I do this to myself every holiday, every year. I start out the gate STRONG! As soon as the seasonal items hit the shelves (which we all know is months before said holiday), I’m buying.
Take Halloween for example. I bought my daughter’s costume months in advance. I painstakingly searched through pages and pages of a vast array of mermaids, mermaids with purple tails, mermaids with sequins, mermaids with short tails, mermaids with long tails, mermaids with wigs, and mermaids with crowns. I searched for days until I found the perfect one! It was signed, sealed and delivered before October was even here. I felt on top of the world — I was OWNING this Halloween!
But then it happened, like it always does.
I took my eyes off the prize, and next thing I knew, I was two weeks into October, my daughter changed her mind on costumes five times, I had three Halloween parties to buy three separate things for, still hadn’t figured out how or when to fit in a pumpkin patch, still hadn’t made those Pinterest-worthy skull pizza things I specifically bought a skull pan for, and I was exhausted.
My holiday fatigue always seems to hit mid-season, when all my fears that my daughter isn’t getting the full holiday season experience hit. I want her Halloween to be perfect; I want her to have the perfect costume, the special treats, and the perfect Instagram-worthy pumpkin patch day, but as a working mom and just as a mom in general, it’s HARD! We’ve got less than a week until Halloween, and at this point, I don’t know if we’re even going to be able to fit in a pumpkin patch. Admittedly, I bought pumpkins from the local grocer and called it a day. I’m hanging on like one of the gooey pumpkin strings you can’t get out, no matter how hard you scoop it.
But you would never know this by the photos I post on social media.
Even though there is a lot I haven’t had time for, I’ve made a few things happen. We have fall festival photos, the cute family photos at the local zoo Halloween event, and fall fun at a local amusement park. My daughter wears all the seasonal attire and bows for all the photos.
What you don’t see in those photos is a mom who still feels like it’s not enough, a mom who will buy her kid a thousand costumes just so they feel special, a mom who just doesn’t have enough time in the day to fit everything in, and a mom who will be buying Halloween goodies the day before Halloween just to make sure she has everything.
Just like every holiday, by the time the actual holiday gets here, the bare minimum is all I’ll be able to muster. On actual Halloween, we’ll probably trick-or-treat two houses and go to bed, because you better believe I’ll wear myself completely out at the three parties, two trick-or-treating and fall festivals the week before.
I take holiday photos for social media because I like to look back year after year and see how much my daughter has grown. I also love to remember what she was like at the previous ages, how she styled her hair, what outfits she wore and so on. But what I always seem to forget is the stress behind those photos. I forget that I changed my clothes five times and still felt ugly, that we barely made it to whatever holiday function on time because work ran over, that my daughter didn’t want the overpriced toys I bought her but rather the one I didn’t and pitched a terrible fit, making me regret we went to said holiday event. I forget all of that, until the next holiday function and do the same thing, over and over.