Post-Halloween, most moms glance at those plastic pumpkins their kids loaded up with loot on Oct. 31 and try to ascertain how many candy treats it's proper for everyone to have. But one mom's hysterical Halloween candy rewards chart is actually about how much candy she can have. For once. Because every once in a while, us moms just gotta come first.
Maralee Bradley, a mother of six from Nebraska, took the idea of a rewards chart and spun it on its head. "Around Halloween, I kept seeing this picture go around that listed different candies, their calorie count and what kind of exercise you should do to burn them off," she wrote on Facebook, alongside her self-crafted goal sheet. "Um, no thank you. Motherhood is hard enough without candy guilt. So I whipped up this little chart."
Bradley's chart features such awesome incentives as, "If your kid wet the bed, and you reassure them that it's okay because accidents happen..." you earned yourself a... Butterfinger. Nice.
If a child left a full sippy cup behind the couch last month, and you cleaned it out or threw it away (without yelling, I imagine), you're entitled to Dealer's Choice, such as a Twix (or whatever your candy bar of choice might be). I'm liking this idea more and more.
"Motherhood is hard, candy is delicious and maybe it's okay to sometimes give ourselves a little reward for being awesome moms," she added on social media. "No amount of candy can 'burn off' the stress and frustration of your average day of motherhood, but I'm not going to say it doesn't help. This is entirely tongue-in-cheek, so I hope you enjoy it in the spirit it was intended."
Bradley's readers seem to enjoy the joke as well. "Let's just say I didn't earn any sweet tarts this weekend," one responded, while another piped up with, "Give me ALL the Starbursts."
Reached by e-mail, Bradley tells Romper that she's happy people got her message. "I'm a mom of six kids (four of them adopted), so being an intentional, loving parent is really important to me... and so is my sanity," she responds.
"I... saw those charts about how many burpees I'd have to do if I ate a Snickers and about lost my mind. There is entirely too much pressure on moms to have to be perfect — both as parents and physically. It seemed like a good moment to push back against that idea."
In fact, Bradley, who has her own parenting blog, A Musing Maralee, notes that she was at first afraid that her pro-candy, pro-mom chart would attract flack, at least from someone, somewhere.
"I assumed there might be some ire from fitness fanatics, or even from moms who are too granola for a Milky Way, but I felt like the risk was worth it," she adds. "I love that it has resonated with so many moms! We have a tough job. If candy makes it easier, I think we can embrace that."
Amen, sister. Pass me one of my kid's Hershey's Miniatures.