Lately I’ve noticed that much of my brain capacity is spent on constant mom questions. Do my kids have on clean underwear? Will my children grow up to be nice people? Am I doing enough? Are they having a happy childhood?
Because of my never ending mom thoughts, some of which I’ll admit are mixed with a good dose of guilt, I try to ensure that I do enough awesome activities with them. I want my children to reflect back on their childhood and have warm and fuzzy thoughts. So therefore, I must help them make so many fun memories. ALL the happy memories, for crying out loud.
My memory making obsessions tends to bleed into holidays, and I like to go BIG. Because more is more, of course.
So when the air starts to turn crisp and pumpkin everything hits the store shelves, I become giddy. Why you ask? Because fall is amazing.
And also because Halloween is the perfect holiday for memory making time.
Each Halloween since my daughter was a mere infant, I’ve spent hours putting together perfect costumes, and I scour the internet for fall events and kid friendly places to go trick-or-treating. When my daughter was 4-months-old I drug her out to Haunt the Zoo, because that’s what every infant enjoys, naturally.
Every year since then, I’ve found it thrilling to track down events. I think to myself, “JACKPOT!” every time I find something I just know my kids will love, and I happily mark it down on my calendar. Typically we spend the week of Halloween jam packing our evenings with fall fun. We would trick-or-treat, visit pumpkin patches, carve pumpkins, make caramel apples, and much much more for at least a week straight.
Take a moment to let that soak in.
An entire week. Of Halloween activities. My kid’s trick-or-treated until they were at maximum candy capacity.
However, last Halloween we had company staying at our house, and so my children only had the chance to trick-or-treat twice. (GASP) Insert the mom guilt here.
I would see pictures of my friend’s going around town having all the fun, and FOMO filled my brain. I felt bad that my kids only had the chance to trick-or-treat a measly two times compared to the normal crazy amount of holiday build up we like to have.
Despite the fact that I felt guilty that Halloween wasn’t celebrated with a million festivities, my kids still had a blast. Actually, I think they had more fun, in fact, because they weren’t exhausted and overly stimulated.
Reflecting back on the guilt I felt last year, I had to wonder if maybe I’m spending too much time worrying about quantity, and I’ve tossed quality to the wayside. Do my kids need to trick-or-treat ten million times in order for them to have a successful holiday? Do my kids need to have 35 visits to a pumpkin patch in order for them to have warm fuzzy thoughts about their childhood?
And that’s when I realized that I was the only one who had set the bar so high. I can guarantee that I’m the only one in my family worried about not doing “enough”. I was the one who over planned, rushed, and forced the hustle and bustle over every tiny silly holiday. In some ways, I think that for my family simplicity might be the answer. This over celebrating takes the fun out of the anticipation of the actual holiday.
So my fellow mamas whether your family fills the evenings trick-or-treating the entire city, your kids only visit a Pumpkin Patch once this year, or if you choose to not even celebrate at all let’s be confidant in the fact that we’re doing enough. We are enough. And while our mom thoughts might be running rampant with worries and self doubts, our kids are still out there having a magical childhood.