The Great Balancing Act Of The Fall Season

Fall Season Yall! 

This is it my loyal readers! We are back in that season that we all know and love, the Fall Season. It has its good side (beautiful changing of colors, pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks) and its bad side (holiday season can be stressful as HECK) but somehow we all have to figure out a way to navigate it. 
Expectations during the Fall Season are always high. You've got your own family unit to please, your extended family, work parties, holiday shopping in the coming months, maybe even some Oktoberfest action to attend to? 
So the question always comes to my mind: How the hell am I supposed to balance all of this stuff out? I've got my own parent's expectations, my spouses parent's expectations, our own expectations to contend with and the mounting list of obligations that start to materialize as we draw closer to the end of the year. 
If anyone should know what it means to have high expectations in any given season, let alone the Fall season, it's my wife and I. 

Life of a First Born

Both my wife and I are first born children. In being the first out the gate we always felt the weight of high expectation built into the foundation of our relationship with our parents. I was extremely involved in basketball, orchestra, and the student body organizations throughout middle school and high school. 
My wife was a drill team captain, honor student, and homecoming queen at her school. We both received full academic scholarships to college and that was to be the road on which both of our lives crossed and became intertwined. 
While we both pushed hard to meet the expectations of our parents it also created a bit of a perfection complex in our DNA. We are both people pleasers who want to keep everyone happy despite the fact that doing so is just not possible.
College helped to free us of that to a certain extent. We began to establish our own routines and mannerisms that were more in line with the lives we chose to lead. What could our parents do at that point but respect our decisions? 
Now that we have a beautiful little girl running around, it seems that we are back in a familiar place of facing a lot of expectations with little time to spread out between our loved ones. My parents split when I was young so between my mom, my dad, and her parents, we have quite a bit of running around to do in order to ensure everyone is getting their fair share of time with their granddaughter. 
Making time for family has grown to be more important than ever to me. Not so much because I want to be running around constantly but because I want my parents and my wife’s parents to truly know my daughter. 
I want them to see her grow as we see her grow and to really build a relationship with her. I had a wonderful relationship with my grandmother before she passed. It defined my life in so many aspects that it is difficult to convey her true impact. 
In that same manner, I want to make sure that my daughter gets an opportunity to develop a strong bond of her own with her grandparents.

Fall Season: Busy Busy Busy

All of this is to drive back to the primary point of this post; Fall is an extremely busy time of the year for us all. Even more so for parents of young children. 
I'm not sure that calling it a "great balancing act" even does justice to the amount of shifting, juggling, and re-arranging that must take place in order to satisfy the expectations placed upon us during the Fall Season. 
Things are beginning to cool off on the thermostat (which of course means we will all be busting out our favorite light jackets) but when it comes to family gatherings, holidays, and weddings, it seems as though your year really starts to heat up. Even more so for us as my wife and I share an October birthday! 

If your kids are a bit older than mine then on top of this you are also dealing with the back to school routine! Kids are learning about new subjects, dealing with new teachers, and potentially interacting with new classmates. 
At this point not only are you feeling overwhelmed as a parent, but it is very probable that your children are feeling a bit overwhelmed in their own day to day life. With so many areas in which you are required to devote time it can really start to feel like an endless marathon with little to no time to recover your wits and energy for the next leg of the race. 
At some point in this season you will definitely start to feel like your weekends are all booked up. It may make you feel kind of crazy but know this: You are not alone. 

Create Time for Your Loved Ones

Making time for each other can be difficult in the midst of a chaotic schedule that will only get crazier as your kids grow older. For us, it is an absolute requirement that we get everything written down in a planner so that we don't lose track of all of the special dates we've set aside for events, family, friends, etc. 

As they become more involved in sports, dance, band, or any school related activity, you really start to see that the busy-ness never really ends. 

Now that I am a Dad I have begun to see that at some point you just kick it in high gear and never really look back. When that reality first fell into my lap I definitely felt underprepared for such an extensive journey.
“You mean I’m going to be running around like a chicken with my head cut off for at least another 18 years?”
The short answer? Yes, yes you will. Becoming a parent is one of the most transformative experiences that I have ever encountered. 
At some point the perspective of the grand scale of your new circumstances sort of smacks you in the face and you begin to understand that this experience of yours, while sometimes overwhelming and crazy, lead to a fuller life than you could have possibly dreamed of living. 
Yes it can get tiresome to run from one parents house to the next, weekend after weekend, all while trying to get in time for your own passions and dreams. On top of that you are working to also speak strength and life into your marriage. 
Carving out time to make sure that your spouse still feels the passion and love can be tough. It is the great balancing act of being a husband/wife, father/mother, son/daughter all in the same breath. 

Fall Season: Ask For Help! 

Trying to take all of this responsibility on alone is not wise. You have to rely on your spouse to divide and conquer the variety of tasks that are set before you. Additionally you need to lean on your family and friends to help you navigate the wide variety of time consuming activities you find before you. 
Your parents have been down this same path as you and have encountered many of the same struggles, joys, highs, and lows of parenting. Don’t be afraid to talk to them and ask for advice or help. I’d be willing to bet that most of them would be delighted to give their input and do their part in providing some insight. 
Finding friends can be tough but you will meet other parents whose children are involved in the same activities as your own. Get to know those people! They are going through all of the same motions as you and your own family. 
It can be extraordinarily beneficial to make friends with people who are in the same place in life as you. You may find that many of your friends start to fade out of your life if they are not yet at the stage of having kids or being married. 
This is the ebb and flow of relationships. Friendships can be fleeting at times and you are lucky if you find even just one friend who is able to make the journey with you through the ever changing seasons that you encounter in marriage, in parenting, and in becoming an “adult.” 
The “real friends” as Kanye West describes in his music, are few and far between. But you’ll know them when you see them.

Fall Season: Crazy & Fun

The Fall Season will always be the craziest time of the year for my family and perhaps yours as well. But with the right mix of ingredients you can tackle this season with purpose, energy, and balance so that you can come out of the end of the year feeling proud and accomplished! 
You are a Millennial Mom/Dad! Is there really anything that can get in the way of you kicking ass and ensuring your family makes this fall another great season to remember? I say there is not!
I hope you enjoyed this article! If you did please do me a favor and subscribe so you can receive the latest posts as they are published, share this blog with your friends, and comment below to continue the discussion.

Also if you want to keep reading check out my post, "Right To Fly" where I reflect on one of my favorite John Mayer songs "Wheel" and discuss how we all have the right to fly but don't always exercise our right to take flight.


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