The Workingmums' guide to Halloween
It's that time of year again when you can buy the kids sweets without feeling too guilty and dress up like a zombie, even though you feel like one most of the year. Halloween is next week. Here are some tips to get through a night devoted to mummies and the like, even though this does not unfortunately mean working mummies get to put their feet up.
1. Luckily, Halloween tends to fall in half term. This means that you avoid having to make a costume that may have to pass muster on the school playground. You can therefore get away with the very basics - sheets, tomato ketchup, toilet paper [for mummies] and lots of make-up.
2. Remember make-up makes any outfit look scary. A couple of zombie eyes and some fake blood will give that authentic Halloween feel better than any expensive shop-bought outfit.
3. Tired of thinking up different outfits for every child? Try a theme. Ghosts is a good one and can be costumed entirely from the contents of the laundry basket. Think ghost princesses, ghost mice, ghost Vikings. Whatever costume you have left over from school costume days can be adapted with a simple sprinkling of self-raising flour and some zombie eyes.
4. Make your own sweets. It will distract the kids, save some money and potentially put them off sweets for life.
5. Invent Halloween games which involve you basically lying down and resting, eg, Zombie Awake, in which the queen zombie [you] lie on your bed while the mini zombies do maths homework until you wake up. Hours of fun.
6. You're probably working even though it's half term for the kids and since the recession means you're probably doing the work of three full timers while only being paid part-time wages you may not even need a costume. The undead? You're already there.
7. As Halloween falls in the middle of the week use the other days of half term to prepare or get whoever is looking after your kids to prepare. That means you kill two birds with one stone - keeping the kids entertained turning their rooms into bat caves and the like while working up an excitement for the night of the living dead. You can then spend the last days of half term getting them to tidy up since they will be on a sugar high. It probably won't work, but it's worth a try.
8. Remember - when you're knee deep in tomato ketchup and toilet paper - it's only a couple of months till Christmas.