‘We asked what he wanted to be for Halloween. ‘Bumblebee, the Transformer.’ We wanted his costume to actually transform.’: Mom learns lesson from DIY Halloween costume fail

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“My oldest son was three years old and in a Transformers stage. You know, those toys that can change from a robot into a car? He had just discovered the toys and, much to my husband’s delight, equally liked the 80s cartoon. It was September and when we asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween, he of course said, ‘Bumblebee, the Transformer.’

As our first born, I guess you can say we put in extra energy into making things special for him. His birth announcement was a custom-made card created by my husband and his first birthday was over the top for our standards. So for this Halloween, we didn’t just want him to dress as a Transformer, we wanted his costume to actually transform.

I hopped on the internet and searched for inspiration and low and behold, found the plans for a costume that transformed from a car into a robot. We bought the plans from Etsy, purchased sheets of foam board and, equipped with an X-Acto knife, hot glue gun and a gallon of paint, took to building this dream costume.

It took at least 8 hours, no joke. My husband was locked in the garage cutting, gluing and figuring out how to piece this thing together. On Halloween, we surprised my son with his creation. It truly was the coolest costume I have ever seen. His little body fit perfectly and when he crouched down he became a bright, yellow sports car.

Little boy poses for a photo in a homemade Transformers Bumblebee costume for Halloween
Courtesy of Katie Fenske
Little boy crouches down on the ground in a homemade Transformers Bumblebee costume, looking like a toy car
Courtesy of Katie Fenske

But here’s the kicker – after all the work and effort we put into this costume, my son wore it a total of five minutes. FIVE MINUTES!!!! It was big and bulky and he couldn’t walk two feet in it without complaining.

All of our hard work ended up in my husband’s arms as my son ran from house to house collecting candy and NOT showing off his cool costume. After that night, it sat in our garage for about a year, neither my husband nor I able to throw away our hard work.

Little boy sits on the front porch after trick or treating in a Bumblebee costume while eating a sucker
Courtesy of Katie Fenske

I tell this story not to brag about how crafty we were but to open up about how this Halloween failure changed me as a mom. The next four years that followed, my son either wore a costume we bought on a whim while shopping at Costco or one that was delivered by Amazon straight to our house.

Mom snaps a photo of two of her sons in Halloween costumes before trick or treating, one a Lego ninja and the other Buzz Lightyear
Courtesy of Katie Fenske

I always thought I could be the kind of mom who made homemade costumes for my kids, but the Halloween of 2017 gave me a different perspective on who I needed to be. It released some of the pressure I had put on myself to be that perfect mom. There are parts of motherhood I will go all out for, but I have learned where to draw the line.

This year, on September 9th, my sons told me they wanted to each be Star Wars characters for Halloween, so the next day I hopped on my phone, gave Amazon a little scroll, placed an order for three costumes and had them all delivered by September 12th. Done and done. My boys are beyond excited for Halloween and never once questioned the fact that their costumes took me two minutes to order instead of two hours to make.

Mom of three sons takes a photo of their Star Wars Halloween costumes she purchased from Amazon
Courtesy of Katie Fenske

Do I sometimes wish I could pull out a sewing machine, like my mom did when I was young, and whip up an amazing homemade costume? Of course, but then I remember the hours we put into that Transformer costume, and I realize in this case I am going to give myself a pass.

I guess you can say a Halloween costume transformed me as a mother, and every October, there is no better treat for me than the realization and acceptance of that.”

Family of four take a photo together on Halloween, one son dressed as a knight and the other a dinosaur
Courtesy of Katie Fenske

This story was submitted to Love What Matters  by Katie Fenske of Southern California and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Instagram, YouTube, and her website. Submit your own story  hereand be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and  YouTube  for our best videos.

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