We’re going to a Halloween get together in T-1 hour, and I have yet to decide what, or if, I’m even going to dress up this year.
The old days…
What happened to the days of being a kid and knowing what my costume would be months in advance!? What happened to the high school parties and dance club costume contests of my twenties? (Seriously, what happened?)
What happened is that I grew up, and then I had a baby. Halloween is no longer about spending more money than I should have on a costume and deciding which parties to go to like my most recent former-self did. Now it’s about my daughter, and her experience.
There’s a whole lot of feelings that come with that. Part of me is sad and mourns the independence I used to have when it came to letting loose in costume once a year. It was so much fun being care free. Another part is super excited that I finally get to go trick-or-treating again!
The postpartum phase of life…
When it comes to being in the postpartum phase of live, there’s a major shift from our old norms. I find this to be especially true when it comes to celebrating holidays. So, as a new parent on Halloween, here are some very common things that may run through your mind:
-A costume dilemma – in the form of, nothing fits me right anymore or is this appropriate for a mom to wear?
-Festivity logistics – Do we get our costumes on and go to the meet-up at the library in the afternoon; is it warm enough to trick or treat tonight; will it be okay to bring the baby to our friend’s party tomorrow night?
-Yet another costume decision – will my baby be warm enough in this, will they be too warm; what if they don’t want to keep on the hat that goes with this; should we do a family costume!?
-The CANDY – since babies don’t eat candy, guess who gets to enjoy all of that sugar-filled goodness? Will you allow yourself to enjoy the treats, or can you already sense candy guilt creeping in?
How to deal…
What I’m getting at here is that there can be so much thought, questioning, planning and potential overwhelm. Can I just go back to being a 6 year-old vampire again? Here’s the advice that I gave myself.
-Be your own cheerleader, and be kind to your self-image. You just had a baby and it is totally okay, and totally normal for things not to fit like they used to. Don’t get down on yourself if your hips are too wide for your Wonder Woman costume. But if they aren’t you wanna rock it, the only person who gets to question whether it’s appropriate is you.
-Pick one or two events that you think you and your little one would truly enjoy. There’s no need to make yourself crazy by feeling like you need to attend all of the festivities offered to you.
-Be practical with a costume for your baby and dress for the weather. And frugal tip: thrift stores are truly amazing for second-hand kids’ costumes. If you’re going after a cute photoshoot, try to do it after they’ve had a good nap and aren’t hungry.
-As far as the treats are concerned, my attitude is that Halloween only comes once a year! That being said, if you do better with limits then set them before the candy comes trickling in so you’re more likely to stick within them.
Celebrating Halloween in your new role as a parent definitely reminds you how your life has changed. Let yourself feel whatever emotions come up and try to honor the transition you’re making. And this isn’t to say that you’ll never have a kid-free night of dancing in a costume again – parents still get to have fun!