There will almost certainly not be carved pumpkins in front of our house this Halloween.
I mean, it is already Halloween, we only have one pumpkin as it is, we’re entering the third week of sick that is lingering in our family and I am now trying to figure out what it really means to “work from home” while also caring for kids.
I am feeling worn out. And unequipped. And like I’m letting so many people down.
Transition is hard for me. I guess I know this, but I always forget it until I am thrown back into it. I always think I’ll be able to handle it far better than I do. It takes me a while to adjust and figure out a timeline and schedule that works well for me.
As a mom with three kids, I am used to huge life transitions. With my first baby, I felt like it took a full 9 months before I finally figured out how to take care of a baby and, you know, eat as an adult. (I was very comforted when a friend reminded me that it takes 9 months to prepare for a baby. It is only natural for it to take a long time to adjust to a baby). I have oscillated in and out of the workforce with three maternity leaves in a row. Each time I entered and exited the workplace, each time I welcomed a new baby into the family, I went through a period of deep upheaval as I try to figure out what to prioritize in my life and I let go of small parts of my identity to fit into each new role.
This time was different. As my third maternity leave came to an end, I realized it made no financial sense to return to work. The only transition for us was financial as the employment insurance cheques stopped coming. Everything else was status quo, nothing needed to change. I felt more like myself, knowing that life as I knew it wasn’t going to be uprooted. I could create my identity in this space as a stay at home mom.
Of course, that was back in January, and life has a way of making sure that comfortable places don’t stay that way for long. Apparently, I was due for a good ol’ life upheaval.
When I got my new job last month, I thought it was going to be a pretty easy transition for me. I would still spend most of my days at home with the kids. A friend stepped up to offer to babysit the one morning I needed it which was a huge blessing. This was going to be the smoothest transition yet!
In one way, it has been. The culture at the place I work now is so amazing, I actually wish I were there each day. I can’t actually articulate any current complaints, except that it would be really lovely if my one-and-a-half-year-old would let me work for longer than 10-minute stretches. I expected that, though. Still, I certainly feel the transition upheaval in my life. It is there under the surface. It isn’t overt. It is just a feeling of being unbalanced; like when I picked up this one additional ball, I dropped a lot more in the process.
And one of those dropped balls is the uncarved pumpkin sitting in front of our house.
Every year since having kids, we have carved one pumpkin per kid who was old enough to have an opinion, and one pumpkin for the adults (read: me. Dan doesn’t really seem to care about this holiday. He’s just biding his time waiting to be allowed to play Christmas music).
Pumpkin carving is messy but fun. It is a hands-on, creative activity that kids can participate in, even if I am doing most of the work. It is a good memory-making, family-building, early-learning activity.
Last year I carved a Thomas the Tank Engine pumpkin and also the coolest Pokémon pumpkin. Everyone loved the Gengar one. (Is Pokémon a little tired now? I don’t even know what cult icon I’d carve for ultimate cool pumpkinness this year.) Last year I could figure out what my kids were into based on their Netflix choices (read: Pokémon) but this year, the stubborn toddler pretty much controls the Apple TV remote. Barney? The Wiggles? Word Party? Super Why!? None of those are really going to elevate my pumpkin game this year.
Maybe my kids won’t notice. I mean, two of them were barfing last night, they’ll just be happy if they’re able to go trick or treating. I think I’ll take a few pain killers for myself and put on Children’s Favourites: Halloween Treats. At least they can get into the Halloween spirit while watching something the baby (toddler?) won’t have a fit about. Barney for the win!
I’m pretty sure any plans I had to carve that pumpkin are gone now. Maybe I’ll just let that go for this year. Happy Halloween.
7:29 PM Halloween night is the most paused time on Netflix. If you want to get into the Netflix & Thrill spirit with your littles, here are some other great silly and scary shows to watch before the porch light goes off.
- Dreamworks’ Spooky Stories
- Hotel Transylvania
- Monster High: Haunted
- Masha’s Spooky Stories
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
*Please use your discretion when introducing children to new shows, especially when they are Halloween themed. Remember that our kids hold on to images they see in their brains and this can play out in nightmares and behaviour later.
This post was inspired by Netflix. I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and as such I have been compensated for this post with a complimentary Netflix subscription and a few other perks. I’m honoured to have been a StreamTeam member for the last three years. The stories and opinions are all my own.