I have this vision of myself as a Crafty Mom. The one who sews clothes for her kids, who makes every Halloween costume from scratch. I almost get the feeling that if I don’t make a Halloween costume each year, I am dropping the ball, that I have a rep to protect, and really can’t afford to NOT sew something for my kids.
So I have a confession to make:
And here’s the thing: I don’t care. I confess that I feel guilty–G U I L T Y–that I spent what I spent, because even on sale (which these were–I haven’t completely lost my marbles), a store-bought costume seems to cost way more than seems strictly necessary. But do I feel guilty that I didn’t sew this year? No. I don’t.
And here’s why:
- Like every other mom I know, I’m busy. Like, super busy. And I could have chosen to sew costumes for my kids this week–or I could have devoted myself to the other nine million tasks (like feeding them and folding their laundry and getting them to and from school, etc) that were calling me. Halloween matters, but man, that other stuff is what builds a life.
- I offered to sew costumes for them, I really did–and I would have made the time to do it. But our five-year-old saw a Rapunzel costume at Target the other day, and asked me to buy it for her, and when I said I would sew her one instead, she cried. She cried, y’all. Not because she thought I wouldn’t do a good job, but because she just really loved that one. Halloween isn’t about making me look good–it’s about having fun and dressing up and laughing and staying up past dark and consuming unnatural amounts of high fructose corn syrup. Who says I have to sew a costume by hand in order to make that what the kids are hoping for?
- When we go trick-or-treating on Monday night, I don’t want to be the cranky mom, the don’t-get-any-dirt-on-that-costume-I-slaved-over mom, the too-tired-from-staying-up-late mom. I want to be the mom who is at least as excited about Halloween as the kids are (heaven knows my husband will be completely dressed up from head to toe and the first one out the door). If my choice is between being that mom and buying costumes, or sewing costumes so I can save my pride but being so crotchety that I don’t enjoy myself and no one else does either, I’ll take store-bought every time, thankyouverymuch.
I think it’s easy in Craftland to perpetuate the myth that we moms can–and SHOULD–do absolutely everything. I revel in the things I do for my children, for my family. I delight in those tasks, because they are a gift that springs whole from my heart and one that I am proud to offer them. But the minute that gift becomes an onerous task, the minute I become a Craft Martyr, the instant it stops being about love and starts being about What I Have To Do (or worse, What You Owe Me Because Of All The Things I Do For You That I Don’t Really Want To Do), that’s when I pull the plug. That’s not what love looks like, dude.
Yes, I would have made every stitch of these costumes late at night with my very hands, if that was what my children were dreaming of. They weren’t, so I didn’t. And I can tell you with 96% certainty that we will all think the candy is that much sweeter as a result.