When You Feel Sad Because an Important Season of Motherhood Ends

I’m not ready. I’m just not ready! This is the recurring thought I’m having as we walk further into the wonderful fall season. With this season come so many emotions. Ok, who am I kidding? All seasons bring about different emotions, for me anyway.

Fall is like a deep sigh, a cleansing breath if you will. The daylight is shorter, and darkness longer. The fog rolls in with the evening and stays until midmorning, bringing a layer of dampness to all it touches. We begin to look for our favorite, coziest sweater to keep the chill of the morning and evenings off our sun-soaked skin, and we contemplate trading out our iced coffee for a warm pumpkin spice latte. I love this season for all the glorious colors that only God can paint, for the crisp freshness in the air and the pumpkin spice everything. Oh yes, I am that girl. However, this year, I find myself struggling and just not ready to embrace the season.

I’ll be honest; it’s been a full-on battle with myself over this. I don’t know about you, but I have conversations with myself all the time, and this one goes like this: “What’s wrong with you? This is your favorite time of the year. Have a pumpkin spice latte that will help.” On and on that conversation has played out in my head. I did have a pumpkin spice latte, several actually, but it didn’t help. I’m still not ready. It may sound a bit odd to some, but this struggle is real for me. It’s even caused me to evaluate where I am with my depression—over a season! I know it just sounds silly!

Then it hit me; this is the first year out of the last 18 that I don’t have a child playing a fall sport. It may sound ridiculous to some that I’m feeling down about not running around from one thing to the next. For me though, fall has always symbolized the beginning of something: soccer, football, Friday night lights, and community. A time of togetherness of family and friends. For 18 years, I packed a “sports bag” of snacks, hats, gloves, hand warmers, and all sorts of random, just-in-case items. I donned my “NV Mom” sweatshirt and my purple converse, and I cheered on my teams. This year, my beloved bag that was made by my favorite mother-in-law, just for me, hangs on a hook. I’m sure it even contains some remains from last fall. It hangs there lonely and unused; my well-worn “NV Mom” sweatshirt and my purple kicks remain in my closet. My laundry room doesn’t smell like something died in it due to nasty gear and cleats (I do miss that as well). This chapter of my life has come to a close, and I’m somewhat grieving that loss.

This year not even my pumpkin spice latte couldn’t cheer me up…Then it hit me; this is the first year out of the last 18 that I don’t have a child playing a fall sport.

Change is hard, especially big change. This is where grace comes in to play; I have to give myself the grace to grieve the end of this era that I loved so much. As the page turns to the next chapter, I will tap into my grit, pick up my pen, and embrace the blank page in front of me that is my new fall. I think I’ll dig out my purple kicks and head to the coffee shop, grab an iced pumpkin spice latte, and make a fall bucket list.

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You’ll love this podcast episode from This Grit and Grace Life: Is it Time for Counseling? A Therapist Helps You Decide (with Dr. Zoe Shaw) – 004!


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