Living in the Midwest, we get to enjoy all four seasons nature has to offer. Each season comes with benefits and obstacles, and when you throw parenting into the mix, some seasons are just more of a struggle than others.
Fall is the Best Season for Parenting
Enter fall. My favorite season. It always has been. Something about the leaves turning and the impending doom of winter makes for a magical time. I don’t think I truly appreciated fall until I had kids. This is why fall is an easy season for parenting.
I know, I know. Our time with our kids is precious and fleeting and someday they’ll be gone and out of the house and we will miss these moments. That’s great. And true. But you know what? Some of us have kids who haven’t learned the misery of school yet and actually enjoy going. Which means summer is filled with “WHEN DO I GET TO GO TO SCHOOL? I MISS MY FRIENDS!” Fall rolls around, and bam. Kids are back at school. Byyyyyyye have fun see you in 8 hours!
Leaves: nature’s unlimited gift to our children. Want to do an art project? Go collect leaves. Want to learn about various trees? Go find leaves. Want to jump in a pile of rotting earth? Go rake leaves. Want to waste an hour? Let’s go on a leaf hunt. Get it? So many leaves, so many possibilities, all free.
Summer is hard because it’s so hot and kids are so whiny. Not to mention all that exposed skin and the copious amounts of sunscreen we eat through. But then fall rolls around. The kids live in their filthy hoodies and switch their crocs out for their fleece lined crocs. Sunscreen is now only needed for the face and hands, which you can usually spray onto them before they realize what’s about to happen. It’s also a time of what I call ‘stranger judgement grace period’. It’s 55 degrees and your kid isn’t wearing a jacket?! Normally this is met with the verbal passive aggressive comments of “she looks cold” or “where is your jacket young man?!” Well guess what? It’s going to be 70 degrees in 3 hours so maybe that’s why he isn’t wearing a jacket and not because his jacket was too ‘green’ today. They’ll usually give a pass in the early fall and just judge silently.
It’s still warm enough to enjoy all things outdoors. In fact, sometimes it’s easier than summer. Anyone else HATE going for a bike ride when its 95 degrees out? Yeah. I’ll take 60 and cloudy any day! The parks are still tolerable and all the cider mills and pumpkin patches open up. Most of them have plenty of free activities and they’re only open for about a month, so you don’t get sick of going to the same place over and over and over again.
Sunlight. How I both love and loathe thee. The most common bedtime argument we have in my household is whether or not it’s time for bed based on the amount of daylight. Summer nights are great when you are an adult and want to go for a run after bedtime, but boy are they rough when you are trying to logic with a three-year-old. And the sun starts to rise at 6am, which means it must be time for the entire house to be wide awake. Then fall comes in, and the days get shorter and I can logic my kids into going to bed well before 8pm. Then it stays dark until after 7am, which means my kids are afraid to get out of their bed because what if it’s only 2am?! Shorter days = more sleep for me.
Fall has two of the best holidays with kids. Hands down. We get to dress our kids up in insane outfits for almost a solid month as we parade them to downtown trick or treating, local Halloween parties, trunk or treating, spooky nights, etc. What used to be a one-time purchase for a one-night event is now a month-long uniform for all things leading up to Halloween. Once that’s over, we get a long weekend in November where we get to overindulge on delicious food while spending quality time with our family for Thanksgiving. Even though Christmas isn’t in fall, there’s the excitement leading up to Christmas that, for kids, starts on about October 8th when they notice poorly timed holiday decorations emerging at every department store.
Is there anything better than those first couple days of fall weather?! You wake up and your house is so cold because you haven’t turned the heater on yet. You bury yourself under the blankets with the little ones and just enjoy the morning together. It’s also when a lot of us can finally get the fireplace in use again. On rainy fall days, we pile together on the floor in front of the fire and read books with no desire to go outside.
Don’t get me wrong, every other season has some parenting benefits (okay maybe not winter. Winter is rough. I mean….carseats and winter jackets, need I say more?!) but I’ll stick to fall as my favorite. Happy fall y’all!