I know my kids are still learning the ropes to this whole ‘living life’ scenario. My job is to be a guide and perhaps a bit of a role model for them. Overall I think I’ve done a pretty good job. My kids are polite and well behaved but also feel open to share their opinion and argue a point based on their beliefs. But sometimes it is me who is the one being schooled and this Halloween was a fine example.
I have so many resources available to me for creative inspiration. From DIY projects posted on Pinterest — ones I never thought of doing before but now have the desire to try — to creative recipes and crafty ideas posted on blogs. The only problem is sometimes inspiration can lead to trying to be perfect. Halloween is a perfect example. From carving a jaw-dropping pumpkin to creating wow-factor holiday treats, I feel the need to perform to this higher standard. Even homemade costumes have to be clever and cool enough that the kids want to wear them in front of their friends.
Of course in my head I’m thinking that putting this extra effort in, pushing myself to turn out something spectacular, will aid in my children’s Halloween enjoyment. However, if I’m truly honest with myself my inner critic believes producing something spectacular, something worthy of love and shares on Instagram or Facebook, will be a badge of fabulous parenthood. Those delicious cupcakes, that creepy pumpkin, and the super clever costumes are a sign that I am awesome, really caring for my family, and having it all together.
I know. I hear your eyes rolling around in your head. It is crazy and perhaps a little shallow but it is honest.
And when we, or I, don’t deliver on this high level, I turn it into a joke, a #pinterestfail. I mock my creative/cooking/sewing skills to cover the fact that I can’t deliver what the mom next door, down the block, or across the country did for her own kids.
But then the kids prove me wrong. They decide to make their own costumes (except for my youngest but I’m sure that will change). They ignore my offer to help cut something a little straighter or draw something a little smoother. I bite my tongue and fold my hands, not letting my Pinterest-mind take over something they clearly enjoy doing. They don’t care. They are making the costumes they want and carving their pumpkin. They are doing it for themselves and not the world around them. Who am I to say it isn’t perfect?
Today my kids woke-up exceptionally early this morning. You would have thought it was Christmas morning or the weekend. Halloween has always been a fun time for the kids but this year they were excited for more than the candy they would collect after school. I think they were excited because they took a little ownership of their Halloween this year. I wasn’t trying to superimpose my ‘magical’ Halloween ideal, like the Griswolds and their Good Ol’ Fashion Family Christmas. I think I need to start taking a little ownership of my own holidays too.
Don’t get me wrong I stand in awe when I see the creativity of others. I will still look to Pinterest, Instagram, and blogs for inspiration, new ideas sometimes need an outside starting point, but I need to focus more one what I love doing for myself and my family. I may not be a master craftsman or baker. I probably will never be a featured photo on Pinterest but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t let my own version of creativity be free. I need to create lopsided chocolate cupcakes because my kids love to eat them. I need to not worry about the crocked lines on the ribbon when wrapping gifts this year. I need to just enjoy what I create and enjoy my not-so-perfect perfectionism.