This week I have really felt the nights turn darker (horrible but true...X Factor does help though) and I realised half way round a walk that it is no longer acceptable to take your baby out without socks (or me without a coat for that matter).
Autumn is well and truly upon us and though we still had one gorgeous sunny but cold day this week, the fact that I was showing Mabel fabulously coloured trees and crunching her toes in the fallen leaves pretty much confirmed that the summer is over.
Which means that change is afoot. I have only got 3 weeks left now before Mabel starts nursery and I go back to work part time. I did think I would dread the day but actually I think I am ready - is that acceptable to say? I obviously feel guilt at admitting it since it suggests I am looking forward to leaving my child (dam that guilt thing again).
We have had the most wonderful summer together but over the past few weeks I have started to feel like I was going a little stir crazy. In lots of ways I would love to stay at home and look after Mabel full time and I have both admiration and a little jealousy of women who have the mental and the financial capability to do so.
But for me personally I need to be challenged intellectually. I think it will help me to retain a part of my identity and allows me to socialise with work friends in an altogether different environment which is good for my sanity and I know will make me a better mum too (and I am not just saying that to help with the guilt of nursery). And talking of regaining my identity, in preparation I did a spot of shopping this week and bought some work clothes. I have finished breastfeeding now so don't need to consider boob access and have pretty much accepted I am now staying this weight for a while. I realised I hadn't bought anything (other than maternity pants, thrilling) for such a long time and it was incredibly cathartic. I felt like me again, which sounds a bit bizarre but I think is just another step in getting out of the 'new baby' bubble.
The autumn also brings new baby groups and we start 'mother baby yoga' this week as well as a 'drop in' gym babes class. And I have started Zumba on an evening (much sweaty fun).
So bring on the changes I say, change is good, it keeps things interesting. I am embracing Autumn fashion (tights have always been kinder to my legs and who doesn't love a chunky knit cardigan) and in my mind I am ridiculously lucky; quality time at home with Mabel and returning to a job I enjoy!