Halloween has always been the perfect Slacker Mom-friendly holiday. Think about it: no cookies to bake, no cards to send, no perfect holiday photo to stress over. No special fancy outfits to shop for (and then fight with your kids over, amid screams of "I'm NOT wearing THAT!"), no gifts to buy, nothing to wrap or send or deliver. No parties to cook for, no invitations to figure out how to get out of, no company shindigs where you have to make small talk with people you don't even know. No teacher gifts to buy (an impossible task, even for an ex-teacher). No deciding who to visit and how to break it to the ones you're ditching.
You buy a few bags of candy, whip up a few costumes, and you're done. Ah, Halloween!
More and more, schools don't allow the "H" word to be spoken; everything is "Fall Festival" or "Harvest Celebration" these days. Even easier. Cookies can be bought at the local bakery and dropped off at school with no guilt, since I can't use my special jack-o-lantern cupcake molds anyway. Most schools won't even let parents bake treats anymore; they have to be store-bought and can't exceed "wellness" requirements set by well-meaning (but lame) district officials.
I admit, before Slacker Mom arrived, I used to over-achieve and SuperMom the crap out of Halloween, just like every other holiday. I used to make sure each child had two costumes, one for school (sticky, day-glo orange cupcake frosting all over the fleecy baby lamb costume I spent 10 hours making? I don't think so!) and one for trick-or-treating. But last year, my husband took the kids to the costume store and told them they had 30 minutes to find a costume. They came home as a pretty witch and her sweet black cat. Wading through piles of slutty pre-teen costumes was no fun for him, but it saved me about 15 hours worth of work, and didn't cost much more than I would have spent on materials.
I used to throw an elaborate annual Halloween party for all the kids we know. I had games, treats, crafts, a full buffet, and goodie bags. I'd spend hours making homemade, hand-decorated cupcakes and cookies that were gobbled up in seconds. This year, Slacker Mom pointed out that between school, neighbors, and extracurricular activities, we'd have to invite about 60 kids. And their parents. And their siblings. And it rained on that weekend last year AND the year before. So Slacker Mom convinced me to spend that money on a more worthy cause: a mid-year trip to Florida to see friends instead. Surprisingly, the kids were totally on-board and won't even miss the party that I've prided myself on for 7 years now. Talk about a wake-up call.
Slacker Mom Says...before I know it, I'll be a grumpy old lady turning out my porch light on October 31. I might as well start enjoying this holiday instead of trying to create yet another perfectly memorable, perfectly Martha Stewart holiday. Instead, I'm going to buy costumes and cookies, take my kids trick-or-treating, and get some extra sleep. After all, Christmas is just around the corner. And my Slacker Mom detox program hasn't figured out a way to talk me down from SuperMomming the crap out of Christmas yet.