For moms at Halloween, there are some pretty scary things out there.
Fun-size Snicker bars. Running out of wine before candy. The Pennywise clown from "It." But the most frightening thing of all: Pinterest.
"I'm probably not the mom you want to talk to about this," said Chris Linton, a Crestwood mom of two. "I have no ill-will toward Pinterest moms. But on Halloween, there's so much pressure out there."
For the uninitiated, Pinterest is a social media network that allows users to "pin" and categorize things such as recipes, home decorating concepts, holiday ideas, books, fashion and other interests. Users create virtual "boards" that can be accessed on a laptop or smartphone. At best, Pinterest provides an idea or two you might not have thought of. At worst, it brings out the worst in that competitive jungle known as the school parking lot.
I checked in with Linton, who works fulltime, because I was curious what Halloween was like for school moms in this era of social media. It had been awhile, although I admit I thought we had it rough in the century's first decade. The only external pressure came from the likes of Martha Stewart, the perfect-living maven who made perfect cupcakes and touted home decor that promised to be "a good thing." Now, Stewart has partnered with Snoop Dogg while social media has made it more difficult for moms to keep up.
"I really struggle with Halloween because of Pinterest," Linton said. "I have, in the past, made costumes that required me to spend a lot more money – and time. But this year, I'm traveling the week before, so I've store bought."
But it's not just costumes, she said. Halloween has become a "season" that starts long before Oct. 31, with pumpkin carvings, bonfires and trunk-or-treats at schools and churches.
"There are so many demands on your time – it's a bit much," Linton said.
So she and her husband, Greg, do the best they can for Nate, a seventh grader, and Bridget, a fourth grader.
"We know how fast these years go by, so we try to carve out family time as much as possible," she said.
That includes staying far away from Pinterest.
"Now, I'm totally cool with throwing things together at the last minute," Linton said. That may not constitute "winning" on the school parking lot, but it does where it matters most – with Nate and Bridget.
But there's one St. Louis Halloween standard that has stood the test of time, that Chris and Greg work diligently on with their kids:
"We still have jokes," she said. "Eight days out from Halloween, and we're working on our material. It's a very big topic in our house this week."
Good to know some things never change.