Mom Confessional: I’ll Never Make My Kid’s Halloween Costume

Mom Confessional: I’ll Never Make My Kid’s Halloween Costume

Taking a good look at priorities helps you understand the key to becoming a happy parent.

By: Helen Jane Hearn

Halloween used to be my favourite holiday. Each fall, from elementary school through my 20s, I spent hours crafting the perfect costume idea. I browsed thrift stores and fabric stores weeks ahead of time. I would work tirelessly until I created an absolutely perfect costume that would make people stop in their tracks and say, “That — that is amazing.”

Then, I had children. As time and money for making costumes dwindled, Halloween evolved into just another stressful night. With boxes to pull from the garage, candy to budget for and decorations to put up — and the inevitable clean-up afterward — Halloween became symbolic for something that once was.

One Halloween, I hit a breaking point. I simply could not continue at my fast-paced, full-time career, put energy into being a wife and mother of two (under 2) and still be responsible for a hand-crafted, aesthetically pleasing, morally conscious Halloween experience for all involved.


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That, I realized, is a sure-fire recipe for insanity.

After re-evaluating the situation and accepting that it’s perfectly fine for my family to celebrate holidays our own way, Halloween became a sort of mental health touch point. It’s a time of the year that we check in to make sure we’re not overcommitted. We make sure that we’re taking care of ourselves. And that goal supersedes any social media-related guilt for not serving the perfect Halloween brunch.

We may find our costumes in sets at the drugstore, but we choose candy that’s ethically sourced. We don’t decorate the front of the house with glitter spray-painted pumpkins, but we love to hang up art projects from kindergarten and preschool. We might not have a fog machine, but we can tell a great spooky story that the under 5 set loves to hear. Spending time with each other is far more important than pouring hours into a costume, after all.

Since reaching that breaking point, we made a conscious decision to protect our mental health — even if that means sacrificing the creation of the perfect holiday costume. Our Halloweens are a great reminder for us to take the spirit of the season in stride, to indulge the kids and let them be whoever they want to be, but to never, ever, let expectations and aesthetics trump spending time with each other.

Napa Valley-based Helen Jane Hearn has written about Internet culture and home entertaining at since 1998. She is a certified specialist of wine and founder of Cheesewhizzes, a nationwide cheese tasting club. She also captains her bocce team, Joanie Loves Bocce.

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