I love Halloween!! It's a day everyone gets to be someone or something else for the night. A season to watch creepy movies and scare yourself silly. I like watching neighborhood working together decorating their houses. It is one of my favorite holidays. I even worked in a haunted house when I was younger. I want to pass on the fun and love for this ghoulish holiday to my boys.
The other night I was starting to become very overwhelmed by what still needed to be done for Halloween and projects the boys had due the day after Halloween. Two days before Halloween the pumpkins weren't carved, I had no clue what peanut free goodies I was going to send into school with the boys, I still had one more candy swap gift to buy, and Jordan still wasn't sure what he was going to dress as therefore still needed a costume. I also learn that evening that the younger two still had spelling test the day after Halloween along with a book report. The with energy of the Halloween in the air, my boys have been less than compliant. I was not feeling the love for the holiday, I started thinking "Let's just skip Halloween this year", there was no way I was going to be able to give them the perfect Halloween. Of course, I knew that the things that had to be done would get done; they would take costumes to school for their parties and they would go trick or treating. There was so much I wanted us to do to celebrate and we weren't going to have enough time to do everything.
My kids weren't going to enjoy this holiday, if the memories are of how mom rushed them through carving pumpkins, burnt the pumpkins seeds because she was setting up Halloween Bingo, and had demanded that they "Just pick something to be". Those aren't the memories I wanted them to have. Yesterday, I decided to just let some things go. If the pumpkins didn't get carved it wouldn't be the end of the world, we could still set them out as decorations. No one ever said pumpkins had to be carved before Halloween. Jordan could pick through our box of past year's costumes and create something to wear. I already had my main swap gift, I didn't have to run to four different stores looking for the extra little ones to give to the boys, they would still have a large portion on chocolate candies they could eat.
It took a lot for me to let go of the "perfect Halloween" and embrace the Halloween that it would be.
I let go of stressing over everything and focused on one simple task at a time. A friend had stopped by with some games for the boys, and it turned out one of the games was perfect for the swap gift I needed. When the boys got home from school and homework was completed we started gutting the pumpkins while I quizzed them on spelling words (I'm a mom, I multi-task). Dinner was ready by the time the pumpkins were cleaned out, so we ate then carved them. During dinner Jordan finally decided what he would be, we already have face paint on hand so he's going to be a ventriloquist dummy. We had about an hour before bed that Jacob worked on his report and finish it except for a bit of coloring that he did this morning on the way to school. Joey had turned in his report last week and hadn't thought to inform me of it. I also chose not to send in any treats this year, the kids never know who brought in goodies and who didn't, plus they will all get lots of goodies when they go out tonight. (This was a really hard thing to let go of, I usually try to make a different creative treat for each boys to take in.)
By letting go of my image of the perfect Halloween and just letting things play out, it all worked out and everything that I wanted to do is done. (We played Halloween Bingo a few times last week, so that counts, right?) If I had held more tightly to when and how everything was done, I would have had myself so stressed out that I would have over reacted when things weren't going smoothly. I know when I'm stressed, I stress my kids out; you can't have fun when you're stress. By letting go of all the expectations I had placed on myself, I was able to share my love and excitement for Halloween with my boys.