Postpartum Halloween Rules

  1. If someone suggests you go as a pumpkin because you still look pregnant because bodies are bodies and not spring-right-back-into-place elastic, you have permission to never speak to that person again.
  2. You, as bearer of children, have first dibs on the good stuff.
  3. If you wish to sit in the car to nap during Trunk or Treat, you absolutely get to.
  4. No seriously, take a nap!! You have earned it!!
  5. Okay fine, if you want to see the little rugrats all dressed up in their Halloween finery, that is understandable; make sure you get your partner to take lots of pictures with you in them, too — you no doubt have earned this too, Halloween costume magic is no joke, and alas, more work than magic!
  6. If you dress as a witch, breastfeeding is extra fun because you can make the joke (weather permitting, or honestly, even if it’s not) that it’s cold as a witch’s…well, you know.  😉
  7. Some people may not offer the parent shepherding the little children around any candy, and this is criminal, and they are Bad People whose houses should be cursed forevermore! *witchy cackle*
  8. Is that a full-sized Snickers bar? It is yours!
  9. These rules may all sound selfish and a little self-congratulatory to those who have not had to keep their kid(s) alive, especially if you breastfed and keeping kids alive involved using your physical body — no hate to those without children who celebrate Halloween (it’s a fun holiday!), but the experience of Halloween as a mother, for me, has been extraordinarily different from that of when I was not a parent. It’s fun — more fun, for me — to introduce kids to this whole new world of the holiday, making it as spooky and silly as I like. But it’s also hard! It is hard to live in a world where as a mother I am expected to go to extraordinary lengths to create (ideally from scratch) the more unique and creative Halloween costume of my child’s dreams, no matter how tired I am, no matter how low my resources are, no matter how little time I have. Much like, now that I think about it, breastfeeding was; when I struggled with my supply after returning to work, I felt enormous pressure to keep breastfeeding as I had prior to returning to work (at an abysmal 6 weeks postpartum), despite the stress, and my own body’s inclinations to, well, not. This isn’t to say that the end results — amazing costumes, fed babies — aren’t intrinsically good. They are! But the pressure I feel around Halloween as a parent definitely mirrors the pressure I felt in other areas of early motherhood, and for that, I am always just a tiny bit rebellious. My body, my bank account and my time are not infinite resources. So this year when my daughter asked to be a very work-intensive thing, I gently suggested something else more within reach that I wouldn’t be punishing myself to complete. And you know what? It’s fine. She’s happy. I’m happy.
  10. All the Reese’s are yours, too. No matter what your motherhood or breastfeeding journey looks like, I’m positive you’ve earned ‘em.

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