My first summer as a mom had me holding a baby on one hip and a White Claw in the other hand. I rocked the same bikini I wore on my honeymoon — it was way too small, but I wore it anyway because I liked the pattern. When my son had a meltdown on the subway and an older woman judged me, I just looked at her, shrugged and said, “he’s fine.” Last week, I walked out in the middle of a meeting because I. just. could. not. anymore. I was having, in other words, a Hot Girl Summer.
Hot Girl Summer is about doing whatever TF you want, prioritizing happiness and owning it. It is undeniably a function of millennialness, yet it extends into the space where being a millennial and being a mom co-exist.
As a millennial mom, I’m all for bringing back scrunchies, rocking a neon eye, drinking Summer Water and listening to Lizzo, but I’m also wiping snot and saying “Did you poop?” approximately 12 times a day. So when Hot Girl Summer became a thing, I felt like I could really get behind it. Becoming a mom has left me zero time for b*llsh*t, and while I wasn’t exactly subtle pre-childbirth, I’m all about being unapologetically me these days. But the days of thigh rub and cold brew have faded. What comes next?
Enter: Sad Girl Fall. The antidote to Hot Girl Summer, Sad Girl Fall (SGF) proclaims it’s the peak season to be cold, cozy, and sad, as New York Magazine reports. Cuddle up in your bed with a warm blanket and embrace your moodiness as the days get shorter and the temperature drops, goes the siren song of SGF, which has an extremely fetching presence on Instagram already. Leave Hot Girl Summer and all she represents behind, says the whistle that is SGF on a vintage enamel gas range in a rickety but cozy cabin upstate.
Not sure how best to embrace the slow-moving cold front that is Sad Girl Fall? Think blankets, and great roiling pots of apple cider, scarves longer than the Hudson, and long-winded rumination on our feelings. Sounds nice, doesn't it? Maybe an excuse to litter pumpkin spice-flavored pinecones into your underwear drawer, and spend valuable baby-formula money on cable-knit socks — really soak in the hygge and melancholy.
Moms, when is the last time you cuddled up in your bed? I’ll venture to guess it’s when you created the child that now demands your time, attention and energy. A warm blanket?! I’m thrilled if I have a lukewarm coffee on any given day. Moodiness? Never heard of her, because the second I feel even a hint of a bad mood, there’s my child needing food again — which is followed by a huge, adorable smile and fine, I’m not crabby anymore. Simply put, moms don’t have time for Sad Girl Fall.
We don’t have time to languish in our feelings, dwelling on seasons gone by. We have diapers to change, food to cut up into itty-bitty pieces, daycare bags to pack, onesies to jiu jitsu a leg into (seriously, do those snaps ever get less confusing?), and schedules to keep. We have jobs, husbands, family, friends and 17 texts we forgot to respond to on any given day. We have monthly milestone photos to take and flowers to arrange into the shape of numbers, damnit!
If you have the luxury of embracing Sad Girl Fall, by all means own it. Otherwise, I’d like to introduce you to Hectic Mom Year, a permanent state of next-level business that leaves one at times overwhelmed, generally exhausted, and always gratified because our tiny humans run our worlds.
Hectic Mom Year will last well beyond the last thread holding the crotch in your hand-knit tights together, and will remain a symbol of the transience of our bodies and experiences through life well after the last pumpkin has decomposed in your local patch.
Hectic Mom Year will last through the thaw and to the return of Hot Girl Summer, because we've held it down through to breastfeeding in 96% humidity, keeping a hairless baby cozy through fall and winter, and wrangling our emotions through the confusion of early spring — we don't need Sad Girl Fall to access and channel our emotions, they are perennial. We don't need Sad Girl Fall once a year to give us permission to knit our sweaters right over our heads in a bout of introversion, because we are in it every day, whether it's 40 degrees out or 100.
GATHER YE MERRY ROSE BUDS, HECTIC MOM YEAR ISN'T GOING ANYWHERE.