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What Your Kid's Halloween Costume Says About You As A Mom

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Confession: I am not a fan of Halloween. As a kid I stopped trick-or-treating by the time I was 8-years-old. I was shy and hated approaching people, even neighbors who knew me and even for candy. So, of course, I go and marry the world’s biggest horror fan. My husband is committed to cultivating a love of Halloween in our children, and encourages them to embrace dressing up for the holiday. But since I can’t sew, or even use a hot glue gun without incident, I’m pretty afraid of what my kids' Halloween costumes say about me as a mom. When my daughter asked me recreate Maleficent’s headdress (since she had waited until the last minute to decide on her costume, and they were all sold out in her size), it turned into a hot mess of electrical tape and tears.

I am not concerned with being judged based on my kids’ choice of costumes as I am by the stress involved with this whole “holiday.” Having all that candy around just ignites arguments (“No, you can’t have more than one because cavities”), finding something they can wear in the cooler weather without having to put a jacket on top of it (“No one will know who I am if I have to wear a coat, Mom!”) is impossible, and knowing that whatever thing they decide to "be" will fall out of favor overnight and their costume probably won’t fit them again is infuriating.

So yeah, all of that kind of chips away at the fun we’re all supposed to be having on that night (or late afternoon, if you have little kids like me). I guess my whatever-my-children-decide-to-dress-up-as will peg me as an angst-ridden mom. I have come to terms that this may be my natural state since becoming a parent. So if you wonder what your kid’s Halloween costume says about you as a mom, here are my thoughts:

Toddler Spider

Courtesy of Liza Wyles

Sucker Mom. This spider costume was impossible for my crawling child to get around in. It was itchy as hell. The headpiece was too big. But it was Baby’s First Halloween and damn if I wasn’t going all in on the “scary cute” effect.

Toddler Spider: Second Child Edition

Courtesy of Liza Wyles

Frugal Mom. It was too small on him, but it had been worn exactly once and I was damn sure it was going to get my money’s worth out of this costume. In hindsight, I would have looked to do a costume swaps with other neighborhood families looking for something “new” without the price tag.

Makeshift Maleficent

Courtesy of Liza Wyles

Non-Crafty Mom. I really thought I could pull this headpiece off, but it should have been a red flag when the instructions included a step that had me wrapping my daughter’s head in a plastic bag to get the shape right while building it. Considering how horrible I am with arts and crafts, I thoughts this came out OK. My child, of course, refused to wear it.

Comic Book Character: The Hulk

Courtesy of Liza Wyles

Accidental Perpetrator of Toxic Masculinity Mom.

Me: “What do you want to be this year?”

Him: “A superhero.” Me: “Like Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Or Hillary Clinton?”

Him: “Huh?!”

Me: sigh

Comic Book Character: Little Orphan Annie

Courtesy of Liza Wyles

Musical Theater Geek Mom. With her tight curls, I was not passing up the opportunity to dress up my daughter as my favorite Broadway star. I actually followed her around with a speaker playing the soundtrack while she trick-or-treated. She wasn’t old enough yet to be embarrassed by that.

Annie… Again

Courtesy of Liza Wyles

Lazy Mom. If the costume still fits...

'Star Wars': The Good Guy (Or Gal)

Courtesy of Liza Wyles

Feminist Mom. As a diehard Star Wars fan, I was totally verklempt when my daughter declared she wanted to go as Rey from the latest installment of the saga. A lot of her female peers chose kickass characters to play: I think I counted four Hermiones in her Girl Scouts troop alone.

'Star Wars': The Dark Side

Courtesy of Liza Wyles

Realistic Mom. Let’s face it, bad guys have all the fun. They get to entertain all their unbridled desires, answering only to their id. In other words, they are children. So it is no surprise that my children enjoy dressing up as baddies. Sure heroes are loved, but villains get to do whatever they want, and for one day I can get with that (as long as my kids know that they actually do whatever they want, which is often to consume all the candy they’ve received that night instead of having a reasonable amount, stashing it away, and remaining oblivious about how often their parents help themselves to it over the next couple of weeks).

Mass Produced Princess

Courtesy of Liza Wyles

Subversively Feminist Mom. I don’t share some other people’s belief that personifying princess is perpetuating the patriarchy (say that three times fast). I believe it is actually incredibly feminist to buck people’s expectations and own your look, be it uber-feminine, super butch, androgynous, or non-classified. My daughter inherited a gorgeous Cinderella gown from another kid and since I would never spend that kind of money on a clothes she would quickly outgrow, I had no problem with her flitting around in it. Being girly is not the antithesis of being feminist. Not accepting a girl’s proclivity towards femininity flies in the face of feminism, though, and its inclusive, nonjudgmental principles.

Anything That Allows The Baby To Sleep

Courtesy of Liza Wyles, who, in hindsight, thinks her newborn's costume as a bed bug is pretty gross

Genius Mom. My son was just shy of three months old for his first Halloween, and spent a lot of time asleep. So I designed his costume around it. He stayed in his comfy pajamas and I tricked out his stroller as a bed bug-ridden sheet because there was an epidemic of the vermin in New York at the time, and I wanted his initiation to this Hallmark holiday to be significant. It was adorable, and spooky, so he won Halloween that year.

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