It's fall, y'all! Blessed is this season of leaves and sweaters and cider and all things that are good. Autumn has always been my favorite time of the year, and now that I'm a mom I've come to see fall for what it truly is: a messy mom's habitat. It's the season of top knots and leaves all over the damn place and rotting pumpkins and eating discarded chocolate bars for breakfast.
As moms we're under constant stress and pressure to appear "on" at all hours of the day and night. Our kids need perfectly cut sandwiches in their overpriced bento boxes. We need to be constantly punctual while looking effortlessly flawless. We have to cherish every moment, including when our 2-year-old toddler screams because the blue cup isn't a green cup, but we need to make time for ourselves. We need to, you know, not be a mess.
But motherhood is messy. Like, really messy. And fall provides a perfect backdrop for us to ditch the pressure to appear put-together and lean into that vat of messiness with reckless abandon. So gather your equally messy mom friends, ignore that pile of laundry you unnecessarily feel guilty about, and embrace autumn for what it is: a celebration of all things mucky. Here's why:
You Don't Have To Know Exactly When Fall Starts
Um, does it change every year? Is it whenever the first day of school is? Is it on Halloween, or maybe Labor Day? Do we need a groundhog to let us know for sure? Does it depend on how many days are in a month? Let's see... 30 days hath September, April, June, and... OK, I don't think this is helping at all.
(The autumnal equinox occurs any time between September 21 and 24, depending on the year. But you don't have to know that. In fact, I encourage you to actively put it out of your mind on principle alone.)
You Can Forget To Rotate Your Wardrobe
You have never rotated your wardrobe... or anyone else's! There's probably still a onesie in the back of your 5-year-old son's underwear drawer. Everything stays out because you do not have the time, space, energy, or organizational skills to pack anything away. Incidentally, this will be the one week this season when the fall clothes are folded neatly in drawers instead of unfolded in laundry baskets in various states of clean and dirty. Enjoy!
You Can Rock That Basic Mom Uniform
Big scarf? Check.
Tall boots? Check.
Plain t-shirt and cardigan or large sweater? Check.
Elastic around your wrist for quick and easy top knot? Check.
You're ready. Hell, you were born ready.
You Can Shamelessly Purchase All Things Pumpkin
You don't care that people make fun of pumpkin spice lattes. You wanna hook that ish up to your veins.
In fact, you don't stop at pumpkin spice lattes (until they pry them from your cold, cold hands sometime in November, though they soften the blow by handing you a peppermint mocha in its place). If something is labeled pumpkin spice you're getting it. Pumpkin spice candy corn. Pumpkin spice hummus. Pumpkin spice deodorant. (Yes, ll of these are real things.) You actually bought the DVD of the movie PS: I Love You because you thought the PS might stand for pumpkin spice. (It doesn't.)
You Can Make 1,002 Fall-Themed Plans You Have No Intention Of Executing
From photo shoots in a pumpkin patch (is it even fall if you're not photographed preciously dressed in a field full of pumpkins?) to planning an elaborate Halloween party, you will be so ambitious, as usual.
And then it will all go to sh*t.
Like, if you're lucky you'll get pumpkins to carve the day before Halloween. For ordinary humans, time has a habit of getting away from them, but for you, it's like you blinked in 2009 and when you opened your eyes you're a mom and also the jerk from The Apprentice is president.
You Can Finally Find The Last Easter Egg
"Honey! I found it! It was under the couch! I thought that was a sock smell but it was an egg smell!"
(If you're Jewish, replace "Easter egg" with "afikomen.")
You Can Miss The School Bus Regularly
Honestly, this is on the bus driver because you're out at the bus stop the same time every day! She's just very erratic about when she comes!
OK, so, you're not "out at the bus stop the same time every day." The bus driver always arrives within a few minutes of 8 a.m., as promised. She's not erratic. You're just a hot mess who needs some way of saving face as you sign your kids in with the front office (late) on a regular basis.
You Can Arrive Late To Every After-School Activity
I mean, really, this is your brand. It would be weird if you got there on time, to be honest. People wouldn't even know what to do. The cosmos would be out of balance.
You Can Sign Up For Way More Than You Can Handle At Your Kids' School
You're extremely optimistic at orientation and back to school night. This is the year you get proactive! Involved! Bake sale? No problem! Book fair? I love books! Pancake breakfast fundraiser? Sure thing! Class parent? Our children need us to be involved in their educations!
This does not go well, but please be comforted by the fact that your intentions were beautiful and so was your inevitable failure. Own it, you hot mess queen.
You Only Have To Pack A Lunch Once To Consider It A "Win"
And then you remember that packing lunches is a concerted effort. And you know what? No. They serve lunch in the cafeteria and there's money in your kid's account. You think. I mean, you're not actually, 100% sure, but whatever. Your child will let you know if the account hits zero.. again.
You're Free To Pick Way Too Many Apples
No one will ever eat a bushel of apples and you know this. "It's OK!" you say. "I'll use them to make pies." You will not make a single goddamn pie. You've never made a pie. I don't know what apple picking does to you that you think you'll all of a sudden bake 12, but it happens every year and you need to calm down with the apples.
You Can Still Be Excited AF
Because you may not be the most put-together mom on the planet, but one thing you don't lack is enthusiasm and, when it comes to fall, you're even more enthusiastic than usual. You enjoy it! Try not to trip or spill anything, even though you definitely will, as you embrace this season of shameless messiness.