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The Hot Mess Mom's Guide To Halloween

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Life is messy, and no one knows that more than the Hot Mess Mom. She's not negligent or lazy or anyone to look down upon. She's simply a mom who understands that, sometimes, it's hard to get all your sh*t together. Instead of hide that fact like her perfectionist counterparts, she happily embraces it. And the challenge of getting it all together can be particularly difficult around the holidays. That's why I've concocted the Hot Mess Mom's Guide to Halloween, because it's nice to know there's an alternative to, you know, Pinterest.

In terms of holiday expectation, Halloween and Hot Mess Moms are a match made in heaven. Because unlike Christmas, Yom Kippur, Thanksgiving, or any of the other big ones that may pop up in your cultural or religious calendar, Halloween is pretty low-stakes. There's no big meal, no guests, and no real expectation for too much. This is just one of the many reasons why Halloween is this Hot Mess mom's favorite holiday. Plus, it's just fun. You can be a Hot Mess on Halloween and no one bats an eyelash. In fact, your unapologetic messiness is celebrated on this day as it cannot be on any other. Well, maybe on your 21st birthday, or at your Bachelorette Party, but those aren't really holidays, right?

So with all that in mind and because the Hot Mess Mom deserves some seasonal recognition, here are just some of the ways you can make this spooky time of year as gloriously absurd and deliciously extra as possible. Go forth and be messy, my friends. Trust me, you're not alone.

Start Decorating On Either August 31 Or October 31

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It's important to establish just what kind of Halloween hot mess you're going to be: the kind who's way too into it or the kind who throws it together at the last minute exclusively out of a sense of obligation. (For the record, I'm unabashedly the former.) In either case, it's going to be a delightful sh*tshow.

Buy & Lose Candy At Least Twice

Remember when you completely forgot to get any candy and wound up tossing unwrapped breath mints into kids' trick-or-treat bags? And their parents stared at you as though you were some sort of child-poisoning deviant? Well this year will be different. Oh yes, you're going to buy candy ahead of time and be as prepared as possible.

And that's precisely when you misplace the candy, only to rediscover the entire damn bag after you buy more candy.

Wacky Leggings All Month Long

Skeletons! Skulls! Spiders! Pumpkins! Witches! Black cats! Mummies! Little vampire smiles!

And, like, as a hot mess you likely wear these pants all year because laundry day always seems to sneak up on you. But now they're seasonally appropriate! Yay!

Terrify Yourself By Watching Scary Movies

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It seems like a good idea to really immerse yourself in the spirit of the season by whipping out some of the classics, as well as many of the gritty psychological horror films that your artsy friends have been raving about for months. So you get your popcorn, hunker down on the couch, and scream your little head off for an hour and a half before going to bed and not sleeping all night because what if that little girl from the well comes for you?! You can't know she won't!

Order Your Child's Third Choice Costume & Pray It's Delivered On Time

Because of course you put it off until the last minute and of course neither their first nor second choice has two-day delivery. (You are not paying $15 to overnight it.) Thankfully, you pay for Prime and their third option is available. Crisis averted... unless that damn costume doesn't show up on time.

Convince Your Kid A Toilet Paper Mummy Is A Great Costume When The One You Ordered Doesn't Arrive On Time

Have fun wiping with tissues for the next week because there's no way you're going to remember to buy more toilet paper the next time you're at the store.

Forget What Time The School Halloween Parade Starts

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Really? 11:30? You could have sworn it was 12:30. Where is that flier...

... Oh. Here it is. 12:30. Well, would you look at that.

(You will run up to the school field just in time to see your kid walk by in their haphazard mummy costume.)

Forget How Cold It Gets At Night

Once your child is dressed in their costume it's time for some trick-or-treat fun. You might think to tell them to put on a jacket (or, if you live in New England like me, a full-on winter coat) but they will fight you on it and, in your soft-heartedness (or inability to GAF this late in the day), you're like, "Fine! Whatever! You're in long sleeves. You'll be fine."

Rookie mistake. Or, if you're a hot mess mom, mistake you keep making year after year despite the fact that you should have learned your lesson by now.

Forget A Flashlight & Stumble Around In The Darkness

Maybe this isn't an issue for those of you who live in more urban or suburban areas with lots of sidewalks and street lamps, but this hot mess mom lives in the damn country. So in addition to no artificial light in most places after dark — terrifying enough on its own, BTW — there's also the fact that this is where all of the scariest scary stories take place.

Have fun walking past that big field with the tall grass and the extremely terrifying scarecrow.

Take All The Best Candy From Your Kids' Bag

My son was an emergency C-section after more than 18 hours of labor and my daughter was over nine pounds and delivered vaginally. They owe me every single one of their goddamn Reese's cups.

Leave Decor Up Until Christmas

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I mean, who says pumpkins aren't festive enough for the holiday season? Just put some tinsel and lights on it.