Goodbye Summer, hello Autumn

I’ve written before about how the weather changes my mood, but this year, I’d been dreading the changing seasons even more than usual.

I felt the impending September like a lead weight, as the date was set for my first born baby to start school. I’ve been a stay at home Mum since he was born and, whilst that choice of path has had its ups and downs, it’s been the most incredible 4 years that I would never change. S and I have had so many amazing adventures together, grown together, learned together. I’ve been able to see him develop into the hilarious, smart and adventurous little boy he is now.

Thinking about how both our lives were going to change was a shot to my heart. I didn’t want that day to come.

I felt massive anxiety about making the most of our last few months together, and felt the Mum guilt intensify when things didn’t go perfectly. You may have read about some of the wonderful adventures we had this summer, but I couldn’t help beating myself up that it wasn’t enough. Nothing was enough.

The last week before school was due to start, my husband had taken a day off work and we’d asked S to choose something special for us all to do together. Everything was planned, and that’s when our youngest, E, was taken ill and admitted to hospital.

So alongside the fear and emotion for him, I was riddled with sadness and guilt that S had been all but pushed aside, his special plans cancelled – and that this would be all of our lasting memories of this huge moment in our lives.

When we knew E was OK and he was discharged from hospital, I began to feel very conscious that I was at risk of the fear, anxiety and sleep deprivation overwhelming me. I’m still very much a work in progress, but I’m doing my utmost to stick to the 2019 plan – to alter my go-to thoughts and reactions, work on self improvement, develop efficient coping strategies and just be happy.

I shed my tears, drank my wine and started to work on changing my mindset. I talked about reframing negatives and thinking about a fresh start for Autumn instead of a dreadful end to summer in my previous post, and that seemed like the best place to begin.

So we started making special Autumn plans. We love to go walking in the forest, so the first thing we did this weekend was to go out into the woods and hunt for the signs of the changing seasons. We spotted acorns on the trees, leaves already starting to turn and a few different kinds of fungi peaking out of the soil or gaps in the tree bark. We laughed, chased each other down the winding paths, came home and made hot dogs.

Fungus and fairy house

I remembered that even the simplest of days can have the ability to change your entire reality, especially when you’re working hard to tell your brain to get on board with it.

It’s my birthday next month so S asked me what cake I was going to make myself…! Cheeky. He loves Halloween (as do I!), so we’ve started talking about costumes, decorations and the scary films we’re going to watch. We’ve even talked about fireworks and marshamllows at Bonfire Night. (And I’m sure the C word won’t be far behind.)

Allowing myself to talk about the season ahead and make little plans, instead of doggedly resisting the change and ruminating on the challenges of the previous season, is really helping me to process those emotions and feel excitement instead of dread.

I find it frustrating when people imply it’s possible to just change your brain, and all of a sudden not suffer with mental ill health. But I am living proof that it’s possible, if you work on really understanding yourself, to identify key issues and triggers and slowly start to find better ways of dealing with them.

I’m in no doubt that it will be a lifelong journey, but even a shuffle forward is better than standing still.

Finding the beauty in being the
orange tree amongst the green
Musings Of A Tired Mummy

40 thoughts on “Goodbye Summer, hello Autumn

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  1. I love your phrase “even a shuffle forward is better than standing still”. I, too, struggle with the end of summer. As a teacher, part of me looks forward to the new school year, but I do miss the freedom of summer days. All the best to you as you continue to move forward and watch your family blossom and grow with the changing seasons.

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  2. I’m exactly the same as you! He changing of the seasons really sets off my anxiety, even when we go from winter to spring! Great idea to make a list of things that you’re looking forward to each season, think I’ll have to start doing that too!

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  3. Such a great post! Thank you for sharing! I think we all feel that way sometimes. For me, I’m excited for cooler weather this year, but I live in the desert and I’m tired of the heat! I also love that you called Christmas “the C word” hahaha!

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  4. Beautifully written. I think the changing seasons with our children are so bitter sweet. The beginning of the school year feels like our family’s new year– new activities, new friends and new adventures. Hope this is a wonderful season for your family.

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  5. I just had my first go offer to Kinder this year after having her home for 4 years with me as a work at home mom!! I completely understand how you felt, it was a hard transition, more for me than for her, because she was so excited for the bus and her new teacher. I hope that as this month has come into you have found comfort in your new routine and I am happy to hear that your youngest is doing better and making a recovery. We are all works in progress and I wish you and your family and wonderful transition into a beautiful new season! 🙂

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  6. This was a lovely post and it’s lovely to hear about how you changed your mindset & started looking to the future (by planning Autumn activities) rather than focusing on the past and what couldn’t happen.

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  7. Beautifully written post! Changing one’s mindset can be so difficult but so worth it. If you put in the time and effort it can certainly be done. Good luck!

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  8. I know how we can let ourselves beat ourselves up about things; but it’s good that you are working on it. And it’s good that you havent let the end of summer get you too down. Autumn is an amazing time of year and theres so many things you can do with your little! I look forward to all your adventures for the rest of the year!

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  9. This is such a lovely post. I appreciate how authentic and real it is. “Even the simplest of days can have the ability to change your entire reality,” is a wonderful reminder of how it’s the sum of little things that lead to big changes. Before you know it, with each simple step, something incredible has already happened.

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  10. I completely understand that changing your mindset is difficult. I often struggle with it myself. But focusing on the positive is honestly sometimes the only way to deal with things I don’t like. I love fall because it means colder weather, big blankets, candles, and halloween! lol Focus on things you like during this upcoming season (:

    Erika Marie

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  11. Oh my gosh, I LOVED this post. It’s wonderful how mindful you were of the new season and that you both paid close attention to it. That can have such a calming effect on the mind and always allows me to calm the mental clutter and stay present. Great post. I will be back for more!

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  12. Congratulations on your shuffle forwards with your mental health, and also on your boy starting school! The latter sounds like it was quite overwhelming, but I’m so happy that you managed to cope with the changing plans in a way that seems (to me) to be really positive. I hope you have a wonderful autumn, I really do 🙂

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  13. This particular change is a confusing one for me – I’m torn between my love of camping, hiking, etc in the summer and my obsession with autumn and the Halloween season… I want the seasons to change but I also don’t want to let go of summer…

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  14. Even though I have no idea about mental illness and anxiety, I’m glad you see the progress in yourself. Be proud!
    Also, as a young person (still remembering my childhood years very well), don’t beat yourself up for little things. I know I can’t understand how one mom feels, but you seem like a good and caring mom so missing one made plan with your son shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re worried about it still, try to make spontaneous last minute plans with your kids. That way you won’t feel guilty if you can’t make it some other time. Kids will understand 😀

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  15. You’re amazing, you know that right?
    Baby steps all the way, I always find having a focus or stopping to really appreciate the smaller moments is where I see that things are and can be better.
    Sending love and autumn vibes x

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  16. All of this. Honestly I feel like I could have written it. I have just written something very similar on my blog. I can totally relate to how you have worded this though. I’ve honestly not met anyone that agrees with me in the way your post does, it’s such a relief in a way but then I feel sad that you have gone through the same overwhelming and heartbreaking emotions. I’m glad you are feeling more positive for Autumn and I’m adopting similar techniques to you. getting excited about Bonfire night, Trick or Treating, conker hunting has begun and already looked at booking some christmas things and planning half term activities in October. We’ll get. My inbox is always open if you ever wanna chat x

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  17. I get anxious thinking about how quickly the year seems to speed up as soon as Halloween get here, then Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. But, knowing how fast time goes by- the years go by so fast, I make sure each season is welcomed and thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks for the post!

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  18. For me personally I actually really like the autumn and winter months more than the summer months so I’m actually looking forward to cosy and dark nights coming ahead. But I understand what you mean because there are certain things in the seasons which I’m definitely not looking forward too. Great post and really different really enjoyed this post 😊 c x

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  19. I feel your frustrations because the way that people present it is as such an instant thing – you decide to change your mindset and magically you are better.
    Rather it is little shuffles towards changing mindset and releasing the guilt of when your mood is low.

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  20. Hi and I totally get where you are coming from as I’m sure I have bouts of SAD. However like you I’m trying to change my mindset and look forward to the next nice thing, whatever that may be. I look forward to following your journey 🙂

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  21. What an eventful time of transition for you! I can’t believe how quickly we have got back into our routine now school is back, did we really have 6 weeks off??? Thanks for linking up with #stayclassymama

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  22. “I remembered that even the simplest of days can have the ability to change your entire reality, especially when you’re working hard to tell your brain to get on board with it.”
    This quote right here is going to stick with me. I struggle with allowing myself to get wound up with the negatives and forgetting that all the little positives add up. I try to remind myself its the simple small pleasures, and all the little details that make up the most valuable memories, not necessarily the big events. Yes, a trip is a great memory to have but those Sunday morning traditions and evening bath times are more valuable and those are the memories that make me all warm and fuzzy.
    To be honest the fact that my children are not living with me saddens me deeply but my memories of when they were fills me with warm joy and motivation to continue my healing process so they are able to be happy living with me once again.

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  23. I suffer from anxiety and depression and found myself agreeing with a lot of your article. Sometimes the pace of life just has to stop and you need to take a breath and look around.

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  24. There are few things that can’t be made a little easier just by going for a walk and being mindful. Thanks so much for sharing. In such a crazy paced world slowing down a looking around is so important.

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