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Fellow moms, I feel compelled to share with you one of my deepest, darkest secrets. So deep and dark that it hides in the jungles of darkest Peru.
Totally kidding, it’s actually not a secret. And it’s actually not even a big deal.
I sorta hate Halloween. There, I said it!
I loved it as a kid. My mom let us cobble together costumes from a big box of random, old, dress-up clothes, and we kids trick-or-treated around the block in our neighborhood (using plastic grocery sacks to hold our candy) while our parents handed out candy at home.
Probably the most Halloween-ish part of the whole night was that my mom would get out her special Halloween bowl, with the witch painted on the side, to put the candy in. Pretty fancy, huh?
There was no Pinterest in the 80’s/90’s to remind all the moms that they were slacking! No Pinterest to make sure you knew that all the other moms start decorating for Halloween in August. No Pinterest to harass you with photos of the Halloween-themed meals and desserts other moms serve their children for weeks surrounding the holiday. And no Pinterest to browbeat you with the expensive, elaborate, family-themed costumes (which include all family pets!) that all the other moms make their children.
Those were the days. Sigh.
Despite my grinchy attitude towards our modern-day, jacked-up version of Halloween, I still play along, but with my own spin. And you know what? My kids still have a fun and happy Halloween experience.
For all the moms out there who feel overwhelmed and exhausted by Halloween, here are my best ‘Lazy Mom’ tips:
1. Pinterest is not your friend
Pinterest seems so innocent at first — pretty pictures, nice comments, and a swirly, red P. But then she rears her expertly-braided, perfectly coiffed head and sucks you into all her crafty madness! The evil genius of Pinterest is that it so addicting.
There’s something intoxicating about scrolling through its beautiful images — like lingering in a dream world of tasty desserts, inspirational quotes, and perfect fall outfits on anorexic models. Pinterest is essentially a showcase of 1950’s-style, domestic-goddess perfection.
This time of year, Pinterest is full of crazy ideas about how to create authentic superhero (minus the powers) costumes for your entire family and your dog in 1,373 easy steps, how to turn your house into Hogwarts, complete with moving staircases and paintings, and how to make every single thing you eat during the month of October either gory or adorable.
The problem is that trying to live up to standard just exacerbates anxiety and insecurities. Studies have shown that focusing too much on your inadequacies is unhealthy for your self-esteem.
2. Let your kiddos own it
They love decorating, right? And you don’t. So let them take it over. They’ll come up with a crazy amazing scarecrow (using your husbands grungy work clothes) for the front porch. Their creativity will astound you!
They’ll have a ball carving snaggletooth grins into pumpkins and pulling cotton balls apart into cobwebs for your shelves. And they’ll have an even bigger ball cutting old sheets into ghost costumes or duct-taping cardboard boxes into robot costumes. Win-win.
Sure, some of the other moms might be disturbed that your kids’ costumes don’t ‘go together’, but your kids won’t notice. Will your pride suffer? That begs the question, is all of this really for the kids?
3. Save your money for lasting and meaningful experiences
Don’t spend money on candy. You don’t need to spend a ton on Halloween candy. It’s not like your kids are really going to have to eat it, right? You’re going to take them to houses owned by people who spent enough to get the good stuff. And really, who wants all that candy around the house anyway? My biggest complaint about Halloween is cleaning up candy wrappers!
Don’t spend money on accessories. Your kids don’t need personalized pumpkin trick-or-treat buckets from Pottery Barn. Don’t you just throw those away after the holiday? What a waste of twenty bucks.
Don’t spend money on costumes. Costumes can be created with mere trash. Really! Check out this post with 30 Cardboard Box Costumes your child can put together all by himself. If your child wants something specific (and not a cardboard box) you can probably find all the makings for it at your local thrift store. Think of this as an exercise in creativity.
And you, Mom, don’t need to wear a costume at all just to walk around the block with your little ones. It’s dark! Nobody will even see you!
Don’t spend money on decorations. If you decorate specifically for Halloween, you have to take it all down November 1 and put up Thanksgiving/Harvest decor. Whereas, if you just use harvest decorations in the first place, they can do double duty and suffice as holiday decor from September-November. You won’t have to take them down until you put up your Christmas decor.
I let my kiddos do pretty much all the decorating because they love it and I don’t. I have a big bin of decor for each holiday, and I’ve learned to lower my standards, so we’re all perfectly happy.
Activities and experiences are where I don’t mind spending a little money. We all love to run through a corn maze, pick out pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, take a hayride, and participate in all of the fun, fall activities that have become a tradition. Groupon is a fantastic place to find local experiences for cheap!
Now, if Halloween is your thing and you want to spend five weeks of your life immersed in all things Halloween, more power to you. I hope your kiddos realize how lucky they are to have such a fun mom!
My point is that we moms should never feel burdened by something that is supposed to be fun for the kiddos. Instead, we need to deliberately create holidays in a way that we can enjoy them, too!
I hope you have a wonderful Halloween!
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