This Is Me Absolving You For Choosing The Store-Bought Halloween Costume

I see you there, browsing Pinterest, Instagram, and the rest of the Parenting Dark Net of perfectly detangled children frolicking in leaf-piled lawns in agonizingly “so simple!” homemade costumes.  If you’re anything like me, you’re probably tallying all the steps that coordinated Back to the Future family costume set would require. On one hand, the payoff looks great: the approval, the likes, the epic-ness of getting it perfectly right.  Onnnnnn the other hand, do you really have — you’ve tallied your numbers now — 207 hours to dedicate to the sewing, the creation of a moving DeLorean to roll the kids in, the flux capacitor you have to source parts for?

Maybe you’ll do the Disney’s Up costume instead — how hard could creating a tiny house being lifted by balloons via a clever affixing of balloons to a wagon be?  The answer is: surprisingly hard, unless you clear your calendar for the week before Halloween to focus on seamless construction.

And maybe this would be possible, if you didn’t have a life.  If you were able to take FMLA leave from work for Halloween Purposes (“I’d be sick if I *couldn’t* take this time to get this just right, HR Person!”).  If you could wipe all the childcare duties, all the house-cleaning, all the grocery shopping, all the family emotional labor and care and record-keeping and keeping the car not hovering at the “out of gas soon lady!” signal level, if you could erase the preschool picture day prep and getting that book finished for your book club, and and and and and and…

You know what?

There will always be someone on the Internet who’s convinced you’re not Doing It Right unless you do it from scratch, organically, screen-free and grass-fed.  And it can be so hard to mute these voices that wiggle into our heads as we gloss over all those Pinterest and Instagram posts that show what we could accomplish if we just tried hard enough.  Sometimes, I just want someone to tell me you don’t have to do this.

So this is me, telling you this: you don’t have to do this.  You do not have to beat yourself up and have the perfect homemade costume if it doesn’t bring you joy to make it (obviously if this is Your Thing then do it! Revel in it!).

Buy the foam hamburger sandwich board, slap that thing (lovingly!) on your child and hand them a pillowcase for the candy, and go forth with your head held high.

This is me absolving you, opening up my bloggy front door and dumping a judgment-free Kit-Kat of Mom Guilt Removal into your virtual plastic pumpkin heart.  It’s yours for the taking.  No tricks.  Just treats.  I hereby decree nobody is allowed to feel guilty for any reasonable, non-offensive costume choice.  Now go forth and close out that Pinterest window and swipe away your Instagram and be freeeee!

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