Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Making Your Kid's Halloween Costume Doesn't Make You A Good Mom

My "Peanut Big Top Lalaloopsy Doll"
Now that the trick-or-treating is over, I can sit down and reflect on the HOURS I spent putting my daughter's costume together.

This is not me bragging, by any means.  Call it a warning, a lesson learned, and a maybe a little encouragement.

First, let's talk about how I NEVER think a Pinterest craft will take very long.  Sure, it's a DIY project, but there's no category for DIYF (Do It Yourself Fast) projects.  They should label those pins with average work hours like recipes include approximate cook and preparation times! This Halloween costume I eagerly volunteered to create for my daughter will only take a few minutes, right? Wrong. It took me 10 or more HOURS!

So there it is: my blind spot. While I get really excited about a new creative venture, I often completely forget to factor in the amount of hours that I'll need to set aside.  The warning label on this project should read "labor-intensive."  Luckily, I started this one in plenty of time, which saved me from so much of the usual stress that comes with my typical procrastination technique!

But this Halloween costume WAS a labor of love, and I actually like doing things like this for my kids now and then.  I didn't have to do it, but I am always looking for creative outlets and momentary departures from the every day tasks. When I can make something AND serve my family, it's always a win-win for me!  Note: I didn't volunteer to sew costumes for the entire crew. I only put together one headpiece, and that was enough!

Ten years ago, however, this new mom once thought I HAD to meet the high standard of making and baking everything from scratch.  If I spent my time designing the most unique fairy skirt or constructing the perfectly original birthday cake, I'd feel like a good mom.  Somehow I had decided that my worth was based on what others thought of my efforts and what deeds I accomplished. This belief is not fair to myself or true in any way.

Your worth never increased or decreased from the moment God created you.  While your good deeds are wonderful and important, God is always looking to the heart of the matter.  He loves you and values you for who you are and who you are becoming- not because of what you do or don't do. Most of the time, we can't see that truth in a tangible way, which is why it's hard to grasp.  Others may see your works, but God sees your heart (1 Samuel 16:7).  

All costumes bought online, except said hair piece and pink shoes.
Maybe it was the depletion of time and energy that came with having more than one child.  My perspective may have changed as I had to choose priorities more wisely.  Sometimes you have to make things easier on yourself.  A lot of times, really.  Don't fall into the guilt trap.  "Supermom" is a myth. There are so many other important responsibilities on your plate- like, I don't know, grocery shopping, planning meals, changing diapers, and folding laundry. All of these things require heaps of your time, effort and attention. 
So when you get a chance to do something extra, do it!  But for most of your days, you have to learn how to take shortcuts.  It's okay. Give yourself a break.  Give yourself grace. 

Making your kid's Halloween costume doesn't make you a "good" mom.  It just means your possibly crazy and brave enough to try, because you like that kind of stuff, and you just happened to find some time to do it.  Those kids care more about how many pieces of candy they score than where the costume came from, anyway!

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