If you’re anything like me, you probably remember a time when you started planning for Halloween months in advance. Back then (in those childfree, carefree days), I would look up ways to DIY my own costume, scour thrift shops for unique and spooky decor, and make elaborate treat bags for the kids in my neighborhood. I'd gladly host horror movie marathons (from Wes Craven to Dario Argento) and pumpkin carving nights (complete with pumpkin beer) for my friends. Now that I have a kid? Well, Halloween totally changes once you have a kid so what once was no longer is and, if I'm being honest, those inevitable changes take a little getting used to.
See, Halloween when you, yourself, are a kid is all about your costume and how much candy you can haul in a singe evening (and then how long you can stretch that candy out and/or how quickly you can devour it). When you get older, it becomes this amazing night where you and your friends can party it up whilst pretending to be someone else. However, once you’ve got little ones around, you the all-night free-for-all party ends and the focus shifts so that you’re making sure they have the best time.
That shift is an adjustment, sure, but it’s a pretty awesome feeling when you finally share one of the best holidays of the year with someone who basically knows nothing about it. That's the thing about parenthood: seeing and facilitating someone else's happiness is almost better than simply enjoying something on your own.
Your Costume Is No Longer Something You Obsess Over For Months
Once upon a time, you rummaged through costume and thrift shops for the perfect coat for your Cruella De Ville costume, but these days you do the same for your kiddo’s Ruth Bader Ginsberg look.
We’re nearly half-way through October and I still have no idea what I’ll be wearing, but it will probably either be something quick and store-bought or something extremely easy to slap together with my own wardrobe. I’ve accepted it.
The Type Of Costume You Wear Usually Changes
I’m not exactly against sexy outfits and I’ve had my fair share of revealing Halloween outfits (like the year I was a “sexy devil”). However, many parents end up putting away the “sexy race car driver” or “sexy bacon” getup in favor of an outfit that fits well within your family (like, say, the cast of Scooby Doo). Also, if you normally wear ultra creepy costumes that would care the hell out of a small child, those usually take a backseat, too. Small sacrifices.
Those Late-Night Halloween Parties Are Usually Out The Window...
At this point in your life, half of your friends are asking if you want to get your costume-wearing children together for a night of candy-collecting, and the other half invite you to late-night parties. Honestly, you probably wish you could do both, but you know it ain’t happening. Hey, that's OK. Leave the Smokin’ Skulls Shots to the kid-free set. You’ll just deal with throwing a couple real gummies into your Sour Patch Martini instead (after the kids pass out, of course).
...But At Least You Have A Legitimate Reason For Going Trick-Or-Treating
Sure, parties are fun, but nothing beats going door-to-door demanding treats, right? You’ve been waiting for this moment ever since some mean ol’ adults started frowning at you and your friends (probably when you were in your late teens) were still asking for candy. And now, the time has finally arrived to pick up where you left off.
Your Halloween Pumpkin Designs Are Suddenly Much Simpler
At some point, you were probably honing your carving skills to please the Instagram masses (or maybe the MySpace masses, cause some of us aren't exactly spring chickens). But now? Now you’re lucky if you get halfway through carving before your kid loses interest.
You Have To Tone Down The Scary Movie Marathons...
There will come a time when you can finally share your love of The Shining with your kiddos. Right now? Yeah, right now probably isn't the best time. Save the scary movies for after they go to bed.
...And Watch Other, G-Rated Halloween Hits
I understand you’re still lamenting the loss of 24/7 horror on your screen. Trust me, I get it. On the plus side, however; there are lots of great Halloween specials for kids that you’ll certainly grow to love.
Cute Halloween Food Like Brownie Coffins? Yeah, Not Happening.
Some Pinterest moms might be able to handle making adorably spooky snacks. For the rest of us, it's store bought or nothing at all.
Creepy-As-Hell Haunted Houses? Forget About Those, Too.
Hitting up the local haunted houses used to be one of your favorite October pastimes. Unfortunately, most kids won’t be able to handle these quite as well as your old group of friends (and who can blame them) so the closest you’ll get to a haunted house is in a book. That said, there’s usually kid-friendly Halloween carnivals to attend and that’s just a new flavor of fun.
You End Up Taking Endless Photos Of Your Kid (Cause Damn They’re Cute)
You didn’t just dress up your kid like the world’s most adorable lobster just for the hell of it. You’re going to make some memories, damn it. So yes, half your night will be spent taking 495,098,927 photos and there is no need to apologize.
You Get To Steal All The Good Candy From Someone Else For A Change
Once your kids pass out from all the Halloween shenanigans, it’s payback time. One Snickers bar for that time they threw a fit at the grocery store. A box of Nerds for when they spit up on you at a wedding. And, of course, some caramels for every time they hit you on the head with a Hot Wheels car. Revenge is so, so sweet.