Make Halloween More Enjoyable for You and Your Kids

Make Halloween More Enjoyable for You and Your Kids

Surviving Halloween With Lupus

Halloween is just about here, so costumes and trick-or-treating are on the calendar as they have been each year for me, for many years. I decided that this year, I should dress up like little red riding hood because the big bad wolf (AKA lupus) is always in hot pursuit of me.

Plus, the costume is warm — my body cannot take the cold weather changes of late October in Maine. Some years there is already a dusting of snow at this time!

Let’s face it, Halloween can offer up more of a challenge for moms like myself who also are battling lupus, but I am tired of being scared of the big bad wolf.

In the past I have tried to make costumes. I am pretty crafty by nature, but honestly, when in a full-blown flare like I am in now, I don’t have the energy to make that happen.

Feeling as I do, I know I would create something that did not live up to my kids’ expectations. Truth be told, rather than looking forward to the night of silly costumes and going door to door, I kind of dread it this year.

It will be cold. I may be dragging myself around and wondering how many more doors I can go to before I have to call it a night. I will feel guilty that no matter how much I push myself to do, it feels like it is not enough; it is not as much as other moms are doing. Lupus makes me fall short of the mom I wish to be.


Trick-or-Treating Tips for Lupus Warriors

So how do we make the most of the holiday for our kid’s sake? Buck-up little pumpkin, here are a few of my strategies for Halloween survival:

  • Quality not quantity – I really try and make the focus of the night be on the fact that we did it, rather than how long we stayed out or how much candy we collected. I make the dressing up part be as special as possible. We accessorize. We take pictures. We have a family pizza and costume party before we head out.
  • Set expectations – Kids hate surprise/abrupt endings to fun. I explain before we head out that if it gets to be too cold or after a certain amount of time, we will call it a night and go home to check out our bounty of candy. I let them know when I am starting to wear down and say, “Five more houses and we are done.” Warnings ease the whining.
  • Buy candy to supplement – If I won’t be able to stay out a long period of time, I hide extra candy around the house/yard before we head out trick or treating, so when the kids get back home they get to do a candy hunt with flashlights — almost as fun as trick or treating. I can watch from inside where it is warm!
  • Accept help –  If I am really too sick or in too much pain to do this myself, I get help. Last year it was raining and very cold and I drove the SUV around, heat blasting, following the kids through the neighborhoods and parking at the end of each driveway. My sister-in-law walked with them since she offered to take them with her own kids. I accepted help. I saw everything, and heard their stories as they came back periodically to warm up and dry off for a bit. I missed very little, but stayed out of the weather.

The trick to dealing with these annual expectations is to alter your plans a bit and make them as lupus-friendly as possible. If you are like me, you want to make these memories, but not at the expense of your health. Accommodating your lupus can make these challenges a little less scary.

Up next:
Holidays With Lupus

The Holidays With Lupus

Anna shares her tips for coping with the holidays with lupus, including ideas for visiting family and friends, and knowing when to say no.
by Anna Scanlon on December 10, 2014
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