I’ve recently been Boo’d, a Halloween tradition that has cropped up in many neighborhoods. But as a working mom, I have no time or energy to run around and get what I need in order to Boo two houses within the 24-hour deadline. How do you deal with things like this?
– Boo Hoo
Dear Boo Hoo,
For those of you who‘ve missed the Boo’ing trend, it’s akin to a secret admirer leaving you Halloween treats. But there’s a twist – along with the often elaborately wrapped goodies, you receive instructions to spread the Boo love to two other families, typically within 24 hours. It’s like a chocolate chain letter from Martha Stewart. The subject of Boo’ing opened a whole conversation about working mothers versus stay-at-home moms, with working moms expressing resentment over the pressure to keep up with these extracurricular activities. . Can’t we simply let people do what works for them without judgment? (Sorry, that’s another article!) I believe this is the truth: There are days – whether we admit it or not because we have to justify our own behaviors – that the stay-at-home mom looks at you, the working woman, and wishes she could ditch her sweats, earn her own income, and engage her brain in a different way. Equally, there are those days when you would love to not have a full-time job outside of your family responsibilities. There are times we both long for the lifestyle that the other one seems to have. But back to the issue at hand – the Boo’ing . Simply, do what works for you. Some options include: 1. Take yourself out of the game – enjoy the candy left at your front door, but choose not to Boo. Hey, you could justify it by telling yourself that you’re taking the pressure off of others to have to continue the chocolate chain. 2. Play the game — but with your own rules. That way, your kids get to enjoy the fun of participating, but you don’t have to feel resentment. For instance, given a 24-hour deadline? Change it. Take a couple days to Boo. Trust me, just like there’s no curse when you don’t forward those chain emails to nine friends within nine minutes, there’s no Boo Bully keeping watch who will forever forbid you from eating candy again. 3. Speak your truth. Next time you’re together with the neighbors who are into Boo’ing, share your concerns in a graceful way. Suggest that perhaps all the time and energy that goes into Boo’ing can go into planning and celebrating one group event. Ultimately, for those who have a blast Boo’ing, please feel free to give the gift of the season — just don’t make your gift someone else’s responsibility.