October 24, 2007

Halloween - More Candy, Less Guilt

madhotmama asks:
"I am taking classes right now for nursing school (pre reqs) and my class falls on Halloween. I had planned on not going at all, but have a test that following Monday. My mother has offered to take him for me, after I do the trick or treating thing for the first hour then head to class. Does that sound reasonable, or am I a horrible mother??"

First off, let me tell you that I have absolutely every year taken my kids out Trick or Treating up and down the neighborhood, flashlight in hand, gleefully carrying 20 lbs of candy for them because they just can't drag it behind them anymore - EXCEPT THIS YEAR. This year, the Ad. Design class I teach at the college falls on Halloween. Did I feel guilty? Did I first think of perhaps canceling class? Yes. And Yes.

But then, reality is what it is. We have obligations. And sometimes life is not all about the kids. You are taking a class to better your life and the life of your family. Obviously that is MUCH more important than a few more snickers bars no? So, are you a horrible mother? No. Scratch that... Hell fucking NO. It's not like you cancelled Halloween or made the kid dress up like Elvis. And seriously... you can do MAJOR damage in an hour of Trick or Treating. The kids RUN from door to door. Your bag will more than be full when you let him loose on Grandma with his sugar high.

We have responsibilities. And they include our children along with all other aspects of our lives. I think you will be sending your son a much stronger value message if you go to class rather than if you blow it off. At least that is the conclusion I am telling myself.

Also, Moms...can we talk?

Can we all agree to just get rid of the following....

1. Feeling the need to HAVE to create homemade costumes in order to be a good mother. (yes, I have made costumes for my kids because they begged and pleaded and really - they wore it ONE DAY. I stressed myself out and probably spent more than if I just ordered it from a catalog.)

2. Goodie bags in the classroom filled with 15 color changes in the Haunted House chocolate lollipops. STOP IT.

3. Halloween parties in which I have to do any of the following: bring a pumpkin to decorate, bring items to decorate said pumpkin, wear a stupid costume myself, try not to tell you how stupid you look in your costume.

4. Any pumpkin, spider or halloween decorated cupcakes for the classroom with a bunch of gross candy NO ONE WILL EAT - yes, they look cute - but kids don't give a shit - you spent 10 hours of your life you will NEVER get back only to watch all the little bastards wrinkle up their noses while picking off black licorice as if it were their brother's boogers. STOP IT!


At 3:09 PM, Blogger MadHotMama said...

Thanks Sharpie. I will be heading to class that night with no guilt (okay, well, only a smidgen) that night.

Smidgen only because I hadn't thought about the effects of releasing an excited five year old full of candy on halloween upon my lovely mother.


At 8:55 AM, Blogger Heather said...

I second what Sharpie says. It's the mommy guilt that makes us second guess ourselves.

I have a friend that always makes her kids costumes and there is no way in hell I would do it. Mainly because I suck at sewing.

And I totally buy cupcakes from the store. I tried to make them one year and I learned my lesson. They turned out like crap (I can't decorate - kinda goes with the not sewing.)

At 9:09 AM, Blogger MadHotMama said...

I am most definitely with you. I couldn't sew something if my life depended on it...my husband still has to have his mom fix buttons when he is home for visits...and decorating your own baked goods??? Is that even possible? My own history tells me no

At 1:25 PM, Blogger MrsGrumpy said...

Oh, I hated dressing up for my son's kindergarten party. That will never happen again. You are so right on.

And my middle name is guilt thesed days and I think she should go to class.

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous JayMonster said...

The one agree with you most on is number 1. But that is mostly because it has become one of those stupid calling cards for the "I'm a better mother (parent) than you because I stay at home with my children because they are worth it" crowd.

1st of all, making a costume does not necessarily make you a "good mother (parent)." This is not the 70's or earlier where the choice of costumes was make one or get one of those cheesey coveralls with a bad plastic mask. Nowadays, you can get some fatastically styled (and equally expensive) costumes all the way back down to the old cheap-ohs. So with all those choices who still makes a costume? People with too much time on their hands? People with no money sense, since you can probably buy that same costume somewhere, and it will cost you LESS than if you make it yourself (and that is before you factor in the TIME costs)? People with no sense of feeling bad that their kids LOOK LIKE they have a homemade costume which looks pathetic next to the store bought ones their friends have and have to sulk, "my mom made this and MADE ME WEAR it."

So as it turns out these smug "I make it myself" people, as it turns out, are not all that bright.

(Yes, there are exceptions for some special costumes that require lots of work. But they are few and far between. That half-assed Raggedy Ann costume that you made with love? Yeah, you who breaks out the sewing machine once a year... to make the costume. Despite what you think... we can TELL you don't sew regularly.)

At 8:29 PM, Anonymous sherry said...

Making a costume doesn't make you a better parent...most times, it makes you a fiscal idiot.

I work PT at a craft store, and several people have come in to purchase the necessary parts to create a homemade costume.

Most times, the cost is 2-3 times what it would be to buy the damn costume. Which, at the very SAME store where I work, are 50% off at this point in the season.

I sew my costumes for my kids for two reasons: a) I love to sew and b) I have a warped and sick creative mind, and the costumes I have in my head aren't available in packages.

This year, Sara's going to be Snow White and Max is a monster.

Easy peasy. And I still ROCK as a Momma.

At 1:01 PM, Anonymous sherry said...

Just to clarify, BOTH my kids' costumes this year are STOREBOUGHT.

I just re-read my comment and it sounded completely the opposite of what I meant.

I purchased costumes, therefore I ROCK.


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