Halloween Costumes and School Dress-Up Days :: Why I Don’t Stress When My Son Chooses Not to Participate


halloween costumesIt’s Fall, Y’all!

The leaves are falling, we’re getting a glimpse of cooler weather, and moms everywhere have started stock-piling pumpkin spice everything. All of this can only mean one thing: it’s fall, y’all, and Halloween is right around the corner! Personally, I’m not a Halloween fanatic but I do love the thought of seeing my kids dressed up in cute outfits. I also enjoy seeing their faces light up as their trick or treat bags get filled with candy that I always get at least 20% of (I like to think of it as a learning opportunity to talk about sharing).

Halloweens Past

For my oldest son’s first Halloween, it was so easy to pick out his costume and dress him up just how I wanted, which was head-to-toe in the cutest turtle costume, with no fuss on his end. By the time his second Halloween rolled around, he was almost 3 years old, so his headstrong and opinionated personality was blooming in full force. This newfound sense of self made forcing him to dress up in what I wanted him to wear very difficult. 

When I received the notification of his school’s fall festival and Halloween party, I was excited to start the hunt for the perfect costume. We went with a hand me down dinosaur suit from his cousin that I just knew he would love. I was 1 month postpartum with our youngest son, and I honestly didn’t think twice about it after I made the decision. He had a costume and he would love dressing up for school with his friends right? WRONG.

The day of his school costume party rolled around and describing it as a nightmare of a morning is an understatement. A full blown meltdown was had and all of us were in tears by the time my husband and I got him in the car. He screamed all the way to school in protest of wearing the costume. After trying to force it on him in the school drop off line my husband looked at me and said, “Why are we forcing him to dress up? It’s not that big of a deal if he doesn’t want to, right?” His words hit me so hard, and as much as I hate to admit it, he was absolutely right.

Why Do I Care?

When I really thought about it, I ultimately only wanted him in his costume for the sole purpose of documenting all the cuteness with a Facebook worthy photo. It was at that moment that I asked myself why I was stressing so much about it if he didn’t care to dress up. He could still participate in all of the fall festival activities and he would have more fun wearing what he wanted to wear. And, sure, he would be the only one not dressed up in the pictures sent from his teacher, but so what?! If he didn’t care, then why was I putting so much energy into caring? 

Halloweens Present and Future

As small as this situation was, it really shaped my outlook on outfits and getting dressed-up going forward. Now, whenever a school dress up day or Halloween comes along, I ask him if he wants to dress up. If he does, great! But, if he’s not interested, I don’t think twice about it. That brings less stress for me on the planning side and no meltdowns to deal with at the breakfast table the day of. I also let him pick out his clothes to wear to school in the morning. This gives him a sense of independence and is also one less thing I have to worry about before getting us out the door.

So, here’s your friendly reminder from a mom who’s learning daily, you have to choose your battles with your littles! Is it really important to you to have control over what they wear? If so, cool, fight for that and stay strong with your decision! But, I’ve learned to personally care less when my four-year-old picks out mismatched super hero pajamas and Paw Patrol light up shoes to wear to school. You do you, buddy! 


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Meet Hannah Trammell! She was born and raised in Birmingham, and while college took her away to Kentucky, she eventually found her way back home to the magic city after graduating. She and her husband currently reside in Roebuck springs with their two wild and crazy boys Franklin (4yrs) and Amos Jon (17mo), and their sweet German shorthaired pointer Leita. They’re an outdoor loving family and some of their favorite memories together have been made hiking, camping(both of their boys went on their first overnight camping trip at 3 months old) taking cross country road trips out west, exploring national parks, and riding bikes. During the week Hannah is a Spanish interpreter at Children’s hospital. This month will mark 8 years since she started working at Children’s, and while this occupation has proven to be extremely mentally and emotionally challenging at times, especially once she became a mother herself, she states that, “it has been an honor to use my language skills to directly serve our Spanish speaking families who walk through our hospital doors.” Her childhood was filled with Latin influence thanks to her precious Puerto Rican abuela, but her love for the Spanish language really flourished in college. Now, 8 years later, she is a Nationally board certified medical interpreter. Her husband Taylor is also in the medical field and owns a small independent retail pharmacy in Crestwood (Crestwood pharmacy and soda fountain) where he operates as the best community pharmacist she knows! When she’s not spending time with her family or working, she finds joy in thrifting and making old treasures new, running, reading, dancing, and in savoring a cup of super hot and creamy coffee at home. She has always enjoyed writing and feels that she expresses herself best when she can get her racing thoughts written down on paper. Hannah is so excited and thankful to be a part of this group of diverse Birmingham mamas and she looks forward to sharing her words with other moms in Birmingham


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