and everyone does better when there is a lot to do. I can’t wait to build memories during this season with my boys. I fully intend to take them to the pumpkin patch, decorate for all the holidays, and have cozy baking nights. BUT, if those things don’t happen, it won’t dictate my attitude or the “success” of this season.
Additionally, if you are parenting kiddos from hard places, one must understand that this is often the hardest season of their year. These kiddos thrive when there is structure and predictability. For us this season is full of excitement and celebrations, but for them it’s a season full of unknowns and anxiety. When they have a constant irregular schedule, and are bombarded with lots of people and activities, they are bound to have a meltdown, or more. Sometimes, for their sake, we have to leave the party early, or help them regulate from panic while all the other kids are having a blast. It can be easy to become selfish in this season. I’m guilty of this- wanting everything to go according to plan- but that cannot be a factor when parenting kids who have experienced trauma.
I hope this little reminder allows you to go into this wonderful season stress-free. It’s not to deter us from our fun fall bucket lists, but to help us remember to approach them with flexibility. For me personally, this heart check eliminates the requirement to perform. It gives me freedom to enjoy what comes, make lots of memories, and hopefully capture many of them. But most importantly, this mindset will help me create even more connection within my family.
Below are some of my favorite pictures from last year, and I hope to capture some great ones this year as well!