My memories of celebrating Halloween with my family are wonderful.

We never got into the scary stuff, nor did we spend much money on costumes. Instead, we made Halloween a time where we did everything together.

About a week before the big day, we’d carve pumpkins together, then season and roast the seeds to eat. My mom would help us figure out a simple costume, generally using borrowed or recycled fabrics.

On Halloween day, my sister and I would put on our costumes, makeup, light our hand-carved jack-o-lanterns and wait for the rush of the darkness outside to seep in, signaling it was time to fill up our plastic pumpkins with goodies.


We’d go visit my grandparents and great-grandparents first, then meet up with our closest family friends to collect our candy in the neighborhood, alongside scores of other children in the darkness.

Now that I have my own family, it’s my goal to recreate that joy, anticipation and fun with my daughter and my husband It’s become such a fun tradition for us!

I love the way Halloween brings families together—

The entire family gets to be “kids” for the night.

Halloween gives you permission to be silly with your children and to let out the “kid” still inside of us.

In my family, this means themed family costumes. When my daughter was six months old, we dressed her like a lobster, and my husband and I were chefs. The following year, we were a family of Totoros (Japanese Anime). This year, in honor of our love for Mario Kart, I’m going to be Luigi, my husband will be Mario and my little one will be Raccoon Mario. I can’t wait to put on a goofy hat and fake mustache and take on the neighborhood.

Your family gets to meet the neighbors.

Where I live, everyone leaves for work in the morning, comes home, hits the garage door button and disappears straight into their garages. Because of this, I’ve found it very hard to even meet the people who live in our neighborhood, much less talk to them.

However, on Halloween all the walls come tumbling down, as families emerge from their front doors, ring our doorbell and say hello.

You can all stay up late together.

Because trick-or-treating starts when it gets dark, bedtime always gets pushed back on Halloween. Honestly, this is part of the fun! It’s a great chance to break from norms and spend time together—just for one night.

You all have a valid excuse to eat candy together.

Don’t you remember eating candy until your stomach hurt as a kid? It was glorious!

I don’t know a single person who doesn’t like sugar, but as adults we spend more time talking about avoiding sugar than actually enjoying it. Halloween provides an awesome excuse to eat candy and let our kids enjoy it too.

You have a good reason to see or connect with your extended family.

If you live close to family, it’s pretty much impossible to not drop by and show off your adorable kids on Halloween. Even if you are far away from family, Halloween is the perfect time to video chat with a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while.

Even if your children are too young to remember their first years of trick-or-treating, it can still be meaningful. While the exact memory may fade, the family connections you make on Halloween will not.

Even if you decide to stay in for the night this year, I encourage you to thoroughly enjoy the frequently ringing doorbells, let your kid or kids hand out the candy and stock up on more goodies than you think you need. (I always seem to run out!)

Don’t forget to enjoy every minute of the holiday—together.

Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:

Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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